Aircraft mother ship HMS Engadine

The HMS Engadine was originally a mail steamer for the English Channel, which was rebuilt shortly after the beginning of the First World War by the Royal Navy in an aircraft mother ship and used.


Launching and design:

To get a fast mail ship between the towns of Folkestone and Boulogne, the company South East and Chatham Railway built the modern Engadine at the shipyard William Denny and Brothers in Dumbarton, Scotland.

The 98.5 meter long steamer could record a total volume of 1676 gross tons and reached with its three steam turbines a top speed of 21.5 knots.

The launching of the Engadine took place on 23 September 1911, the commissioning end of 1911.




Conversion to the aircraft mothership:

Shortly after the First World War broke out, the ship was confiscated on August 11, 1914 and put into the service of the Royal Navy, at this time the ship got the addition HMS.

At the Chatham Dockyard shipyard, the makeshift conversion was started immediately. There were mounted three hangars made of canvas. Since the assembly of a flight deck would have taken only the dismantling of the superstructures and extensive changes to the construction of the ship and thus much time, the Engadine was used as a carrier for seaplanes. For this purpose, new derrick cranes were mounted to accommodate the three aircraft or to let in water.

The modifications were completed on 1 September 1914 and the ship was operational.



HMS Engadine


HMS Engadine




Use in the war:

The HMS Engadine was assigned together with the hydroplane tenders HMS Empress and HMS Riviera Harwich Force.

The first mission took place on 25 December 1914 in which the Zeppelin hangars were to be attacked in Cuxhaven. A total of seven aircraft started, which could cause only minor damage to the plants. On the way back, four planes had to be launched and their crew rescued by British submarines and a Dutch trawler.

In February 1915, the ship was sold to the British Admiralty, which had it rebuilt until March 23, 1915. The hangars were removed from canvas and a larger and more stable hangar for now four aircraft was built. In addition, four fast fire cannons QF 12 pounder 12 cwt naval gun and two QF 3-pounder anti-aircraft guns were mounted for defense.

After rebuilding the ship was assigned to the Harwich Force again.

On 3 July 1915 was to be flown with three aircraft at the Ems reconnaissance, so as to bait one of the German airship and attack. However, two of the aircraft were destroyed at take-off and the third heavily damaged, so that the flight and attack had to be canceled.

In October 1915, the transfer to the 1st Battlecruiser squadron was under the command of Vice Admiral David Beattys. With this association, the ship also took part from May 31 to June 1, 1916 at the Battle of the Skagerrak. The HMS Engadine formed the vanguard and was one of the first ships that sighted the German Vanguard. Subsequently, the ship was stopped and two Short Type 184 aircraft were launched to conduct reconnaissance flights in this area. One of the aircraft could make out three German battlecruisers and five destroyers and report this to the Engadine. Since the ship formed the rear guard during the battle and drove behind the other British warships, could be towed with the carrier of the maneuverable battleship HMS Warrior. During the return trip, the water inlets on the Warrior became so strong that the ship had to be abandoned. The Engadine took over the complete crew.

Until early 1918, the ship remained in the Grand Fleet, with no more operations were performed. Subsequently, the Engadine was relocated to the Mediterranean and operated until the war from Malta against enemy submarines.




Use after the war:

After the First World War, HMS Engadine was bought back by its original owner, South Eastern and Chatham Railway.

The company brought the ship back into the condition of a mail steamer, had it overhauled and repaired and used it again for transport in the English Channel.

In 1933, the ship was sold to Fernandez Hermanos, Inc. in the Philippines, which commissioned it under the name Corregidor.





After Japan started the invasion of the Philippines on December 8, 1941, late in the evening on December 16, refugees, soldiers, and some deputies were taken to the Corregidor, which at the time was in the port of Manila in the north of the country.

During the passage of the manila bay, which has been mined since July, the ship sailed to one of the sea mines. The explosion severely damaged the ship, causing it to sink in no time.

Three approaching PT speedboats of the US Navy were able to save only between 282 to 296 of the estimated 1,200 to 1,500 people on board.




Ship data:


HMS Engadine


Great Britain

Ship Type:  

Mail boat

From September 1, 1914 to 1920:
Aircraft mother ship


Single ship


William Denny and Brothers in Dumbarton (Scotland)




September 23, 1911


End of 1911


Sunk on 17 December 1941 by a mine hit


98,5 meters


12,5 meters


Max. 4,2 meters


Max. 2.590 tons


197 men


6 water tube boiler

3 steam turbines


13.800 PS (10.150 kW)

Maximum speed:  

21,5 kn (40 km/h)




4x QF 12 pounder 12 cwt naval gun

2 x Ordnance QF 3 pounder Vickers anti-aircraft guns

3 - 4 seaplanes








You can find the right literature here:


British Battleships of World War One

British Battleships of World War One Hardcover – November 15, 2012

This new edition of a classic work on British battleships is the most sought after book on the subject. Containing many new photographs from the author's exhaustive collection this superb reference book presents the complete technical history of British capital ship design and construction during the dreadnought era. Beginning with Dreadnought, all of the fifty dreadnoughts, 'super-dreadnoughts' and battlecruisers that served the Royal Navy during this era are described and superbly illustrated with photographs and line drawings.

