Bellerophon class battleships

Bellerophon class battleships

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Bellerophon class battleships

The three Bellerophon class ships were the first British battleships built after HMS Dreadnought made all earlier battleships obsolete. To speed up their construction they were virtual copies of the Dreadnought, with a few minor changes to remove the biggest flaws in the earlier design. Like the Dreadnought they were turbine powered, and carried their ten 12in guns in five turrets, three on the centre line and two on either side of the superstructure, allowing them to fire an eight gun broadside.

The two biggest flaws with the Dreadnought had been her weak secondary armament of 12pdr (3in) guns and the position of her tripod mast and gunnery spotting platform just behind the forward funnel. At high speed the platform filled with smoke and became very hot.

The first of these problems was solved by replacing the 12pdr guns with 4in guns. The second was partially solved by moving the existing tripod mast in front of the forward funnel. A second mast was added, in front of the rear funnel, but this was prone to be steamed out in action.

The Bellerophon class ships were modified several times during the war. In 1915 they were given more powerful radio equipment, which allowed a reduction in the height of the topmasts. In 1916 those 4in guns which were on the turret roofs were moved into the superstructure. In 1917 they gained two antiaircraft guns, one 4in and one 3in. Finally, in 1918 they were given aircraft platforms over their “A” and “Y” turrets, allowing them to carry a Sopwith Pup and a Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter.

The three Bellerophon class ships spent almost the entire First World War serving with the 4th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet (Superb began the war with the 1st Battle Squadron, but was moved in 1915). They were all present at the battle of Jutland, taking part in the brief battleship phase of the battle. None of them suffered any casualties in the battle.

At the very end of the war HMS Superb and HMS Temeraire were detached from the 4th Battle Squadron, and sent to the eastern Mediterranean. They had two jobs. Their military job was to reinforce the fleet outside the Dardanelles in case the Germans made a sortie with the battleships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Their political job was to reinforce Admiral Gough-Calthorpe, the senior flag-officer at Mudros, so that his squadron would outclass the French squadron. The British government wanted to make sure that it was their admiral who negotiated the Turkish armistice, and it was felt that this would reinforce his claim to that role.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



7,720nm at 10 kts

Armour - deck


- belt


- bulkheads


- barbettes


- turret facings


- conning tower





Ten 12in MK X guns
Sixteen 4in quick firing guns
Four 3pdr saluting guns
Three 18in submerged torpedo tubes

Crew complement






Ships in class

HMS Bellerophon
HMS Superb
HMS Temeraire

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War

Bellerophon-class battleship

The Bellerophon class was a class of three dreadnought battleships that were built in the United Kingdom prior to World War I, and served in the Royal Navy during the war. The Bellerophons were based on the previous HMS Dreadnought, with a second tripod mast and other changes. The lead ship, HMS Bellerophon, was laid down on the same day of Dreadnought ' s final completion, which was also built at Portsmouth Dockyard.

Her tactical turning diameter was 445 yards at full speed (worst of the class), with the rudder being put over in 8 seconds. [9]

Laid down the month H.M.S. Dreadnought was commissioned and largely mimicking her design, Bellerophon was the name ship of her three-ship class and was the first to be completed.

She was launched on Saturday, 27 July, 1907, by Princess Henry of Battenberg. The ship went down the ways to the sound of "God Save the King" and "Rule Britannia." [10]

The cost of building was £1,763,491, making her the most expensive of her class. She was laid down on December 06, 1906, launched on July 27, 1907 and commissioned into the fleet in February 20, 1909. On trials she made 21.25 knots, a speed lower than that of her sisters due to inferior shp 25,061 shp as opposed to Superb's 27,407 shp and Temeraire's 26,966 shp.

Upon completion she joined the First Division of the Home Fleet. On May 26, 1911, she collided with the battlecruiser Inflexible. Bellerophon received damage whilst Inflexible took bow damage which put her in the dockyard until November. In the 1913 Battle Practice the ship came 7th out of fifteen dreadnoughts and battle cruisers with a score of 550. During December she visited with the First Battle Squadron the ports of Toulon, Gibraltar, Salamis and Barcelona. Upon the commissioning of Iron Duke on 10 March, 1914 into the First Battle Squadron, Bellerophon was transferred to the Fourth Battle Squadron, slated to join it on 8 April, 1914. [11]

While at Cromarty on 5 June, 1914, she suffered a coal gas explosion which injured four stokers.

