Dramatic moment torpedo from attack that sank HMS Royal Oak is detonated – 80 years after tragedy that claimed over 800

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DRAMATIC video shows the moment a torpedo from a German U-boat attack that killed over 800 British sailors was finally detonated – 80 years after the tragedy.

HMS Royal Oak was sunk with the loss of more than 800 lives in Scapa Flow in October 1939.

On Monday, one of the torpedoes which failed to find its mark was finally made safe in a massive explosion off the coast of Orkney.

The torpedo had first to be towed away from the wreck of the HMS Royal Oak, which is an official war grave.

Video shows a huge wall of water erupt into the skies as the torpedo’s warhead detonates, accompanied by two huge bangs.

Kinlay Francis, who runs touring company Orkney Uncovered, shared the incredible clip on Facebook with his followers on Saturday.

He wrote: “For those of you who didn’t see the detonation of the German WII torpedo in Scapa Flow yesterday, here you go.

“I would add that this torpedo was fired from U-47 at battleship Royal Oak.

“The torpedo was found very close to the Oak and due to the danger had to be carefully moved away from situ to be detonated.

The torpedo caused a massive explosion in the water.

“RIP HMS Royal Oak.

He added: “Big thanks to my friends from NDG Bomb Disposal and Portsmouth FDS for the awesome video! Put the volume up!”

Peter Robinson said: “My Grandfather did two spells of duty on The Royal Oak. I’m glad it was protected from the blast.”

Isobel Irvine wrote: “To think it was lying there for so many years.

“Thank goodness it didn’t accidentally get set off in all those years. Who knows what destruction it could have caused!”

Jay Williams said: “Now that’s history coming alive!”

Shona Thomson wrote: “Awesome!”

HMS Royal Oak

U-47 attacked HMS Royal Oak with two salvos of torpedos. The first achieved nothing more than severing an anchor chain.

The second salvo, of three torpedoes, hit home and caused catastrophic flooding, sinking the warship within 15 minutes.

The Revenge class battleship, launched in 1914, saw action in the Battle of Jutland.

But by the outbreak of the Second World War she was no longer suitable for front line duty.

There were 1,234 men and boys on the warship when U-47 attacked, 835 of whom lost their lives.

 
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