Battlecruiser HMS Tiger

The battle cruiser HMS Tiger was originally intended as another ship of the Lion class, because of the construction of the Japanese battlecruiser Kongō and its superiority, but the construction had to be changed and the tiger was created.


Launching and design:

End of 1909, the construction of four ships of the Lion class was begun, which should be put in the service of the Royal Navy from 1912. From 17 January 1911, however, a new battle cruiser for the Japanese Navy was built at the company Vickers, the Kongō. This was in their properties clearly superior to the ships of the Lion class, so that the British Navy Management refrained from further orders of ships of the Lion class. The construction of the HMS Lion, the HMS Princess Royal and the HMS Queen Mary were already too far advanced, as the changes could have been made. Only the HMS Tiger was in a status that allowed even greater changes.

The main armament of eight 13.5-inch 343-mm guns was retained, but one of the towers was not installed before the last chimney but behind it. This position allowed a much improved field of fire for the gun, which was no longer limited by a chimney.

The middle artillery, however, was completely replaced. Instead of the usual 102-mm guns now twelve 6-inch 152 -mm guns were mounted in casemates, which led to greater clout. The armor was strengthened against the ships of the Lion class.

The launch of the HMS Tiger took place on 15 December 1913, the commissioning on 3 October 1914.



HMS Tiger


HMS Tiger




Use in the war:

After the commissioning shortened test drives were carried out to make the crew as soon as possible operational. Background was the extensive distribution of British warships, including in the Atlantic in search of the German East Asia squadron or in the Mediterranean, where there were also German warships.

Along with the ships of the Lion class, the HMS Tiger was then assigned to the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron under the direction of Rear Admiral David Beatty.

With this squadron, the ship took part in the battle on Doggerbank on January 24, 1915. In view of the 355 shells fired, the HMS Tiger only scored two goals on the SMS Seydlitz or on the SMS Derfflinger. Even the SMS Blücher received only a few hits. Even the ship received six hits, one hit destroyed one of the main guns and 10 crew members died. The necessary repairs were completed after the battle on February 8, 1915.

From May 31 to June 1, 1916, the HMS Tiger also participated in the Battle of the Skagerrak. Although the ship was the last of the squadron in the direction of the German ships, it was already shortly after the beginning of the battle six hits by the SMS Moltke, with two of the main guns failed for some time. Another main gun failed after 27 shots due to technical problems, but could be made operational again after a short time. Overall, the HMS Tiger received 18 hits during the battle and had 24 dead and 46 wounded crew members. In addition to a hit on the SMS Moltke and two on the SMS Von der Tann there were still unconfirmed hits on the small cruiser SMS Wiesbaden. As in the Dogger Bank battle, the fire performance of the ship did not live up to expectations in this battle, especially as it was only determined at the end of the battle that the target equipment was wrongly set.

The damage to the ship was eliminated until July 2, 1916, so that it served as a flagship of the squadron from 19 July to December 1916.

On 17 November 1917 was still taking part in the second naval battle near Helgoland, the HMS Tiger only belonged to the British cover forces and thus did not participate in the actual battle.

Until the end of the war, although some attempts were made in the North Sea, but there was no more contact with the enemy.



Damage on the HMS Tiger after the Battle of the Skagerrak


Damage on the HMS Tiger after the Battle of the Skagerrak


HMS Tiger in dry dock




Use after the war:

After the First World War, the HMS Tiger remained in the Home Fleet, despite the downsizing of the Royal Navy.

In 1922, the ship was withdrawn from the squadron and served for training. Only in 1929 it was once again assigned to the squadron, as the HMS Hood had in the yard for an overhaul.





The provisions of the London Naval Conference of 22 January 1930 again set a maximum number of battleships and battlecruisers.

For this reason, the HMS Tiger was finally put out of service on March 30, 1931, sold and scrapped in 1932.




Ship data:


HMS Tiger


Great Britain

Ship Type:  



Single ship


John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Schottland


2.593.100 pounds sterling


December 15, 1913


October 3, 1914


Sold and scrapped in February 1932


214,6 meters


27,6 meters


Max. 9,9 meters


Max. 35.000 tons


1112 - 1459 men


39 Babcock & Wilcox cauldrons

Brown-Curtis steam turbines


85.000 PS

Maximum speed:  

28 kn




8 x 34,3 cm L/45 Mk.V guns

12 x 15,2 cm L/50 Mk.VII guns

2 x 76,2 mm Mk.I anti-aircraft guns

4 x 47 mm Vickers guns

4 x 53,3 cm torpedo tubes under water

from 1918 additionally:

2 x 10,2 cm anti-aircraft guns


Belt armor 229 mm

Armored deck 76 mm

Towers 229 mm

Conning tower 229 mm

Armored bulkheads 127 mm






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.

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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.

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