Reply To: HMS SHEFFIELD and the Exocet

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Paul B

    As the author of Abandon Ship, the book in question, I am most grateful for this posting from David M. It gives a very clear explanation of his findings, which I fully accept. I think that my statement about whether the warhead detonated, “This remains in doubt”, was over cautious, but it was meant to convey that we can never be absolutely sure. Since the book went to press I had already revised that view in the light of an article by the first lieutenant of HMS Sheffield, published in June 2020 (but not seen by me until many months later). This stated that he had returned to view the abandoned ship from a helicopter a couple of days after the missile strike: “On closer inspection of the missile entry point one could clearly see that the hull plating was ‘belled’ outwards with considerable ‘petalling’ of the plating, consistent with our belief that the missile had indeed exploded inside the hull in the area of the FAMR and Galley.” Consequently, before seeing David M’s posting, I had asked the publisher to delete the sentence, “This remains in doubt”, in any future reprints or editions. It is very helpful to have the other evidence that David M has provided here.