Iron Duke Class Dreadnought Battleship

World War 1 Naval Combat

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HMS Iron Duke Iron Duke class.  Iron Duke was the first British battleship to be fitted with anti-aircraft guns in 1914 when two 12 pounder guns were fitted to the after superstructure.  She was also the only member of her class to have torpedo nets but these were removed during trials and the were not fitted to future battleships.

HMS Iron Duke
Built Portsmouth Dockyard, laid down January 1912, completed March 1914, cost 1,945,824.

HMS Marlborough
Built Portsmouth Dockyard, laid down January 1912, completed June 1914, cost 2,043,437.

HMS Benbow
Built Beardmore, laid down November 1912, completed October 1914.

HMS Emperor of India
Built Vickers, laid down May 1912, completed October 1914.

Length 614 feet 3 inches waterline 623 feet 9 inches overall, beam 90 feet 1 inches, draught 32 feet 9 inches (deep), displacement 26,100 tons load, 31,400 tons deep.

4 shaft Parsons turbines, 29,000 shp, 21kts.

Iron Duke 30,040 shp = 21.6 knots 
Marlborough 32,013 shp = 21.8 knots 
Benbow  32,530 shp = 21.5 knots 
Emperor of India 26,604 shp = 21.0 knots 

12-4in belt, 10-3in barbettes, 11in turret faces, 2.5-1in decks

10 x 13.5in 45cal MK V (5 x 2), 12 x 6in (12 x 1), 4 x 3 pounder (4 x 1), 2 x 3in (2 x 1), 4 x 21in TT

Enlarged King George V with heavier and better protected secondary armament, more fuel and an additional torpedo tube.  Armour was modified, generally with greater coverage.  Crew 925.

World War 1 Service:
Iron Duke
August 1914-January 1917 Flagship of Grand Fleet under Admiral Sir John Jellicoe and then Sir David Beatty.
12 January 1916 collided with oil tanker Prudentia which sank.
Present at the Battle of Jutland 1916. Fired 90 13.5in rounds and received no damage.
January 1917 ??? Battle Squadron
Sold for scrap 1946.

1st Battle Squadron Grand Fleet
Squadron flagship until February 1917.
Present at the Battle of Jutland 1916. Fired 162 13.5in rounds.  Hit by torpedo and suffered 2 killed and 2 wounded.
29 July 1916 rejoined Grand Fleet after repairs.
Sold for scrap 1932.

November 1914 joined 4th Battle Squadron Grand Fleet.
Squadron flagship until June 1916.
Present at the Battle of Jutland 1916. Fired 40 13.5in rounds and received no damage.
Sold for scrap 1931.

Emperor of India
December 1914 joined 1st Battle Squadron Grand Fleet.
Under refit at time of Jutland
Sold for scrap 1932.

HMS Benbow leads her sister ships Marlborough and Iron Duke.  Many in the Royal Navy felt that a 6 inch secondary armament was desirable to provide extra firepower and range against torpedo boats.  Admiral Fisher was opposed to such heavy anti-torpedo boat weapons on the grounds of cost and usefulness in bad weather but he had retired by the time the class were being designed.   Unfortunately 6 inch guns were heavy for a secondary gun and so like other nations who already used such secondary guns they were mounted low in casemates which were often unusable in poor weather.  These guns were mounted as far back as possible to help reduce wetness but the they were still extremely wet in most conditions. HMS Benbow

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