Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Remembering the Maillé Brézé

The Maillé Brézé was a Vauquelin class destroyer of the French Navy lost in an accidental explosion during World War II.

On 30 April 1940, at 14:15, as Maillé Brézé was anchored at the Tail of the Bank off Greenock, a torpedo tube misfunctioned and launched an armed torpedo on the deck, setting fire to the fuel tanks and the forward magazine, which however did not explode.

At 15:15, the crew abandoned ship due to the danger of explosion, except for numerous sailors trapped in the mess hall. Around 16:30, a few sailors returned to the ship to flood the aft magazine, and by 19:30 the fire was controlled by the Greenock firemen. By that time, Maillé Brézé was so low in the water that she began sinking before she could be towed, and she went down with those still trapped in the forward part. The accident killed 25 and wounded 48.
She was raised in 1954 and broken up by 1956

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