Battleship HMS Marlborough

The battleship HMS Marlborough belonged to the Iron Duke class, which consisted of four ships and for the first time had a full-fledged center artillery and anti-ballon guns.


Launching and design:

The planning and construction of the ships of the Iron Duke class were based on the ships of the Orion and Dreadnought class. The most important innovation took place in the arming of the ships.

Since the destroyers and the small cruisers of other naval forces had been significantly strengthened since the turn of the century, both in armament and in armor, the 10.2-cm guns used until then were no longer sufficient, as they had too little penetrating power around the Break armor. Thus, the ships of the Iron Duke class for the first time 12 x 152 mm L / 50 guns were installed, so that the middle artillery received a significant improvement in penetration and could penetrate also recent armor.

Similarly, in the ships for the first time anti-aircraft guns were mounted, which should serve to combat airships. Especially the German Empire sat on these airships, either for reconnaissance or for bombing. So far, the British warships were equipped only with light anti-aircraft guns or machine guns, which lacked either the range or the penetration force. The new balloon defense cannons should remedy this deficiency.

A major weak point continued to be the lack of torpedo bulkheads. Because of the limited capacity of the dry docks, the British warships could not exceed a certain width. To comply with the dimensions was in most cases dispensed with the Scots, which should limit the penetrating water in a torpedo hit and allow in the case of a list hit the counter-flood. The absence of the Scots was in the area of ​​turbine rooms with tank steel tried to compensate, the boiler rooms, however, had only a protection against overwater hits, not against torpedo hits.

As drive system, 18 boilers Babcock & Wilcox were used with coal and oil firing, the ships of the Iron Duke class were the last battleships of the Royal Navy, which were fueled with coal.

The launching of the HMS Marlborough took place on October 24, 1912, the commissioning on June 2, 1914.



HMS Marlborough




Use in the war:

After the commissioning and the test drives the HMS Marlborough was assigned to the 1st battle squadron and served there as a flagship.

From May 31 to June 1, 1916, the ship took part in the Battle of the Skagerrak, where it received a torpedo hit below the bridge by the German small cruiser SMS Wiesbaden. Two crew members were killed in the hit, five of the cauldrons had to be flooded, so the ship hit list. After a makeshift repair at sea, the Marlborough could be towed to the UK. The repair lasted until July 29, 1916.

Until the end of the war, HMS Marlborough continued to serve in the Grand Fleet, but did not participate in any further combat operations.




Use after the war:

After World War I, HMS Marlborough was assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet to relocate to the Black Sea in early 1919 to watch the Russian Civil War. As a result, in April of that year, the ship took in the mother of the Russian tsar, Maria Feodorovna, the sister of Tsar Xenia Alexandrovna Romanova with her children, Grand Duke Nikolai and other members of the Tsar's family to exile them.

From 1926 to 1929, the ship still served in the Atlantic Fleet before returning to Britain.





Under the provisions of the London Naval Agreement of April 22, 1930, HMS Marlborough was no longer allowed to use its equipment and weapons by the Royal Navy. It was therefore removed a large part of the armament and as an artillery ship it could be used until 1932.

Finally, in June 1932, the sale and scrapping took place.




Ship data:


HMS Marlborough


Great Britain

Ship Type:  





Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth




October 24, 1912


June 2, 1914


Sold and scrapped in June 1932


189,8 meters


27,4 meters


8,4 meters


Max. 30.380 tons


925 - 995 men


18 Babcock boiler

4 Parsons steam turbines


29.000 PSw

Maximum speed:  

21,25 kn




10 x 34,3 cm L/45 Mk.V guns in twin turrets

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

2 x 7,6 cm L/45 anti-aircraft guns

4 x 533 mm Torpedo tubes


Cross bulkhead 102-203 mm

Side armor up to 305 mm

Upper deck 25 mm

Upper armoured deck 38 mm

Lower armoured deck 25 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!






This post is also available in: Deutsch (German) Français (French) Italiano (Italian) 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified)) Русский (Russian) Español (Spanish) العربية (Arabic)

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!