On the journey to the fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow, Bellerophon collided with the vessel S.S. St Clair on 27 August 1914 off the Orkneys and sustained no major damage.

In May, 1915, she headed to Devonport Royal Dockyard for a refit.


At the Battle of Jutland the vessel was under the command of Captain Edward F. Bruen in the Second Division (commanded by Rear-Admiral Alexander L. Duff) of the Fourth Battle Squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir F. C. Doveton Sturdee, Bart. The Fourth Battle Squadron deployed behind the Second Battle Squadron in line ahead in the main part of the battle, and Bellerophon fired sixty-two 12 inch rounds without being hit in return.

Late War

After the battle she sweeped with the other vessels of the Grand Fleet regularly. Between June and September, 1917 she served as the flagship of the Second-in-Command of the Fourth Battle Squadron, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Roger J. B. Keyes and then Rear-Admiral Douglas R. L. Nicholson. Unlike her sister ships, she was not deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean in October, 1918.

Placed in reserve in 1919 at Sheerness as part of the Nore Reserve, she and her sister ship Superb were used as Gunnery School (Turret Drill) ships. On 20 September, 1919, Bellerophon was ordered to be paid off after receiving her annual refit in Devonport, and she indeed paid off five days later. [12] On 20 May, orders were given that her mechanical dough-kneaders were to be removed a sure sign of disposal. She was sold to the Slough Trading Company on 8 November, 1921, and departed Britain for breakers in Germany on 14 September, 1922.

Fire Control

Range Dials

As of 1920, New Zealand had two Range Dial Type Bs and a single Type C. Australia had a single Type B and a single Type C. [11]


Indefatigable was completed in the same form as the Invincibles with two 9-ft rangefinders, one in each control top. The delay in bringing Australia and New Zealand along permitted them to incorporate a new wrinkle: a third 9-ft rangefinder added atop "A" turret. Indefatigable received her "A" turret rangefinder during a refit between 1911 and 1914. [12]

Rangefinders were added to the echelon turrets by at least 1917 when photos depict them on Australia. [13] Australia had a small one on her after super structure, but Indefatigable did not. [14]

Sometime during or after 1917, an additional 9-foot rangefinder on an open mounting was to be added specifically to augment torpedo control. [15]

Evershed Bearing Indicators

Only Indefatigable is explicitly mentioned in Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914, [16] but the other ships were approved to receive equipment in 1916 (see their ship pages).

The transmitting positions for Indefatigable were

  • Fore control platform (transmitters to port and starboard with a local switch to select one in use)
  • "A" turret
  • "X" turret
  • Upper aft conning tower

The protocols for how her crew should handle wooding of the turrets was outlined in the Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. [17]

In 1917, it was approved that capital ships of Dreadnought class and later should have Evershed equipment added to their C.T., able to communicate with either the fore top or a control turret. If there were not enough room in the C.T., a bearing plate with open sights and 6-power binoculars would be added to the C.T.. At the same time, all directors were to be fitted with receivers and, "as far as possible", ships were to have fore top, G.C.T. and controlling turrets fitted to transmit as well as receive, though this was noted as being impossible in some earlier ships. [18]

Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter

At some point, Australia and New Zealand were equipped with a pair of Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter Mark Is, one on each side of the foretop, keyed off the Evershed rack on the director. As the need for such gear was apparently first identified in early 1916, it seems likely that these installations were effected well after Jutland. [19]

In 1917, it was decided that these should have mechanical links from the director and pointers indicating the aloft Evershed's bearing. [20]

Gunnery Control

The control arrangements were likely as follows. [21]

Control Positions

  • Fore top
  • Main top (Australia lacked one) [Inference]
  • "A" turret [Inference]
  • "Y" turret [Inference]

Some ships had C.O.S.s within the control positions so they could be connected to either T.S.. [22]

Control Groups

The four 12-in turrets were separate groups, each with a local C.O.S. [Inference] so that it could be connected to


Main Battery

The ships were fitted with a tripod-type director in a light aloft tower on the foremast below their forward control top along with a directing gun in the Y turret. [23] [24] The battery was not divisible into for split director firing. [25]

