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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

CAPITAL SHIPS & MONITORS

INDEFATIGABLE battlecruisers (1911-1913)

Indefatigable 1911

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Indefatigable 13   Devonport DYd 23/2/1909 28/10/1909 4/1911 sunk 31/5/1916
New Zealand 08, 90, 53 477 Fairfield, Govan 20/6/1910 1/7/1911 11/1912 stricken 12/1922
Australia (RAN) C6, 09, 81 402 John Brown, Clydebank 23/6/1910 25/10/1911 6/1913 stricken and scuttled 12/4/1924

 

Displacement normal, t

Indefatigable: 18470

others:18500

Displacement full, t

Indefatigable: 22080

others: 22110

Length, m

179.8

Breadth, m

24.4

Draught, m

8.10 mean

No of shafts

4

Machinery

Parsons steam turbines, 32 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Power, h. p.

Indefatigable: 43000

others: 44000

Max speed, kts

25

Fuel, t

Indefatigable: coal 3340 + oil 870

others: coal 3170 + oil 840

Endurance, nm(kts) 6330(10)

Armour, mm

belt: 152 - 102, bulkheads: 178 - 152, turrets: 178 (all sides), 76 (roof), barbettes: 178 (over main deck) - 51 (under main deck), deck: 64 - 19, over magazines: 89, CT: 254 (face and sides) - 178 (rear) - 76 (roof)

Armament

4 x 2 - 305/45 BL Mk X, 16 x 1 - 102/50 BL Mk VII, 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 3 - 450 TT (2 beam, 1 stern)

Complement

800

Ship project history: The second ship of 1908 Programme was to be a battlecruiser equivalent of Neptune, but instead of taking the opportunity to remedy the weakness of Invincible they were virtually repeats of the design. The only excuse for building such a ship would be to speed up construction, but there was no justification for repeating the design when the Dominions of Australia and New Zealand voted money for their own capital ships. Australia was to become the flagship of new RAN, and New Zealand was presented to the RN on completion. As result new battlecruisers were repeats of Invincible lengthened to permit both 'P' and 'Q' turrets to fire on broadside, but unlike the original, displaced 1000t less than her battleship equivalent. Some attempt was made to improve armouring in Australia and New Zealand by deleting the thin armour at bow and stern and thickening the belt abreast of 'A' and 'X' turrets. Also machinery power was increased by 1000shp. During trials all three exceeded 26kts with boilers forcing.

    The smoke nuisance was becoming evident by the time the ships were designed, and she received a tall fore funnel. In spite of the gap between the third funnel and the fire control position on the after tripod it still proved unuseable and during the war was dismantled.

Protection (Indefatigable): 152mm main belt with 3.36m height extended from barbette "A" to the barbette "Y" (102mm abreast barbettes "A" and "X"), closed at fore end by 102-76mm and by after end by 114-102mm bulkheads. Its full length was 91m (51% of ship length). Belt between barbette "A" and stem and between barbette "X" and stern was 64mm. Main deck over citadel was 25mm with 25mm slopes (51mm over magazines), lower deck from barbette "Y" to  barbette "A" covered by 38mm deck with 51mm slopes. Another part of lower deck was 51mm.

Protection (New Zealand, Australia): 152mm main belt with 3.36m height extended from barbette "A" to the barbette "Y" (127mm abreast barbettes "A" and "X"), closed at fore end by 102-76mm and by after end by 114 - 102mm bulkheads. Its full length was 144m (80% of hull length). Belt between barbette "A" and stem and between barbette "X" and stern had 19mm plating only. Main deck over citadel was 25mm with 25mm slopes (51mm over magazines), lower deck from barbette "Y" to  barbette "A" covered by 38mm deck with 51mm slopes. Another part of lower deck was 51mm.

Modernizations: 1914, all: - 4 x 1 - 47/40

10/1914, New Zealand: + 1 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I, 1 x 1 - 57/40 6pdr Hotchkiss Mk I (AA)

3/1915, Indefatigable, Australia: + 1 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I

1915, all: - 1 - 450 TT (stern)

11/1915: all: - 2 x 1 - 102/50

1916, Indefatigable: - 2 x 1 - 102/50

1916, New Zealand, Australia: + 25mm of armour thickness between "P" & "Q" barbettes and on the main deck in the wake of all barbettes.

1917, New Zealand: - 4 x 1 - 102/50.

6/1917, Australia, New Zealand: + 1 x 1 - 102/50 BL Mk VII (AA)

6/1917, New Zealand, 6/1917: - 1 x 1 - 102/50, 1 x 1 - 57/40.

1918, both survived: + flying-off platforms (turrets "P" & "Q") for Sopwith Pup and 11/2-strutter.

2/1919, New Zealand: - 4 x 1 - 102/50, 1 x 1 - 76/45, + 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II

1919, both survived: + 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I

1/1920, Australia: - 1 x 1 - 102/50, 1 x 1 - 76/45; + 2 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V

Naval service: Indefatigable was sunk by shells from German battlecruiser Von der Tann at Jutland 31/5/1916. Two shells apparently caused explosion of "X" magazine. Ship begun sink by the stern and next salvo hit on the foredeck causing much more severe explosion and ship was destroyed. Australia collided with New Zealand on 22 April 1916 and both missed Jutland being under repair. Both survivors were declared surplus to tonnage under the Washington Treaty in 1922, New Zealand was sold in December that year and Australia was ceremonially scuttled off Sydney Heads 12/4/1924.

Australia 1913

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14