Warrior-class armoured cruiser, HMS Warrior (18)
The four armoured cruisers ordered for the 1903–1904 Naval Programme had originally been intended to be direct repeats of the preceding Duke of Edinburgh class, but complaints from the fleet about the low placement of the secondary armament on the earlier ships of this type, prompted a change of design. The reason for this was due to the location of the guns, they could not be used effectively in any situation other than a dead calm sea, causing the issue to be reviewed by the Board of Admiralty in late 1903 to early 1904. Based on their findings regarding the Duke of Edinburgh class, the Warrior class was expected to be lighter, which would allow them lee way to use for changing the secondary armament to something more suitible. Suggertions were taken from Officers of the fleet, and this cumilated in a secondary armament of four 7.5-inch (191 mm) guns being chosen that were to be mounted in single turrets raised to the upper deck. Unfortunately this choice came after the ships had already been laid down, midway through construction resulting in the change costing a total of £250,000 ( £21,223,820.05 when adjusted for inflation) for all four ships to be modified to this specification after the Admiralty approved the change on 30 March 1904.
Because of this change the Warrior class ships ended up being lighter as built, as though initially projected to displace 13,550 long tons (13,770 t), they ended up displacing between 13,200–13,350 long tons (13,410–13,560 t) at normal load and 14,500 long tons (14,700 t) (fully loaded) after the change of armament. The ships had a uniform overall length of 505 feet 6 inches (154.1 m) and a length between perpendiculars of 480 ft (146.3 m). The beam of the ships was 73 feet 6 inches (22.4 m) and a deep draught of 26 feet 6 inches (8.1 m) forward and 27 feet 6 inches (8.4 m) aft. This allowed the ships to complement 770 officers and enlisted men. The changes of design created a much steadier gun platform in comparison to her predecessors, with a metacentric height of 2.75 feet (0.8m), resulting in the ships being amongst some of the most accurate shooting ships in the fleet during the 1907 and 1909 fleet reviews, earning them the reputation of being some of the best cruisers ever built by the british.
The cruisers were powered by two 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one shaft, and able to procuers a total of 23,500 indicated horsepower (17,520 kW) giving the ships of this class a maximum speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph). These engines were powered by steam from 19 yarrow boilers and an additional six cylindrical boilers carrying a working pressure of 225 psi (1,551 kPa; 16 kgf/cm2). To fuel this propulsion system, the ships carried a maximum of the ships carried a maximum of 2,050 long tons (2,080 t) of coal and an additional 600 long tons (610 t) of fuel oil that was sprayed on the coal to increase its burn rate, which was a common practise at the time and was a shared trait of most royal navy ships at the time. This load allowed the ships to steam for 7,960 nautical miles (14,740 km; 9,160 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).
These repectable characteristics were supplimented by the Warrior Classes main armament, which consited of six 45-calibre BL 9.2-inch Mk X guns (234mm) mounted in single-gun turrets. The
guns were laid out in two centreline turrets, fore and aft of the superstructure, and four wing mounted turrets disposed in the corners near the funnels. The centreline turrets could traverse a total of 285° while the wing turrets were limited to 120° on the broadside due to muzzle blast, which could injure the crew manning the secondaries and 47mm guns. These turrets all had a gun elevation of −5° to +15°, and could sling a 380 pounds (172.4 kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,778 ft/s (847 m/s) up to a range of 15,500 yards (14,200 m) at maximum elevation. The rate of fire of these guns was around three rounds a minute, and each ship carried 100 rounds for each 9.2 inch gun.
Theis armament was complimented by four 50-calibre BL 7.5-inch Mk II guns aranged in four turrets amidship, 2 either side. These guns could only traverse about 110° on the broadside, due to their location on the ship, and they had an elevation of −7.5° to +15° that gave them a range of 14,238 yards (13,019 m) at maximum elevation. These guns had a rate of fire of about 4 rounds a minute, and just like with the primary cannons, each gun was provided with 100 rounds. The final guns on board were 26 vickers quick firing (QF) 3-pounder guns fitted for defence against torpedo boat attack, which where mounted with ten on turret roofs and eight each on the forward and aft superstructures. These guns had a range of 7,550 yards (6,900 m) at an elevation of +20°, and each gun was equipt with 250 rounds of ammunition. In addition to this collection of cannons, the Warrior class was also equipt with three submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes, with 20 torpedos carried on board. On of these torpedo tubes was mounted in the stern, with the other two mounted in the ships beam in fixed angles.
In terms of armour, the Warrior-class ships had a 6-inch (152 mm) waterline armour belt of Krupp cemented armour that covered 260 feet (79.2 m) of the hull amidships. This armour stretched from the side of the ship, up to the upper deck, to a height of 14 feet 6 inches (4.42 m) above the waterline and reached 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 m) below it. This armour lessened betwixt the central citadel and the bow, where the armour belt was 4 inches (102 mm) thick and it extended to the stern with a thickness of 3 inches (76 mm). In addition 6 six inch bulkheads transversed the ship to protect teh citadel from raking fire. The armour on the turret faces were 7.5 inches thick with 5.5-inch (140 mm) sides and a 2-inch (51 mm) roof. The more modernized secondary gun turrets had an armour of between 6–8-inch (152–203 mm) thick and the same roof thickness as the other turrets. The barbettes and ammunition hoists were protected by six inches of armour, although the armour was thinned to three inches between the armour belt. The lower deck armour was only .75 inches (19 mm) except for a patch of 1.5-inch (38 mm) armour over the steering gear and another 2 inches (51 mm) thick over the engine cylinders. The thickest armour on the ship was teh conning tower, which was equipt with 10 inches (254 mm) of protective armour.
