In the heat of the Battle of Jutland, German and British fleets faced each other in the largest sea clash of World War I. What could go wrong? This situation took place between two allied ships.
In the midst of the battle, German dreadnought SMS Westfalen caught British destroyer HMS Broke in her searchlight. Broke reacted quickly, she had to attack faster than the enemy! She launched a torpedo and fired a salvo at the searchlights from her 4-inch guns. Westfalen struck back and destroyed the British ship's bridge, helm, and engine telegraph.
The destroyer, with her damaged steering gear, was moving erratically. The Sub-Lieutenant standing on the bridge of HMS Sparrowhawk that was sailing nearby saw the allied Broke's bow heading straight at his ship. The explosive collision threw the young officer from the bridge.
He regained consciousness on a forecastle. But it wasn't his ship's forecastle—it was Broke's. Having risen to his feet with some effort, he heard his colleague's greeting:
«Who the hell are you?»
«Who are YOU?»
Sparrowhawk's and Broke's stems had interlocked. The Commander of Sparrowhawk thought that the ship was sinking and ordered the crew to get to the nearby destroyer Broke as quickly as they could.
The Commander of Broke, not aware of his colleague's actions, made a reciprocal decision:
«We're sinking! Everyone get to Sparrowhawk!»
It took some time for the crews to exchange places in an attempt to rescue themselves from the sinking ships.
Only after assessing the situation rationally, the commanders understood that their actions had been too hasty. The sailors returned to their places, the ships went full astern and separated. Luckily, they both stayed afloat.