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The British Battleship: 1906-1946

The British Battleship: 1906-1946 Hardcover – October 15, 2015

Norman Friedman brings a new perspective to an ever-popular subject in The British Battleship: 1906-1946. With a unique ability to frame technologies within the context of politics, economics, and strategy, he offers unique insight into the development of the Royal Navy capital ships. With plans of the important classes commissioned from John Roberts and A D Baker III and a color section featuring the original Admiralty draughts, this book offers something to even the most knowledgeable enthusiast.

Click here!



British Battlecruisers 1905-1920

British Battlecruisers 1905-1920 Hardcover – December 15, 2016

The brainchild of Admiral Sir John Fisher, battlecruisers combined heavy guns and high speed in the largest hulls of their era. Conceived as "super-cruisers" whose job it was to hunt down and destroy commerce raiders, their size and gun-power led to their inclusion in the battlefleet as a fast squadron of capital ships. This book traces in detail the development of Fisher's original idea into the first battlecruiser Invincible of 1908, through to the "Splendid Cats" of the Lion class, and culminating in HMS Hood in 1920, the largest warship in the world for the next twenty years. The origins of the unusual "light battlecruisers" of the Courageous type are also covered.

The well-publicized problems of British battlecruisers are examined, including the latest research throwing light on the catastrophic loss of three of the ships at the Battle of Jutland. The developmental history is backed by chapters covering machinery, armament, and armor, with a full listing of important technical data. The comprehensive collection of illustrations includes the author's superb drawings and original Admiralty plans reproduced in full color. This revised and updated edition of the classic work first published in 1997 will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the most charismatic and controversial warships of the dreadnought era.

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British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914–16 (Duel)

British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914–16 (Duel) Paperback – November 19, 2013

Battles at Dogger Bank and Jutland revealed critical firepower, armor, and speed differences in Royal Navy and Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) Battlecruiser designs.

Fast-moving and formidably armed, the battlecruisers of the British and German navies first encountered one another in 1915 at Dogger Bank and in the following year clashed near Jutland in the biggest battleship action of all time. In the decade before World War I Britain and Germany were locked in a naval arms race that saw the advent of first the revolutionary dreadnought, the powerful, fast-moving battleship that rendered earlier designs obsolete, and then an entirely new kind of vessel - the battlecruiser. The brainchild of the visionary British admiral John 'Jacky' Fisher, the battlecruiser was designed to operate at long range in 'flying squadrons', using its superior speed and powerful armament to hunt, outmanoeuvre and destroy any opponent. The penalty paid to reach higher speeds was a relative lack of armour, but Fisher believed that 'speed equals protection'. By 1914 the British had ten battlecruisers in service and they proved their worth when two battlecruisers, Invincible and Inflexible, sank the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off the Falklands in December 1914.

Based on a divergent design philosophy that emphasised protection over firepower, the Germans' battlecruisers numbered six by January 1915, when the rival battlecruisers first clashed at Dogger Bank in the North Sea. By this time the British battlecruisers had been given a new role - to locate the enemy fleet. Five British battlecruisers accompanied by other vessels intercepted and pursued a German force including three battlecruisers; although the battle was a British tactical victory with neither side losing any of its battlecruisers, the differences in the designs of the British and German ships were already apparent. The two sides responded very differently to this first clash; while the Germans improved their ammunition-handling procedures to lessen the risk of disabling explosions, the British drew the opposite lesson and stockpiled ammunition in an effort to improve their rate of fire, rendering their battlecruisers more vulnerable. The British also failed to improve the quality of their ammunition, which had often failed to penetrate the German ships' armour.

These differences were highlighted more starkly during the battle of Jutland in May 1916. Of the nine British battlecruisers committed, three were destroyed, all by their German counterparts. Five German battlecruisers were present, and of these, only one was sunk and the remainder damaged. The limitations of some of the British battlecruisers' fire-control systems, range-finders and ammunition quality were made clear; the Germans not only found the range more quickly, but spread their fire more effectively, and the German battlecruisers' superior protection meant that despite being severely mauled, all but one were able to evade the British fleet at the close of the battle. British communication was poor, with British crews relying on ship-to-ship flag and lamp signals even though wireless communication was available. Even so, both sides claimed victory and the controversy continues to this day.

Click here!






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