British Battleships 1914-18 by Angus Konstam

By Angus Konstam

The release of HMS Dreadnought in 1906 replaced the face of naval war. This innovative new battleship was once in a league of her personal, in a position to taking up any "pre-dreadnought" battleships in a directly struggle. A naval hands race among Britain and Germany, as either nations hurriedly equipped a fleet of those robust new warships. This race led inexorably to the outbreak of a global warfare. in the course of international battle I those dreadnoughts shaped the spine of the British Grand Fleet. In could 1916, those battleships placed to sea to intercept their opposite numbers within the German excessive Seas fleet. the outcome was once the conflict of Jutland, a bruising high-stakes come upon the place the layout and building of Britain's innovative new battleships was once placed to the try. the 1st half-dozen dreadnoughts have been all advancements of the fundamental Dreadnought layout, all sporting ten 12-inch weapons. It used to be basically in 1911, with the release of HMS Neptune that the format of this robust armament was once altered because of sensible adventure. extra types of the Neptune entered provider later that very same yr. those 9 superior dreadnoughts shaped the middle of the British excessive Seas Fleet. they'd quickly, in spite of the fact that, be outclassed by means of a brand new breed of "super dreadnoughts", the topic of the second one quantity during this two-part tale. whereas those new battleships carried better 13.5-inch weapons, they proved much less winning as all-round battleships than their extra lightly-armed predecessors. Naval architects have been slowly studying that with smooth battleships, layout concerned a compromise among firepower, defense and pace. One final 12-inch gun dreadnought entered carrier in 1914, whilst a seven turret battleship being equipped for the Turks was once commandeered by means of the Royal army, and re-named HMS Agincourt. This New forefront identify, the 1st of 2 protecting those recognized warships will discover the whole tale of the British battleships of worldwide warfare I. The ebook will examine their innovative layout, the 12-inch weapons that supplied them with their firepower, and how those weapons have been fired in anger.

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Both of the Colossus-class dreadnoughts had the after flying bridge removed in early 1917. Colossus was the only British dreadnought battleship to be damaged at Jutland, receiving two hits in her forward superstructure from the German battlecruiser Seydlitz. St Vincent Class In August 1914, Collingwood, St Vincent and Vanguard all formed part of the 1st Battle Squadron, based in Scapa Flow. St Vincent became the flagship of the squadron’s rear admiral, who commanded its 2nd Division. All three battleships participated in the battle of Jutland.

In early 1916 the ten 12-pdrs that were mounted in pairs on Dreadnought’s turret roofs were removed, as were four more from other exposed positions on her superstructure. This left her with ten 12-pdr guns. Her stern torpedo fittings were also removed, as it was decided that these served no useful purpose, as were her torpedo nets and booms, for the same reason. In the same refit her forward fire control position was enlarged, in line with the spotting positions fitted in the foremasts of later dreadnoughts.

This was achieved through the use of gunnery direction, or director firing. This form of fire control involved an elaborate and integrated system of spotters, rangefinders, electro-mechanical calculating machines, timekeepers, internal ship commu communications, guns and directors. It also relied on new deve developments, such as the hydraulic engines that enabled gun tu turrets to be trained round, and the guns held in position, ttrained towards the enemy. Director Firing relied on all these components working together to produce the information the gunners needed to aim their guns and repeatedly hit the enemy ship.

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