A Brief History
On October 27, 1914, the virtually brand new British Super-Dreadnaught battleship, HMS Audacious, hit a mine off the North coast of Ireland and sunk without ever being used in combat. Of course, the British government did not tell the truth to the British people, a disturbing trend followed by governments all over the world throughout history.
Audacious was commissioned in August of 1913, a state of the art King George V class battleship, 598 feet long and displacing 23,400 metric (long) tons. Armed with a main battery of 10 X 13.5 inch guns in 5 twin turrets and a secondary battery of 16 X 4 inch guns to go with her 3 torpedo tubes, this 21 knot ship was a powerhouse of its day. The big guns fired a 1410 pound shell 22,000 meters.
Engaging in gunnery drills off Ireland at 0845 hrs on October 27, 1914, Audacious hit a mine near the engine rooms below the ship. Thinking the ship had been torpedoed, the submarine warning went up. The crew struggled to keep the ship afloat all day and into the night, but around 2100 the stricken ship rolled over and blew up, debris killing a man on another ship, the only casualty of the sinking! All 900 crew members survived, which has to be some sort of record for the sinking of such a large ship.
In spite of the numerous witnesses, including the crew of Audacious and the several naval vessels that assisted in trying to save the ship, as well as RMS Olympic (sister ship of the Titanic) which had also responded to assist, the British government kept the news of the sinking from the British people for the next 4 years, only announcing her loss after the war ended. This of course was ridiculous, as German intelligence determined the Audacious had been lost within a couple weeks of her sinking, and numerous Americans aboard the Olympic had witnessed the event. Photographs and even 1 moving picture film were made of the sinking.
Obviously, the British government did not trust the will of their own people to accept such a loss during wartime. You might expect totalitarian governments to lie and keep facts from their public, especially during wartime, but in a democracy this type of lying undermines the democratic process. This scenario is akin to the Nixon administration keeping the American people in the dark about operations in Cambodia and Laos during the Viet Nam War, although the enemy sure knew we were there!
Under the questionable cover of “state secrets” the public is kept from facts about many highly interesting and historically important events, even though it would seem an excessive amount of time has passed and the secret keeping seems no longer relevant. The US keeps information about the John F. Kennedy murder from the public, as well as information about the Martin Luther King, Jr. murder. The UK still keeps secrets from World War I and World War II (such as the Mata Hari case for crying out loud!).
Question for students (and subscribers): What are they hiding? Who are they protecting? Who’s reputation and legacy are they guarding? Don’t we deserve the truth? Tell us what you think about excessive government lying and secret keeping. Is it necessary, or just an excuse to cover things up? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more on this ship, please enjoy…
King, Andrew and Brown Sierra. “HMS Audacious.” Thalassocracy. Epiphany, 2008.