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Frederic Logghe
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Iron Duke class
The Iron Duke class battleships of the Royal Navy were four battleships, HMSs Benbow, Emperor of India, Iron Duke, and Marlborough. Launched from October 1912 to November 1913, this fourth class of Royal Navy super-dreadnoughts had the same ten 13.5" guns in five centerline twin turrets as before.

They were essentially King George V-class battleships with improved armour and an improved secondary armament of 6-in weapons instead of 4-in. The underwater protection scheme relied on an incomplete torpedo bulkhead, with coal bunkers protecting those areas that lacked a bulkhead. This makes an interesting comparison to the corresponding German design, which employed a complete torpedo bulkhead.

The move to 6-in guns had been necessary for some time because of the growing size of destroyers, but had been impossible until Admiral Jackie Fisher, with his preference for a purely all-big-gun armament, had left the Admiralty. The secondary armament was well disposed except for 4 guns mounted low in the stern, in the innovative but incorrect belief that destroyers would be silhouetted against the horizon - these gun positions were eventually plated over. (An alternate perspective on the value of a large secondary battery is provided by several authors and commentators, who argue that the 6-inch battery in these ships consumed 2,000 tons of displacement; were worthless in battle; were important holes in the side subject to flooding; were poorly-armoured pathways through which a ship-crippling secondary magazine explosion might be triggered; and medium-calibre weapons could have been carried much more cheaply and effectively on smaller screening vessels).

Although they were designed for the 21-knot battle line as before, they became overloaded and by the end of the war, struggled to maintain station and apparently did not often steam at more than 19 knots. However, naval opinion was that they were a successful design, and hardly less effective than the Revenge class of 2 years later.

The Iron Dukes were followed by the famous Queen Elizabeth class. Benbow, Iron Duke and Marlborough participated in the battle of Jutland. Emperor of India was sunk as a target ship in 1931, Benbow was sold for scrap in 1929, and Marlborough was sold for scrap in 1932. Iron Duke survived the longest after being converted to a training ship as the result of the Washington Naval Treaty, and was sold for scrap in 1946. (Source: Wikipedia)
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King George V class
The King George V class battleships were a series of four Royal Navy battleships built just prior and serving in the First World War. The King George V class immediately followed the Orion class upon which they were based.

They were of slightly larger displacement than the Orions; the extra tonnage allowed for some small enhancements were incorporated into the design. They were visually very difficult to distinguish from the Orions.

They used the same 13.5-inch Mark V gun, but firing a slightly heavier (1,400 lb as against 1,250 lb) shell. Their Secondary armament was re-arranged to improve fire distribution ahead, which had was indicated by tactical modelling to be the most dangerous area for torpedo boat attacks.

Armour was slightly redistributed and, it was thought, improved. Underwater protection was also improved, although these changes did not save the Audacious when she stumbled into a single German mine late in 1914.

There were slight revisions to the superstructure and masts. Their powerplant was intended to give a design speed of 1 knot more than the Orions. This gave them slightly easier speed, but in practice they steamed mostly in the company of slower ships anyway.

Overall, they were successful design, although received without particular enthusiasm by the public and press. They had been substantially promoted as a great advance over the Orions. In particular, it was expected that they would carry 6-inch guns for secondary armament. In fact it was the subsequent Iron Duke class battleships that first received 6 inch secondaries.

The ships remaining after the end of the First World War were all decommisioned in the 1920s to allow for the two Nelson class battleships under the Washington Naval Treaty. (Source: Wikipedia)
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Orion class
The Orion class battleships were four super-dreadnoughts ? the first ships of that type ? of the Royal Navy's. The lead ship was Orion, launched in 1910. They were the first Royal Navy dreadnoughts to have all their main guns in the centerline, although the US South Carolina class battleship had this advanced feature in their first dreadnoughts. The Orion class were almost indistinguishable from the following King George V class.

Previous British dreadnoughts had been built very much with an eye on cost. By 1909, although war still seemed unlikely, the white-hot naval rivalry had loosened the purse strings. These ships were much bigger than the preceding Colossus class.

