Indefatigable Class Battlecruiser

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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HMS Indefatigable
HMS Indefatigable
Indefatigable class.  Easy to distinguish from the generally similar Invincible class by the arrangement of the wing turrets which now had a funnel between them.  The secondary armament was an improved version of 4 inch gun and none were mounted on the turret roofs.

HMS Indefatigable
Built Devonport Dockyard, laid down February 1909, completed April 1911, cost 1,520,591.

HMS New Zealand
Built Fairfield, laid down  June 1910, completed November 1912, cost 1,783,190.

HMAS Australia (Royal Australian Navy)
Built John Brown, laid down June 1910, completed June 1913, cost 1,783,190.

Size:
Length 588 feet waterline 590 feet overall, beam 79 feet 10 inches, draught 30 feet, displacement 18,750 load 22,080 tons deep.

Propulsion:
4 shaft Parsons turbines, 44,000 shp, 25kts

Trials:
Indefatigable 55,140 shp = 26.89 knots
New Zealand 49,048 shp = 26.38 knots
Australia 55,881 shp = 26.89 knots

Armour:
6-4in belt, 7in barbettes, 7in turret faces, 2.5-1in decks

Armament:
8 x 12in 45cal MK X (4 x 2), 16 x 4in (16 x 1), 3 x 18in TT

Comments:
Enlarged follow on the to the Invincible class.  The extra size was however not used to address any of the weaknesses of the original ships so the armour was similar but distributed differently but in some respects this re-distribution actually made the protection worse.  The armament was similar but the spacing of 'P' and 'Q' turrets was increased to improve cross deck firing arcs.  The last two ships, Australia and New Zealand, were funded by those respective countries and started at a time when the British themselves were building the much superior Lion class.  The relative cheapness of the design appears to have been the reason for this.  The last two ships also gained some extra armour.  Crew 790.

World War 1 Service:
Indefatigable

2nd Battlecruiser Squadron as flagship of the British Mediterranean fleet.
August 1914 spent unsuccessfully hunting SMS Goeben and Breslau.
18 August became flagship of Dardanelles squadron.
3 November 1914 bombarded Dardanelles forts.
24 January 1915 left for refit at Malta.
14 February 1915 left Malta for home waters.
20 February joined 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet.
31 May 1916 sunk by SMS Von der Tann at the Battle of Jutland.

New Zealand
A gift from New Zealand.
1st Battlecruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
19 August transferred to 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron.
28 August 1914 at the Battle of Heligoland Bight.
1 September 1914 rejoined 1st Battlecruiser Squadron.
15 January 1915 became flagship of 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron.
24 January 1915 saw action in the Battle of Dogger Bank.
22 April 1916 collided with HMAS Australia
30 May 1916 returned from repairs.
31 May 1916 engaged in Battle of Jutland.  Fired 420 12 inch shells (the most of any ship in the battle) and received 1 11inch hit.
November 1916 refit at Rosyth.
17 November 1917 present at second Battle of Heligoland Bight whilst temporarily attached to 1st Battlecruiser Squadron.
1922 sold for scrap.

Australia
Paid for for by the Australian Government as part of the Royal Australian Navy.
Flagship of Australian Squadron under Rear-Admiral Patey.
August 1914 searched for Admiral Graf Spee in South Pacific.
15 September 1914 escorted convoy of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
17 September 1914 diverted to cover to German New Guinea following appearance of Graf Spee's cruisers in the area.
31 December 1914 left Pacific via Straights of Magellan.
1 January 1915 damaged propeller on rocks.
2-5 January 1915 repairs at Port Stanley.
28 January 1915 arrived at Portsmouth and underwent a short refit.
17 February 1915 joined 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron Grand Fleet becoming flagship.
22 April 1916 collided with HMS New Zealand.
1 June 1916 returned from repairs having just missed Jutland.
12 December 1917 collided with HMS Repulse.
January 1918 covering Scandinavian convoys.
October 1918 as part of September 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron covered US Navy mine laying as part of the Northern Barrage.
12 April 1924 scuttled east of Sydney to form artificial reef.

HMS New Zealand which was a gift to the Royal Navy and served in the North Sea throughout the war.  HMAS Australia was retained by the Royal Australian Navy as flagship although was expected to be under British control in war.  Initially Australia was involved in hunting German cruisers in the Pacific and then served in the North Sea. HMS New Zealand
HMS New Zealand

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