The turret Elevation Receivers were pattern number H. 2, capable of matching the 13.5 degree elevation limit of the mountings. The Training Receivers were the single dial type, pattern number 7. [26]

Secondary Battery

The 4-in broadside guns are not listed as ever having had directors before the war's end, [27] but in July, 1922, Australia apparently had director firing for her secondary battery, as spares were ordered to be set aside for her. [28]

Torpedo Control

By the end of 1917, common torpedo control additions to all capital ships were to be adopted where not already in place. Those for Dreadnought and later classes with 18-in tubes were to include: [29]

  • duplication of firing circuits and order and gyro angle instruments to allow all tubes to be directed from either C.T. or T.C.T.
  • navyphones from both control positions to all tube positions
  • bearing instruments between "control position, and R.F., and course and speed of enemy instruments where applicable, between the transmitting stations and the control positions."
  • range circuits between R.F.s and control positions

Transmitting Stations

Like all large British ships of the era prior to King George V and Queen Mary, these ships had 2 [30]

Dreyer Table

As of 1918, the New Zealand and Australia carried Mark I Dreyer tables [31] . As to time of installation, one secondary source asserts that Indefatigable and New Zealand had Mark I tables at the Battle of Jutland, [32] but no primary source confirms this. Moreover, a first-hand account seems to suggest a manual plotting board was being used in the T.S. of New Zealand. [33]

Fire Control Instruments

The ships used Vickers F.T.P. Mark III range and deflection instruments to send data to gun sights (likely with cross-connected Mark III* range transmitters [35] ), retaining Barr and Stroud (probably Mark II* [Inference] ) instruments for other destinations. [36]

Target Visible and Gun Ready signals mounted in the TSes and control positions indicated which turrets could see the target and which guns were ready. [37]

HMS Superb, a Bellerophon-class dreadnought, is guided down the River Tyne by steam paddle-wheel tugboats, May 25th, 1909. She would be commissioned five days later. To the right is the training ship Wellesley, formerly the 70 gun third rate HMS Boscawen (laid down in 1826). [1050x702]

Wellesley holds the record for being the only Ship of the Line to be sunk by an aircraft.

She made it to WW2 and was sunk on the Medway by Stuka dive bombers.

It's weird that German pilots would attack sailing ships, but that's probably what London (edit: er, Newcastle) fog does for you. Victory took a bomb, too.

At 2.30 on the afternoon of 11th March 1914 a fire broke out in the Wellesley’s drying room. It quickly took hold and, despite the efforts of the boy firefighters and Tyne Commissioners fire tugs, the fire spread right through the ship.

"Sunk in 1914" sounds a lot more exciting from a warship perspective before you dig into the details.

Development of the American dreadnoughts

WoW’s rendition of USS South Carolina

When the great white fleet finally came home in 1909, the face of the USN was already changing: A new plan has been ordered already, placing the new dreadnought in the center of American naval shipbuilding. The “great white fleet” made entirely of pre-dreadnoughts literally came home to discover a brand new fleet in construction. In December 1909, the first two were in completion, the South Carolina class. Already the next were in construction, the Delaware and Florida.

This did not came out of the blue and without resistance. Indeed the concept was already “in the air” in 1903 shared by most admiralties of the time. It was hardly confirmed in 1905 after Tsushima, whereas the HMS Dreadnought was in construction. Indeed, many still thought battles were to be fought at relatively close range with many medium to small, fast-firing guns. However American naval theorists proposed to mount an homogeneous battery of large guns, as more effective.

But this evolution was not only about all-big guns. The last cruise showed that an increased freeboard forward and in general spray-reducing measures like the elimination of billboards for anchors and gun sponsons would be more effective. The hulls therefore needed to be higher, roomier. Increases in beam and overall size seemed logical, but only the Wyoming class was designed truly with the reports of the great white fleet in mind.

The years between 1903 and 1907 (when the South Carolina was ordered) indeed excluded the great white fleet cruise, but was dedicated to naval thinking, and the year 1905 bring too many additional data to the table, over firepower and distances.

