Canopus Class Battleship

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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HMS canopus Canopus Class.  Distinguishable from earlier British battleships by the two centre-line funnels instead of the side by side arrangement of previous ships., this being the result of the using water tube boilers.  The class were not given the usual copper sheathing to the hull in order to save weight and provide a shallower draught as it was felt that the good docking facilities in Hong Kong would ensure that fouling (marine growth on the hull) would not be a major problem.

HMS Canopus
Built Portsmouth Dockyard, laid down January 1897, completed December 1899, cost 921,316.

HMS Albion
Built Thames Iron Works, laid down December 1896, completed June 1901, cost 913,545.

HMS Glory
Built Lair, Birkenhead, laid down December 1896, completed October 1900, cost 895,814.

HMS Goliath
Built Chatham Dockyard, laid down January 1897, completed March 1900, cost 920,806.

HMS Ocean
Built Devonport Dockyard, laid down December 1897, completed February 1900, cost 938,578.

HMS Vengeance
Built Vickers, Barrow, laid down August 1898, completed April 1902, cost 891,417.

Length 400 feet waterline 421 feet 6 inches overall, beam 74 feet 6 inches, draught 26 feet 2 inches, displacement 13,141 load 14,322 tons full load.

2 shaft Vertical Triple Expansion, 13,500 ihp, 18kts

Canopus 13,763 ihp = 18.5 knots
Albion 13,885 ihp = 17.8 knots
Vengeance 13,853 ihp = 18.5 knots
Goliath 13,980 ihp = 18.68 knots
Glory 13,696 ihp = 19.29 knots
Ocean 14,332 ihp = 19.18 knots

6in belt, 12in barbettes, 8in gun houses, 2-1in decks

4 x 12in 35 cal BL (2 x 2), 12 x 6in QF (12 x 1), 10 x 12pounder QF (10 x 1), 6 x 3pounder (6 x 1), 4 x 18in TT

Designed as smaller, cheaper and faster equivalents of the Majestic class primarily for service in the Far East.  They were the first British battleships to be fitted with Krupps type armour which allowed a reduction in thickness of armour.  Water tube boilers were introduced in this class which was one of the reasons enabling the increase in speed.  Crew 682.

World War 1 Service:

8th Battle Squadron Channel Fleet.
August 1914 sent to support cruiser operations in Canary Islands area.
September 1914 sent to South America Station as guard ship.
Took part in hunt for Admiral Graf Spee.
8 December 1914 fired opening shots of the Battle of the Falkland Islands.
February 1915 transferred to the Dardanelles.
2 March 1915 took part on forts.
4 March 1915 supported landings.
8 March 1915 supported minesweeping operations.
10-12 March 1915 took part in attack on the narrows.
18 March 1918 escorted the damaged HMS Inflexible to Malta.
25 April 1915 covered diversionary attack on Bulair.
23 May 1915 towed HMS Albion after that ship ran aground.
May-June 1915 under refit at Malta.
After the end of the Dardanelles campaign served in Eastern Mediterranean until April 1916.
28 April 1916 paid off at Portsmouth to release crew for newer ships.
1920 sold for scrap.

7th Battle Squadron Channel Fleet.
August 1914 sent acted as guard ship at Gibraltar then to support cruiser operations in Canary Islands area.
October 1914-January 1915 Cape station including operations against German West Africa.
January 1915-October 1915 served at the Dardanelles.
18 February 1915 bombardment of entrance forts.
26 February 1915 attack on inner forts.
March 1915 supported landings.
18 March 1915 attack on forts.
25 April supported landings at Helles.
28 April damaged during attack on Krithia and forced to withdraw.
2 May again forced to withdraw for repairs.
22 May ran aground at Gaba Tepe and had to be towed off by HMS Canopus.
May-June 1915 refit at Malta.
October 1915 part of 3rd Detached Squadron in Eastern Mediterranean.  Transported troops to Salonika.
April 1916 returned to home waters and became Queenstown guard ship.
May-August 1916 refit at Davenport.
Guard ship on the Humber until October 1918 when paid off.
1919 sold for scrap.

Channel Fleet.
5 August 1914 sent to Halifax as guard ship and to support cruisers in north American waters.
October 1914 escorted Canadian troop convoy.
May 1915 transferred to Dardanelles.
December 1915 part of Suez Canal Patrol.
April-July 1916 refit at Portsmouth.
1 August 1916-1919 flagship British North Russia Squadron based at Archangel.
1922 sold for scrap.

Channel Fleet.
25 August 1914 helped transport Plymouth Marine Battalion to Ostend.
September 1914 transferred to East Indies station.
October-November 1914 involved in blockade of SMS Konigsberg.
28 and 30 November 1914 attacked Dar es Salaam.
December 1914-February 1915 under refit at Simonstown.
Again involved in operations against SMS Konigsberg.
1 April 1915 set sail for Dardanelles.
25 April 1915 supported army.
13 May 1915 torpedoed and sunk by the Ottoman torpedo boat Muvenet-i-Milet.

8th Battle Squadron Channel Fleet.
21 August 1914 sent to Queenstown as guard ship.
September 1914 sent to East Indies Station to support cruisers in convoy duty.
October 1914 escorted Indian convoy to Bahrein.
October-December 1914 senior ship in operations against Basra.
December 1914 stationed at Suez to defend the canal.
Supported troops in the region.
Late February 1915 transferred to the Dardanelles.
1 March 1915 received damage in attack on forts.
4 March 1915 supported landings.
18 March 1915 during attack hit a mine and sank.

7th Battle Squadron Channel Fleet
25 August 1914 took part in transport Plymouth Marine Battalion to Ostend.
November 1914 detached to Alexandria as guard ship and then to Cape Verde-Canary Islands.
22 January 1915 transferred to Dardanelles.
18 February 1915 bombardment of forts.
18 March 1915 attack on inner forts.
25 April 1915 supported landings.
19 May 1915 supported Anzac positions.
25 unsuccessfully attacked by German submarine.
July-December 1915 refitted at Devonport.
1916-February 1917 East Africa.
February 1917-February 1918 in reserve.
February-April 1918 used for experiments with anti-flash equipment.
May 1918 onwards disarmed and used as store ship.
1921 sold for scrap.

HMS Canopus with pre-war funnel bands.  At the time of design there was concern that French battleships would start mounting howitzers and so were fitted with two above water armoured decks, a feature that repeated in subsequent designs until after World War 1.  Despite the introduction of Krupp armour protection was generally inferior to the Majestic class although considered adequate for their designed role. HMS Canopus

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