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MARSHAL SOULT monitors (2, 1915)


   Marshal Ney 1916


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Marshal Ney (ex-M14) M12, M08 859 Palmers, Jarrow 1.1915 17.6.1915 8.1915 ML base ship 2.1919, sold for BU 1957
Marshal Soult (ex-M13) M13, M09 860 Palmers, Jarrow 2.1915 24.8.1915 11.1915 hulk 12.1940, sold for BU 7.1946

Technical data

Displacement normal, t6670
Displacement full, t


Length, m


Breadth, m


Draught, m

3.20 deep

No of shafts



Marshal Ney: 2 6-cyl. MAN diesels

Marshal Soult: 2 8-cyl. Vickers diesels

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, tdiesel oil 235
Endurance, nm(kts)1500(4)
Armour, mm

sloped internal belt: 102, bulkheads: 102, barbette: 203, turret: 330 (face), CT: 152, deck: 102 - 25


1 x 2 - 381/42 BL Mk I, 2 x 1 - 76/50 12pdr 18cwt QF Mk I, 1 x 1 - 47/50 3pdr Vickers Mk I



Standard scale images

<i>Marshal Soult</i> 1915
Marshal Soult 1915


   <i>Marshal Ney</i> 1916
   Marshal Ney 1916

Project history

In January 1915 the Admiralty decided to build two 381mm-gunncd monitors, in addition to the 305mm already authorised. Although the hull had to be enlarged to accommodate the much heavier 381mm mounting, draught was still to be no more than 3.0m and beam was held at 27.5m to enable them to be docked easily. The most severe technical problem encountered was the need to find room in a shallow hull for the ammunition trunk. As a result the barbette projected 5.2m above the deck, giving the ships a much more impressive profile than the earlier monitors. Fisher wanted them to have diesel engines and so the engines of the fleet oilers Trefoil and Turmoil were commandeered. Unfortunately the mistakes in the previous classes were repeated; the installed power was too low for such a full-bodied hull form, and they were grossly underpowered for the displacement and almost impossible to steer. It had been hoped to use the turrets building for Renown and Repulse (the fourth turret for the original design) but they could not be ready before 1916. In their place turrets were diverted from Ramillies, allowing the ships to be completed by November 1915 at the latest. The provisional numbers M13 and M14 were allocated but names of Napoleonic marshals were chosen as a compliment to France.     The trials of Marshal Ney were disastrous as her MAN diesels were very difficult to start. Even when she was persuaded to start her speed was only 6kts instead of the 9kts expected. The results of machinery trials were so disheartening that the Admiralty seriously considered stopping work on both ships and transferring the turrets to other ships, but the trials of Marshal Soult were better and they were reprieved. Another scheme to arm them with the turrets from the battleship Illustrious or her sister Caesar was rejected. When completed both ships had diminutive funnels, which coupled with the tall tripod and massive turret gave them a bizarre look.


Machinery and magazine were protected by 102mm internal sloped belt, 102mm bulkheads and 102-25mm deck. Turret had 330mm face, 279mm sides and rear and 127mm roof.

Modernizations 4.

1916, Marshal Ney: - 1 x 2 - 381/42; + 1 x 1 - 234/41 BL Mk VIII, 4 x 1 - 152/40 QF Mk II

3/1917, Marshal Ney: - 1 x 1 - 152/40; + 2 x 1 - 152/50 BL Mk XI

1917, Marshal Soult: + 2 x 1 - 152/40 QF Mk II, 1 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I, maximal angle of main guns elevation increased up to 30°.

1918, Marshal Soult: - 2 x 1 - 152/40; + 8 x 1 - 102/44 BL Mk IX, 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II; funnel upraised

Naval service

Marshal Ney served as submarine depot ship from 8.1919, stocker training establishment Vivid from 7.1922. Renamed Drake 1934, Alaunia II 1947. Marshal Soult lost her 102mm guns in 1937 and 381mm guns in 1940. Served as trawler depot ship from 12.1940.

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.

Marshal Ney 1916