Battleship HMS Ajax

The battleship HMS Ajax belonged to the King George V class and was the last of the four built ships of the class.


Launching and design:

The ships of the King George V-class based on the predecessor of the Orion class and were among the dreadnought battleships. In contrast to the Orion class, the armor was significantly strengthened, especially the side armor and the underwater armor. This should provide better protection against both torpedoes and mines.

The main armament was 10 × 34,3 cm L / 45 guns
in 5 double towers. These were also used before, but the current guns had a better ammunition which was heavier, but had more impact.

In order to distinguish the ships from each other, these had white rings at the chimneys. However, HMS Ajax did not wear a ring.

The launch of the HMS Ajax took place on March 21, 1912, the commissioning on October 31, 1913.



HMS Ajax


HMS Ajax front turrets


HMS Ajax




Use in the war:

After commissioning, the ship was assigned to the 2nd battleship squadron of the British Grand Fleet and it was followed by the test and test drives, which were completed until the outbreak of the First World War.

During the war, the HMS Ajax took part in the Battle of the Skagerrak from 31 May to 1 June 1916. Although the ship was one of the first British ships that saw the German ships and opened the fire, but managed to achieve no hit. In return, the Ajax itself remained without damage.

The Skagerrak battle was the only battle the ship participated in. By the end of the war, it remained in the port of Scapa Flow.




Use after the war:

After the First World War, HMS Ajax was assigned to the British Mediterranean Fleet and participated in several operations against the Bolsheviks in Russia and the Turkish nationalists in the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.

With the help of the Ajax, the last sultan of the breaking Ottoman Empire managed to escape into exile.

In April 1924, the transfer back to Devonport, where the ship was assigned to the reserve fleet.





After the withdrawal, the HMS Ajax was sold on 10 December 1926 to the company Alloa Shipbreaking Co., which had it scrapped from December 14, 1926 in Rosyth.




Ship data:


HMS Ajax


Great Britain

Ship Type:  





Scott's Ship Yard, Greenock River Clyde




March 21, 1912


October 31, 1913


From December 14, 1926 scrapped in Rosyth


182,1 meters


27,1 meters


Max. 8,74 meters


Max. 25.700 tons


759–782 men


4 sets of Parsons steam turbines

18 Yarrow steam boiler
in 4 boiler rooms


27.000 WPS

Maximum speed:  

21,7 kn




10 × 13,5 "(343 mm) L / 45
in 5 double towers

16 × 4 "(102 mm) L / 50
in 16 individual cases

3 × 21 "(533 mm) torpedo tubes
2 sides, 1 rear


Belt armor
Bug: 102 mm
Foredeck: 152 mm
Rear: 64 mm

Side armor
203 mm to 304 mm

Armored deck
25 mm to 102 mm

229 mm to 254 mm

279 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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!



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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