The move to the 13.5-in gun came out of necessity. The final iteration of the 12-inch gun, 50 calibers in length and of high velocity, had been unsuccessful. It lost some of its accuracy and was subject to considerable bore erosion that limited its useful life to about 80 discharges. A lower velocity weapon was indicated, and was realized in the 13.5-in gun, of 45 calibers and with a much heavier projectile (1,250 lb or 1,400 lb vs 850 lb). The shorter range of the low-velocity gun was compensated by increasing the maximum elevation from 15 to 20 degs. The 13.5-in gun was considered a successful design, although its effectiveness was compromised by poor shell design until availability of the "Green Boy" shells in 1918. (Note that although some pre-dreadnoughts carried a 13.5-inch weapon, last carried by the 1891 Royal Sovereign class battleships, the new gun in the dreadnought era bore no resemblance to the earlier one).

The adoption of the all-centerline armament was also of necessity. The previous Colossus and Neptune classes had already adopted a superfiring pair of turrets aft in an effort to save deck space, and competing designs in the US and elsewhere had lead the way in the all-centerline arrangement. The great investment in displacement and cost of a 13.5-inch turret contra-indicated wing turrets, with their limited arcs of fire and therefore limited effectiveness. Finally, the staggered arrangement of the Colossus and Neptune class complicated internal arrangements and was generally not considered a success.

The armor belt was increased to 12-inch, in view of the general increase in caliber in potential adversaries. It is quite typical of British designs that armor thickness lagged gun size, this being the opposite design driver of German ships in which armor thickness was usually greater than the guns they carried. It is also of interest to note that adequacy of ship armor was still being judged by belt (vertical) thickness, rather than deck (horizontal) thickness which became more critical as battle ranges extended beyond approximately 12,000 yards. By the time that war broke out, all capital ships on both sides were vulnerable to "plunging" fire that crashed down from the unthinkable ranges of 18,000 to 20,000 yards (German ships were less vulnerable by virtue of having very deep belts, which kept shells away from the armor decks, and because British shells were notoriously weak at penetrating armor at an oblique angle).

The Orion class ships cost almost 1.9 million pounds to construct. All four were present at the battle of Jutland in World War I, 31 May 1916, but took no damage. They had a relatively short career, all being decommissioned in 1921 and disposed of in various ways in the 1920s, due to the Washington Naval Treaty. (Source: Wikipedia)
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Queen Elizabeth class
The Queen Elizabeth-class battleships were a class of five super-dreadnoughts of the Royal Navy. The lead ship was named in honour of Elizabeth I of England. They were majestic looking battleships that captured the imagination of much of the British public. They were superior in firepower, protection and speed to their Royal Navy predecessors of the Iron Duke class as well as preceding German classes such as the K?nig class, although the corresponding Bayern-class ships were competitive except for being 2 knots slower. As such, they are generally considered the first fast battleships. The Queen Elizabeths were the first battleships to be armed with 15 inch /42 Mk 1 guns (381 mm), and they forced the Germans to alter the armament of the Bayern class armament from its original 12 inch (305 mm) guns to 15 inch (381 mm).

Following the success of the 13.5 inch gun, the Admiralty decided to develop a 15 inch gun to equip the battleships of 1912 construction programme. The move to the larger gun was accelerated by one or two years by the intervention of Winston Churchill, now at the Admiralty. Rather than waiting for prototype guns, the entire design was optimized on paper for the new weapon, and construction commenced immediately. In making this decision, the Admiralty ran a considerable risk, as a forced reversion to the 13.5-in (343 mm) gun would have resulted in a much weaker ship.

The initial intention was that the new battleships would have the same configuration as the preceding Iron Duke class, with five twin turrets and the then-standard speed of 21 knots. However, it was realised that, by dispensing with the so-called "Q" turret amidships, it would be possible to free up weight and volume for a much enlarged powerplant, and still fire a heavier broadside than the Iron Duke. The original 1912 programme envisaged three battleships and a battlecruiser. However, given the speed of the new ships, envisaged as 25 knots, it was decided that a new battlecruiser would not be needed. When the Federation of Malay States offered to fund a further capital ship, it was decided to add a fifth unit to the new battleship class ( Malaya), rather than restore the battlecruiser.

