HMS Defender at the Battle of Jutland

HMS Defender at the Battle of Jutland

On the night of 31 May - 1 June 1916 Defender took an active part in the Battle of Jutland, with the First Destroyer Flotilla operating in support of Beatty's battlecruiser force. At about 18:30 she was struck in the forward boiler room by a single 12 inch (305 mm) shell, killing one man and wounding two. Although the shell failed to explode, it knocked out the boiler room, reducing the ship's speed to about 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph), forcing her out of formation with the rest of her Flotilla. On restoring power (about 19:15) she took the damaged Onslow in tow and made Aberdeen the next day. Her captain, Lieutenant Commander L R Palmer received the Distinguished Service Order. The event was described in detail by Rudyard Kipling, in Sea Warfare under the heading Towing Under Difficulties. The report on the battle by Admiral Beatty stated that: Defender, whose speed had been reduced to 10 knots, while on the disengaged side of the battle cruisers, was struck by a shell which damaged her foremost boiler, but closed Onslow and took her in tow. Shells were falling all round them during this operation, which, however, was successfully accomplished. During the heavy weather of the ensuing night the tow parted twice, but was resecured. The two struggled on together until 1p.m. 1st June, when Onslow was transferred to tugs. I consider the performances of these two destroyers to be gallant in the extreme, and I am recommending Lieutenant-Commander J. C. Tovey of Onslow, and Lieutenant Commander Palmer of Defender, for special recognition... — Admiral David Beatty Lieutenant Commander Palmer wrote after the battle that Onslow had signalled Defender with the following message: We all Captain, officers and ship’s company thank you very much for your kind and most efficient assistance and wish you all possible luck and a long leave — Onslow to Defender She was transferred to the 3rd Battle Squadron in 1916 and survived the war.

Created by: Trevor321

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