Lion Class Battlecruiser

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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HMS Lion
Lion class.  The new increase in gun calibre and improved arrangement nearly doubled the broadside over the earlier British battlecruisers.  The graceful appearance and increase in firepower led the class to be dubbed the 'splendid cats' and Lion as Beatty's flagship HMS Lion was probably the most famous British warship of the war.

HMS Lion
Built Devonport Dockyard, laid down November 1909, completed May 1912, cost 2,083,999.

HMS Princess Royal
Built Vickers, laid down May 1910, completed October 1912, cost 2,076,222.

Size:
Length 675 feet waterline 700 feet overall, beam 88 feet 7 inches, draught 28 feet, displacement 26,350 normal 30,084 tons deep.

Propulsion:
4 shaft Parsons turbines, 70,000 shp, 27 knots

Trials:
Lion 76,120 shp = 27.62 knots
Princess Royal 78,803 shp = 28.5 knots

Armour:
9-4in belt, 9in barbettes, 9in turret faces, 2.5-1in decks

Armament:
8 x 13.5in 45cal MK V (4 x 2), 16 x 4in (16 x 1), 4 x 3 pounder, 2 x 21in TT

Comments:
Battlecruiser equivalents of the Orion class super Dreadnoughts resulting in a large increase in size and capability on the the original classes of British battlecruiser.  The armament was increased to the powerful and accurate 13.5 inch gun in all centreline turrets although.  Speed was also increased and more importantly armour was significantly increased although not up to German standards.  Crew 907.

World War 1 Service:
Lion
1st Battlecruiser Squadron Grand Fleet as flagship of Vice-Admiral Beatty.
28 August 1914 took part in Battle of Heligoland Bight.
16 December failed attempt to intercept German battlecruisers bombarding English east coast.
24 January 1915 took part in Battle of Dogger Bank.
April 1915 returned from repair after battle.
31 May 1916 took part in Battle of Jutland.  Hit by 13 12 inch and 1 5.9 inch shell with99 killed and 51 injured.  Fired 326 13.4 inch shells
July 1916 returned from repairs.
17 November 1917 part of covering force at the second Battle of Heligoland bight.
1924 sold for scrapping.

Princess Royal
1st Battlecruiser Squadron Grand Fleet .
28 August 1914 Battle of Heligoland Bight.
28 September 1914 detached to escort Canadian troop convoy across Atlantic.
26 October 1914 rejoined Grand Fleet.
21 November 1914 arrived at Halifax after being detached to hunt for Admiral Graf Spee.
19 December left Kingston for home after the destruction of Graf Spee.
24 January 1915 took part in Battle of Dogger Bank.
31 May 1916 took part in Battle of Jutland.  Hit by 8 12 inch and 1 11 inch hits causing 22 killed and 81 injured.  Fired 230 13.5 inch rounds.
June-July 1916 refit at Portsmouth. 
17 November 1917 part of covering force at the second Battle of Heligoland bight.
1922 sold for scrapping.

HMS Lion.  Originally Lion had a tripod behind the fore funnel but the problem of smoke and heat interference were much worse than in previous ships with such an arrangement and this was replaced by a pole mast forward of the funnel in 1912. lion.jpg (20862 bytes)
HMS Lion

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