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Drake Class first class armoured cruisers

Drake Class first class armoured cruisers


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Drake Class first class armoured cruisers

The Drake Class first class armoured cruisers were armoured versions of the earlier Powerful class. When originally built the Powerful class ships had been the longest warships then in existence and the largest cruisers ever built, and had been seen as too large and too expensive. The intervening Diadem and Cressy class cruisers had been smaller versions of the Powerful class ships while the Drake Class ships were only five feet shorter and fifty tonnes lighter than the Powerful class.

The Drake Class cruisers were very similar to the Powerful class cruisers as they had been modified. They carried their two 9.2in guns in single turrets at the bow and stern, and their sixteen 6in guns in four two storey casemates in each side of the ship, mimicking the arrangement eventually adopted on the Powerful class. The main difference was that the Drake Class ships carried a 257 foot long belt of 6in side armour.

Despite the increase in weight, the Drake Class cruisers were amongst the fastest cruisers of their day, with the Drake reaching 24 knots. This faster speed would become standard on later cruiser classes. The increased size would not – the Monmouth class cruisers would be 4,000 tonnes lighter than the Drakes and the next class of similar size would be the Minotaur class of 1905-1909.

All four Drake class cruisers served as squadron flagships during their careers. The Good Hope was the flagship of Admiral Christopher Cradock during the battle of Coronel, and was destroyed with the loss of all hands. HMS Drake was torpedoed by U-79 off Northern Island in 1917, having served in the Grand Fleet and on escort duty. Leviathan spent most of the war as flagship of the North America and West Indies Squadron. King Alfred served with the Grand Fleet and on convoy duty.

Displacement (loaded)

14,150t

Top Speed

23kts

Armour – deck

2.5in-1in

- belt

6in-2in

- bulkhead

5in

- turrets

6in

- barbettes

6in

- casemates

5in-2in

- ammo hoists

3in

- conning tower

12in

Length

533ft

Armaments

Two 9.2in guns
Sixteen 6in quick firing guns
Fourteen 12pdr quick firing guns
Three 3pdr quick firing guns
Two 18in submerged torpedo tubes

Crew complement

900

Launched

1901

Completed

1902-1903

Ships in class

HMS Drake
HMS Good Hope
HMS King Alfred
HMS Leviathan

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War


Morris [1] states that Warspite had her sailing rig removed while building. The illustration of her with masts therefore shows her on trials, or is conjectural.

Warspite was the flagship on the Pacific Station between 1890 and 1893, then a port guard ship at Queenstown until 1896. From 1896 until 1902 she again served as the flagship of the Pacific Station. Captain Thomas Philip Walker was appointed in command in March 1899, when Rear-Admiral Henry Palliser was Commander-in-Chief of the station. In June 1899 she became the flagship of Rear-Admiral Lewis Beaumont, who kept Captain Walker as flag captain. The ship visited Coquimbo in March 1900. [2] From late 1900 she was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Andrew Bickford, with Captain Colin Richard Keppel as flag captain in command of the ship. [3] In late March 1902, Rear-Admiral Bickford transferred his flag to the newly arrived HMS Grafton, and was joined by Captain Keppel. Warspite returned home under the command of Captain John Locke Marx (who had arrived on Grafton), [4] stopping at Bahia and São Vicente, Cape Verde on the way. She arrived at Plymouth on 28 May 1902, [5] and paid off at Chatham on 1 July, [6] when she was placed in the D Division of the Dockyard reserve and prepared for emergency service. [7]

She was sold on 4 April 1904 to Thos W Ward of Preston. She arrived on the River Mersey on 3 October 1905 and then travelled on to Preston for breaking up.

  1. ^ Morris, Douglas Cruisers of the Royal and Commonwealth Navies 0907771351 p. 30
  2. ^ "Naval & Military Intelligence". The Times (36090). London. 15 March 1900. p. 7.
  3. ^
  4. "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36395). London. 6 March 1901. p. 10.
  5. ^
  6. "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36720). London. 20 March 1902. p. 10.
  7. ^
  8. "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36780). London. 29 May 1902. p. 7.
  9. ^
  10. "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36809). London. 2 July 1902. p. 7.
  11. ^
  12. "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36794). London. 14 June 1902. p. 9.
  • Chesneau, Roger & Kolesnik, Eugene M., eds. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905 . Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN0-8317-0302-4 .
  • Friedman, Norman (2012). British Cruisers of the Victorian Era. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Seaforth. ISBN978-1-59114-068-9 .
  • Lyon, David Winfield, Rif (2004). The Sail & Steam Navy List. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN1-86176-032-9 .
  • Parkes, Oscar (1990). British Battleships (reprint of the 1957 ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN1-55750-075-4 .
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (1984). Directory of the World's Capital Ships. New York: Hippocrene Books. ISBN0-88254-979-0 .

This article about a specific naval ship or boat of the United Kingdom is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.


Contents

The French Navy emerged from World War I with light cruisers, in very small numbers, aged and exhausted by war service. [2] One Austrian (SMS Novara) and four German light cruisers (SMS Kolberg, SMS Stralsund, SMS Regensburg, SMS Königsberg), were received as reparations for war losses. They were renamed from Alsace-Lorraine towns, respectively Thionville, Colmar, Mulhouse, Strasbourg and Metz, armed with nine 100 mm (3.9 in) guns for Thionville, and six to eight 150 mm (5.9 in) guns for the others, a displacement of 4,000 tons for Thionville, 5,000 to 7,000 tons for the other cruisers, with a speed of 26–27 knots (48–50 km/h 30–31 mph). They were retired from active service by the early 1930s. [3]

In 1920 the French Navy made plans to construct 5,200-ton light cruisers, with a main armament of 139.7 mm (5.5 in) guns, capable of speeds over 36 knots (67 km/h). Funds were granted in the 1922 budget for the three Duguay-Trouin-class cruisers, known as 8000 tons cruisers, which were launched in 1923–24. They had four turrets mounting two guns each. The 155 mm (6.1 in) guns, in regular use by the French Army were chosen to facilitate a streamlined ammunition supply chain. With nearly no armour, they had a speed of 34 knots (63 km/h 39 mph). [4]

Also remaining in service were armoured cruisers, built between 1900 and 1910, that were obsolete when they had been commissioned. With their armament arrangement in two double turrets of 194 mm (7.6 in) guns, and single turrets and casemates of generally 167.4 mm (6.6 in), (only the Edgar Quinet-class cruisers Edgar Quinet and Waldeck-Rousseau cruisers had fourteen 194 mm (7.6 in) guns as their main armament), a speed of 23 knots (43 km/h 26 mph), an armoured belt of 90 to 170 mm (3.5 to 6.7 in), for a displacement of 12,000 to 14,000 tons, they were outgunned by their British or German contemporaries. [5]

Washington Naval Treaty and the preeminence of the heavy cruiser Edit

The 1922 Washington Naval Treaty forbade the armoured cruiser type, with clauses limiting the cruiser tonnage to 10,000 tons, and the size of their guns to 203 mm (8.0 in).

As war experience had clearly shown the importance of securing trade routes against surface threats, all the signatories of the treaty had built, until 1930, nearly only Washington heavy cruisers (fifteen each for the United Kingdom and the United States, twelve for Japan, seven each for France and Italy). These cruisers bore eight 203 mm guns in four double turrets, in the British, [6] French [7] and Italian navies, but nine to ten guns in the United States Navy, [8] or the Imperial Japanese Navy, [9] with a speed from 30 to 35 knots (56 to 65 km/h), and a very light armour, for the earliest ships built, and a better protection, with a slightly reduced speed, for the next classes. On the first Washington heavy cruisers built, in the French Navy, Duquesne, the weight of armour was 430 tons, and the maximum speed on trials reached 35.30 knots (65.38 km/h), with 126,919 shp (94,643 kW), and, for the last one, Algérie, the weight of armour was 2,657 tons, and the maximum speed 33.20 knots (61.49 km/h), with 93,230 shp (69,520 kW). [10]

Germany was not subject to the restrictions in warship building resulting from the treaty, and the German Reichsmarine laid down, between 1926 and 1928, three cruisers of the Königsberg class with a displacement of 6,650 tons, armed with three triple turrets of 150 mm (5.9 in) guns, and a speed of 30–32 knots. [11] In 1929, an improved unit, Leipzig, with a more powerful cruising diesel engine installation, and a more extended armoured belt, with nearly the same displacement (6,710 tons). [12]

The British Navy considered that the Washington cruiser type was too large for its needs, and, in 1927, a slightly smaller 8 in (203.2 mm)-gun cruiser was laid down, HMS York, with only six 8-inch guns. [13] As the 1930 London Naval Conference had just opened, the United Kingdom announced the cancellation of the next projected 8-inch-gun cruiser design, while the first unit of a new class was to be built, with a displacement of 6,500 tons and armed with eight 152.4 mm (6 in) guns, able to counter Leipzig. It was HMS Leander. [14]

The 1930 London Naval Treaty and the resurgence of the light cruiser Edit

The 1930 London Naval Treaty introduced a distinction between Type A cruisers (commonly called "heavy cruisers"), with guns over 154.9 mm (6.1 in) (the main armament mounted on the Duguay-Trouin-class cruisers) and up to 203.2 mm (8 in), and Type B cruisers (commonly called "light cruisers"), with guns of 154.9 mm (6.1 in) or under. It fixed the limit for the number of Type A units of each signatory to the number of existing cruisers, and authorized their replacement only twenty years after her completion. [15]

In 1926, as France had started to produce classes of destroyers ( Chacal, Guépard, and Aigle classes) which were superior in displacement and firepower to the destroyers of that period, in order to counter this, Italy decided to produce a new class of cruiser that would be of intermediate size between the new French destroyer classes and the cruisers built in that period. The four units of the Da Giussano class (first sub-class of the Condottieri cruisers group) were laid down in 1928, and completed in 1931–32, respecting the newly signed London Naval Treaty. On a displacement of about 5,200 tons, they were armed with eight 152 mm guns in four double turrets, and could attain the remarkably high speed of 37 knots (69 km/h), but with negligible armour and short radius of action. [16]

A new French cruiser had been ordered in 1926 and launched in 1930, specially designed as a school ship for midshipmen. The cruiser Jeanne d'Arc had the same 6.1-inch guns, in double turrets, as the Duguay-Trouin class. [17] But when, after the London Naval Treaty, a new cruiser Émile Bertin was designed to operate both as a minelayer and as a destroyer flotilla leader, she was armed with a completely new armament and turret layout, nine 152.4 mm (6 in) guns in three triple turrets, for the first time in the French Navy. She had two double and two single mounts of 90 mm (3.5 in) for secondary anti-aircraft (AA) artillery. Reaching 39.66 knots (73.45 km/h) on speed trials, with 137,908 hp (102,838 kW), she was the fastest of the French cruisers ever built. [18]

The triple turret was unusual in the French Navy, which had preferred the double turret on its battleships, and on its previous cruisers, or the quadruple turret. In 1910, the Chief Naval Constructor, French Navy, had designed the Normandie-class battleships with three quadruple turrets, [19] and the quadruple turret was broadly used, on the Dunkerque-class battleships, as the mounting for the main armament, and for the dual-purpose secondary battery. [20] Triple turrets have been common in the Italian Navy battleships (uninterruptedly since the first Italian dreadnought built, Dante Alighieri) [21] as in the Russian, [22] World War I Austro-Hungarian, [23] U.S. Navies (since the Nevada to the Tennessee battleship classes), [24] and even in the British Royal Navy, with the Nelson-class battleships. [25] On cruisers, the triple turret was used in all the U.S. Navy Washington heavy cruiser classes, on the Reichsmarine light cruisers, and on Deutschland-class "pocket battleships". [26]

This was on the basis of Émile Bertin ' s armament, and on Algérie ' s protection and propulsion that was designed the lead ship of the La Galissonnière class, launched in November 1933. [27]

Introduction of the large light cruiser Edit

The Imperial Japanese Navy, and its Pacific Ocean rival the U.S. Navy, were both interested in large cruisers, whether they were classed "heavy" or "light". In the 1931 Building Program, Japan ordered the first units of a new light cruiser class, the Mogami class, [28] with fifteen 155 mm (6.1 in) guns, in five triple turrets, and a speed of 37 knots (69 km/h), announcing, falsely, a displacement of 8,500 tons. The U.S. Navy answered with the Brooklyn class, [29] with fifteen 152 mm (6.0 in) guns, a speed of 32.5 knots (60.2 km/h), but a more exact displacement of 9,700 tons. The first units of this class were launched in 1937–38. The Royal Navy had laid down a class of four light cruisers, the Arethusa class, [30] smaller than the Leander class with only six 152.4 mm (6 in) guns. They were launched between 1934 and 1936. In reaction to the building of the Japanese and U.S. large light cruisers, the United Kingdom canceled some projected units of the Leander and Arethusa classes. The two first British large light cruisers, after drawing drafts for a so-called Minotaur class, became the Town class [31] which were launched in 1936. They were fitted with twelve 152 mm guns, in four triple turrets, and aircraft installations at the center of the ship, had a speed of 32 knots (59 km/h), and were nearly respecting the 10,000-ton displacement.

Three vessels, De Grasse, Guichen and Chateaurenault, were authorized shortly before the war as improved La Galissonnière class, with a displacement of 8,000 tons, the same armament and arrangement of three triple 152 mm turrets, two fore and one aft, and three twin AA 90 mm aft, one axial and two lateral. Aircraft installations, two catapults, crane and hangar, accommodating three/four seaplanes, would have been fitted in the ship's center, aft of a single large funnel. They were intended to have more powerful propulsion machinery, 110,000 hp (82,000 kW), to reach 35 knots (65 km/h). The silhouette, with a massive fore tower, would have been inspired by Algerie ' s. But only the name ship was actually laid down in the Lorient Navy Yard, and as work was suspended during the war, she was launched in 1946, and completed only in 1956, as an integral anti-aircraft cruiser design. [32]

La Galissonière-class cruisers were very different, in displacement, armament, and protection from the London Naval Treaty Type B cruisers, such as the British Dido class, [33] American Atlanta class [34] or Italian Da Giussano-class cruisers, with a displacement of 6,000 tons or less, armed with numerous guns sometimes inferior to 152 mm, to the large light cruisers (Duca degli Abruzzi), the Brooklyn or Town-class cruisers, (about 10,000 tons, and from ten to fifteen 152 mm guns).