The first publication to disrupt popular ideas about gunnery was the Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine in 1902. It devoted large article to expose theoretical improvements in battleship design. 1903 Jane’s famous article by Cuniberti only confirmed the trend, into a more senstive package. Enthusiastic Lieutenant Matt H. Signor already called for a ship with a full battery of 13-inch (330 mm) cobined with 10-inch (254 mm)/40 caliber guns in four triple turrets, probably with the lighter caliber in superfiring positions. This very unusual solution was never adopted but superfiring combination of twin and triple turrets of the same caliber were found satisfactory eight years later (USS Nevada). The article was heavily commented by William M. Folger, Professor P. R. Alger and naval constructor David W. Taylor—an up-and-coming officer (future head of Construction and Repair (C&R)). The debate was launched.

The discussion ended with a proposal for a more realistic and feasible eight 12-inch guns in four twin turrets arrangement. Homer Poundstone later would be the one pushing towards a concrete monocaliber design. He wrote a letter in December 1902 to president T. Rooselevelt. He would also push his luck in the March and June 1903 editions of Proceedings, showing a battleship featuring no less than twelve 11-inch guns on a 19,330 long tons ship, eerily similar to Cunberti’s own proposal. Perhaps what drove more attention was the great interest shown by the Europeans in the new trend. Not to be undone, partisans of the new battleship concept advanced more arguments for their cause. At last, through Washington Irving Chambers, Poundstone’s ship was tested in war games by the Naval War College in the end of 1903, showing its clear superiority.

After this and that the battle of Tsushima shown naval battles at larger distances were possible, the General Board eventually sent a formal request in October 1903 to C&R for such a design. However in January the design asked for comprised four 12-inch guns and eight 10-inch guns as it was seen as doubtful large caliber turrets could be mounted on the broadsides. Therefore the design went intro traduction with the Connecticut class, later refined with the Mississippi class, both semi-dreadnought classes with a powerful secondary artillery.
There was indeed much resistance and conservatism between the C&R and General Board, to the dismay of Poundstone, until late 1904.

To break the bureaucratic stalemate, the latter crafted a new design, the “USS Possible” fitted with twelve 11-inch guns and displacing 19,330 long tons. With support of war hero admiral William Sims, the project went to the attentive ears of Teddy Roosevelt at last, which forced things up. The Congress in March 1905 at last passed a bill authorizing the Navy to construct the two new battleships. It was expressed their single caliber nature without a doubt this time. However perhaps not well informed of the new nature of it, the Congress only authorized a maximum tonnage limit of 16,000 long tons the same as the Connecticut !

This proved a serious blow to naval engineers which crafted the first American dreadnoughts on a tight and compromised design. The South carolina class was born. From then on, and with the HMS Dreadnought and more classes delivered from UK and Germany, the race was on. In 1909 at last, the Congress recognised the need for a more suitable tonnage, and this the first “true” American dreadnoughts were born: The Delaware class.

but back to the South Carolina. The engineer in charge of the design, Rear Admiral Washington L. Capps, did retrospectively an amazing job for turning the best possible broadside for such a cramped and limited package. Instead of delivering long ships with turrets placed on the same level (such as the Gangut or Dante Alighieri), he devised the first dreadnoughts with superfiring turrets. After all, the HMS Dreadnought and the following St Vincent and Bellophoron had all also same-level turrets. Superfiring turrets were a risky and very innovative solution, untested at that time, more so with such large turrets. The nightmarish prospects for all captains was the lack of stability and excessive rolling. Could such a battleship firing a full broadside could roll to a no-return point and capsize ? Could the rolling not stop soon enough in a naval engagement before the guns could be stabilized on target again ? This was uncharted territory.

Capps was able to cram this heavy broadside in a short hull (which recalls the future Viribus Unitis) but thick armor too. The only sacrifice was speed. There was no way of having the required space for the turbines and boilers required to produce more output than the Connecticuts. Indeed, space was further reduced by the turrets associated magazines which used a great amount of space. Boiler rooms were even moved inboard to make room for torpedo protection. It was difficult to curtail the numbers of boilers so the Bureau of Engineering came out with the idea of eliminating centerline bulkheads to free some space !
In retrospect, the South Carolina class sacrificed speed by squeezing some machinery in every inch available. Protection and armament were ok. But speed was inferior to British dreadnoughts and would have to wait for the next iteration.

The first battleship generation: Delaware to New York

Before the “standard types”, USN Battleship design followed an incremental path with some pros and cons and a lot of trials and errors. The next Delaware benefited from the perception from US Navy and Congress that the South carolina were actually quite inferior to the HMS Dreadnought. But this was untrue.

