Invincible Class Battlecruiser

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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HMS Invincible
Invincible class.  Invincible herself was originally fitted with experimental electrically powered gun turrets.  After trials these were found to be a disappointment as training was slower then hydraulic turrets and there were maintenance problems.  In 1914 the turrets were re-fitted for conventional hydraulic power. 

HMS Invincible
Built Elswick, laid down April 1906, completed March 1909, cost £1,767,515.

HMS Inflexible
Built Clydebank, laid down February 1906 completed October 1908, cost £1,720,739.

HMS Indomitable
Built Fairfield, laid down March 1906, completed June 1908, cost £1,752,337.

Length 560 feet waterline 567 feet overall, beam 78 feet 9 inches, draught 26 feet 8 inches, displacement 17,420 load 20,135 tons full load.

4 shaft Parsons turbines, 41,000 shp, 25 knots

Invincible 46,500 shp = 26.64 knots
Inflexible 46,947 shp = 26.48 knots
Indomitable 47,791 shp = 26.11 knots

6-4in belt, 7in barbettes, 7in turret faces, 2.5-1in decks

8 x 12in 45cal MK X (4 x 2), 16 x 4in (16 x 1), 5 x 18in TT

The first battlecruisers, probably the most famous and controversial idea of Admiral Sir John Fisher, although when built they were known as armoured cruisers indicating their origin as larger power cruisers with roles seen as trade protection, support of light forces, heavy scout, pursuit of a fleeing enemy battle-fleet and support of the van of the battle-fleet.  The class introduced turbines to large cruisers giving them the speed to overhaul enemy cruisers or evade any ship powerful enough to defeat them.  They also had a uniform battleship calibre main armament but were only protected to the same scale as a conventional armoured cruiser.  Whilst this protection was shown to be adequate against traditional armoured cruisers it was a weakness against other battlecruisers.  Crew 779.

World War 1 Service:

6 August 1914 completed refit and dispatched to Queenstown for trade protection duties.
19 August 1914 ordered to return to become flagship on 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron.
28 August 1914 took part in the Battle of Heligoland Bight.
September 1914 transferred to 1st Battlecruiser Squadron.
October 1914 rejoined 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron.
4 November ordered to South American waters to hunt Admiral Graf Spee.
11 November 1914 after short refit at Devonport set sail as flagship of Vice-Admiral Sturdee.
8 December 1914 Battle of the Falkland Islands.
16 December 1914 left the Falkland Islands for home.
January-February 1915 refit at Gibraltar then joined 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron.
31 May 1916 sunk by SMS Derfflinger and Lützow at the Battle of Jutland and inflicted fatal damage on Lützow.

2nd Battlecruiser Squadron as flagship of the British Mediterranean fleet.
August 1914 spent unsuccessfully hunting SMS Goeben and Breslau.
18 August 1914 set off for home waters to join 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron.
11 November sailed to South American waters with HMS Invincible to hunt Admiral Graf Spee.
8 December 1914 Battle of the Falkland Islands.
16 December 1914 set sail from the Falkland Islands for home.
24 January 1915 became flagship of British Dardanelles squadron.
19 February took part in bombardment of Dardanelles outer forts.
25 February 1915 again bombarded Dardanelles outer forts.
5 March 1915 another bombardment.
11 March sent to Malta to have word gun barrels replaced.
18 March 1915 bombardment of Dardanelles forts.  Was hit 9 times and then struck a mine.  Withdrew and beached whilst temporary repairs made then went to Malta.
10 April reached Malta for repairs.
19 June 1915 joined 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron with the Grand Fleet.
31 May 1916 took part in the Battle of Jutland.  Fired 88 12 inch rounds and was not damaged.
5 June transferred to 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron.
19 August 1916 attacked unsuccessfully by German submarine U65.
31 January 1918 collided with the submarine K 14.
1921 sold for scrap.

2nd Battlecruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean.
Early August 1914 spent unsuccessfully hunting SMS Goeben and Breslau.
3 November 1914 bombardment of Dardanelles forts.
26 December 1914 joined 1st Battlecruiser Squadron with the Grand Fleet.
Early January 1915 refit the joined 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
24 January 1915 took part in the Battle of Dogger Bank.
February 1915 repairs after accidental electrical fire.
11 March 1915 unsuccessfully attacked by German submarine.
31 May 1916 took part in the Battle of Jutland.  No damage and fired 175 12 inch shells.
5 June 1916 transferred to 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron.
August 1916 refit.
1921 sold sold scrap.

HMS Indomitable late in the war with fighter aircraft on platforms on 'P' and 'Q' turrets.  The wing turrets had very limited cross deck firing arcs and although.  the proliferation of fire control and other equipment can also be seen on the tripods. indomitable.jpg (36033 bytes)
HMS Indomitable

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