St Vincent-class battleship

The St Vincent-class battleships were a group of three dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. Aside from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, their service during the First World War generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. Vanguard was destroyed in 1917 by a magazine explosion with the near total loss of her crew. The remaining pair were obsolete by the end of the war in 1918, and spent their remaining time either in reserve or as training ships before being sold for scrap in the early 1920s. Vanguard’s wreck was extensively salvaged before it was declared a war grave.

About St Vincent-class battleship in brief

Summary St Vincent-class battleshipThe St Vincent-class battleships were a group of three dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. The sister ships spent their entire careers assigned to the Home and Grand Fleets. Aside from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 and the inconclusive Action of 19 August several months later, their service during the First World War generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. Vanguard was destroyed in 1917 by a magazine explosion with the near total loss of her crew. The remaining pair were obsolete by the end of the war in 1918, and spent their remaining time either in reserve or as training ships before being sold for scrap in the early 1920s. Vanguard’s wreck was extensively salvaged before it was declared a war grave. Since 2002, it has been designated as a controlled site under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 and diving on the wreck is generally forbidden. The Admiralty’s 1905 draft building plan called for four capital ships in the 1907–1908 Naval Programme, but the new Liberal government cut one of these ships in mid-1906. The design of the St Vincent class was derived from the preceding Bellerophon class, with more powerful guns and a slight increase in size and armour. These ships were the first to carry the new 50-calibre breech-loading 12-inch Mark XI gun, which was 5 calibres longer and had a muzzle velocity about 75 feet per second.

The ships had an overall length of 536 feet, a beam of 84 feet 2 inches, and a normal draught of 28 feet. They displaced 19,700 long tons at normal load and 22,800 long tons at deep load. During their sea trials, the St Vincents handily exceeded their designed speed and horsepower, reaching 21. 7 knots from 28,128 shp. They carried 2,700 tons of coal and an additional 850 long tons of fuel oil that was sprayed on the coal to increase its burn rate. This gave them a range of 6,900 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 10 knots. The ships carried between 80 and 100 rounds of secondary armament. They fired 850-pound projectiles at a rate of two per minute per round of ammunition. The guns had a maximum elevation of +20° which gave them range of 21,200 yards. The St Vincentclass were equipped with ten Mark XI in five hydraulically powered twin-gun turrets, three along the centreline and the remaining two as wing turrets. The turrets were named ‘A’, ‘Q’ and ‘Y’ from front line and ‘P’ from rear, and the port and starboard wing turrets were ‘P and Q’ respectively. They were rated at 24,500 shaft horsepower and were intended to give the ships a maximum speed of 21 knots. Their crews numbered about 755 officers and ratings upon completion and 835 during the war.