The Director of Naval Construction (DNC) advised that the concept would be feasible only if the ships were powered solely by oil. Previous classes, including those still in construction, used fuel oil ? still relatively scarce - as a supplement to coal, of which the UK then commanded huge reserves. However, the then First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, undertook to guarantee a supply of oil in wartime, thereby allowing the programme to proceed. The oil eventually was guaranteed by the negotiation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Convention [1].

Meanwhile, an investigation lead by Admiral Jackie Fisher had worked through all the logistical problems associated with oil fuel instead of coal, and so oil fuel was installed. Oil has a much greater energy density, vastly simplified refuelling arrangements, requires no stokers, and emits much less smoke to obscure gun laying, and makes the ships less visible on the horizon.

The 15-inch (381 mm) gun turned out to be a complete success in service. It was reliable and extremely accurate, being able to drop tight groups of shells at 20,000 yards (18 km). Poor shell design reduced its effectiveness at the Battle of Jutland, but this was addressed with the arrival of the superior "Green Boy" shells in 1918. The gun even remained competitive in World War II, after receiving further shell upgrades, and mountings with greater elevation.

Armour protection was modified from the previous Iron Duke class, with a thicker belt and improved underwater protection. The scale of deck armour was less generous, though typical of contemporary practice. However, the ships survived a considerable pounding at the Battle of Jutland while serving as the 5th Battle Squadron, so it should be judged as sufficient for its time.

In some respects, the ships did not quite fulfil their extremely demanding requirement. They were seriously overweight, as a result of which the draught was excessive and they were unable to reach the planned 25 knots in service. In the event, the combination of oil fuel and more boilers provided for a service speed of about 24 knots, still a useful improvement on the traditional battle line speed of 21 knots and just fast enough to be thought of as the first fast battleships. However, after Jutland Admiral John Jellicoe was persuaded that the slowest ship of this class was good only for about 23 knots, and concluded that, since this should be considered as the speed of the squadron, it would not safe to risk them in operations away from the main battlefleet.

The mounting of the 6-inch secondary armament in hull casemates drastically reduced the reserve of buoyancy, since the casemates would not resist water if submerged. In practice, the casemates would be flooded even in normal steaming if the sea was heavy [2]. In addition, the ammunition supply arrangements for the 6-inch guns were relatively exposed; during the Battle of Jutland, this resulted in an ammunition fire aboard Malaya that nearly resulted in the loss of the ship [3].

Despite these problems, most of which were mitigated in service, the ships were well received and proved outstandingly successful in combat. The savings in weight, cost and manpower made possible by oil fuel only were convincingly demonstrated, as were the benefits of concentrating a heavier armament into fewer mountings.

The class was followed by the Revenge class, which took the Queen Elizabeth configuration and economized it back down to the standard 21-knot battle line.

The class performed with distinction in World War I. At the Battle of Jutland, four of the ships formed Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas's 5th Battle Squadron, and in the clash with the German 1st Scouting Group under Admiral Franz von Hipper they "fired with extraordinary rapidity and accuracy" (according to Reinhard Scheer), sinking L?tzow and severely damaging Seydlitz and a number of other German warships. Three of the Queen Elizabeths received hits from German warships during the engagement, yet they all returned home, though Warspite was heavily damaged, taking fifteen hits and coming close to foundering.

Between the wars, the ships received considerable upgrade, in some cases amounting to a new ship inside the old hull. This included new machinery, small tube boilers, deck armour upgrades, torpedo belt armour, new superstructure, trunked funnels, new secondary armament and anti-aircraft armament, and many gunlaying and electronics upgrades.

In World War II, the class also performed with distinction, though their age, and the increasing obsolescence of the battleship in the face of air power, was beginning to show. They would not have been able to face a well-handled modern battleship such as the German Bismarck with much chance of success. Modern torpedoes outclassed their torpedo belt protection: in November 1941, Barham, although admittedly the least modernized of the quintet, was torpedoed by a U-Boat and sank in just five minutes, with the loss of over 800 of her crew when her magazines detonated. On the other hand, they were extremely resiliant: Warspite survived a hit by a German glider bomb of a type that sank a modern Italian battleship, while Queen Elizabeth and Valiant were refloated and returned to service after being sunk in shallow water by Italian frogmen at Alexandria in 1941. (Source: Wikipedia)
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Revenge class
The Revenge-class battleships were five battleships of the Royal Navy, ordered as World War I loomed on the horizon, and launched in 1914?1916. There were originally to have been eight of the class, but two were later redesigned, becoming the Renown-class battlecruisers and the other, which was to have been named Resistance, was cancelled.