With a displacement of 7,500 tons, and nine 152 mm guns, the La Galissonière-class cruisers belong to a middle category, comparable with the last Kriegsmarine light cruiser Nürnberg (an improved version of Leipzig), [35] the Italian cruiser Raimondo Montecuccoli (from the intermediate version of the Condottieri class), or the nine-gun units of the Crown Colony-class cruisers, [36] reduced version of the Town-class cruisers.

The displacement of French cruisers was around 7,000–9,000 tons, yet it was enough to accommodate both heavy armour and heavy armament, while maintaining good maximum speed.

Main armament Edit

The class' main armament, in three triple mountings, concentrated a powerful broadside in a relatively small vessel. Their displacement was of the 7,000-ton class, just like the Italian Condottieri III Group (Attendolo and Raimondo Montecuccoli). While the Condottieris had four turrets with eight 152 mm guns, French cruisers had only three turrets with nine guns. The use of triple turrets allowed, as on the U.S. Navy cruisers, the deployment of nine 203 mm guns, or even fifteen 152 mm guns, on hulls of 10,000 tons, or on the German light cruisers, to have nine 149.9 mm (5.9 in) guns, with less than 7,000 tons displacement.

The armament consisted of the 152 mm gun (152 mm/55 Model 1930), the only French-built gun of this caliber. The cruiser mount was the Model 1930, that displaced 169.3 tons (172 mt). The rate of fire was one shell every 12 seconds (5 rounds per min).

Anti-aircraft artillery, torpedoes, aircraft facilities Edit

The secondary armament consisted of the 90 mm/50 cal Model 1926. It was a decided improvement over the old 75 mm guns, being mounted single or twin. La Galissonnière cruisers had four twin mounts. These ships were also fitted with two twin torpedo tubes, on sides, amidship. The torpedoes were the 550 mm (21.7 in) [37] 23 DT model, in service since 1925. Their aircraft installations, with hangar and derrick on stern, and a catapult fitted on the top of the aft 152 mm turret, could accommodate four Loire 130 seaplanes.

Like most French warships completed prewar, they were originally weak in light anti-aircraft artillery, with four twin 37 mm guns, and six 13.2 mm twin mount machine guns. Four more were added in 1941, with one 37 mm and one double 25 mm guns, and two Hotschkiss 13.2 mm twin mount machine guns. The three ex-Vichy units received a refit, with American help, in 1943. Georges Leygues, Montcalm, and Gloire, had their aircraft installations and all their original anti-aircraft artillery removed, and were fitted with six quadruple Bofors 40 mm guns, and twenty single Oerlikon 20 mm guns.

Protection Edit

The armour was thicker than that of many other cruisers of the time (such as the Italian Condottieri class), heavy enough to withstand opposing cruiser main batteries. The belt and deck armour was substantially thicker than usual. The Condottieri class Group III had only 60 mm (2.4 in) belt and 30 mm (1.2 in) deck armour, while La Galissonnière had an armoured belt as ranging from 75–105 mm (3.0–4.1 in) in thickness, and deck armour that ranged from 37–50 mm (1.5–2.0 in). This was enough to withstand a 152 mm round at combat range (navweaps.com gives 76 mm at 11,000 m, when fired from a British gun), while Italian counterparts cannot have done the same with their light armour, sacrificed for the best speed. Only the last group of Condottieri class was superior, with a heavier displacement of 9,100 tons (20% more than French cruisers), ten guns, and up to 130 mm (5.1 in) armour (thought to withstand 152 mm as well), but they were only two ships. In any event, these powerful ships never fought one another. The La Galissonière-class cruisers 105 mm armored belt was also thicker than Nürnberg ' s 50 mm (2.0 in), the Dido class's 76.2 mm (3.0 in), or the Crown Colony class's (88 mm (3.5 in)) armour, and equivalent to the Leander's. The turret protection, with 100 mm (3.9 in) on faces, and 50 mm (2.0 in) on sides, back, and roofs was also better than on other cruisers with similar displacement (31.8 mm (1.25 in) on German cruisers, 25.4 mm (1 in), on the British ones, 50.8 mm (2 in) on Town or Crown Colony classes, and 76.2 to 127.0 mm (3 to 5 in) on the Brooklyn class.

Propulsion Edit

The propulsion was provided by four Indret boilers, and four Parsons turbines on La Galissonnière, Georges Leygues, Montcalm, or Rateau Bretagne turbines on the others, and two shafts, for a speed of 31 knots (57 km/h), with 84,000 hp (63,000 kW). They easily maintained 31/32 knots and all exceeded by far the expected trial speed of 33 knots (61 km/h). Thus, Marseillaise steamed an average of 34.98 knots (64.78 km/h) during an 8-hour trial and 35.39 knots (65.54 km/h) during a ninth hour. At the end of the war, they could still easily make 32 knots (59 km/h), on a full load displacement then increased to 10,850 tons. [38] The endurance (5,500 nmi (10,200 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)), was considerably better than Italian equivalents (Condottieris: around 3,800 nmi (7,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)), but similar to the comparable light British or German cruisers, for the speed and radius, except the Leander and Arethusa-class cruisers, which had an exceptional radius of 12,000 nmi (22,000 km 14,000 mi). [39]

  • La Galissonnière: [40]scuttled at Toulon
  • Montcalm: [41]scrapped 1970.
  • Georges Leygues: [42] scrapped November 1959 : [43] scuttled at Toulon
  • Marseillaise: [44] scuttled at Toulon
  • Gloire: [45] sold for scrap January 1958.

When completed, La Galissonnière, Jean de Vienne, and Marseillaise formed the 3rd Cruisers Division, flagship Marseillaise, attached to the Mediterranean Squadron, and based in Bizerte, Georges Leygues, Montcalm, and Gloire formed the 4th Cruisers Division, flagship Georges Leygues, attached to the Atlantic Fleet, and based in Brest. The 4th Cruiser Division carried out an endurance cruise to Indochina, from December 1937 to April 1938, and represented France at the July 1939 New York World's Fair.

Phoney War and under Vichy control Edit

During the Phoney War, the 4th Cruiser Division was attached to the Force de Raid under Admiral Gensoul, with Dunkerque and Strasbourg, heavy cruisers and large destroyers, first based in Brest. This squadron took part in screening Atlantic convoys, and tried unsuccessfully to give chase to German surface raiders. As Italy remained neutral in the Mediterranean, Marseillaise and Jean de Vienne took part in the shipping to Canada of a part of the Banque de France's gold reserve, in December 1939, and shipped troops in the Mediterranean in March 1940.

In April 1940, Émile Bertin was damaged by the Luftwaffe off Norway, [46] and Montcalm replaced her, and took part in the evacuation of Namsos. In response to the increasingly threatening attitude of Italy, in April 1940, the Force de Raid was sent to the Mediterranean Sea, and the 3rd and 4th Cruiser Divisions were then based in Algiers. After Italy entered the war in June, they carried out two sorties, unsuccessfully attempting to intercept Italian fleet units.

On 3 July 1940, Admiral Sommerville's Force H was sent to Mers-el-Kébir. As the French Admiralty signalled in a radio message in clear, that the Algiers cruisers had been ordered to rejoin the battleship squadron off Mers-el-Kébir, the British Admiralty warned Admiral Somerville and hurried him to put an end to the negotiations with Admiral Gensoul and to open fire. So the six cruisers had only one thing to do, to steer for Toulon, where they arrived the day after.

Two months after, the Vichy authorities obtained permission from the German Armistice Commission to send the 4th Cruisers Division (George Leygues, Montcalm and Gloire), and three large destroyers, to Libreville, to counter the Free French Forces which had taken control of French Equatorial Africa territories, except Gabon. As the oiler Tarn, escorted by the French cruiser Primauguet had been intercepted in the Bight of Benin by British warships, and bound to Casablanca, refueling was no longer possible in Libreville, and the French cruiser squadron had to turn back to Dakar. Slowed by machinery problems, Gloire was intercepted by British cruisers, and was only allowed to proceed on to Casablanca, as Georges Leygues and Montcalm reached Dakar at full speed, and so took part in its defence against Operation Menace. Until 1943, they remained there, where Gloire joined them in March 1941: from 15–25 September 1942, she was sent to rescue the victims of the sinking of the British troopship Laconia, torpedoed by the German submarine U-156. [47]

In Toulon, two of the three cruisers from the 3rd Cruisers Division, Marseillaise and La Galissonnière, the latter being replaced on 15 March 1941 by Jean de Vienne, were incorporated in a so-called High Seas Force, which nearly never went to sea, due to the lack of fuel, but in November 1940, to cover the return to Toulon of the battleship Provence, which had been severely damaged by British gunfire in July 1940. In January 1942, Jean de Vienne was sent to rescue the liner Lamoriciere, whose sinking in a winter tempest, off the Balearic Islands, caused more than 300 deaths.

After the successful Allied landings in Morocco and Algeria, in November 1942, the Germans occupied the Zone libre, and tried to seize the French warships in Toulon, (Operation Lila). But the three La Galissonière-class cruisers, La Galissonnière, Jean de Vienne, Marseillaise, as most of the ships based at Toulon, were scuttled, on 27 November 1942. In 1943, the Italian Navy tried to salvage Jean de Vienne and La Galissonnière, and registered them as FR11 and FR12. [48] In 1944, after the Italian surrender, the Germans rendered the wrecks to the Vichy authorities, but they were sunk, following Allied bombing attacks on Jean de Vienne on 24 November 1943 and La Galissonnière, on 18 April 1944. They were both scrapped post war.

Allied service Edit

Like all the French warships stationed in Africa and the French Antilles, Georges Leygues, Montcalm and Gloire joined the Allied Forces. Operating from Dakar, beginning in February 1943, Georges Leygues carried out patrols in the Central Atlantic. On 13 April, she intercepted the German blockade runner Portland, [49] as the Flag Officer, French Navy West Africa, was Admiral Collinet, formerly commanding officer of the battleship Strasbourg, at Mers-el-Kebir.

In February 1943, Montcalm was sent to Philadelphia, to be refitted with American help, remaining there until August 1943. Gloire was sent to Brooklyn, from July to November 1943, and Georges Leygues, to Philadelphia, from July to October 1943. Their aircraft mounts were removed and they were fitted with modernised anti-aircraft weapons. Sent to the Mediterranean Sea, the Montcalm supported the Liberation of Corsica in September 1943, and Gloire carried out bombardment missions against land-based targets in the Gulf of Gaeta in early 1944.

Georges Leygues and Montcalm supported the Allied Normandy landings, and, together with Gloire, Operation Dragoon. Georges Leygues returned to Toulon, on 13 September 1944, bearing the flag of the Chef d'état-major de la Marine, Vice Admiral Lemonnier, her commanding officer when she had left Toulon, and at the Battle of Dakar in 1940. Until April 1945, the three cruisers were part of the so-called Flank Force, operating off the Mediterranean coast of the western Italian Riviera.

Post war Edit

In 1945, they carried out various missions to Indochina, and after 1954, off the Algerian coast. Gloire was flagship of the French Mediterranean Squadron, in 1951–52, Montcalm from October 1952 to June 1954, and Georges Leygues afterwards, and she took part as flagship of the Intervention Force in the operations off Egypt, during the Suez Crisis, carrying out a bombardment mission against Rafah on 1 November 1956, and supporting the landing at Port-Saïd. Gloire and Georges Leygues were scrapped in 1958 and 1959, and Montcalm in 1970.


Drake Class first class armoured cruisers - History

Royal Navy, "Pax Britannica", 1815-1914

FROM IMPERIAL POLICEMAN TO NORTH SEA BATTLE FLEET: THE EVOLUTION OF BRITISH NAVAL DEPLOYMENT 1900-1914

by Dr Graham Watson, retired from HIstory Dept, Cardiff University


My sincere thanks to Graham Watson for all the work he has put into this important account of the Royal Navy leading up to the outbreak of World War 1. Not just the ship deployments, but the organisation itself. It has certainly cleared up for me numerous problems trying to sort out the fleets early in the war.

Graham informs us that the principal source for this work is the Navy List. They were supplemented by Arthur Marder's 'From Dreadnought to Scapa Flow'. His first volume gives an account of the policy of changing the location and fleet composition in the period 1904-1914. Books on individual types of ships such as Oscar Parkes and R A Burt on battleships, and Roger Morris on cruisers have supplemented the basic Navy List data.

Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net.

In 1900, the prime purpose of the Royal Navy was to protect and defend the Empire patrol and protect the trade routes and to show a British naval presence in areas of concern, such as the Mediterranean.

For these tasks the ships of the Royal Navy were allocated to a number of geographic stations, of which only the Mediterranean was described as a fleet. These were:

A small force of battleships comprised the Channel Squadron, which could be reinforced by the older battleships and cruisers of the Coast Guard. The ships on Coast Guard duty were distributed around the ports of the United Kingdom as guard ships- a visible but not very effective presence.

Between 1901 and 1913, the Royal Navy changed from this imperial role to a battle fleet designed and prepared for conflict in the North Sea. This was in response to the perceived threat brought about by the enlargement of the German Fleet. This process was aided by the generally beneficial attitude towards other navies which might have posed a threat elsewhere in the world- the French, the Americans and the Japanese.

The transition to the North Sea took place in stages, largely as an attempt to disguise the move, and so not provoke a response from Germany. Although a major focus of the period is on the introduction of the 'dreadnought' type battleship, and the increased allocation of armoured cruisers, torpedo boat destroyers, and submarines, the establishment of tactical and administrative organisations such as squadrons and flotillas must be examined.

In 1900, there were no fleets, squadrons or flotillas such as existed by 1914. Ships seemed to have been allocated without too much thought to coherence of class, type, and fighting ability. Apart from the Mediterranean Fleet, there were few, if any, subordinate flag officers, to provide tactical leadership for training and operations.

By 1914, uniformly constituted battle squadrons, cruiser squadrons, destroyer flotillas, and submarine flotillas, with appropriate flag officers in command, had been created in home waters.

Their creation marks the transition to the fleet organisation of the twentieth century.

The pace and nature of this change is summarised below. They were most obvious and frequent in the organisation of warships in home waters to a lesser extent in the Mediterranean and China Stations. The other geographic stations either remained largely untouched, or were abolished.


