Halifax Explosion - 100 Years

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by canuck, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    December 6th, 1917

    Halifax was devastated on 6 December 1917 when two ships collided in the city's harbour, one of them a munitions ship loaded with explosives bound for the battlefields of the First World War. What followed was one of the largest human-made explosions prior to the detonation of the first atomic bombs in 1945. The north end of Halifax was wiped out by the blast and subsequent tsunami. Nearly 2,000 people died, another 9,000 were maimed or blinded, and more than 25,000 were left without adequate shelter.

    Halifax-Explosion.jpg hali.jpg hal.jpg Panoramic_view_of_damage_to_Halifax_waterfront_after_Halifax_Explosion,_1917.jpg halif1.jpg dead.jpg

    A city destroyed: 100 years after the Halifax Explosion
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  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Thanks for the photos, Canuck.

    Don't know what else to say. Just remembering what I know of the event.
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  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I first became aware of this disaster on my first visit to Halifax in July 1972. My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Nova Scotia and I remember seeing pictures and artifacts of the explosion when we toured the city. Such a great town.
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  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Today is the 102nd anniversary.

    I was reminded by the TTH post on the origins of the Boston Christmas tree.

    December 6th, 1917

    "HMCS Niobe, a former RN cruiser, was laid up in Halifax harbour at the time and the alarm was raised aboard the ship once the danger was known. Warrant Officer Albert Mattison and six men sailed to Mont-Blanc in Niobe's pinnace and boarded the ammunition ship in an effort to scuttle her. However, while the group was boarding, Mont-Blanc exploded, killing the seven men instantly. The explosion caused serious damage to Niobe's upper works, and the deaths of seven other crew members. It also caused her to be dragged from her moorings, despite the use of a concrete embedded anchor. Once re-secured, additional anchors were put in place. She remained in use as a depot ship until disposed of in 1920, and sold for scrap. She was broken up in 1922."

    My grandfather joined the crew of the Niobe on the 5th of February 1917 and served on her until he was invalided from the service on Oct. 31st, 1917. I have never learned why but he obviously left the ship approx. one month before the explosion.


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  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    It has been argued that the demolition of the German defences on Heligoland was a greater pre atomic explosion but nobody was hurt .
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Corrrr... that anchor's chilling.
    Half a ton & 2.5 miles... Strewth.
  7. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    In addition to the anchor, this 90 mm cannon, from the bow of the Mont-Blanc, was thrown nearly 3 km from the harbour. It is displayed near the spot where it landed.
    They are the only two parts of the Mont Blanc which have ever been located.

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