The ships of the class were slower and smaller than the preceding Queen Elizabeth-class battleships. Despite sometimes being referred to as the "Royal Sovereign-class", official documents from World War I clearly state that the class was known as the Revenge class. They were envisaged partially due to fears of the Queen Elizabeth class' total reliance on oil as its fuel source, which was a first for a British class of Dreadnought battleships. At that time, oil could only be obtained from overseas sources, while high-quality coal was readily available in the British Isles, and there seemed to be a possibility that oil supplies might not be able to be maintained during wartime, thus placing crippling restrictions on the usefulness of the five Queen Elizabeths. As a response to these concerns the Revenge class was designed to be able to use both coal and oil as its fuel source.

They were also designed to be cheaper than the Queen Elizabeths. This was achieved by reducing their size and using lower power engines - their slim single funnel design makes them easy to distinguish from the Queen Elizabeths, which had twin funnels (or thick trunked funnels after being rebuilt during the interwar years). The armour was very different: the armoured deck was raised much higher in the ship, and the side armour was much more extensive at its full thickness of 13 inches (330 mm). This scheme was chosen since, at the time the Revenges were being designed, it was still believed that any major fleet-to-fleet engagement would take place at relatively close ranges and that, as at the Battle of Tsushima, lighter calibre quick-firing guns would be responsible for most of the damage inflicted upon enemy ships. This is why the Revenges and some of their contemporaries were fitted with 6 inch secondary batteries, which were somewhat too heavy to be of practical use against light craft such as destroyers. Additionally, this change in the armour layout was a cost-saving measure. The Queen Elizabeth had plates that tapered at the top and bottom of the armour belt, and tapered armour was extremely expensive to produce. Overall, it was probably an effective armouring scheme which was made obsolescent by developments in naval gunnery and tactics that, unfortunately, occurred almost immediately after the ships entered service and that, ultimately, did not lend itself to the upgrades necessitated by WWII-era weapons.

The major flaw in the class was the deliberately reduced stability, reduced so as to give the ships a slow rolling motion to make gunnery easier. This made it almost impossible to update them. In addition it was not economically possible to fit more powerful machinery later in their lives.

Anti-torpedo bulges were included, which provided superb protection against attacks by torpedo for its time, but proved to be not enough for Royal Oak when she was torpedoed in 1939 due to the increasing power of torpedo warheads.

Due to their smaller size, at 624 ft (190 m), which still dwarfed anything rival navies had at the time they entered service, conditions were decidedly more cramped for the crew of a Revenge-class battleship compared to the Queen Elizabeths.

Only two ships of the class, Revenge and Royal Oak, were ready in time for the Battle of Jutland on May 31, 1916. During the engagement, neither ship suffered damage nor casualties.

Unlike Queen Elizabeths, the Revenges were not given major reconstructions between the two World Wars. In fact, apart from some minor upgrades and conversion to be entirely oil-fuelled, they remained very much unchanged until the Second World War began. Partly this was because of the expense involved in giving them a thorough modernization; what money the Royal Navy received for this purpose was better spent on the Queen Elizabeths which, because of their higher speed and better armour protection, had retained their fighting value better. In addition, the Revenges were scheduled to be replaced by the new Lion class capital ships as they came into service. However, the coming of the Second World War resulted in the cancellation of the Lions, leaving the Revenges to remain in service despite their limited value in the face of advances in naval technology.