HMS Warspite (1884)

HMS Warspite was an Imperieuse-class first-class armoured cruiser, launched on 29 January 1884 and commissioned in 1886. Warspite was the flagship on the Pacific Station between 1890 and 1893, then a port guard ship at Queenstown until 1896. From 1896 to 1899 she again served as the flagship of the Pacific Station. In 1901 she cruised the Pacific to Honolulu and Central America as the flagship of Rear-Admiral Andrew Bickford, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station. Ώ]

Morris ΐ] states that Warspite had her sailing rig removed while building. The illustration of her with masts therefore shows her on trials, or is conjectural.

Warspite as she appeared later in her career, with a single military mast and sailing rig removed

She was sold on 4 April 1904 to Ward of Preston. She arrived on the River Mersey on 3 October 1905 and then travelled on to Preston for breaking up.


Drake Class first class armoured cruisers - History

Wright (AV 1) (seaplane tender & general auxiliary)
Jason (AV 2) (aviation support ship)
Langley (AV 3) (seaplane tender)
Patoka (AV 6) (oiler)


Mississippi battleship/seaplane tender
Displacement: 14,049 tons full load
Dimensions: 382 x 77 x 25 feet/116.4 x 23.5 x 7.6 meters
Propulsion: VTE engines, 8 250 psi boilers, 1 shaft, 10,000 hp, 17 knots
Crew: 744 as battleship
Armor: KC, Harvey: 7-9 inch belt, 3 inch decks, 6-10 inch barbettes, 8-12 inch turrets, 9 inch CT, 3.75-7 inch secondary guns
Armament: 2 dual 12/45, 8 8/45, 8 7/45, 12 3/50, 6 3 pound, 2 1 pound, 2 21 inch TT (sub) (as battleship)
Aircraft: seaplanes, number unknown

Concept/Program: Obsolete, marginally seaworthy predreadnought battleship outfitted to act as a seaplane tender at Pensacola, FL, and to assist in the establishment of a permanent seaplane base at that location.

Class: First of two Mississippi class battleships.

Design: Designed as an attempt at a smaller, cheaper battleship, but rolled badly and was considered totally unsatisfactory.

Conversion: Extent of conversion/modification for seaplane duties is not known, but is not believed to have been extensive.

Classification: Retained classification "Battleship 23" throughout her service.

Operational: Served as aviation station ship at Pensacola 1/1913 to 4/1913 supported seaplanes during the Vera Cruz operation.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Sold to Greece as a coast defense ship in 1914.

DANFS History

Built by Cramp. Laid down 12 May 1904, launched 30 Sept 1905, commissioned 1 Feb 1908.

Refitted and modernized 1911. To reserve (in commission) 1 Aug 1912, restored to full commission 30 Dec 1913 for service as aviation station ship at Pensacola and modified to support seaplanes served at Pensacola 1/1914 to 4/1914 and briefly 6/1914. Deployed to Vera Cruz, Mexico 4/1914 to 6/1914 as a seaplane support ship.

Decommissioned, stricken for transfer and transferred to Greece as Kilkis 21 July 1914. Served as coastal defense vessel. Discarded 1932 and hulked as a schoolship, disarmed as accommodation ship 1937. Sunk by German aircraft 23 April 1941 at Salamis. Hulk salvaged 1951 and scrapped.

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Tennessee class armored cruisers/seaplane carriers/tenders
Displacement: 15,870 tons full load
Dimensions: 504.5 x 73 x 25 feet/153.7 x 223.3 x 7.6 meters
Propulsion: VTE engines, 16 265 psi boilers, 2 shafts, 23,000 hp, 22 knots
Crew: 914
Armor: 3-5 inch belt, 1-3.5 inch deck, 2.5-9 inch turrets, 4-7 inch barbettes, 2-9 inch CT
Armament: 1 dual 10/40, 16 6/50, 22 3/50, 12 3 lb, 4 1 lb, 4 .30 cal, 4 21" TT (secondary battery probably reduced as seaplane tender)
Aircraft: approx. 4 seaplanes

Concept/Program: Obsolete armored cruisers outfitted to carry, launch and support seaplanes.

Conversion: A large, fixed catapult was built on the quarterdeck, and a system of rails for moving and storing seaplanes was built in the former boat storage area. The catapult was built over the aft 10" turret, rendering that turret useless.

Classification: Retained armored cruiser classification s throughout service as a seaplane tenders. Operational: Operated as an aviation station ships at Pensacola, Although nominally capable of operating seaplanes while underway, most of their seaplane service was as a station ships.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Catapult and aviation facilities removed 1917.

Seattle
ex- Washington
ACR-11 - CA 11 - IX 39
Photos: [As seaplane tender],

DANFS History

Built by New York Shipbuilding. Laid down 23 Sept 1903, launched 18 March 1905, commissioned 7 Aug 1906. Renamed 9 Nov 1916.

Fitted as a seaplane tender 1915. Served as experimental aviation ship and aviation station ship at Pensacola. Seaplane equipment removed 1917.

Redesignated CA 11 17 July 1920. Postwar was used as a flagship/headquarters ship, then as a receiving ship 1927-1946. Proposed reconstruction in 1929 cancelled. Redesignated IX 39 17 February 1941. Decommissioned 28 June 1946, stricken for disposal 19 July 1946. Sold 3 Dec 1946 and subsequently scrapped.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 21 March 1905, launched 6 Oct 1906, commissioned 7 May 1908.

Fitted as a seaplane tender 1915. Served as experimental aviation ship and aviation station ship at Pensacola. Seaplane equipment removed 1917.

Renamed Charlotte 7 June 1920. Redesignated CA 12 17 July 1921. Decommissioned to reserve 18 Feb 1921. Stricken for disposal 15 July 1930. Sold 29 Sept 1930 and subsequently scrapped.

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Huntington ( Pennsylvania class) armored cruiser/seaplane & balloon carrier/tender
Displacement: approx. 15,000 tons full load
Dimensions: 504 x 69.5 x 26.5 feet/153.6 x 21.2 x 8 meters
Propulsion: VTE engines, 30 250 psi boilers, 2 shafts, 23,000 hp, 22 knots
Crew: 822
Armor: 5-6 inch belt, 1.4-4 inch deck, 1.5-6 inch turrets, 6 inch barbettes, 2-9 inch CT
Armament: 1 dual 8/45, 14 6/50, 18 3/50, 12 3 lb, 8 1 lb, 4 MG, 2 18 inch TT (secondary guns probably reduced as seaplane tender)
Aircraft: 4 seaplanes, kite balloons

Concept/Program: Obsolete armored cruiser modified to carry, launch and support seaplanes and kite balloons.

Conversion: A large, fixed catapult was built on the quarterdeck, and a system of rails for moving and storing seaplanes was built in the former boat storage area. The catapult was built over the aft 8" turret, rendering that turret useless. Balloon maintenance and support facilities were also fitted.

Classification: Retained armored cruiser classification ACR 5 throughout her service as a seaplane tender.

Operational: Operated as an aviation station ship at Pensacola, then made one WWI convoy run as a balloon support ship before resuming armored cruiser duties. Although nominally capable of operating seaplanes while underway, most of her seaplane service was as a station ship.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Catapult and aviation facilities removed 1917.

Huntington
ex- West Virginia
ACR-5 - CA 5
Photos: [Outfitted as a seaplane tender].

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 16 Sept 1901, launched 18 April 1903, commissioned 23 Feb 1905. Renamed 11 Nov 1916.

Outfitted as a seaplane tender 1917 placed in commission in this role 5 April 1917. Served as aviation station ship at Pensacola, then made one convoy run during WWI. Seaplane equipment removed 10/1917. Remainder of WWI service was as a convoy escort.

Redesignated ACR 5 17 July 1920. Decommissioned to reserve 1 September 1920. Stricken for disposal 12 March 1930. Sold 30 August 1930 and subsequently scrapped.

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Aroostook class minelayers/seaplane & balloon tenders
Displacement: approx. 3800 tons standard
Dimensions: 395 x 52 x 16 feet/120.4 x 15.8 x 4.8 meters ( Shawmut 386 feet/117.6 meters)
Propulsion: VTE engines, 8 boilers, 2 shafts, 7000 hp, 20 knots ( Shawmut reported as 14 or 17 knots)
Crew: variable, approx. 300-370
Armor: none
Armament: 1 5/51 SP, 2 3/50 AA, 2 MG, provision for 300 mines
Aircraft: several seaplanes
Concept/Program: Merchant ships acquired in 1917 for use as transports, but converted to minelayers. Temporarily assigned to duties as aviation tenders in 1919, but remained in the aviation role for an extended period due to lack of replacements.

Design/Conversion: Oringal superstructure was stripped off and replaced by a new superstructure, large internal mine deck added. As seaplane tenders the mine rails were removed, and aircraft hoisting booms, repair and servicing facilities, etc. were added. Shawmut had equipment for servicing and support of kite balloons. Both retained some minelaying equipment.

Variations: As merchant shipps these were near-sisters, not identical sisters, so there were some variations in details.

Classification: Both ships given minelayer designations (CM) 17 July 1920 upon the creation of the designation system, and retained these designations throughout their service as aviation ships.

Operational: Both saw service in supporting early trans-Atlantic seaplane flights, then as aviation station tenders at various locations.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Both left aviation service for other duties during the late 1920's and early 1930's.

DANFS History

Built by Cramp. Date laid down unknown, launched and completed as merchant ship 1907. Acquired by USN 12 November 1917, converted to minelayer at Boston Navy Yard, commissioned as minelayer 7 December 1917. Helped in laying the North Sea mine barrage.

Converted for seaplane support at Mare Island Navy Yard early 1920, served as Pacific fleet aviation tender. Designated CM 3 17 July 1920.

Decommissioned to reserve 10 March 1931. Redesignated as a cargo ship (AK 44) 20 May 1941. Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal 5 February 1943. Sold postwar and converted to a casino ship at Long Beach. Scrapped in 1948.

DANFS History

Built by Cramp. Date laid down unknown, launched and completed as merchant ship 1907. Acquired by USN 12 November 1917, converted to minelayer at Boston Navy Yard, commissioned as minelayer 7 January 1918. Helped in laying the North Sea mine barrage.

Converted for seaplane support at Boston Navy Yard early 1919, served as Atlantic Fleet aviation tender. Renamed Oglala 1 January 1928 and became flagship of Mine Division 1, with her seaplane facilities removed. Considered for use as seaplane depot ship in 1931, but rejected as unsuitable.

Moored outboard of cruiser Helena at Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941 a torpedo hit the cruiser and sprang the seams of Oglala she capsized and sank. Salvaged 1942 and repaired at Mare Island Navy Yard redesignated ARG 1 and recommissioned 21 May 1943 as a repair ship for internal combustion engines. Armament after refit was 1 5", 4 3" AA, 4 40 mm AA and 8 20 mm AA.

Decommissioned (date uncertain), stricken for disposal 11 July 1946. Transferred to the Maritime Commission and served as a depot ship for the Suisun Bay reserve fleet. Sold and scrapped in 1965.

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Harding (Wickes class) destroyer/seaplane tender
Displacement: approx. 1,290 tons full load
Dimensions: 314.5 x 31 x 20.5 feet/95.8 x 9.5 x 6.25 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 4 boilers, 27,000 shp, 35 knots
Crew: approx. 110
Armor: none
Armament: 4 4/50 SP, 4 triple 21 inch torpedo tubes
Aircraft: seaplane servicing facilities

Concept/Program: A "flush deck" destroyer modified as a seaplane tender following WWI had previously serveded as a guide ship for trans-Atlantic seaplane flights. She was one of the pioneer seaplane tenders, and her service was short. It is possible that additional destroyers were modified as seaplane tenders during this period, but details are unknown.

Class: Wickes class "Bethlehem" type variant of the basic design.

Design/Conversion: Detail unknown some torpedo tubes may have been removed.

Departure from Service/Disposal: She apparently left seaplane duties early in 1921, and was decommissioned in 1922.

DANFS History

Built by Bethlehem San Francisco. Laid down 12 February 1918, launched 4 July 1918, commissioned 24 January 1919. Converted to a seaplane tender at Charleston Navy Yard 13 December 1919 to 20 May 1920, then served at Pensacola and in the Caribbean.

Detached from seaplane duty 2/1921. Decommissioned to reserve 1 July 1922. Stricken for disposal 7 January 1936, sold 29 September 1936 and subsequently scrapped.

Class: Originally a "Hog Island" freighter.

Design/Conversion: Conversion from an airship tender included removing the "balloon well" and fitted additional aircraft hoisting booms. There were extensive shop facilities and evidently a considerable cargo capacity.

Classification: Reclassified as a seaplane tender when her balloon was removed, prior to full conversion.

Operational: From the start she was frequently used as a tender to flying boats and seaplanes, and also served as a general-purpose auxiliary in roles such as command, salvage, disaster relief and transport.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Starting October 1944 she was designated as a miscellaneous auxiliary and served as a headquarters ship for service squadrons.

Wright
ex merchant Wright
AZ 1 - AV 1 - AG 79
Photos: [ Wright as AZ 1], [ Wright as AV 1].

DANFS History

Built by American International Shipbuilding Corp. at Hog Island, PA. Laid down 1919, launched 28 April 1920. Transferred to the Navy and conversion started 6/1920 converted at Tietjen & Lang, Hoboken. Designated AZ 1 17 July 1920, commissioned 16 December 1921.

Operated as a combination balloon-seaplane tender until mid-1922, when the balloon was transferred ashore. Ship then operated as a seaplane tender and participated in many fleet exercises to examine possible naval roles for aircraft.

Redesignated as seaplane tender AV 1 11 November 1923. Fully converted to a seaplane tender 7/1926 to 12/1916 at Norfolk Navy Yard. Conversion included removal of balloon well and fitting of additional aircraft hoisting booms. During the 1920's she saw extensive service along the US east coast, including the salvage of the submarine S-4 , hurricane relief, troop transport, etc. Served in the Pacific during the 1930's and into WWII.

Shortly before WWII she assisted in the establishment of several advance bases in the Pacific. Early in the war she was used as a transport to supply and support various bases, especially those around Hawaii. From mid-1942 on she again served as a seaplane tender.

Reclassified as a miscellaneous auxiliary (AG 79) 1 October 1944 and served as a headquarters ship for Pacific service forces. Renamed San Clemente 3 February 1945. Immediately postwar served as an occupation headquarters ship.

