Battleship HMS Monarch

The battleship HMS Monarch belonged to the four ships of the Orion class and was considered in Great Britain as a ship of the Super Dreadnoughts.


Launching and design:

After the Imperial Navy launched the first ship of the Heligoland class on September 25, 1909, while increasing the caliber of the main armament to 30.5 cm, the British Navy Ministry was forced to also develop battleships with a larger caliber.

On November 29, 1909 began the keel laying of the type ship HMS Orion. In this type of battleships, a caliber of 34.3 cm was used for the first time and the main armament placed in midship line, the front towers were excessive. With this battleship began the construction of the so-called super dreadnoughts in the UK.

The Orion class was limited to four ships, with the HMS Monarch was the last ship in the class.

The launching of the HMS Monarch took place on March 30, 1911, the commissioning on April 27, 1912.



HMS Monarch


HMS Monarch


HMS Monarch in dry dock


HMS Monarch firing the heavy guns




Use in the war:

After the commissioning and the test drives the HMS Monarch was assigned to the 2nd battle squadron of the Grand Fleet. When the First World War broke out, the ship was with this squadron in Scapa Flow and took over security duties off the British coast.

In one of these backup trips, the ship was torpedoed on August 8, 1914 by the German submarine U-15, but the torpedo did not hit. The accompanying cruiser HMS Birmingham then began to shoot at the submarines. When the submarine wanted to submerge, it was rammed by the cruiser and sank with the entire crew.

On December 27, 1914, there was a collision with the sister ship HMS Conqueror, the monarch suffered severe damage to the bow of it. First, a makeshift repair was carried out in Scapa Flow, but in order to make the ship fully operational again, it had to be moved to Devonport. On January 20, 1915, the work was completed and the ship could return to his squadron back.

On the night of 31 May to 1 June 1916, HMS Monarch took part in the Battle of the Skagerrak. The ship missed a total of 53 shells, but could only record an unconfirmed hit on the SMS Lützow, received in return but also no results.

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





After the end of the First World War, the HMS Monarch remained in the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. However, under the provisions of the Washington Naval Agreement of 12 November 1921, the ship was no longer allowed to operate in its condition in the Royal Navy.

It was therefore decided to use the ship as a target ship. For this purpose, all important and valuable equipment, parts and armament were expanded, so that the ship from June 14, 1924 50 miles south of the Isles of Scilly could be towed and anchored.

As of January 21, 1925, the exercises began, first by bombers, then by light cruisers and destroyers. Towards evening the ship was then shelled by battlecruisers and battleships. After the last hits of the HMS Revenge the ship sank completely.




Ship data:


HMS Monarch


Great Britain

Ship Type:  





W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co, Elswick




March 30, 1911


April 27, 1912


On January 21, 1925 sunk as a target ship by the HMS Revenge


177,1 meters


26,8 meters


Max. 8,4 meters


Max. 25.870 tons


750 - 1100 men


Parsons steam turbines

18 Babcock & Wilcox water tube boilers


22.000 PSw

Maximum speed:  

21 kn




10 × 34,3 cm Mk. V guns in twin turrets

16 × 10,2 cm Mk. VII guns

4 × 3 pounds salute guns

3 × 533 mm Torpedo tubes


Belt armor up to 300 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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