Only trading speed, the ships can bring to bear the same artillery in a broadside (the opposite british wing turret could not be used), and protection was of the same level. The greater tonnage authorized (19,000 tons) at least to gain the space needed for a proper powerplant. The extra size also allowed another turret, but the Americans chosed an all-axial configuration.

They would never ventured into wing turrets, whereas abaft a given position or in echelon. Therefore on the faster Delaware, the broadside counted one more pair of 12-in guns. The superfiring pair remained at the front, while the remaining three turrets aft were placed on the deck, on the same level. The only tradeoff of this was the proximity of the barrels to the roof of the next turret, preventing retreat fire without serious concussion from the last two turrets. In principle the innermost one was superfiring, the last two were back to back to prevent any attempt at a retreat fire. These battleships were first and foremost “battle line wagons”.


Part A
1. Using the first five documents, write your own case study on James Butler. Be sure to comment on the following:

  • James Butler’s crime
  • James Butler’s trial and sentence
  • Outcome of James Butler’s case
  • Does the case of James Butler reveal anything, in your opinion, about the success or failure to enforce the law at this time?
  • What can we find out about the working of the legal system from some of these sources?
  • What different types of documents have you used to write this case study on James Butler? (Clue: also try and find out what the document references mean if you can)
  • Can you think of any other sources you might have used to provide context to your case study?

Part B
2. Using the rest of the documents in the collection what can you find about conditions for hulk prisoners?

3. What do you think the whole group of documents reveals about the type of criminal activity and the causes of crime in this period?

4. Using examples, explain how these documents can provide evidence of government attitudes/responses towards punishment and prisoners.

Background and description

Left elevation view from Jane's Fighting Ships , 1915 darkened areas show armour Left plan view from Jane's Fighting Ships, 1919

The Admiralty's 1905 draft building plan envisioned four battleships in the 1906� Naval Programme, but the new Liberal government cut one of these ships in mid-1906. The Bellerophon-class design was a slightly larger and improved version of the revolutionary [Note 1] preceding HMS   Dreadnought, with better underwater protection and a more powerful secondary armament. [2]

The Bellerophon-class ships had an overall length of 526 feet (160.3   m) , a beam of 82   feet 6   inches (25.1   m) , [3] and a normal draught of 27 feet (8.2   m) . [4] They displaced 18,596 long tons (18,894   t ) at normal load and 22,211󈞂,540 long tons (22,567󈞂,902   t) at deep load. Their crews numbered about 680 officers and ratings upon completion and 840 in 1914. [3]

The Bellerophons were powered by two sets of Parsons direct-drive steam turbines, each of which was housed in a separate engine room. The outer propeller shafts were coupled to the high-pressure turbines and these exhausted into low-pressure turbines which drove the inner shafts. Separate cruising turbines were provided for each shaft. The turbines used steam from eighteen water-tube boilers at a working pressure of 235   psi (1,620   kPa 17   kgf/cm 2 ) . They were rated at 23,000 shaft horsepower (17,000   kW ) and were intended to give the ships a maximum speed of 21 knots (39   km/h 24   mph) . Refinements to the hull shape allowed the larger Bellerophon class to match Dreadnought ' s speed despite the same horsepower rating. During their sea trials, the ships handily exceeded their designed speed and horsepower. To save weight, they carried slightly less fuel than Dreadnought: 2,648 long tons (2,690   t) of coal and an additional 840 long tons (853   t) of fuel oil that was sprayed on the coal to increase its burn rate. This gave them a range of 5,720 nautical miles (10,590   km 6,580   mi) at a cruising speed of 10 knots (19   km/h 12   mph) . [5]

Armament and armour

In the interest of saving time, the Bellerophons retained the same main battery and turret layout as Dreadnought: [6] ten breech-loading (BL) 12-inch (305   mm) Mk X guns in five twin-gun turrets, three along the centreline and the remaining pair as wing turrets. The centreline turrets were designated 'A', 'X' and 'Y', from front to rear, and the port and starboard wing turrets were 'P' and 'Q' respectively. The guns could initially be depressed to 𕒹° and elevated to +13.5°, although the turrets were modified to allow 16° of elevation during the First World War. They fired 850-pound (390   kg) projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 2,746   ft/s (837   m/s) at +13.5°, this provided a maximum range of 16,500   yd (15,100   m) with armour-piercing (AP) 2 crh shells. Using the more aerodynamic, but slightly heavier, 4 crh AP shells at the same elevation, the range was extended to 18,850   yd (17,240   m) . The rate of fire of these guns was about two rounds per minute [7] and the ships carried 80 shells per gun. [3]