Decommissioned 21 June 1946, stricken for disposal 1 July 1946. Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal 21 September 1946. Sold 19 August 1948 and subsequently scrapped.

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Jason aviation support ship
Displacement: approx. 19,250 tons full load
Dimensions: 536 x 65 x 27.5 feet/163.4 x 19.8 x 8.4 meters
Propulsion: VTE engines, 14 knots
Crew: 82 as built
Armor: none
Armament: 4 4" SP as built
Aircraft: unknown

Concept/Program: Former collier employed as a support ship for US aviation operations in the Far East, and eventually reclassified as a seaplane tender. Little is known about this ship, but it is believed that she was not extensively converted to a seaplane role, and probably operated mainly as a transport and logistics ship in support of other aviation units.

Classification: Reclassified AV 2 many years after she assumed an aviation support role, probably to acknowledge that she was no longer employed as a collier.

Operational: Supported US aviation operations in the Far East from 1925 to decommissioning.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Decommissioned in 1932.

Jason
AC 12 - AV 2
Photos: [ Jason as completed].

DANFS History

Built by Maryland Steel. Laid down 26 March 1912, launched 16 November 1912, commissioned 26 June 1913.

Saw extensive and varied service as a collier, military transport, and logistics support ship. Deployed to the Far East in 1925, operating in various transport, logistics and support roles. Reclassified AV 2 21 January 1930.

Decommissioned to reserve 30 June 1932. Stricken for disposal 19 May 1936. Sold 29 July 1936 and subsequently scrapped.

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Langley seaplane tender
Displacement: 11,500 tons full load
Dimensions: 520 x 65.5 x 16.5 feet/158.5 x 20 x 5 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 542 x 65.5 x 16.5 feet/165.2 x 20 x 5 meters
Propulsion: Turbo-electric, 3 190 psi boilers, 2 shafts, 7,000 shp, 15.5 knots
Crew: 714
Armor: none
Armament: 4 single 5/51 SP
Aircraft: several seaplanes

Concept/Program: Experimental aircraft carrier (originally a collier) converted to a seaplane tender following her replacement as first-line carrier. This was another of the early, make-do conversions pending the availability of purpose-built seaplane tenders. She retained a large carrier-like deck which made her quite useful as an aircraft ferry.

Design/Conversion: The forward 1/3 of the flight deck was removed to open up a seaplane servicing deck, and seaplane hoisting booms were installed. The remainder of the flight deck apparently served no purpose other than as an aircraft storage area when the ship served as an aircraft ferry.

Modifications: No major modifications in service as a seaplane tender.

Classification: Reclassified from carrier (CV) to seaplane tender (AV) after conversion.

Operational: Early in WWII she saw service as an aircraft transport in addition to seaplane duties.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Sunk early in WWII.

Other Notes: As collier she had been the first turbo-electric USN vessel.

DANFS History

Built by Mare Island Navy Yard as collier Jupiter (AC 3). Laid down 18 Oct 1911, launched 24 Aug 1912, commissioned as collier 7 April 1913. Converted to experimental aircraft carrier at Norfolk Navy Yard 24 March 1920 to 20 March 1922. Renamed Langley 11 April 1920, reclassified CV 1 and recommissioned 20 March 1922.

Replaced as carrier by new Wasp in 1936. Converted to seaplane tender at Mare Island Navy Yard 25 Oct 1936 to 26 Feb 1937, redesignated AV 3 11 April 1937, recommissioned 21 April 1937.

Used as aircraft transport early in WWII. Attacked by Japanese bombers 27 Feb 1942 while arriving at Java with P-40s as cargo hit multiple times and crippled, abandoned and scuttled by destroyer gunfire.

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Patoka former airship tender
Note: This ship saw no service as a seaplane tender while designated AV 6, but did see service as an airship tender while designated AO 9. See history under Miscellaneous US Carriers for full details on this unusual and often-overlooked ship.


Genesis of the Giorgios Averof


Ironclad hydra

Situation of the Hellenic Fleet in 1905

In 1905, Greece has a motley collection of more or less obsolete ships. Its most important were the three armoured ships class Hydra (1889). The Hydra, Spetsai, and Psara were ordered in France in 1885, and typical of the early jeune ecole concepts. On a 4800 tonnes displacement, they carried three 10.8-inch (274 mm) Canet guns and five 5.9-inch (150 mm) Canet guns, while being protected up to 305 mm and still able to reach 17 knots.

They were mostly inactive during the Greco–Turkish War in 1897, due to the Ottoman ships staying in harbour most of the time. The experience nevertheless led to think after a faster ship. The three Hydra-class were later modernized in 1908–1910, whereas the Greek authorities launched a large rearmament program in 1905-07, first procuring eight destroyers and later were about to submit a tender for an armoured cruiser.

An opportunity: The Pisa-class cruisers

However events unfolded quickly. In 1905, three Pisa-like armoured cruisers were in construction in Italy. However, Orlando Shipyards in Livorno was building a third ship in 1907 When the Italian government cancelled her due to budgetary concerns. Informed by a naval attaché, the Greek government immediately stepped in, and purchased her with her limited budget, representing one-third (ca. 300,000 gold pound sterling) of the total purchase, as a wealthy Greek benefactor, Georgios Averof, paid the remainder.

The man, Giorgios Averof:

Greeks seems through history to have been innate traders, generating famous billionaires. The most prominent was Basil Zaharoff, probably the most (in)famous arms dealer of all times, and later Panayis Vaglianos in the 1950s and rival Stavros Niarchos, Aristotle Onassis in the 1960s. George M. Averoff (1815-1899) was a businessman and philantropist born in Epirus, which made his fortune in Egypt before moving into the business of banking, real estate and then purchased most of the shipping on the Nile. He started donating to charity, opening schools throughout Egypt, and later in Greece, helping the Panathenian Stadium restoration for the 1896 Summer Olympics, and after he passed out in 1899 in Alexandria, he donated part of his wealth to the government in his testament, with a bequest of 300,000 GBP. The government made him a Major National Benefactor and two statues were erected.


Giorgios Averof in 2013


About the designer, Yuzuru Hiraga

Maintaining a very high speed with this heavier armament imposed drastic design choices, extreme weight-saving measures. As a result the ships needed to pack six 20 cm (7.9 in) guns on a 7,000 tons displacement. The ships were designed by Baron Yuzuru Hiraga. Doctor of Engineering, he became the head of the engineering school of Tokyo Imperial University. He was formed at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich and also visited yards in France and Italy in 1905-1908.

Later made an admiral, he designed many IJN warships before and after WW1, most if which saw service during the second world war, like the Kongo and Fuso class battleships. He was appointed a technical advisor to the Japanese delegation at the Washington Naval Conference, and became the head of the Imperial Japanese Navy Technical Department at his return. He respected the treaty terms and advocated for brand new ships in conformity with the treaty. By making them extremely powerful on a limited dislacement, using many innovations in the process, making his designs among the most advanced in the world.


IJN Kako at Kure 1928

Hiraga made a superb example of this with the Furutaka class, the first of a long serie of treaty-compliant cruisers which were crammed with armaments but in the end not only cheated with tonnage announcements, but made many sacrifices in the process (notably protection). Japanese steel certainly constributed to this. It was one of the world’s strongest, allowing to reduce armor thicknness, which combined to their integration in the structure and welding, save weight.

Quite often and surprisingly enough, the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff proved bolder and imposed an heavier armament, like the 8,000 tons Mogami class, which surclassed all the ‘London-cruisers’ of the late 1930s. He was only discredited from 1934 after the loss of the TB Tomozuru, being accused of designing ships top-heavy, tending naturally towards instability and somewhat flimsy.


Alternate warships of nations

I now have five armored cruiser designs I put together for Manticore's 1890 through 1910 Fleet Plans.

Two Type CA01a cruisers were constructed for the 1890 Fleet Plan. The objective was for a ship with 4 x 8" and 8 x 4" on 8,000 tons, which was met. Compared to the contemporary USS New York (ACR-2), these had lighter armament but heavier armor. The powerplant was 16,000 shp for 20 knots with 1,500 tons of bunkerage.

Type CA01a, Royal Manticoran Navy armoured cruiser laid down 1892

Displacement:
8,172 t light 8,453 t standard 9,315 t normal 10,005 t full load

Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
(386.00 ft / 380.00 ft) x 65.00 ft x (24.00 / 25.40 ft)
(117.65 m / 115.82 m) x 19.81 m x (7.32 / 7.74 m)

Armament:
4 - 8.00" / 203 mm 40.0 cal guns - 259.99lbs / 117.93kg shells, 100 per gun
Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1890 Model
2 x Twin mounts on centreline, evenly spread
8 - 4.00" / 102 mm 40.0 cal guns - 33.00lbs / 14.97kg shells, 250 per gun
Quick firing guns in casemate mounts, 1889 Model
8 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
4 - 1.46" / 37.0 mm 30.0 cal guns - 0.99lbs / 0.45kg shells, 500 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1891 Model
4 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
4 raised mounts
Weight of broadside 1,308 lbs / 593 kg
Main Torpedoes
4 - 18.0" / 457 mm, 12.00 ft / 3.66 m torpedoes - 0.334 t each, 1.336 t total
submerged side tubes

Armour:
- Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 325.00 ft / 99.06 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Ends: 2.00" / 51 mm 55.00 ft / 16.76 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Upper: 2.00" / 51 mm 200.00 ft / 60.96 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Main Belt covers 132 % of normal length

- Torpedo Bulkhead - Additional damage containing bulkheads:
0.50" / 13 mm 300.00 ft / 91.44 m 22.03 ft / 6.71 m
Beam between torpedo bulkheads 55.00 ft / 16.76 m

- Gun armour: Face (max) Other gunhouse (avg) Barbette/hoist (max)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 2.00" / 51 mm 4.00" / 102 mm
2nd: 4.00" / 102 mm 2.00" / 51 mm -
3rd: 1.00" / 25 mm - -

- Armoured deck - multiple decks:
For and Aft decks: 2.00" / 51 mm
Forecastle: 1.00" / 25 mm Quarter deck: 1.00" / 25 mm

- Conning towers: Forward 8.00" / 203 mm, Aft 4.00" / 102 mm

Machinery:
Coal fired boilers, complex reciprocating steam engines,
Direct drive, 4 shafts, 16,000 ihp / 11,936 Kw = 20.00 kts
Range 3,750nm at 12.00 kts
Bunker at max displacement = 1,551 tons (100% coal)

Cost:
£0.779 million / $3.114 million

Distribution of weights at normal displacement:
Armament: 238 tons, 2.6 %
- Guns: 235 tons, 2.5 %
- Weapons: 3 tons, 0.0 %
Armour: 2,077 tons, 22.3 %
- Belts: 991 tons, 10.6 %
- Torpedo bulkhead: 122 tons, 1.3 %
- Armament: 266 tons, 2.9 %
- Armour Deck: 583 tons, 6.3 %
- Conning Towers: 114 tons, 1.2 %
Machinery: 2,857 tons, 30.7 %
Hull, fittings & equipment: 2,759 tons, 29.6 %
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 1,144 tons, 12.3 %
Miscellaneous weights: 240 tons, 2.6 %
- Hull below water: 60 tons
- Hull above water: 60 tons
- On freeboard deck: 60 tons
- Above deck: 60 tons

Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship):
9,265 lbs / 4,203 Kg = 36.2 x 8.0 " / 203 mm shells or 5.9 torpedoes
Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1.40
Metacentric height 4.7 ft / 1.4 m
Roll period: 12.6 seconds
Steadiness - As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 100 %
- Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0.27
Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 2.00

Hull form characteristics:
Hull has a flush deck,
a ram bow and a cruiser stern
Block coefficient (normal/deep): 0.550 / 0.558
Length to Beam Ratio: 5.85 : 1
'Natural speed' for length: 19.49 kts
Power going to wave formation at top speed: 53 %
Trim (Max stability = 0, Max steadiness = 100): 50
Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): -15.00 degrees
Stern overhang: 2.00 ft / 0.61 m
Freeboard (% = length of deck as a percentage of waterline length):
Fore end, Aft end
- Forecastle: 20.00 %, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m, 22.00 ft / 6.71 m
- Forward deck: 30.00 %, 22.00 ft / 6.71 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Aft deck: 35.00 %, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Quarter deck: 15.00 %, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Average freeboard: 20.86 ft / 6.36 m

Ship space, strength and comments:
Space - Hull below water (magazines/engines, low = better): 131.4 %
- Above water (accommodation/working, high = better): 142.0 %
Waterplane Area: 17,238 Square feet or 1,601 Square metres
Displacement factor (Displacement / loading): 105 %
Structure weight / hull surface area: 104 lbs/sq ft or 507 Kg/sq metre
Hull strength (Relative):
- Cross-sectional: 0.88
- Longitudinal: 3.09
- Overall: 1.00
Cramped machinery, storage, compartmentation space
Excellent accommodation and workspace room
Ship has slow, easy roll, a good, steady gun platform
Excellent seaboat, comfortable, can fire her guns in the heaviest weather

Two Type CA01b cruisers were constructed as part of the 1895 Fleet Plan. The objective was for 4 x 8" and 8 x 6" on 10,000 tons. The weight addition was to accomodate the upgrade in secondary batteries to 6" and an increase in bunkerage. The powerplant was 20,000 shp for 20 knots with 2,500 tons of bunkerage.