HMS Warrior along with her 3 sister ships ordered as part of the 1903-04 naval programme, and was laid down on the 5th of november 1903 at Pembroke Dockyard. Because a ship bearing the name HMS Warrior was currently in service, the once innovative armoured frigate HMS Warrior (1860) now serving as a depot ship,was renamed to HMS Vernon III in 1904 to free up the name. With that little caveat complete, HMS Warrior was launched on the 25th of November 1905 and completed fitting on the 12th of december 1906. Upon completing sea trials, HMS Warrior was assigned to the 5th cruiser squadron in the channel fleet until 1909, when she was transfered to the 2nd cruiser squadron. during this period the only thing of note being when on February 5th 1907 a shell fired from the ship accidentally struck the village of Selsey, resulting in the current captain being repremanded for ignoring a circular letter issued on jan 14th that would have made such an accident impossible.
It was well in this posting, on the 15th of september, that Warrior suffered a boiler tube failure during firing practice, requiring her to be repaired at Devonport Dockyard. In 1913 the ship was transferred to the 1st cruiser squadron of the Mediterranean fleet. At the outbreak of WW1 she was involved in the pursuit of the German battlecruiser Goeben, and the light cruser Breslau, but she was ordered no to engage them. After that HMS Warrior was involved in the allied sweep that led to the eventual sinking of the Austro-Hungarian light cruiser SMS Zenta, during the battle of Antivari in august of 1914. A few days after this action she was ordered to defend teh Suez Canal against possible ottoman attack, and it was here where she remained until the 6th of november, when she was recalled to Gibraltar, to join a squadron of british and french ships in search of german warships possibly lurking off the coast of Africa. This mission was cancelled on november 19th, when survivors of the battle of coronel confirmed that the german east asia squadron was in fact currently off Chile.
Warrior instead then joined the grand fleet in december of 1914, and was assigned to the 1st cruiser squadron, under Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Keith Arbuthnot. It was in this formation that she took part in the Battle of Jutland, on the 31st of may 1916. During the prelude to the battle, the 1st cruiser squadron was located in the front of the grand fleet, on the right side. At 5:47 pm, the squadron flagship, HMS Defence and the accompanying Warrior spotted the german II scouting group and opened fire, though their shells fell short. This prompted the two ships to turn to port in pursuit, cutting infront of the battlecruiser HMS Lion, forcing it to turn away to avoid a collision. Shortly thereafter, they spotted the disabled german light cruiser SMS Wiesbaden, and closed to engage the stricken vessel. When the two ships reached a range of 5,500 yards (5,000m), they were spotted in by the german battlecruiser SMS Derfflinger, and four other battle ships, prompting them at 6:05pm to open fire at a range of less then 8,000 yards (7,300m). The intense barage of fire came down heavy, and HMS Defence suffered a catastrophic failure, and exploded at 6:20pm. Warrior herself was hit by no less than 15 280mm (11inch) shells and 6 150mm ( 5.9 inch) shells, but managed to survive, as the german ships switched their fire to the battleship HMS Warspite, which was currently undergoing a bit of a tizzy,due to its steering being jammed, causing it to do two complete circles within sight of the high seas fleet, who veiwed the distressed vessel as easy prey.
Sensing the oppertunity to perform a stratigic withdrawl the heavily damaged Warrior began to retreat, even as large fires and heavy flooding tore through the ravaged vessel. The engine crew doing their best to keep the engines running, allowed the ship to withdraw west at the cost of most of their lives. Once safely over the horizon, she came under tow from the seaplane tender HMS Engadine, who came ot her assistance. The seaplane tender took off the surviving crew of 743, and attempted to make headway to safe port, but unfortunately the damage was too much for HMS warrior and she was abandoned to the rising sea at 8:25 am on june 1st, when her upper deck was only 4 feet above the water, after which she subsequently foundered, making her the last ship lost during the battle of jutland.
Class and type: Warrior-class armoured cruiser
Displacement: 13,550 long tons (13,770 t) (normal)
14,500 long tons (14,700 t) (deep load)
Length: 505 ft 4 in (154.0 m)
Beam: 73 ft 6 in (22.4 m)
Draught: 27 ft 6 in (8.4 m) (maximum)
Installed power: 23,650 ihp (17,640 kW)
19 Yarrow water-tube boilers and 6 cylindrical boilers
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Range: 7,960 nmi (14,740 km; 9,160 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
6 × 1 - BL 9.2-inch (234 mm) Mk X guns
4 × 1 - BL 7.5-inch (191 mm) Mk II or Mk V guns
26 × 1 - Vickers QF 3-pounder (47 mm) guns
3 × 1 - submerged 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes
Armour: Belt: 3–6 in (76–152 mm)
Decks: 0.75–1.5 in (19–38 mm)
Barbettes: 3–6 in (76–152 mm)
Turrets: 4.5–7.5 in (110–190 mm)
Conning tower: 10 in (250 mm)
Bulkheads: 2–6 in (51–152 mm)
- Warrior class armoured cruisers (1905) - naval encyclopedia
- HMS Warrior Postcard – Tales from the Supply Depot
- HMS Natal | Cruiser Funnel Markings (cruiser funnel markings, making it easy to id Warrior in photos, where the funnel markings are present)
- Campbell, John (1998). Jutland: An Analysis of the Fighting. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 1-55821-759-2.
- Chesneau, Roger; Kolesnik, Eugene M., eds. (1979). Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.