The 12-pounder ( 3-inch (76   mm) ) guns with which Dreadnought was equipped to provide protection from torpedo boats were recognised as being insufficiently powerful and sixteen 4-inch (102   mm) guns replaced the twenty-eight guns on Dreadnought. These were 50-calibre BL 4-inch Mark VII guns. Pairs of these guns were installed in unshielded mounts on the roofs of 'A', 'P', 'Q' and 'Y' turrets, and the other eight were positioned in single mounts at forecastle-deck level in the superstructure. [8] [Note 2] The guns had a maximum elevation of +15° which gave them a range of 11,400   yd (10,424   m) . They fired 31-pound (14.1   kg) projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 2,821   ft/s (860   m/s) . [11] They were provided with 200 rounds per gun. Four 3-pounder ( 1.9   in (47   mm) ) saluting guns were also carried. The ships were equipped with three 18-inch (450   mm) submerged torpedo tubes, one on each broadside and another in the stern, for which fourteen torpedoes were provided. [3]

In order to accommodate the weight of the enlarged anti-torpedo bulkheads, the thickness of the waterline belt of the Bellerophon-class ships was reduced from 11 to 10 inches (279 to 254   mm) in thickness. The belt consisted of Krupp cemented armour that extended between 'A' and 'Y' barbettes, reducing to a thickness of 6 inches (152   mm) forward and 5 inches (127   mm) aft before it reached the ships' ends. It covered the side of the hull from the middle deck down to 5   feet 2   inches (1.6   m) below the normal waterline where it tapered to 8 inches (203   mm) on the bottom edge. Above this was a strake of armour 8 inches thick that had its top edge 8   feet 6   inches (2.6   m) above the waterline. An 8-inch oblique bulkhead connected the thickest parts of the waterline and upper armour belts to the rear barbette there was no forward equivalent. [12]

The three centreline barbettes were protected by armour 9 inches (229   mm) thick above the main deck that thinned to 5 inches (127   mm) below it, except for the rear barbette which was 9 inches thick for its entire height. The wing barbettes were similar except that they had 10 inches (254   mm) of armour on their outer faces. The gun turrets had 11-inch (279   mm) faces and sides with 3-inch roofs. The three armoured decks ranged in thicknesses from 0.75 inches (19   mm) to 4 inches. The front and sides of the forward conning tower were protected by 11-inch plates, although the rear and roof were 8 inches and 3 inches thick, respectively. The aft conning tower had 8-inch sides and a 3-inch roof. While Dreadnought had torpedo bulkheads that protected only the magazines, the Bellerophons had complete longitudinal bulkheads, 0.75 to 3 inches thick, that covered the sides of the hull between the fore and aft magazines. [12]

Fire control

Dreadnought ' s tripod foremast was positioned behind the forward funnel to allow the vertical leg to serve as a support for the boat-handling derrick. This meant that the hot funnel gases could render the spotting top uninhabitable in conditions of little or no wind. The Bellerophons had the foremast moved forward of the funnels to reduce the problem in the spotting top and a second tripod mast was added to handle the derrick, but it had to be positioned in front of the aft funnel to do that, which rendered the aft spotting top almost useless as it could be exposed to the exhaust plumes from both funnels under certain circumstances. [13]

The control positions for the main armament were located in the spotting tops at the head of the fore and mainmasts. Data from a 9-foot (2.7   m) Barr and Stroud coincidence rangefinder located at each control position was input into a Dumaresq mechanical computer and electrically transmitted to Vickers range clocks located in the transmitting station located beneath each position on the main deck, where it was converted into range and deflection data for use by the guns. The target's data was also graphically recorded on a plotting table to assist the gunnery officer in predicting the movement of the target. The turrets, transmitting stations, and control positions could be connected in almost any combination. [14] As a backup, 'A' and 'Y' turrets in each ship could take over if necessary. [15]