Type CA01b, Royal Manticoran Navy armoured cruiser laid down 1896

Displacement:
10,011 t light 10,479 t standard 11,880 t normal 13,001 t full load

Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
(456.00 ft / 450.00 ft) x 70.00 ft x (24.00 / 25.78 ft)
(138.99 m / 137.16 m) x 21.34 m x (7.32 / 7.86 m)

Armament:
4 - 8.00" / 203 mm 40.0 cal guns - 259.99lbs / 117.93kg shells, 125 per gun
Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1890 Model
2 x Twin mounts on centreline, evenly spread
8 - 6.00" / 152 mm 40.0 cal guns - 100.00lbs / 45.36kg shells, 250 per gun
Breech loading guns in casemate mounts, 1888 Model
8 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
6 - 4.00" / 102 mm 40.0 cal guns - 33.00lbs / 14.97kg shells, 400 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1889 Model
6 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
6 raised mounts
6 - 1.46" / 37.0 mm 30.0 cal guns - 0.99lbs / 0.45kg shells, 750 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1891 Model
6 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
6 raised mounts
Weight of broadside 2,044 lbs / 927 kg
Main Torpedoes
4 - 18.0" / 457 mm, 12.00 ft / 3.66 m torpedoes - 0.386 t each, 1.544 t total
submerged side tubes

Armour:
- Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 400.00 ft / 121.92 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Ends: 2.00" / 51 mm 50.00 ft / 15.24 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Upper: 2.00" / 51 mm 200.00 ft / 60.96 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Main Belt covers 137 % of normal length

- Torpedo Bulkhead - Additional damage containing bulkheads:
0.50" / 13 mm 300.00 ft / 91.44 m 22.03 ft / 6.71 m
Beam between torpedo bulkheads 55.00 ft / 16.76 m

- Gun armour: Face (max) Other gunhouse (avg) Barbette/hoist (max)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 3.00" / 76 mm 6.00" / 152 mm
2nd: 4.00" / 102 mm 2.00" / 51 mm -
3rd: 1.00" / 25 mm - -
4th: 1.00" / 25 mm - -

- Armoured deck - multiple decks:
For and Aft decks: 2.00" / 51 mm
Forecastle: 1.00" / 25 mm Quarter deck: 2.00" / 51 mm

- Conning towers: Forward 8.00" / 203 mm, Aft 4.00" / 102 mm

Machinery:
Coal fired boilers, complex reciprocating steam engines,
Direct drive, 4 shafts, 20,000 ihp / 14,920 Kw = 20.74 kts
Range 5,750nm at 12.00 kts
Bunker at max displacement = 2,522 tons (100% coal)

Cost:
£0.941 million / $3.765 million

Distribution of weights at normal displacement:
Armament: 337 tons, 2.8 %
- Guns: 334 tons, 2.8 %
- Weapons: 3 tons, 0.0 %
Armour: 2,569 tons, 21.6 %
- Belts: 1,153 tons, 9.7 %
- Torpedo bulkhead: 122 tons, 1.0 %
- Armament: 375 tons, 3.2 %
- Armour Deck: 784 tons, 6.6 %
- Conning Towers: 135 tons, 1.1 %
Machinery: 3,333 tons, 28.1 %
Hull, fittings & equipment: 3,472 tons, 29.2 %
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 1,869 tons, 15.7 %
Miscellaneous weights: 300 tons, 2.5 %
- Hull below water: 75 tons
- Hull above water: 75 tons
- On freeboard deck: 75 tons
- Above deck: 75 tons

Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship):
13,651 lbs / 6,192 Kg = 53.3 x 8.0 " / 203 mm shells or 6.5 torpedoes
Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1.43
Metacentric height 5.5 ft / 1.7 m
Roll period: 12.6 seconds
Steadiness - As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 100 %
- Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0.29
Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 2.00

Hull form characteristics:
Hull has a flush deck,
a ram bow and a cruiser stern
Block coefficient (normal/deep): 0.550 / 0.560
Length to Beam Ratio: 6.43 : 1
'Natural speed' for length: 21.21 kts
Power going to wave formation at top speed: 48 %
Trim (Max stability = 0, Max steadiness = 100): 50
Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): -15.00 degrees
Stern overhang: 2.00 ft / 0.61 m
Freeboard (% = length of deck as a percentage of waterline length):
Fore end, Aft end
- Forecastle: 20.00 %, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m, 22.00 ft / 6.71 m
- Forward deck: 30.00 %, 22.00 ft / 6.71 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Aft deck: 35.00 %, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Quarter deck: 15.00 %, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Average freeboard: 20.86 ft / 6.36 m

Ship space, strength and comments:
Space - Hull below water (magazines/engines, low = better): 132.5 %
- Above water (accommodation/working, high = better): 150.8 %
Waterplane Area: 21,984 Square feet or 2,042 Square metres
Displacement factor (Displacement / loading): 111 %
Structure weight / hull surface area: 107 lbs/sq ft or 523 Kg/sq metre
Hull strength (Relative):
- Cross-sectional: 0.91
- Longitudinal: 2.30
- Overall: 1.00
Cramped machinery, storage, compartmentation space
Excellent accommodation and workspace room
Ship has slow, easy roll, a good, steady gun platform
Excellent seaboat, comfortable, can fire her guns in the heaviest weather

Four Type CA01c cruisers were constructed under the 1900 Fleet Plan. They were small and lightly armed compared to foreign first-class armoured cruisers like the Pennsylvania-class and the British Warrior- and Minotaur-class. The objective was for 4 x 8" and 8 x 6" on 12,000 tons, which was met. The powerplant was 24,000 shp for 21.5 knots with 3,000 tons of bunkerage.

Type CA01c, Royal Manticoran Navy armoured cruiser laid down 1902

Displacement:
11,908 t light 12,458 t standard 14,120 t normal 15,450 t full load

Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
(526.00 ft / 520.00 ft) x 72.00 ft x (24.00 / 25.78 ft)
(160.32 m / 158.50 m) x 21.95 m x (7.32 / 7.86 m)

Armament:
4 - 8.00" / 203 mm 40.0 cal guns - 259.99lbs / 117.93kg shells, 150 per gun
Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1890 Model
2 x Twin mounts on centreline, evenly spread
8 - 6.00" / 152 mm 40.0 cal guns - 100.00lbs / 45.36kg shells, 300 per gun
Breech loading guns in casemate mounts, 1888 Model
8 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
6 - 4.00" / 102 mm 40.0 cal guns - 33.00lbs / 14.97kg shells, 400 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1889 Model
6 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
6 raised mounts
6 - 1.46" / 37.0 mm 30.0 cal guns - 0.99lbs / 0.45kg shells, 1,000 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1891 Model
6 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
6 raised mounts
Weight of broadside 2,044 lbs / 927 kg
Main Torpedoes
4 - 18.0" / 457 mm, 12.00 ft / 3.66 m torpedoes - 0.483 t each, 1.930 t total
submerged side tubes

Armour:
- Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 430.00 ft / 131.06 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Ends: 3.00" / 76 mm 90.00 ft / 27.43 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Upper: 3.00" / 76 mm 200.00 ft / 60.96 m 9.67 ft / 2.95 m
Main Belt covers 127 % of normal length

- Torpedo Bulkhead - Additional damage containing bulkheads:
0.50" / 13 mm 300.00 ft / 91.44 m 22.03 ft / 6.71 m
Beam between torpedo bulkheads 55.00 ft / 16.76 m

- Gun armour: Face (max) Other gunhouse (avg) Barbette/hoist (max)
Main: 8.00" / 203 mm 4.00" / 102 mm 8.00" / 203 mm
2nd: 4.00" / 102 mm 2.00" / 51 mm -
3rd: 2.00" / 51 mm 1.00" / 25 mm -
4th: 1.00" / 25 mm - -

- Armoured deck - multiple decks:
For and Aft decks: 3.00" / 76 mm
Forecastle: 2.00" / 51 mm Quarter deck: 2.00" / 51 mm

- Conning towers: Forward 8.00" / 203 mm, Aft 4.00" / 102 mm

Machinery:
Coal fired boilers, complex reciprocating steam engines,
Direct drive, 4 shafts, 24,000 ihp / 17,904 Kw = 21.45 kts
Range 6,750nm at 12.00 kts
Bunker at max displacement = 2,992 tons (100% coal)

Cost:
£1.050 million / $4.201 million

Distribution of weights at normal displacement:
Armament: 338 tons, 2.4 %
- Guns: 334 tons, 2.4 %
- Weapons: 4 tons, 0.0 %
Armour: 3,520 tons, 24.9 %
- Belts: 1,388 tons, 9.8 %
- Torpedo bulkhead: 122 tons, 0.9 %
- Armament: 487 tons, 3.4 %
- Armour Deck: 1,371 tons, 9.7 %
- Conning Towers: 151 tons, 1.1 %
Machinery: 3,636 tons, 25.8 %
Hull, fittings & equipment: 4,054 tons, 28.7 %
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 2,212 tons, 15.7 %
Miscellaneous weights: 360 tons, 2.5 %
- Hull below water: 90 tons
- Hull above water: 90 tons
- On freeboard deck: 90 tons
- Above deck: 90 tons

Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship):
18,181 lbs / 8,247 Kg = 71.0 x 8.0 " / 203 mm shells or 6.5 torpedoes
Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1.39
Metacentric height 5.4 ft / 1.7 m
Roll period: 13.0 seconds
Steadiness - As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 100 %
- Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0.27
Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 2.00

Hull form characteristics:
Hull has a flush deck,
a ram bow and a cruiser stern
Block coefficient (normal/deep): 0.550 / 0.560
Length to Beam Ratio: 7.22 : 1
'Natural speed' for length: 22.80 kts
Power going to wave formation at top speed: 45 %
Trim (Max stability = 0, Max steadiness = 100): 50
Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): -15.00 degrees
Stern overhang: 2.00 ft / 0.61 m
Freeboard (% = length of deck as a percentage of waterline length):
Fore end, Aft end
- Forecastle: 20.00 %, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m, 22.00 ft / 6.71 m
- Forward deck: 30.00 %, 22.00 ft / 6.71 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Aft deck: 35.00 %, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Quarter deck: 15.00 %, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Average freeboard: 20.86 ft / 6.36 m
Ship tends to be wet forward

Ship space, strength and comments:
Space - Hull below water (magazines/engines, low = better): 124.6 %
- Above water (accommodation/working, high = better): 157.6 %
Waterplane Area: 26,129 Square feet or 2,427 Square metres
Displacement factor (Displacement / loading): 114 %
Structure weight / hull surface area: 106 lbs/sq ft or 517 Kg/sq metre
Hull strength (Relative):
- Cross-sectional: 0.94
- Longitudinal: 1.73
- Overall: 1.00
Cramped machinery, storage, compartmentation space
Excellent accommodation and workspace room
Ship has slow, easy roll, a good, steady gun platform
Excellent seaboat, comfortable, can fire her guns in the heaviest weather

Four Type CA03a cruisers were constructed under the 1905 Fleet Plan. They were designed to complement the contemporary dreadnoughts and used a rudimentary form of mimicry camouflage based on having the same turret and funnel arrangements, though scaled down. These ships used oil-fired boilers and steam turbines, reflecting the wholesale adoption of new machinery under what became known as Fleet Objective 1920. The objective was 8 x 8" and 8 x 6" on 14,000 tons. The powerplant was 70,000 shp for 27 knots, the standard screen speed of the time, with 2,500 tons of bunkerage. Machinery spaces would have been very cramped.

Type CA03a, Royal Manticoran Navy armored cruiser laid down 1906

Displacement:
14,181 t light 14,812 t standard 16,219 t normal 17,343 t full load

Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
(554.19 ft / 540.00 ft) x 73.00 ft x (24.00 / 25.37 ft)
(168.92 m / 164.59 m) x 22.25 m x (7.32 / 7.73 m)

Armament:
8 - 8.00" / 203 mm 45.0 cal guns - 259.99lbs / 117.93kg shells, 150 per gun
Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1904 Model
4 x Twin mounts on centreline ends, evenly spread
2 raised mounts - superfiring
8 - 6.00" / 152 mm 50.0 cal guns - 100.00lbs / 45.36kg shells, 250 per gun
Breech loading guns in casemate mounts, 1905 Model
8 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
8 - 3.00" / 76.2 mm 25.0 cal guns - 13.01lbs / 5.90kg shells, 400 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1902 Model
8 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
8 raised mounts
Weight of broadside 2,984 lbs / 1,354 kg
Main Torpedoes
4 - 21.0" / 533 mm, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m torpedoes - 1.258 t each, 5.033 t total
submerged side tubes
2nd Torpedoes
4 - 21.0" / 533 mm, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m torpedoes - 1.258 t each, 5.033 t total
submerged side tubes

Armour:
- Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 440.00 ft / 134.11 m 10.32 ft / 3.15 m
Ends: 2.00" / 51 mm 100.00 ft / 30.48 m 10.32 ft / 3.15 m
Upper: 3.00" / 76 mm 351.00 ft / 106.98 m 8.00 ft / 2.44 m
Main Belt covers 125 % of normal length

- Torpedo Bulkhead - Additional damage containing bulkheads:
0.50" / 13 mm 351.00 ft / 106.98 m 22.63 ft / 6.90 m
Beam between torpedo bulkheads 65.00 ft / 19.81 m

- Hull void:
0.50" / 13 mm 351.00 ft / 106.98 m 22.63 ft / 6.90 m

- Gun armour: Face (max) Other gunhouse (avg) Barbette/hoist (max)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 3.00" / 76 mm 6.00" / 152 mm
2nd: 4.00" / 102 mm 2.00" / 51 mm 2.00" / 51 mm
3rd: 1.00" / 25 mm - -

- Armoured deck - multiple decks:
For and Aft decks: 2.00" / 51 mm
Forecastle: 2.00" / 51 mm Quarter deck: 2.00" / 51 mm

- Conning towers: Forward 8.00" / 203 mm, Aft 4.00" / 102 mm

Machinery:
Oil fired boilers, steam turbines,
Electric motors, 4 shafts, 70,000 shp / 52,220 Kw = 27.50 kts
Range 6,500nm at 12.00 kts
Bunker at max displacement = 2,531 tons

Cost:
£1.377 million / $5.509 million

Distribution of weights at normal displacement:
Armament: 645 tons, 4.0 %
- Guns: 625 tons, 3.9 %
- Weapons: 20 tons, 0.1 %
Armour: 3,796 tons, 23.4 %
- Belts: 1,548 tons, 9.5 %
- Torpedo bulkhead: 147 tons, 0.9 %
- Void: 147 tons, 0.9 %
- Armament: 713 tons, 4.4 %
- Armour Deck: 1,075 tons, 6.6 %
- Conning Towers: 166 tons, 1.0 %
Machinery: 4,545 tons, 28.0 %
Hull, fittings & equipment: 4,794 tons, 29.6 %
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 2,038 tons, 12.6 %
Miscellaneous weights: 400 tons, 2.5 %
- Hull below water: 100 tons
- Hull above water: 100 tons
- On freeboard deck: 100 tons
- Above deck: 100 tons

Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship):
15,883 lbs / 7,204 Kg = 62.0 x 8.0 " / 203 mm shells or 2.1 torpedoes
Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1.28
Metacentric height 4.9 ft / 1.5 m
Roll period: 13.9 seconds
Steadiness - As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 58 %
- Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0.34
Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 1.17

Hull form characteristics:
Hull has a flush deck,
a straight bulbous bow and a cruiser stern
Block coefficient (normal/deep): 0.600 / 0.607
Length to Beam Ratio: 7.40 : 1
'Natural speed' for length: 23.24 kts
Power going to wave formation at top speed: 58 %
Trim (Max stability = 0, Max steadiness = 100): 50
Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): 20.00 degrees
Stern overhang: 4.00 ft / 1.22 m
Freeboard (% = length of deck as a percentage of waterline length):
Fore end, Aft end
- Forecastle: 20.00 %, 28.00 ft / 8.53 m, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m
- Forward deck: 30.00 %, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Aft deck: 35.00 %, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Quarter deck: 15.00 %, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m, 20.00 ft / 6.10 m
- Average freeboard: 21.72 ft / 6.62 m

Ship space, strength and comments:
Space - Hull below water (magazines/engines, low = better): 122.4 %
- Above water (accommodation/working, high = better): 160.0 %
Waterplane Area: 28,831 Square feet or 2,678 Square metres
Displacement factor (Displacement / loading): 104 %
Structure weight / hull surface area: 117 lbs/sq ft or 572 Kg/sq metre
Hull strength (Relative):
- Cross-sectional: 0.94
- Longitudinal: 1.64
- Overall: 1.00
Cramped machinery, storage, compartmentation space
Excellent accommodation and workspace room

Four Type CA03b cruisers were constructed under the 1910 Fleet Plan. These ships were fundamentally a wild reaction for the ballooning scale of battlecruisers, including the ones that Manticore was building at the time. They were designed for a role as screen leaders, sailing with the light cruisers and destroyers ahead of the battlecruisers. To do this, speed was increased to 30 knots on a hull that was fundamentally not designed for it. The objective was for 8 x 8" and 12 x 4" on 16,000 tons. However, weight reserves allowed an increase in the secondary battery to 16 x 6" guns. The powerplant was 105,000 shp for 30 knots with 2,500 tons of bunkerage. This powerplant was larger than anything else in the RMN until the 1915 battlecruisers.

Type CA03b, Royal Manticoran Navy armored cruiser laid down 1910

Displacement:
16,064 t light 16,847 t standard 18,267 t normal 19,404 t full load

Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
(615.65 ft / 600.00 ft) x 74.00 ft x (24.00 / 25.22 ft)
(187.65 m / 182.88 m) x 22.56 m x (7.32 / 7.69 m)

Armament:
8 - 8.00" / 203 mm 45.0 cal guns - 259.99lbs / 117.93kg shells, 150 per gun
Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1904 Model
4 x Twin mounts on centreline ends, evenly spread
2 raised mounts - superfiring
16 - 6.00" / 152 mm 50.0 cal guns - 100.00lbs / 45.36kg shells, 250 per gun
Breech loading guns in casemate mounts, 1905 Model
16 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
8 - 3.00" / 76.2 mm 25.0 cal guns - 12.26lbs / 5.56kg shells, 400 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1910 Model
8 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
8 raised mounts
Weight of broadside 3,778 lbs / 1,714 kg
Main Torpedoes
4 - 21.0" / 533 mm, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m torpedoes - 1.322 t each, 5.288 t total
submerged side tubes
2nd Torpedoes
4 - 21.0" / 533 mm, 21.00 ft / 6.40 m torpedoes - 1.322 t each, 5.288 t total
submerged side tubes

Armour:
- Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 430.00 ft / 131.06 m 10.32 ft / 3.15 m
Ends: 2.00" / 51 mm 170.00 ft / 51.82 m 10.32 ft / 3.15 m
Upper: 2.00" / 51 mm 390.00 ft / 118.87 m 8.00 ft / 2.44 m
Main Belt covers 110 % of normal length

- Torpedo Bulkhead - Additional damage containing bulkheads:
0.50" / 13 mm 390.00 ft / 118.87 m 22.63 ft / 6.90 m
Beam between torpedo bulkheads 65.00 ft / 19.81 m

- Hull void:
0.50" / 13 mm 351.00 ft / 106.98 m 22.63 ft / 6.90 m

- Gun armour: Face (max) Other gunhouse (avg) Barbette/hoist (max)
Main: 6.00" / 152 mm 3.00" / 76 mm 6.00" / 152 mm
2nd: 4.00" / 102 mm 2.00" / 51 mm 2.00" / 51 mm
3rd: 1.00" / 25 mm - -

- Armoured deck - multiple decks:
For and Aft decks: 3.00" / 76 mm
Forecastle: 1.00" / 25 mm Quarter deck: 2.00" / 51 mm

- Conning towers: Forward 6.00" / 152 mm, Aft 4.00" / 102 mm

Machinery:
Oil fired boilers, steam turbines,
Electric motors, 4 shafts, 105,000 shp / 78,330 Kw = 30.26 kts
Range 7,500nm at 12.00 kts
Bunker at max displacement = 2,557 tons

Cost:
£1.462 million / $5.849 million

Distribution of weights at normal displacement:
Armament: 798 tons, 4.4 %
- Guns: 776 tons, 4.3 %
- Weapons: 21 tons, 0.1 %
Armour: 4,493 tons, 24.6 %
- Belts: 1,499 tons, 8.2 %
- Torpedo bulkhead: 163 tons, 0.9 %
- Void: 147 tons, 0.8 %
- Armament: 884 tons, 4.8 %
- Armour Deck: 1,650 tons, 9.0 %
- Conning Towers: 149 tons, 0.8 %
Machinery: 4,339 tons, 23.8 %
Hull, fittings & equipment: 5,935 tons, 32.5 %
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 2,203 tons, 12.1 %
Miscellaneous weights: 500 tons, 2.7 %
- Hull below water: 125 tons
- Hull above water: 125 tons
- On freeboard deck: 125 tons
- Above deck: 125 tons

Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship):
23,483 lbs / 10,652 Kg = 91.7 x 8.0 " / 203 mm shells or 2.6 torpedoes
Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1.19
Metacentric height 4.4 ft / 1.3 m
Roll period: 14.8 seconds
Steadiness - As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 62 %
- Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0.48
Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 1.25

Hull form characteristics:
Hull has a flush deck,
a straight bulbous bow and a cruiser stern
Block coefficient (normal/deep): 0.600 / 0.606
Length to Beam Ratio: 8.11 : 1
'Natural speed' for length: 24.49 kts
Power going to wave formation at top speed: 59 %
Trim (Max stability = 0, Max steadiness = 100): 50
Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): 20.00 degrees
Stern overhang: 4.00 ft / 1.22 m
Freeboard (% = length of deck as a percentage of waterline length):
Fore end, Aft end
- Forecastle: 20.00 %, 32.00 ft / 9.75 m, 28.00 ft / 8.53 m
- Forward deck: 30.00 %, 28.00 ft / 8.53 m, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m
- Aft deck: 35.00 %, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m
- Quarter deck: 15.00 %, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m
- Average freeboard: 25.72 ft / 7.84 m

Ship space, strength and comments:
Space - Hull below water (magazines/engines, low = better): 109.6 %
- Above water (accommodation/working, high = better): 196.4 %
Waterplane Area: 32,473 Square feet or 3,017 Square metres
Displacement factor (Displacement / loading): 111 %
Structure weight / hull surface area: 123 lbs/sq ft or 601 Kg/sq metre
Hull strength (Relative):
- Cross-sectional: 0.94
- Longitudinal: 1.84
- Overall: 1.00
Adequate machinery, storage, compartmentation space
Excellent accommodation and workspace room
Good seaboat, rides out heavy weather easily


Austro-Hungarian capital ship genesis

The Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy’s Navy the KuK Kriegsmarine seems to be always innovative with it’s warship designs, mostly because the limited dockyard capabilities it had to endure and the unique position it was located with one primary and two secondary naval enemies: Italian Regia Marina the prime power of the Mediterranean, with the British Royal Navy as a Major power as well but as it was a giant colonial empire it’s fleets were present all around the globe. The other major force was the French Marine Nationale which too was a colonial power but it’s fleets were mostly concentrated in the Mediterranean.
The limited drydock and construction capabilities led to warship designs which were rather small, compact but well armed and adequately armoured though often over armed based on their displacement. Still the ships which were built and designed were quite interesting and ingenious.

Here I list the designs I have knowledge of, and I would like to say thanks to Stefano for providing the Warship Article magazines, and Tamás Balogh, a Hungarian naval enthusiast who has vast sources and knowledge about the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

Please support Tamás’ effort for his wonderful book project � Liners’ which covers all the World’s ocean cruise liners at: https://www.facebook.com/150liners/

2. The Radetzky class

First let me show you the preliminary design studies:
I did not draw these as I lack any information on their size, displacement and other data only the guns and their layout I have information on.

Shortly after the launching of battleship SMS Erzherzog Friedrich the Austro-Hungarian Naval Section ordered the start of design work for the next generation of battleships. Six weeks after the launching of the Erzherzog Ferdinand Max – last of the Erzherzog Karl class battleships- the Austrian C-in-C, Admiral Rudolf Montecuccoli, presented his plans for the future build-up of the fleet:
12 battleships,
4 armoured cruisers,
8 scout cruisers,
18 ocean-going destroyers,
36 ocean-going torpedo-boats and
6 submarines.
At the end of September 1905 a design board evaluated five preliminary designs with similar dimensions and displacements, but with different armament variants which as follows:

A: 2ࡨ 28cm/45 cannons in centreline turrets 4ࡧ 24cm/45guns in wing turrets, 8ࡧ 19cm/45 guns in casemates,
B: 2ࡨ 28cm/45 cannons in centreline turrets 4ࡧ 24cm/45guns in wing turrets, 12ࡧ 10cm/45 guns in casemates,
C: 4ࡨ-28cm/45 cannons in 2x centreline and 2x wing twin turrets, 16ࡧ 10cm/45 guns in casemates,
D: 2ࡨ,2ࡧ 30.5cm/45 cannons in 2x centreline twin and 2x wing single turrets, 16ࡧ 10cm/45 guns in casemates,
E: 2ࡨ 30.5cm/45 cannons in centreline twin turrets, 4ࡨ 19cm/45 guns wing turrets, 12ࡧ 10cm/45 guns in casemates.

Although the naval architects, headed by Siegfried Popper, and the gunnery technicians voted for the all-big-gun design (pre-project D) the board finally decided in favour of pre-project E. However, even Popper himself stated that a genuine all-big-gun battleship was impracticable as it would require a displacement of at least 16.000t, which meant not only increased building costs but also provisioning for a new floating drydock. At a later stage of the design the intermediate caliber was raised from 19cm to 24cm and 30.5cm was chosen as the main caliber because the wedge breech of the 28cm gun was unreliable. Although the main and intermediate caliber guns were nearly identical from a technical point of view (Edit – only 2.5″ inch diff.), a comparison of performances show that the decision was unwise: the 30.5cm gun had nearly double the armour penetration power and a 25% greater range compared to the 24cm.

3. The Viribus Unitis class and it’s design studies:

The history of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy’s first and only Dreadnought battleship class is a rather interesting and intriguing one!

The first formal meeting aboutnew battleships for the Austro-Hungarian Navy was held on May 7th, 1908 by the MTK (Marinetechnische Komitee – Naval Technical Committee), Pola / Vienna the meeting was led by Rudolf von Montecuccoli degli Erri, and the official design contest was issued on July 6th, 1908 with the following requirements:
Displacement up to 20,000 tons,
8x 30,5cm Main Guns all on the centreline,
19 and 10cm medium and light guns,
armour belt of 230mm at the waterline and 250mm thickness for the barbettes.

Two shipyards were invited to make design studies based on these requirements:
Ganz-Danubius (Ganz és Társa-Danubius Villamossági-, Gép-, Waggon- és Hajógyár Rt. – Ganz and Partner-Danubius Electrical- Machine-, Wagon- and Shipbuilding Co.), Fiume/Budapest and STT (Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino), Trieste.
Ganz-Danubius refused the invitation as it could not build such large warships and this led to automatic acceptance by STT where Naval Engineer Siegfried Popper was working in cooperation. Siegfried Popper had retired then just recently from the post of the Naval Engineering Office, and according to many sources the whole application for the tender was intended exactly for him to get the job of designing the new battleships. This is supported by the fact that the ships’ construction began well before the entire design contest expired in 1910.

By the spring of next year, the first drafts were made. In February 1909, MTK presented the first, followed by 7 versions made by Popper (STT ) in March. Out of the total of 8 plans, 5 were equipped with ten, 2 equipped with eight and 1 equipped with 12 main guns. The MTK designed it’s ship with triple expansion engines while STT used the modern Parsons steam turbine propulsion units. The plans had an important common feature: none of them were similar to the later, actually built battleships.
The MTK commented on the plans on April 14, 1909 and, according to their report, the plans were divided into three groups:
The first group consisted of 8x main gun and 19cm secondary gun armed versions (2),
the second group comprised of the 12x main gun armed versions, (1)
and the third group sported 10x main gun armed versions (5).
On April 16, STT was interested in receiving plans. Although the plans included mainly 30,5cm L/50 caliber cannons, the 30,5cm L/45 caliber ones were included as well. Skoda, who produced the cannons, had problems with the development of the longer caliber version, so the shipyard of Trieste redesigned the plans for projects VI and VII with L/45 caliber main guns. On April 20, MTK asked STT to produce another 12 gun version with a 6 turrets arrangement which was completed on the 27th in 2 variants. Shortly thereafter, on May 5th, at Montecuccoli’s personal request, STT Trieste prepared another 12 gun L/45 caliber main gun armed design with 4 triple turrets which became Projekt VIII and which was used as a basis for the final version.
This last project was the first to use triple turrets, the idea likely emerging in the designers’ minds in January that year, as it turned out that the Italians wanted to equip their new battleship (Dante Alighieri) with such turrets. In the spring of 1909, the Navy was allowed to check the plans of the newest German battleships then under construction (Kaiser class).
With this task, the secretary of Montecuccoli, Frigate Captain Alfred von Koudelka, was sent to Berlin on the evening of 29th April. Koudelka was personally greeted by none other than Grand Admiral Alfred Peter Friedrich von Tirpitz, who with surprising openness presented the German plans and commented on the Austrian plans brought by Koudelka. Tirpitz objected in particular to the thin belt armour and insufficient torpedo protection on the Austrian plans.

