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