Battleship HMS Implacable

The battleship HMS Implacable belonged to the Formidable class, a pre-Dreadnought ship type that was considered obsolete shortly after commissioning by the HMS Dreadnought.


Launching and design:

With the naval program of 1897, the construction of eight new battleships for the Royal Navy was decided, which should significantly increase the clout of the fleet.

The planning and construction was subordinated to Sir William White, which was mainly oriented to the Majestic class, but included technical innovations of the Canopus class.

Especially the armor was significantly improved by the use of Kruppstahl, although in later ships of the class the deck armor was reduced. After the hull shape was adjusted to improve maneuverability, water-tube boilers were installed for the propulsion plant, which were still more experimental and the technology was not yet mature.

As a main armament, four 305 mm Armstrong 12 inch L / 40 guns were selected, each housed in two twin towers. In addition, the ships received twelve 152 mm Vicker's 6-inch L / 45 guns housed in the side casemates.

The launch of the HMS Implacable took place on 11 March 1899, the commissioning on 10 September 1901.



HMS Implacable


HMS Implacable


HMS Implacable




History of HMS Implacable:

After commissioning all ships of the formidable class were assigned to 1904 the Mediterranean fleet.

Until the beginning of 1905, an overhaul of the ship took place at the shipyard on Malta every year.

There were several accidents in explosions of the boiler on 12 July 1905 and 16 August 1906. In the first accident killed two crew members.

With the commissioning of the HMS Dreadnought on December 3, 1906 and the many technical innovations, from one day to the next, all ships of the Formidable class were outdated, as they were inferior to the new Dreadnought class in all areas.

Thus, the HMS Implacable, after another overhaul in Chatham Dockyard in the UK in 1908, was assigned to the reserve.




Use in the war:

When the First World War broke out, the HMS Implacable was reactivated, first assigned to the 5th Battle Squadron, in October 1914 the Dover Patrol.

With the advance of German troops in Belgium, the ship participated from sea in the bombardment of troops.

In March 1915, the Implacable was relocated to the Mediterranean to support the planned occupation of the Dardanelles. In addition to the battles for Gallipoli, the ship was also involved in the landing at Cape Helles.

After Italy's entry into the war on Britain's side, HMS Implacable was sent to the Adriatic on May 22, 1915, to reinforce the Italian navy. With this was carried out in November, the blockade of Greece.

From late November to April 1916, the ship was part of the Suez Canal Patrol to secure the Suez Canal. This was followed by a renewed overhaul in the UK and the transfer to the Mediterranean for military pressure on Greece. The land under the rule of King Constantine I was considered a friend of the German Empire. The military threats should prevent the country from entering the war on the side of the German Empire and forcing the king to abdicate. This finally bowed to the pressure on June 11, 1917 and abdicated.

After a stay in Gibraltar in July 1917, the Implacable was relocated to Britain in the Northern Patrol. In order to use the crew for submarine combat vessels, the ship was decommissioned and still used as a depot until the end of the war.





After World War I, HMS Implacable was sold and scrapped on November 8, 1921.




Ship data:


HMS Implacable


Great Britain

Ship Type:  





Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth


around £ 1.100.000


March 11, 1899


September 10, 1901


Sold and scrapped on November 8, 1921


131,4 meters


22,9 meters


8,2 meters


Max. 16.105 tons


780 men


20 Belleville water-tube boilers

Two triple expansion engines


15.000 ihp (PSi)

Maximum speed:  

18 kn




4 x 305 mm Mk.IX guns in double turrets

12 x 152 mm Mk.VII guns

16 x 76 mm guns

6 x 47 mm Hotchkiss guns

2 x machine guns

4 x 457 mm torpedo tubes under water


Belted up to 231 mm

Deck 25-76 mm

Armored partition 231-305 mm

Towers 203-254 mm

Barbettes 305 mm

Casemates 152 mm

Command tower 360 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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