The British were also strongly interested in the Austro-Hungarian dreadnought plans, as Koudelka was followed by an English spy at the time of his stay in Berlin.
At the beginning of the conversation, Koudelka, appeared on the 29th in his uniform, so Tirpitz called him to the window and showed him the spy on the other side, then asked him to come in civilian the next day. (Those nasty British spies! )
Koudelka returned home with detailed and extensive information of the meeting which, however, was only partly accepted by the Germans due to the secrecy involved. In the end the various Austrian designers learned little from it anyway. The belt armor was indeed thickened with some calculations showing even 290 and 300mm belt but in the end it was finalized at 280mm due to the capacity of the Austro-Hungarian shipyards (displacement directly effects ship size).

On June 9, 1909, the final design contest was issued under the amended terms. The proposed displacement was increased to 20.500 tons, main guns were of 30,5cm L/45 caliber ones (the 50 caliber ones had construction errors and thus dropped) the secondary and tertiary guns chosen were the 15 and 7cm (66mm) ones respectively. The increased armor belt was 280mm. For propulsion steam turbines were chosen with auxiliary oil fired boilers next to the coal ones. Popper submitted six more proposals a few weeks later (varying in tripod or polemast arrangements) and of these design “F” was finally selected. In addition to Popper, two engineers, Franz Pitzinger and Theodor Novotny, presented their own drawings in the spring of 1910 when the original deadline expired. At this point, however, the detailed design of the Popper plan was completed, and in November of the previous year a contract was signed with STT for the construction of two ships. The designs of Pitzinger and Novotny were shoved to the depths of the archives, but they received cash compensation for their work.

In 1910, the Joint Finance Minister of the Monarchy did not support the construction of new warships, so the Navy started to build ships at its own risk.
In addition to the problems surrounding the construction cost of the ships, their naming did not go smoothly either.
At first the Navy proposed SMS Tegetthoff, SMS Prinz Eugen, SMS Don Juan and SMS Hunyadi for the ships while Archduke Franz Ferdinand wished to name the 4th unit as SMS Laudon, but the Hungarians did, of course, start a fierce protest, as part (1/3) of the cost of the ships was provided by the Hungarian parliament, so they expected one of the ships to receive a Hungarian name. This was a common practice in the Austro-Hungarian Navy (SMS Budapest, SMS Zrínyi, SMS Árpád etc).
In the end Emperor Franz Joseph I ended the debate with an iron fist naming the ships as follows:
SMS Viribus Unitis, SMS Tegetthoff, SMS Prinz Eugen and SMS Szent István
As a sidenote, for the 4th ship the following names were proposed:
SMS Corvin Mátyás after Matthias Corvinus
SMS Szent István after St. Stpehen, first Christian king of Hungary
SMS Erzsébet Királyné after Empress Elisabeth commonly known as Sissi

Montecuccoli dictated a forced pace for the designers, as the start of construction was planned for the spring of 1910. The cause was the peaceful rivalry between the KuK Kriegsmarine and the Regia Marina as the Austro-Hungarians wanted to build their battleships first and hence the construction was finally begun in the summer of 1910 even when the entire design documentation of the ships had not even been completed!

The designs had the following characteristics:
Franz Pitzinger’s Proposal:
Design date: 1909
Dimensions: 153 (wl) x 26 x 8,4m
Displacement: 18.500tons (standard)
Engines: 25.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 38km/h (20,5knots)
Armour: 48mm Deck, 240mm Belt
Armaments:
5ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons
14ࡧ 15cm/50 Casemated Guns (Probably)
3ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns (Probably)
4ࡧ 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes (Probably)

Theodor Novotny’s Proposal:
Design date: 1910
Dimensions: 155 (wl) x 27 x 8,6m
Displacement: 20.000tons (standard)
Engines: 27.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 39km/h (21knots)
Armour: 48mm Deck, 280mm Belt
Armaments:
2ࡩ,2ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons
16ࡧ 15cm/50 Casemated Guns
8ࡧ 10cm/50 Casemated Guns
2ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns (Probably)
4ࡧ 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes (Probably)

Siegfried Popper’s Proposals:
Design date: 1909/10
Dimensions: 151,5 (wl) x 26 x 8,6m
Displacement: 20.000tons (standard)
Engines: 25.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 38km/h (20,5knots)
Armour: 48mm Deck, 230mm Belt
Armaments:
Projekt I:
4ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons,
10ࡧ 19cm/50 Casemated Guns,
20ࡧ 10cm/50 Guns,
2ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
4ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt II:
4ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons,
4ࡨ 19cm/50 Guns,
20ࡧ 10cm/50 Casemated Guns,
2ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
4ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt III:
5ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons,
10ࡧ 15cm/50 Casemated Guns,
14ࡧ 10cm/50 Guns,
3ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
4ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt IV:
5ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons,
14ࡧ 12cm/50 Casemated Guns,
14ࡧ 10cm/50 Guns,
3ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
4ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt V:
6ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons,
24ࡧ 10cm/50 Casemated and Shielded Guns,
4ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
4ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt Va:
6ࡨ 30,5cm/45 Cannons,
8ࡧ 15cm/50 Casemated Guns,
16ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
4ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt Vb:
6ࡨ 30,5cm/45 Cannons,
18ࡧ 10cm/50 Casemated Guns,
16ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
4ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt VI:
5ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons,
14ࡧ 15cm/50 Casemated Guns,
11ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
3ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt VIa:
5ࡨ 30,5cm/45 Cannons,
14ࡧ 15cm/50 Casemated Guns,
14ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
3ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt VIb:
5ࡨ 30,5cm/45 Cannons,
14ࡧ 15cm/50 Casemated Guns,
11ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
3ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt VII:
5ࡨ 30,5cm/50 Cannons,
18ࡧ 12cm/50 Casemated Guns,
11ࡧ 7cm/45 Guns,
3ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt VIIa:
5ࡨ 30,5cm/45 Cannons,
18ࡧ 12cm/50 Casemated Guns,
14ࡧ 7cm/50 Guns,
3ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

Projekt VIII:
4ࡩ 30,5cm/45 Cannons,
10ࡧ 15cm/50 Casemated Guns,
14ࡧ 7cm/50 Guns,
4ࡧ 53cm Torpedoes

4. The Ersatz Monarch / Improved Viribus Unitis class:

Due to the large amount of preliminary designs that this battleship class had I had to separate this all-in-one picture into two as to not to create an overly large image which happened previously with my IJN No.13 preliminary studies.

So let’s start with the beginning shall we?
While the Ersatz Monarch class battleships are easily the most well-known never-were project of the Austro-Hungarian Navy (Kaiserlich und Königlich Kriegsmarine) the history of the class and information about the other design variants considered are rather difficult to get hold of. Not only because the troubled history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and it’s successor states but ships were designed in Vienna and the various shipyards were located in Croatia and parts of what is now Italy armour was produced by Vitkovice in Silesia and main guns manufactured and developed by Skoda in Bohemia (today Czech Republic) while engines, main hull frame parts and smaller caliber guns were built by Ganz-Danubius in Budapest and Diósgyőr in Hungary. In the past 100 years since then the documents of the ships ended up in various parts of the old Monarchy due to the variety of contributors to the development and construction of the ships. While most of the documents were held in Vienna (Austria), some documents could be found in Budapest (Hungary), Pula (ex-Pola), Rijeka (ex-Fiume) and Zagreb (Croatia), Venezia (Italy) or might be even in Prague (Czech Republic). None the less thanks to some Hungarian and Italian naval enthusiasts as well as sheer luck I was able to collect as much info as I could.
To address the name of this new class of battleships they were never formally called Ersatz Monarch class, but rather as projects like I II III etc, Enlarged or Improved Tegetthoff type or by their tonnage like 23.400ton battleships, 24.500ton battleships and so on. The name Ersatz Monarch (which means literally ‘Replacement Monarch’ or replacement ship for the old SMS Monarch) originated from the leading article of August 1913 issue of “Die Flagge”, the monthly magazine of the Austrian Navy League: “The Monarch class must be replaced.” – and hence the name Ersatz Monarch survived to this very day describing the last ordered battleships of the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

In early June 1911, some 3 weeks before the launch of SMS Viribus Unitis (first dreadnought battleship of Austro-Hungary) planning works begun for a new design of abattleship. The Empire required new battleships for several reasons:

– Balance the eternal rival of the Adriatic Region: Italy’s construction of new battleships (Andrea Doria and Conte di Cavour classes)
– With the addition of modern capital ships, the fleet of Austria-Hungary became a major navy instead of a mere coastal defense force
– maintaining the status of a great power was impossible without dreadnought-type battleships

The new battleship class must be stronger than the previous Viribus Unitis one and to attain better sea-keeping abilities it must have a raised forecastle deck and an increased speed of 21 knots (39km/h)
With other requirements as follows:
Variant A: 23.000tons, with a minimum of 10x 30,5 cm cannons, 18x 15cm and 24x 7,5 cm secondary and tertiary guns
Variant B: 24.600tons, with a minimum of 10x 34,5 cm cannons, other armament same as above

The displacement was limited by the lifting capacity of Drydock No.1 of 23.800tons.

In April earlier of that year, Skoda offered plans for a new heavy gun a 34,5cm one in twin and triple turrets as well as ideas for a new battleship arguing with the necessity of securing their highly skilled workforce and ensuring development continuity.

The Naval Technical Committee (MTK – Marinetechnische Komitee) offered the first designs in December of that year:
Projekt I: 22.000tons, 4ࡩ, 30,5cm, 16ࡧ 15cm, 18ࡧ 7,5cm
Projekt II: 23.400tons, 2ࡩ,2ࡨ 34,5cm, 6ࡨ,10ࡧ 15cm, 24ࡧ 7,5cm
Projekt III: 24.500tons, 2ࡩ,2ࡨ 34,5cm, 6ࡨ,10ࡧ 15cm, 24ࡧ 7,5cm
Projekt IV: 23.400tons, 2ࡩ,2ࡨ 34,5cm, 6ࡨ,10ࡧ 15cm, 24ࡧ 7,5cm
All had 6x 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

With Project I modified (as Project V) in February of the next year with partially reduced poop deck (which might be more of a partially reduced quarter or aft deck as poop deck was not used on any modern capital ships! ) to reduce the displacement of the design after more accurate calculations were done. Another unique trait of these proposals is the usage of twin casemates required by the specified large amount of secondary guns on a limited hull length. Further investigations in the twin casemate design showed that while it featured better gun placements on a limited hull the actual technical difficulties of placing two guns in a single casemate as well as the issues of reloading and rotating of it’s mounting resulted in a lot of unresolved problems and this led to the rejection of the idea. (Note: Twin casemates were offered by STT (Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino – Technical Establishment of Trieste) for the Viribus Unitis class as well in 1909! as shown by official papers.)

The 7,5cm/50 gun was a new development which did not enter production but it was on par with other navies 76mm or 3” guns used mostly for Anti-Torpedo Boat, Anti-Destroyer and Anti-Air weaponry and would had provided better protection for the ships than the previous 7cm (66mm) guns. Later the 7,5cm L/30 K16 gun developed by Skoda was used onboard submarines, destroyers (Warasdiner, Huszár class) and gunboats as AA guns and it might have been developed from this earlier 7,5cm gun.

To counter the influence of Skoda, the Naval Ministry ordered a new set of designs in early spring of 1912 with armaments of a minimum of 8x either 34,5cm or 35,5cm cannons (Skoda was ordered to develop guns and turrets for this new caliber as well) with new tonnage set to 23.400tons. As Skoda could not provide drawings and data of the 35,5cm guns and turrets in time most of the shipyards used 34,5cm guns for their proposals.

With this new specifications in mind no less than 26 design proposals were made by the various shipyards ranging from 8 guns to 13 guns from 161 to 175m in length, displacements of 23.400 to 27.000tons and armour ranging from 280mm to 340mm belt and 38-64mm deck. Sadly I could not acquire (if they still exists et all) precise data related to these designs as well as their drawings and hence I could only draw the MTK variants for which I have more accurate data of.

In case of the 8 gunned 23.000ton designs I’m not sure about the accuracy of either the tonnage or the amount of guns carried because on 23-24.000tons the Royal Navy was able to produce the Orion and King George V class, HMS Erin with 5ࡨ 343mm (13,5”) armament on a similar hull size and belt armor but thicker deck and higher speed of 22 knots.

Here is the list of designers who offered their ideas to the Naval Ministry apart from MTK:
CNT – Cantiere Navale Triestino (Trieste Naval Shipyard)
STT – Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino (Technical Establishment of Trieste) mostly by Naval Architect Siegfried Popper
Ganz-Danubius – Ganz és Társa-Danubius Villamossági-, Gép-, Waggon- és Hajógyár Rt. (Ganz and Partner-Danubius Electrical- Machine-, Wagon- and Shipbuilding Co.)
Naval Architect Silvius Morin

None the less by May 1912 MTK proposed these new set of designs all with 25.200tons displacement:
Projekt VI: 1ࡩ,4ࡨ 34,5cm, 16ࡧ 15cm, 18ࡧ 7,5cm
Projekt VII: 4ࡩ 34,5cm, 16ࡧ 15cm, 18ࡧ 7,5cm
Projekt VIII: 3ࡩ,2ࡨ 34,5cm, 16ࡧ 15cm, 18ࡧ 7,5cm
Projekt IX: 2ࡩ,3ࡨ 34,5cm, 14ࡧ 15cm, 18ࡧ 7,5cm
All had 6x Underwater 53cm Torpedo Tubes

After the last series of 34,5cm armed battleship designs were offered to the navy, the Ministry held a meeting in June 1912 to discuss the various proposals. On the meeting which was headed by Vice-Admiral Karl Kailer von Kaltenfels and where chief naval architect Franz Pitzinger was also present and he briefly commented on all the designs. By early July of 1912 the meeting concluded the following:
– 23.400 tons of displacement was too small for a well designed battleship and thus 24.500tons of displacement was chosen
– A new set of gun calibre was chosen: 35cm (minimum 10 guns) as the final caliber which could use a standardized shell then under development by Krupp and the Imperial German Navy
– 18x 15cm secondary guns
– 9cm (88mm) tertiary guns
– Minimum of 300mm belt armor
– Minimum of 21 knots speed

After these new set of requirements were formalized, the 3 shipyards were asked again but sadly I have only info on the MTK proposals as well as a single design from Ganz-Danubius. The Ganz-Danubius proposal is a bit different from the other designs as it was shorter but beamier resulting in a more stable gun platform but required a stronger engine due to the worse beam to length ratio and would had a single funnel. The MTK proposals were preferred and most have two versions done: one with superfiring triple the other with superfiring twin turrets and also introducing casemates on two levels at the front to maximize forward fire.
While the Naval Ministry preferred superfiring twin turrets as they knew the results of the trials done by SMS Viribus Unitis and SMS Tegetthoff – which showed that these ships were top heavy (which is more about maximum weaponry on a limited displacement as Viribus Unitis class was the smallest battleship design which could carry 12x 30,5cm cannons) – still the designers offered superfiring triple turrets as these showed better lines for the curves of the hull front and aft and also reduced citadel width which was also saving tonnage. On the other hand superfiring twin turrets would result in a more stable gun platform due to less topweight of the twin turrets.

