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HMS Hood (1921) profile drawing.png
HMS Hood as she was in 1921
Class overview
Name: Admiral
Preceded by: Renown-class
Succeeded by: G3 battlecruiser
Planned: 4
Completed: 1 - Hood
Cancelled: 3 - Anson, Howe, Rodney
General characteristics
Type: Battlecruiser
Displacement: 45,200 tons
Length: 860 ft 7 in (262.3 m)
Beam: 104 ft 2 in (31.8 m)
Draught: 33 ft 1 in (10.1 m)
Propulsion: 4 geared turbines producing 144,000 shp
Speed: 31 knots (57 km/h)
Range: 5,300 nmi (10,000 km)
Aircraft carried: 1 catapult-launched plane

The Admiral-class battlecruisers were a group of four British Royal Navy battlecruisers designed near the end of World War I. These ships were intended to counter the German Kaiserliche Marine Mackensen-class battlecruisers that were then under construction. The class was originally intended to consist of HMS Anson, Howe, Rodney, and Hood. After the Germans stopped working on the Mackensen class, HMS Anson, Howe, and Rodney were cancelled. Hood, however, was sufficiently advanced in construction that she was completed and later saw service in World War II.



In 1915 the Admiralty were considering the next generation of warship to follow the Queen Elizabeth-class. The Director of Naval Construction, Sir Eustace Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, was given instructions to prepare designs for a new "fast battleship". The designs should incorporate the lessons already learned from Royal Navy vessels operating under wartime conditions; they should have a high freeboard, with secondary armament mounting clear of spray, a shallow draught and a top speed of at least 30 knots (60 km/h), and should use 15-inch (381 mm) guns. While the Queen Elizabeths had pioneered many significant advancements, they did not quite fulfil their extremely demanding requirement, being seriously overweight, as a result of which the draught was excessive and they were unable to reach their planned 25 knots (46 km/h) in service.

Admiral John Jellicoe changed the requirement from fast battleship to large battlecruiser since the rumoured Mackensens would outperform the current British battlecruisers.

In early 1916, the choice was between two designs by E.L. Attwood. In April 1916, the design choice was made. They would be large ships 860 feet (262 m) long, displacing 36,000 tons. The narrow hull, lightly armoured with small boilers meant that she should be able to reach 32 knots (59 km/h). The orders for the first three were placed the same month, the fourth a while later.

HMS Hood after Viscount Hood to be built by John Brown and Company Ltd, Clydebank
HMS Howe after Earl Howe to be built by Cammell Laird & Company, Ltd
HMS Rodney after Baron Rodney to be built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited
HMS Anson after George Anson to be built by W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Company, Ltd.

The loss of British battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 led to changes in the design. These included additional armour and changes to the armament. The extra weight of the armour necessitated strengthening the hull and the keel of the first, Hood, was not laid until September 1916. The new displacement would be 42,100 tons. However, the reworking was done hastily and flawed, as they were trying to rush the Hood into war service. This would have, on paper, made Hood into a fast battleship, as it appeared that it had equal protection to the Queen Elizabeth-class, while having greater speed.

The non-arrival of the German Mackensens meant that there was no longer a rush to build four ships. At the same time the US was starting on the Lexington-class battlecruisers (later to become the Lexington class aircraft carriers) and South Dakota-class battleships in her bid to create a navy without equal. The Royal Navy needed better ships than the Admiral-class and started looking forward to the G3 battlecruisers and N3 battleships. As her build was already underway the Hood was retained but the other three were cancelled.

Ships in class



Anson, Howe, Rodney

  • Laid down in 1916, construction suspended in March 1917 and cancelled in October 1918.

See also

External links


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