All ships of the class were reduced to subsidiary roles during World War II, with some becoming bombardment ships, taking part in the Normandy Landings, and even the hunt for the Bismarck. The demise of the Revenge class and others soon after the war showed the advent of the aircraft-carrier as the new Queen of the Seas; though it must be said, the contribution the dreadnoughts made to the Royal Navy's history was immense. Churchill writes that they were a constant anxiety, and he witnessed the Admiralty keep as many thousands of miles between them and the enemy as possible. However, they were valuable as second-class battleships, performing escort and other routine duties that freed up the front-line ships. (Source: Wikipedia)
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Agincourt



HMS Agincourt was a World War One Dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy.

She was a unique vessel, laid down by Armstrongs at Newcastle upon Tyne as the Brazilian Rio de Janeiro in September 1911. The chief designer of Armstrongs, Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt, produced her outline design in his hotel bedroom in Brazil during the negotiations. As a result of a collapse in the rubber trade, Brazil cancelled the order in 1912, and sold the vessel on to the Turkish navy for 2,750,000 in January 1914. Renamed the Sultan Osman I, she underwent trials in July 1914 and was completed in August, just as the First World War began. She was among the first British battleships with completely centreline distributed superfiring turrets (a necessity given the number carried), nearly five years after such a layout had been shown on the USS South Carolina.

The war broke out before delivery during the trials. Even though the Turkish crew had arrived to collect her, the British Government took over the vessel for incorporation into the Royal Navy. At the same time the British also took over a second Turkish battleship, also being built by Armstrongs - The Reshadieh which was renamed HMS Erin. Such an action was allowed for in the contracts but it had consequences. The takeover caused considerable ill-feeling in Turkey, where public subscriptions had partially funded the ships. This proved an important factor in turning Turkish public opinion against Britain, especially as the Turkish Navy had been pro-Britain - the Army having been pro-German. It helped put Turkey (and its Ottoman Empire) into the war on the side of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire against the Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia (29 October 1914). As an act of generosity to secure their allies, Germany made a gift to Turkey of the battlecruiser SMS Goeben and of the light cruiser SMS Breslau.

Agincourt was an unusual ship in having seven main turrets. This gave her a broadside of 14 main guns - a commentator remarked that when firing a broadside it looked like a battlecruiser blowing up. Normally ship turrets are lettered A,B,Q etc; hers were named after the days of the week. Popular belief at the time held that firing a full broadside would have capsized her; this was proven wrong by her Gunnery Officer at Jutland, who fired fourteen full broadsides at the High Seas Fleet, without causing any problem except a number of popped rivets.

She had poor armour in comparison with her armament, having just 9 inches (229 mm) maximum belt thickness compared with 12 inches (305 mm) or more that existed in contemporary Dreadnoughts. Added to this her internal layout was poor, with fewer bulkheads and more open spaces than would have been acceptable for a ship designed for the Royal Navy. She would have ranked as a battlecruiser but for her low speed. By her completion, her 12-inch (305 mm) guns had started to become obsolete - most capital ships under construction having larger calibres.

The Royal Navy made modifications before commissioning its prize: in particular they removed a flying-off deck for seaplanes. They failed, however, to modify a number of written labels, causing problems for seamen who could not distinguish, for example, hot taps from cold.

The luxurious fittings, that may have led to the original high cost to the Brazilians, gave her the nickname 'Gin Palace'. The other explanation to this nickname was A Gin Court, replace the court by the simular meaning palace and the rumors gin was the favorite pastime of some naval officers of noble descent on board.

HMS Agincourt formed part of the First Battle Squadron at the Battle of Jutland, which she survived unscathed firing several broadsides without damage.

She was reallocated to the Second Battle Squadron in 1918 and decommissioned in 1919. After unsuccessful attempts to sell her to the Brazilian Government she was recommissioned as a depot ship before being decommissioned again in 1921 and scrapped in 1924.

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Erin


Resadiye.jpg

HMS Erin was a battleship of the Royal Navy, originally Reshadiye, ordered for the navy of the Ottoman Empire but seized by the United Kingdom on the outbreak of World War I.

After the Russo-Turkish War of 18771878, Sultan Abdulhamid II withdrew the Ottoman Navy from use and left the ships to rot. One of the important reasons of this decision was his fear of dethronement like Sultan Abdulaziz I. In 1903, the First Lord of the Admiralty, William Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne, inspected the condition of the Ottoman Navy and reported that "there was no navy!"