The new designs were finished by January 1913 with Ganz Danubius’s proposal by March:
Projekt X: 24.500tons, 2ࡩ,2ࡨ 35cm, 18ࡧ 15cm, 16ࡧ 9cm, 6ࡧ 9cm AA, 6x 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes
Projekt XI: 24.500tons, 2ࡩ,2ࡨ 35cm, 18ࡧ 15cm, 16ࡧ 9cm, 4ࡧ 9cm AA, 6x 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes
Projekt XII: 24.650tons, 2ࡩ,2ࡨ 35cm, 18ࡧ 15cm, 16ࡧ 9cm, 4ࡧ 9cm AA, 6x 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

On 23rd April 1913 the Command of the Navy ordered the NTC to rework the January 1913 design: after some weight saving modifications it had to thicken the armor of the belt, the barbettes and the conning tower. In addition, it had to completely redesign the electric system of the ship and thus Project XI was born.

Apparently the Austro-Hungarian naval architects felt that such stripped down designs would not be well balanced and presented two enlarged alternative designs with heavier weaponry and speed increased to 23knots in January 1914, showing that more displacement was required for a more balanced battleships.
These two designs are:
Projekt XIII / Pre-project I: 29.600tons, 4ࡩ 35cm, 18ࡧ 15cm, 8ࡧ 9cm, 10ࡧ 9cm AA, 6x 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes
Projekt XIV / Pre-project II: 32.000tons, 3ࡩ,2ࡨ 35cm, 18ࡧ 15cm, 8ࡧ 9cm, 10ࡧ 9cm AA, 8x 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

These two were of course not chosen due to the building limitations of the shipyard facilities, but a 40.000ton Floating dock was ordered from Germany just before WW1 broke out.
But the tonnage limit was kept up so in July 1914 the last design variants were presented. For weight reasons the number of secondary guns was reduced to 14x 15cm and tonnage set at 24.560tons:

Projekt XV: 24.560tons, 2ࡩ,2ࡨ 35cm, 14ࡧ 15cm, 10ࡧ 9cm, 12ࡧ 9cm AA, 6x 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes
Final Projekt / Projekt XVI: 24.560tons, 2ࡩ,2ࡨ 35cm, 14ࡧ 15cm, 8ࡧ 9cm, 12ࡧ 9cm AA, 6x 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

5. The Battleship Projects envisioned for the post-WW1 fleet:

Projekt III Battleship:

In mid-1917 the MTK (Marinetechnische Komitee – Naval Technical Committee), Pola prepared a battleship design the same time they proposed battlecruiser Project II.
The hull shape was similar but shorter and wider providing a more stable gun platform with a more conventional layout of 4 twin 38cm turrets in superfiring pairs forward and aft and a reduced number of 9cm casemated guns only positioned at the ends.

Choice for the increased caliber might be the result of the early studies based on the results of the battle of Jutland and the knowledge of the new generation of German battlecruisers (Ersatz Yorck) and the than under construction battleships (Bayern class) which were to be armed with 38cm cannons. On the other hand the KuK Kriegsmarine might have had knowledge about the newly comissioned warships of the Royal Navy, the Queen Elizabeth and Revenge class battleships as well as the Renown class battlecruisers which all carried 15″ / 381mm cannons. It is also likely that the increased caliber was to counter the new Italian fast battleships laid down at that time: the Francesco Caracciolo class which too would have carried 381mm cannons.
You can think of this design as the Austro-Hungarian equivalent of the Queen Elizabeth and Revenge classes but faster though with thinner belt and deck armor.

The design(s) had the following characteristics:
Dimensions: 200 (wl) x 30 x 8,75m
Displacement: 30.000tons (standard), 32.300tons (full load)
Armour: 40mm Deck, 300mm Belt
Engines: 75.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 46km/h (25knots)
Range: 8.500km at 28km/h (4.600nm at 15knots)
Armaments:
4ࡨ 38cm Cannons
18ࡧ 15cm Guns
10ࡧ 9cm (88mm) Guns
4ࡧ 9cm (88mm) AA Guns
6ࡧ 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes
Projekt V Battleship:

This was the final battleship proposal by the MTK (Marinetechnische Komitee – Naval Technical Committee), Pola offered in late 1917, early 1918. It was a further improvement on the previous Project III type with another step taken in a larger main weapon caliber: the 42cm sized cannons. These weapons first appeared on the Imperial German Navy post Jutland battleship and battlecruiser/fast battleship (Linienschiff 20 variants L24 L27-28 and GrossKampfschiff 4021-5045) designs planned for the post war fleet of Germany as well.
The 4 turrets are in a conventional layout of superfiring pairs forward and aft while the secondary armament are along the sides in casemates, while the 15cm heavy Dual Purpose AA guns are located in turrets on the deck with a single large funnel emphasising this design. What you actually see is the battleship equivalent of the Projekt VI battlecruiser mounting the same kind of armament but on a thicker and more armoured hull.

This ship is reminiscent both in size, armament and armor to the Japanese Nagato class battleships laid down a few years earlier.

The design(s) had the following characteristics:
Dimensions: 215 (wl) x 32 x 9,5m
Displacement: 37.200tons (standard), 39.600tons (full load)
Armour: 40mm Deck, 300mm Belt
Engines: 56.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 44km/h (24knots)
Range: 9.000km at 28km/h (5.000nm at 15knots) or
5.500km at 44km/h (3.000nm at 24knots)
Armaments:
4ࡨ 42cm Cannons
20ࡧ 15cm Guns
4ࡧ 15cm DP-AA Guns
6ࡧ 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

A small history about them can also be found here until the Viribus Unitis site comes backs online again:
http://www.viribusunitis.ca/
https://stefsap.wordpress.com/2017/12/2 … ruisers-2/

6. And finally the Battlecruiser projects for the Post WW1 fleet:

The Projekt I design variants:

The KuK Kriegsmarine produced a number of capital ship designs starting from around the time of the Battle of Jutland to late 1917, early 1918 featuring mostly battlecruiser designs but a few battleships as well. Not much is known about the history of these designs apart from that they are prepared for the post war fleet, showing that the Austro-Hungarian Empire wished to end the war soon.

None the less, these project feature a good amount of ingenuity as well as traditional elements. Some of you might think these designs strike resemblance to the French warships of the same period like the grouped casemated guns and clear firearcs showing that either the Austro-Hungarians took the same way of ideas and thinking as the French or simply copied them.

Typical to the Germanic nations these designs do not feature the all or nothing armor scheme, instead the armor belt covers almost 100% of the waterline length with the main belt thickness of 225mm (9″) and the ends having 100mm (4″) which is quite comparable with the armor of the Royal Navy battlecruisers.

Armament consisted of 35cm cannons the same ones as used on the Ersatz Monarch class and which was chosen over the 34.5cm because there was a standard shell in development which could be used both in the Austro-Hungarian Navy and the Imperial German Navy.

In 1915 the naval staff of the KuK Kriegsmarine have been impressed by the escape of the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben from the British forces as well as the effectiveness of the Royal Navy battlecruisers HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible in the battle of Falklands of 1914 December and asked MTK (Marinetechnische Komitee – Naval Technical Committee), Pola to produce designs (at least these were the ones that survived) for the post war fleet and by late 1915 – early 1916, the first design, Projekt I was born.

It was a battlecruiser derived from the Ersatz Monarch / Improved Tegetthoff class battleships of 1912 and similarly featured 35cm cannons with various layouts and with 15cm secondary and 9cm tertiary armament to fight off enemy cruisers and destroyers.

The design(s) had the following characteristics:
Dimensions: 220 (wl) x 29 x 8,65m
Displacement: 30.000tons (standard), 34.000tons (full load)
Armour: 40mm Deck, 225mm Belt
Engines: 100.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 56km/h (30knots)
Range: 14.800km at 28km/h (8.000nm at 15knots)
Armaments:
4ࡨ 35cm (3ࡩ on variant a)
18ࡧ 15cm Guns
12ࡧ 9cm (88mm) Guns
6ࡧ 9cm (88mm) AA Guns (8ࡧ on variant b,c 4ࡧ on variant f)
6ࡧ 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

On variant ‘A’ 3 triple turrets were chosen all on the same level on the centerline and this was the true battlecruiser equivalent of the Ersatz Monarch class, though this layout seem not to be favoured as all consequent proposals featured twin turrets.
Variant ‘B’ and ‘C’ featured 4 twin turrets with ‘C’ the two turret offset to the sides in a ‘en echelon’ arrangement providing ahead and abaft fire which was not possible in the previous designs.
Variant ‘D’,’E’ and ‘F’ are again basically the same, differing only in placement of the a superfiring turret in either forward, aft or both.

The Projekt II design:

In mid 1917 the MTK (Marinetechnische Komitee – Naval Technical Committee), Pola prepared a new battlecruiser design: Projekt II.
Project II was based heavily on the previous Projekt I design, using the same hull and secondary armament but increasing the main gun caliber from 35cm to 38cm in 3 twin turrets.

Reasoning for the increased caliber is the same as for battleship ‘Projekt III’.

Basically Projekt II is a modified Projekt Ia, replacing the triple turrets with twins but putting the 2nd turret between the two boiler rooms to increase survivability of the engine rooms.
You can think of this design as the Austro-Hungarian Renown and arguably better in some aspects.

The design(s) had the following characteristics:
Dimensions: 220 (wl) x 29 x 8,65m
Displacement: 30.000tons (standard), 34.000tons (full load)
Armour: 40mm Deck, 225mm Belt
Engines: 100.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 56km/h (30knots)
Range: 14.800km at 28km/h (8.000nm at 15knots)
Armaments:
3ࡨ 38cm Cannons
18ࡧ 15cm Guns
12ࡧ 9cm (88mm) Guns
6ࡧ 9cm (88mm) AA Guns
6ࡧ 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

The Project IV design:

The designers at MTK (Marinetechnische Komitee – Naval Technical Committee), Pola continued to improve the battlecruiser proposals taking into account the experiences gained at the battle of Jutland and they proposed what is basically a modified Projekt II battlecruiser:

Larger caliber main weapons are always superior and anything below 10cm / 4″ guns are not suitable against enemy cruisers.
Less casemated guns means less holes on the side and thus less danger spots.
Unique among other navies are the adoption of a fully enclosed, well armored (100mm) AA/DP turret mounting the heaviest AA gun of the time: a 15cm/50 gun. For it’s era this dual purpose gun would be more than enough against the WW1 aircraft and Zeppelins (Anti-Balloon guns as the Austrians called these weapons).

Like on Projekt II the Projekt IV design featured 3 twin 38cm cannons in pairs too and these were supposed to use a standard common shell with the German Navy’s 38cm gun.

Simply put Projekt IV is a streamlined and slightly lengthened Projekt II with no tertiary armament and the introduction of heavy turreted DP-AA weaponry.
If Projekt II was the Austro-Hungarian Renown, then Projekt IV is the modernized Renown!

The design(s) had the following characteristics:
Dimensions: 230 (wl) x 29 x 8,82m
Displacement: 32.000tons (standard), 36.000tons (full load)
Armour: 40mm Deck, 225mm Belt
Engines: 112.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 56km/h (30knots)
Range: 16.700km at 28km/h (9.000nm at 15knots) or
5.500km at 56km/h (3.000nm at 30knots)
Armaments:
3ࡨ 38cm Cannons
18ࡧ 15cm Guns
4ࡧ 15cm DP-AA Guns
6ࡧ 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

The Projekt VI design:

This was the final battlecruiser proposal by the MTK (Marinetechnische Komitee – Naval Technical Committee), Pola offered in late 1917, early 1918. It was a further improvement on the previous Projekt IV type with another step taken toward a larger main weapon caliber: 42cm sized cannons.
The two twin turret layout ship – while reminiscent of the British Courageous class light battlecruisers – was actually more similar in concept and genesis to the GK 4021 and 4221 designs of the Imperial German Navy.

The hull was further refined and adjusted for the heavy twin 42cm gun turrets, while the DP-AA guns moved towards the centre of the ship, further away from the blast area of the main turrets.

The design(s) had the following characteristics:
Dimensions: 230 (wl) x 29 x 8,82m
Displacement: 32.000tons (standard), 36.000tons (full load)
Armour: 40mm Deck, 225mm Belt
Engines: 112.000shp Steam Turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: 56km/h (30knots)
Range: 16.700km at 28km/h (9.000nm at 15knots) or
5.500km at 56km/h (3.000nm at 30knots)
Armaments:
2ࡨ 42cm Cannons
18ࡧ 15cm Guns
4ࡧ 15cm DP-AA Guns
6ࡧ 53cm Underwater Torpedo tubes

As a side note to Projekt VI:
While the British were the first to build battlecruisers with such minimal main armament, the Japanese designed a similar vessel with 3 and later 4 single 30cm gun turrets, I’ve mentioned the German Grosskampfschiff series of 1916-17, but on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the USN too played with the idea, although they called this vessel a battle scout.
Also note that the Royal Navy’s Courageous and Furious classes were designed for the Baltic Sea to provide fire support for the abortive Baltic amphibious operations and thus were very lightly armoured for minimal displacement and thus shallow draught, while the German and Austro-Hungarian proposal were true battlecruisers with thicker armour and heavier secondary armament ideal for fleet action or lone hunting duties!


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