- Canopus class battleship
tooshortThe "Canopus"-class was a six-ship class of
predreadnought battleships of the Royal Navydesigned by Sir William White.
The "Canopus"-class ships were designed for service in the
Far East, where the new rising power Japan was beginning to build a powerful and dangerous navy, and to able to transit the Suez Canal. They were designed to be smaller (by about 2,000 tons), lighter, and faster than their predecessors, the "Majestic"-class battleships, although they were slightly longer at 430 feet (131 m). In order to save weight, the "Canopus" class carried less armor than the "Majestic"s, although the change from Harvey armorin the "Majestic"s to Krupp armourin the "Canopus" class meant that the loss in protection was not as great as it might have been, Krupp armour having greater protective value at a given weight than its Harvey equivalent. Still, their armour was light enough to make them almost second-class battleships. Part of their armour scheme included the use of a special 1-inch (2.54 mm) armoured deck over the belt to defend against plunging fire by howitzersthat Francereportedly planned to install on its ships, although this report proved to be false. ["Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905", p. 35]
Like the "Majestic"s, the "Canopus" -class ships had four 12-inch (305-mm) 35-caliber guns mounted in twin turrets fore and aft; as in the "Majestic"-class ships HMS "Caesar" and HMS "Illustrious", these guns were mounted in circular
barbettesthat allowed all-around loading, although at a fixed elevation. The final ship, HMS "Vengeance", had an improved mounting that also allowed loading at any elevation; her turret gunhouses also differed from those of her sisters in being Krupp-armored and flat-sided, Krupp armour plates being difficult to curve. ["Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905", p. 35] The ships also mounted twelve 6-inch (152-mm) 40-caliber guns (sponson mounting allowing some of them to fire fore and aft) in armoured casemates in addition to smaller guns, and four 18-inch (457-mm) submerged torpedotubes. ["Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905", p. 35, 36; Gibbons, p. 145]
The "Canopus" class ships were the first British battleships with water-tube
boilers, which generated more power at less expense in weight compared with the cylindrical boilers used in previous ships. The new boilers led to the adoption of fore-and-aft funnels, rather than the side-by-side funnel arrangement used in may previous British battleships. The "Canopus"-class ships proved to be good steamers, consuming 10 tons of coal per hour at full speed, [Gibbons, p. 145] with a high speed for battleships of their time, a full two knots faster than the "Majestic"s. ["Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905", p. 35; Gibbons, p. 145]
The "Canopus"-class ships joined the fleet between late 1899 and 1902. The 1906 appearance of the first all-big-gun battleship or "
dreadnought", HMS "Dreadnought", made all predreadnoughts like those of the "Canopus" class obsolete. Before World War I, they saw service in home waters, on the China Station, and in the Mediterranean Fleet. After the war began, they saw service widely around the world, including home waters, the Atlantic, Africa, north Russia, and the Mediterranean, where two were sunk during the Dardanelles campaign. The four survivors were reduced to subsidiary duties late in the war and were scrapped in the early 1920s. ["Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905", p. 35; "Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921", pp. 7-8; Burt, pp. 154-160]
hips of the Class
"Albion" served on the
China Station1901-1905 and in the Channel Fleet1905-1906, Home Fleet1907, Atlantic Fleet1907-1909, and Home Fleet again 1909-1914. At the beginning of World War I, she was in the Channel Fleet and served in the Atlantic, then in South Africaand West Africa1914-1915, and then in the Mediterranean 1915-1916, where she saw combat against Ottoman Turkish forces in the Dardanelles campaign,. She then performed guard ship duty in Irelandand England1916-1918 before being reduced to subsidiary service in late 1918. She was scrapped in 1920. [Burt, p. 159-160]
"Canopus" served in the
Mediterranean Fleet1899-1903, Atlantic Fleet1905-1906, Channel Fleet1906-1907, Home Fleet1907-1908, Mediterranean Fleet again 1908-1909 ,and Home Fleet again 1909-1914. She began World War I in the Channel Fleetin 1914, then served in the Atlantic and on the South America Station, and was guard ship at Stanley, Falkland Islands, when Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee's German squadron arrived there on 8 December 1914, leading to its destruction in the Battle of the Falklandsat the hands of the British battlecruiser squadron. She served in the Mediterranean in 1915-1916 and saw action against Ottoman Turkish forces in the Dardanelles campaign. She decommissioned in 1916 and was scrapped in 1920. [Burt, p. 154-156]
HMS "Glory" (later HMS "Crescent")
"Glory" saw service on the
China Station1900-1905, and in the Channel Fleet1905-1906, Home Fleet1906-1907, and Mediterranean Fleet1907-1909, Home Fleet again 1909-1914, and finally the Channel Fleetupon the outbreak of World War I. She served on the North America and West Indies StationAugust 1914-May 1915, then transferred to the Mediterranean, where she served until 1916, including support during the Dardanelles campaign. She served in north Russia1916-1919, returned to the United Kingdom and was renamed HMS "Crescent" while performing subsidiary duties, and was sold for scrapping in 1922. [Burt, p. 156]
"Goliath" served on the
China Station1900-1903 and in the Mediterranean Fleet1906-1907, Home Fleet1907-1908, Mediterranean Fleet again 1908-1909, and Home Fleet1909-1914. At the outbreak of World War I she was in the Channel Fleet, then transferred to the East Indies Stationand saw action in German East Africain 1914-1915, including operations against the German light cruiserSMS "Königsberg". She transferred to the Mediterranean in 1915, where she saw action against Ottoman Turkish forces in the Dardanelles campaign and was torpedoed and sunk on 13 May 1915. [Burt, p. 158-159]
"Ocean" served in the
Mediterranean Fleet1900-1901, on the China Station1901-1905, in the Channel Fleet 1906-1908, in the Mediterranean Fleet again 1908-1910, and in the Home Fleet1910-1914. She was in the Channel Fleetat the beginning of World War I, then performed guard ship duty in Ireland, served on the East Indies Station, and finally transferred to the Mediterranean before the end of 1914. In 1915, she joined the Dardanelles campaign , where she struck a mine and sank under fire from Ottoman Turkish shore batteries on 18 March 1915. [Burt, p. 156]
"Vengeance" served in the
Mediterranean Fleet1902-1903, on the China Station1903-1905, in the Channel Fleet1906-1908, and in the Home Fleet1908-1914. She began her World War Iservice in the Channel Fleet, then served in Egyptand the Atlantic in 1914-1915 before transferring to the Mediterranean, where she saw action against Ottoman Turkish forces in the Dardanelles campaign in 1915. She served in East Africa1916-1917, then in subsidiary duties in home waters before being scrapped in 1922. [Burt, p. 156-158]
*Burt, R. A. "British Battleships 1889-1904". Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 0870210610.
*Chesneau, Roger, and Eugene M. Kolesnik, Eds. "Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905." New York, New York: Mayflower Books Inc., 1979. ISBN 0831703024.
*Gibbons, Tony. "The Complete Encyclopedia of Battleships and Battlecruisers: A Technical Directory of All the World's Capital Ships From 1860 to the Present Day". London: Salamander Books Ltd., 1983.
*Gray, Randal, Ed. "Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921." Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985. ISBN 0870219073.
* [http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/great_britain/pages/battleships/canopus_class_overview.htm MaritimeQuest Canopus Class Overview]
* [http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/pre-dreadnought/hms-canopus.html World War 1 Naval Combat]
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