However, the naval arms race of the early 20th century prompted the Ottoman government to embark upon a programme of re-armament by purchasing ships from the best shipbuilders in the world: at that time, in the United Kingdom. By 1914 this programme had purchased forty ships from British yards.

Other navies were undergoing similar programmes of naval expansion. A naval rivalry between Argentina and Brazil led the latter to order a battleship from Armstrong Whitworth in the spring of 1911, to be named Rio de Janeiro. However, by 1913 the two nations had solved their conflicts and Brazil ceased her payments to Armstrong.

The Ottoman Navy placed two orders for battleships: one with Vickers to be called Reshadiye, and one with Armstrong to be called Mahmud Resad V. However, financial difficulties led the latter to be abandoned; instead the Ottoman Navy took over the contract for Rio de Janeiro, renaming her Sultan Osman I. A third ship, to be named Fatih, was ordered from Vickers in 1914 but cancelled on the outbreak of war.

The battleships cost Turkey 4 million pounds. In that period, Ottoman government was in a financial deadlock and for the budget of these battleships, people's donations were asked. In taverns, cafes, schools, markets everybody donated some amount of money for the Ottoman Navy. To encourage this campaign, plentiful donations were awarded with a medal called "Navy Donation Medal".

George Thurston's design for Reshadiye was based on contemporary British battleships of the King George V class, but had a heavier main armament and accommodation differences, particularly Turkish-style lavatories. The coal bunkerage and endurance were also less British practice and the armour belt was shallower.

When on 27 July 1914 Mr. Rauf went to Newcastle on behalf of the Ottoman government to arrange for transportation of Sultan Osman I, the First Lord of Admiralty Winston Churchill was aware that an embargo would mean a diplomatic crisis but he could not take the risk that these battleships would be engaged against the Royal Navy.

Accordingly, on 3 August 1914, Churchill declared that the British government had embargoed the two battleships. Mr. Rauf in his memories says, "We paid the last instalment (700,000 Turkish liras). The manufacturer and we agreed on that the ships would be hand over on 2 August 1914. Nevertheless, after we made our payment and half an hour before the ceremony, the British declared that they have requisitioned the ships Although we have protested, nobody paid attention."

When the UK declared war on 4 August 1914 the two ships were taken over by the United Kingdom without compensation because the Ottoman Empire was allied with the German Empire. This caused resentment in the Ottoman Empire and helped push Turkey into declaring war on Germany's side on October 29, 1914.

Reshadiye was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Erin, and Sultan Osman I became HMS Agincourt.

Erin joined the 2nd Battle squadron of the Grand Fleet, and fought in the Battle of Jutland. She became flagship of the Nore Reserve in 1919 and was scrapped in 1922 to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty.

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Canada



HMS Canada was a battleship, sometimes identified as a member of the Iron Duke class battleships originally ordered by the government of Chile as Valparaiso. Before launching, the ship's name was change to Almirante Latorre. Incomplete at the outbreak of World War I, she was purchased by the British government in September 1914 and re-named HMS Canada.

HMS Canada was part of the Grand Fleet's Fourth Battle Squadron and took part in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Thereafter she was in the First Battle Squadron. After the end of the war from 1919 into 1920 she was refitted at Devonport before she was returned to Chile as the Almirante Latorre. A modernization program allowed her to survive until 1959. In September 1931, her crew participated in a mutiny.

She was one of the last World War I battleships afloat when she was sold in 1958 and scrapped in Japan in 1959. There she was a source of fittings for the repair of the museum ship, the Japanese battleship Mikasa. The Mikasa had also been built in a British shipyard and despite being build 10 years later HMS Canada still shared many components with the Mikasa.

At the time she was bought, her sister ship, the Almirante Cochrane, was also purchased for the Royal Navy. She was less complete than the Almirante Latorre, and was never completed as a battleship. Instead, she laid incomplete on the slip from 1914 to 1917, when she was purchased and completed as HMS Eagle, one of the first aircraft carrier. As Eagle she served in World War II and was sunk in the Mediterranean while escorting one of the Malta convoys.

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