“There’s something wrong with our bloody ships today.” – Admiral Sir David Beatty, after watching three of the battlecruisers under his command blow up at the Battle of Jutland in 1916

Beatty’s ships were lost to magazine explosions – the compartment in the ship where shells and powder are stored (gives a power-meaning to “powder room”, eh?)

The powder (propellant for the shells) and the shells themselves are passed up through handling rooms to the “turret”, the rotating steel ‘box’ on the deck that holds the guns.

It’s a dangerous process, especially when the people you’re shooting at object by shooting back. The magazines are deep within the ship and are protected by armor; the turrets are armored, but they’re quite exposed, and have openings where the guns stick out, so they can be adjusted in elevation. It’s a perfect entry point for hot steel splinters.

And when a splinter enters the turret, it can easily ignite a propellant charge. This is often not a problem, unless…

Unless flash-proof doors that guard the shell and powder hoists, the handling rooms, and the magazines are left open so a greater rate of fire can be achieved.

And that’s what killed Beatty’s battlecruisers. The guards were down so more could be done,and what would have been a containable flash0fire got to the magazines.

Do you have flash-points in your marriage? Critical issues that get your blood boiling in seconds?

How do you handle them? Are you able to use prayer as a flashprof door and walk away, to revisit the issue later…or do you blow up?

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