An experimental fire-control director was fitted in the forward spotting top and evaluated in May 1910. This electrically provided data to the turrets via pointers, which the turret crew were to follow. The director layer fired the guns simultaneously which aided in spotting the shell splashes and minimised the effects of the roll on the dispersion of the shells. [16] The director was subsequently removed, but Superb had a production model installed by May 1915 and both Temeraire and Bellerophon received theirs by May 1916. [17] The latter's director, however, was not fully installed by the date of the Battle of Jutland at the end of the month and she fought without it. [18] Furthermore, they were fitted with Mark I Dreyer Fire-control Tables by early 1916 in the transmission stations. It combined the functions of the Dumaresq and the range clock. [19]


The guns on the forward turret roof were transferred to the superstructure in 1913� on Bellerophon and on her sisters in 1914. During the first year of the war, the guns on the wing turrets were moved into the aft part of the superstructure. Sometime around 1915, the guns on the stern turret were removed as were a pair from the superstructure, which reduced their secondary armament to a total of twelve guns. About that time, a pair of 3-inch (76   mm) anti-aircraft (AA) guns were added. Approximately 23 long tons (23   t) of additional deck armour were added after the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. By April 1917, the sisters mounted single 4-inch and 3-inch AA guns and the stern torpedo tube had been removed. One additional 4-inch gun was removed from Superb in 1917�. In 1918, a high-angle rangefinder was fitted on the forward spotting top and flying-off platforms were installed on the roofs of the fore and aft turrets of Bellerophon. After the war, Temeraire had four 4-inch guns removed to make space for naval cadets and the AA guns were stripped from her and Superb. [20]

Behind the scenes [ edit | edit source ]

LEGO battleships, starfighters and a donut floating above Naboo in LEGO Star Wars: Darth Maul's Mission.

Lucrehulk-class battleships first appeared in 1999 with the release of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and its tie-ins. It has since appeared in every movie of the prequel trilogy.

George Lucas wanted the battleship to have a retro-saucer look, but felt it needed a distinct sense of front and rear. Doug Chiang achieved this in early concept art by adding the antennae and docking section to one side, and a set of engines to the other. Lucas himself added the "bridge ball" to the center for the finished design. ⎢]

Battleships have appeared in LEGO form in the 2005 video game LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game and in the 2012 young readers book LEGO Star Wars: Darth Maul's Mission.

Starfleet Ship Classes L-Z

  1. The USS Grissom was built at ILM for "Star Trek III". It is unlikely that the Oberth class is a much older design than the Excelsior class (see starship class inconsistencies), although the registries suggest so. In any case, the Oberth class has been very successful, since production continued for at least 80 years. I don't think that we should predate the whole class by several more decades.
  2. Curiously, only three of the various ships of the class we could see were not destroyed: the Biko, Copernicus and Cochrane. It is a miracle the design lasted as long as it did!
  3. The USS Grissom most likely has weapons in "Star Trek III". Kirk, who is probably aware of the ship's class, wonders whether the Captain Esteban of the Grissom will fire at the renegade Enterprise. The simple explanation why the ship is destroyed so quickly nonetheless may be that there is no time to raise the shields, and that the Klingons target the impulse engines and thereby hit the warp plasma conduits.
  4. There is one Oberth-class ship at Wolf 359, and the class is present at the Sector 001 battle in "First Contact" too. These vessels may have been equipped with state-of-the-art weapons in the meantime. But the USS Bonestell, as seen in DS9: "Emissary", may have entered the battle area accidentally. Although this was never the writer's intention, it may have been the transport ship that was to rendezvous another ship at Wolf 359, as mentioned in VOY: "Infinite Regress". In this episode, Seven is possessed by the personalities of several assimilated individuals, among them a mother who was to meet her son, a Starfleet member, at Wolf 359.
  5. The Star Trek Encyclopedia lists the Biko as Olympic class, but TNG: "A Fistful of Datas" clearly shows an Oberth-class vessel.
  6. The registry of the Raman is given as NCC-59983 in the Encyclopedia, but NCC-29487 is clearly perceptible on a display in TNG: "Interface".
  7. The registry NCC-640 of the Copernicus can be identified in "Star Trek IV". The model was not relabeled for its next appearance in TNG: "The Naked Now", so the Tsiolkovsky has the hull registry "NCC-640" (barely legible) too, although the dedication plaque reads NCC-53911. For TNG-R the hull registry was accordingly fixed to NCC-53911, but only in some shots.