The liner HMS Venerable 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 launching of the HMS Venerable took place on 2 November 1899, the commissioning on 12 November 1902.
History of HMS Venerable:
Due to delivery difficulties of the manufacturer of the drive system of the ship, its completion was delayed considerably. The construction of the HMS Venerable thus lasted a year longer than the sister ships.
After the ship was finally put into service, it was assigned to the Mediterranean fleet and served there as the second flagship. Gradually, all ships were assigned to the formidable class of the Mediterranean fleet.
End of 1906, the ship ran aground during an exercise at Algiers. The repair of the damage was carried out during the winter together with a first overhaul in Malta.
From August 12, 1907, the HMS Prince of Wales took over the task as the second flagship and the HMS Venerable returned to Britain where the ship was assigned on January 7, 1908 the Channel Fleet.
In February 1909 a renewed overhaul took place. After its completion, the ship was relocated on 19 October 1909 to Gibraltar to the Atlantic Fleet, where already some of the sister ships were used.
With the restructuring of the Royal Navy, the ship relocated on 13 May 1912 in the reserve of the 5th Battle Squadron of Home Fleet.
Use in the war:
With the outbreak of the First World War, the HMS Venerable was reactivated, but remained in the 5th Battle Squadron relocated to Portland.
The ship was initially charged with securing the English Channel and moved on 25 August 1914 Portsmouth Marine Battalion in the Belgian Ostende, which should fight there against the German troops.
From 27 to 30 October, the ship supported the British troops with its artillery, where it shot at the German troops at between Westende and Lombardsijde.
From November 14 to December 30, 1914, the ship belonged to the squadron, which were contracted at Sheerness to avert a feared German invasion of England.
After the relocation to Portland, the HMS Venerable participated again on 11 March and 10 May 1915 in the bombardment of German troops in the Belgian West End.
When Britain started attacking the Dardanelles on February 19, 1915, HMS Venerable was transferred to the Mediterranean on May 12, 1915, to replace the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth deployed there, which was needed in the North Sea. During the mission, the ship supported the British troops in Suvla Bay from 14 to 21 August by artillery bombardment of Ottoman positions.
After an overhaul in Gibraltar from October to December 1915, the Venerable then served as a support to the Italian Navy after the country had joined the British side in the war also.
Due to their old age and technical obsolescence, the ship was ordered back to Britain in late 1916. On December 19, 1916, it was decommissioned in Portsmouth. In February 1918 was still the conversion to a depot ship, as it was initially used in Portland for the minelayer, later served the Northern Patrol and Southern Patrol.
In December 1918, the HMS Venerable was finally decommissioned.
On June 4, 1920, the ship was sold to the company Stanlee Shipbreaking Co., which later sold it to Germany, where it was scrapped in 1922.
Chatham Dockyard, Chatham
around 1.100.000 British pounds sterling
November 2, 1899
November 12, 1902
Sold on June 4, 1920 and scrapped in Germany in 1922
Max. 15.955 tons
20 Belleville water-tube boilers
Two triple expansion engines
15.000 ihp (PSi)
4 x 30,5 cm Mk.IX guns in double turrets
12 x 15,2 cm Mk.VII guns
16 x 76 mm guns
6 × 47 mm Rapid fire guns
2 x 12-pounder boat and field guns
2 x machine guns
4 x 45,7 cm torpedo tubes under water
Belt armour up to 231 mm
Deck 25 - 76 mm
Bulkheads 231 - 305 mm
Towers 203 - 254 mm
Bar beds 305 mm
Casemates 152 mm
Command tower 360 mm
You can find the right literature here:
British Battleships of World War One
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.
The British Battleship: 1906-1946
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.
British Battlecruisers 1905-1920
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.
British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914–16 (Duel)
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.