King Edward VII Class Battleship

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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HMS King Edward VII King Edward VII Class.  After several very similar looking classes the King Edward VII class were quite distinctive with their larger close set funnels and the turrets for the 9.2 inch guns at the corners of the superstructure.  They were manoeuvrable but were difficult to keep on a straight course and earned the nick-name of the 'wobbly eight'.

HMS King Edward VII
Built Devonport Dockyard, laid down March 1902 , completed February 1905, cost 1,472,075.

HMS Africa
Built Chatham Dockyard, laid down January 1904, completed November 1906, cost 1,420,040.

HMS Britannia
Built Portsmouth Dockyard, laid down February 1902, completed September 1906, cost 1,408,053.

HMS Commonwealth
Built Fairfield, Glasgow, laid down June 1902, completed March 1905, cost 1,471,527.

HMS Dominion
Built Vickers, Barrow, laid down May 1902 , completed July 1905, cost 1,453,718.

HMS Hibernia
Built Devonport Dockyard, laid down January 1904, completed January 1907, cost 1,438,690

HMS Hindustan
Built John Brown, Clydebank, laid down October 1902, completed July 1905, cost 1,450,652.

HMS New Zealand (renamed Zealandia 1 December 1911)
Built Portsmouth Dockyard, laid down February 1903, completed July 1905, cost 1,424,643.

Size:
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.

Propulsion:
2 shaft Triple Expansion, 18,000 ihp, 18 knots

Trials:
King Edward VII 18,205 ihp = 19.55 knots
Dominion 13,904 ihp = 18.31 knots
Hindustan 18,521 ihp = 19.01 knots
Africa 18,671 ihp = 18.95 knots
Britannia 18,725 ihp = 18.24 knots

Armour:
9-8in belt, 12in barbettes, 12in gun houses, 2.5-1in decks

Armament:
4 x 12in 40 cal BL (2 x 2), 4 x 9.2 in BL (4 x 1), 10 x 6in QF (10 x 1), 14 x 12pounder QF (14 x 1), 14 x 3pounder (14 x 1), 4 x 18in TT

Comments:
The design reflected concern that British battleships were not keeping up with increases in firepower in foreign designs.  The size was increased to accommodate an intermediately battery of 9.2 inch turret mounted guns.  The 6 inch battery was retained but rearranged to fit in the new guns although there was some criticism that if 9.2 inch guns were necessary then why retain 6 inch guns as well?  Protection was generally similar with some modification layout.  Different ships in the class were fitted with different boilers to enable assessment of the different types available.   Crew 755.

World War 1 Service:
King Edward VII

3rd Battle Squadron Grand Fleet as squadron flagship.
Squadron used in support of cruisers on Northern Patrol.
November 1914 detached to reinforce Channel Fleet then returned to Grand Fleet.
6 January 1916 mined and sunk off Cape Wrath.

Africa
3rd Battle Squadron Grand Fleet .
November 1914 detached to reinforce Channel Fleet then returned to Grand Fleet.
December 1915-January 1916 refitted at Belfast.
29 April 1916 3rd Battle Squadron moved to Sheerness under Nore Command.
September 1916-February 1917 Adriatic.
March 1917 attached to 9th Cruiser Squadron in the Atlantic.
December 1917-January 1918 under refit at Rio de Janerio.
October returned to UK to be placed in reserve.
1920 sold for scrap.

Britannia
3rd Battle Squadron Grand Fleet .
26 January 1915 ran aground in the Forth.
29 April 1916 3rd Battle Squadron moved to Sheerness under Nore Command.
September 1916-February 1917 Adriatic.
February-March 1917 refitted at Gibraltar.
March 1917 attached to 9th Cruiser Squadron mainly based at Sierra Leone.
May 1917 under refit at Bermuda.
9 November 1918 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U50.

Commonwealth
3rd Battle Squadron Grand Fleet .
29 April 1916 3rd Battle Squadron moved to Sheerness under Nore Command.
August 1917-April 1918 refit at Portsmouth as gunnery training ship.
April-August 1918 Northern Patrol.
21 August 1918 Grand Fleet as gunnery training ship.
1921 sold for scrap.

Dominion
3rd Battle Squadron Grand Fleet .
Squadron used in support of cruisers on Northern Patrol.
29 April 1916 3rd Battle Squadron moved to Sheerness under Nore Command.
May 1916 unsuccessfully attacked by German submarine.
June 1917 under refit at Portsmouth.
March-May 1918 parent ship for the raid on Zeebrugge and Ostend.
2 May 1918 in reserve.
1921 sold fro scrapping.

Hibernia
3rd Battle Squadron Grand Fleet .
November 1914 detached to reinforce Channel Fleet then returned to Grand Fleet.
December 1915-January 1916 Eastern Mediterranean.
February-March 1916 refit at Devonport.
March 1916 rejoined Grand Fleet.
29 April 1916 3rd Battle Squadron transferred to Sheerness under Nore Command.
October 1917 in reserve.
1921 sold for scrap.

Hindustan
3rd Battle Squadron Grand Fleet .
November 1914 detached to reinforce Channel Fleet then returned to Grand Fleet.
29 April 1916 3rd Battle Squadron transferred to Sheerness under Nore Command.
February-May 1918 depot ship for Zeebrugge and Ostend raids.
May 1918 accidentally collided with destroyer HMS Wrestler.
15 May 1918 paid off into reserve.
1921 sold for scrap.

New Zealand
1 December 1911 renamed Zealandia to release name for the battlecruiser New Zealand.
3rd Battle Squadron Grand Fleet .
Squadron used in support of cruisers on Northern Patrol.
10 September 1914 Rammed a German submarine in the North Sea.
December 1915-January 1916 Eastern Mediterranean.
February-March 1916 refitted at Portsmouth.
26 March 1616 rejoined Grand Fleet
29 April 1916 moved to Sheerness under Nore Command.
December 1916-June 1917 refit at Chatham.
January-September 1918 refitted at Portsmouth as gunnery training ship and used for trials.
September 1918 paid off.
1921 sold for scrap.

HMS Hindustan.  Although designed as all coal burning ships during construction the class (except HMS New Zealand) were fitted with oil and oil sprayers, the first British to be fitted.  The sprayers enabled the steam pressure to be increased more rapidly than coal alone giving them better acceleration than coal only equivalents. hms hindustan

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