HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association

 

FAQ 16

Damage to HMS Exeter

 

• The two forward ‘A’ and ‘B’ 8 inch-turrets were out of action after direct hits.

 

• The aft 8 inch ‘Y’-turret was firing only one gun in local control and ceased firing at 0729 due to loss of electrical power

 

• The bridge, wheelhouse and transmitting station and main armament director were out of action

 

• There were fires raging throughout the ship

 

• The telephone communications throughout the ship and wireless transmission to the other ships had broken down

 

• There was 650 tons of sea water on board, the ship was 3 feet down by the bows and had a list of 10 degrees to starboard

 

• 66 crew members were dead out of a complement of 630.  Captain Bell was among the wounded

 

• However since the engine room was undamaged and the ship was steaming at about 18 knots, Captain Bell even considered trying to ram Graf Spee