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HMS Victorious (1895): Wikis


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HMS Victorious 1898 IWM Q 040505.jpg
HMS Victorious in 1898
Career (United Kingdom) Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship
Name: HMS Victorious
Ordered: 1893-1894 Naval Estimates
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 28 May 1894[1]
Launched: 19 October 1895[1]
Completed: November 1896[1]
Commissioned: 4 November 1896[2]
Decommissioned: 28 March 1920[2]
Fate: Sold for scrapping 9 April 1923[2]
Notes: Converted to repair ship 1915-1916; renamed Indus II in 1920[2]
General characteristics
Displacement: 14,890 tons normal
16,060 tons deep
Length: 421 ft (128 m) overall
390 ft (120 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Draught: 27 ft (8.2 m)
Propulsion: 2 sets 3-cylinder vertical inverted triple expansion engines, 10,319 ihp (7,695 kW)
8 cylindrical boilers, 155 psi (1.07 MPa) pressure, 4 furnaces each
2 shafts, two 4-bladed propellers - 17 ft (5 m). diameter
Speed: 16.92 knots natural draft (trials)
18.7 knots (34.6 km/h) forced draft
Capacity: 2000 tons coal, 400 tons oil
Complement: 670

4 × BL 12-inch (304.8 mm) Mk VIII guns (2 × 2)
12 × QF 6-inch (152.4 mm) guns (12 × 1)
16 × 12 pdr (16 × 1)
12 × 3 pounder quickfiring guns (12 × 1)
2 × 12 pdr boat guns
2 Maxim machine guns

5 × 18 in (457-mm) torpedo tubes (1 above water, 4 submerged)
Armour: belt: 9 in (230 mm); bulkheads: 12–14 in (300–360 mm); deck: 2+1/2–4 in (15–100 mm); gunhouses: 10 in (250 mm); conning tower: 14 in (360 mm); barbettes: 14 in (360 mm)

HMS Victorious was one of nine Majestic-class predreadnought battleships of the British Royal Navy.


Technical characteristics

HMS Victorious was laid down at Chatham Dockyard on 28 May 1894 and launched on 19 October 1895. She began sea trials in October 1896 and was completed in November 1896.[1]

When the lead ship of the class, HMS Majestic, was launched in 1895, at 421 ft (128 m) long and with a full-load displacement of 16,000 tons, she was the largest battleship ever built at the time. The Majestics were considered good seaboats with an easy roll and good steamers, although they suffered from high fuel consumption.[3] Victorious began life as a coal-burner, but was converted to burn oil fuel by 1907-1908.[4] Victorious and her sisters were the last British battleships to have side-by-side funnels, successor classes having funnels in a line.

Victorious had a new design in which the bridge was mounted around the base of the foremast behind the conning tower to prevent a battle-damaged bridge from collapsing around the tower. She had pear-shaped barbettes and fixed loading positions for her main guns, as did six of her sisters, although her sister ships Caesar and Illustrious had circular barbettes and all-around loading for their main guns,[3] which established the pattern for future classes.[4]

Victorious and the other Majestic-class ships had 9 inches (230 mm) of Harvey armor, which allowed equal protection with less cost in weight compared to previous types of armor. This allowed Victorious and her sisters to have a deeper and lighter belt than previous battleships without any loss in protection.[5] She was divided into 150 watertight compartments.

The Majestics boasted a new gun, the 46-ton 12-inch (305-mm) 35-caliber Mk VIII,[6] the first new British battleships to mount a 12-inch (305-mm) main battery since the 1880s. One hundred thirteen miles (182 km) of wire were wrapped around each gun barrel, and each gun took nine months to manufacture. Victorious carried four such guns in two barbettes (one forwad and one aft) with up to 400 rounds for each. The new gun, which would be the standard main armament of British battleships for sixteen years, was a significant improvement on the 13.5-inch (343-mm) gun which had been fitted on the Admiral and Royal Sovereign classes that preceded the Majestics.[3] and was lighter. This saving in weight allowed Victorious to carry a secondary battery of twelve 6-inch (152-mm) 40-caliber[6] guns, a larger secondary armament than in previous classes.[5] She also had four submerged torpedo tubes in the bow and one above water in the stern.

Operational history

HMS Victorious commissioned on 4 November 1896 for service in the Fleet Reserve at Chatham Dockyard. On 8 June 1897, she went into full commission for service in the Mediterranean Fleet. Before leaving the United Kingdom, she was present at the Fleet Review at Spithead for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria on 26 June 1897. She moved to the Mediterranean, where she relieved battleship HMS Anson.[2]

In February 1898, Victorious detached from the Mediterranean Fleet for service on the China Station. According to a report in the New York Journal on 16 February, she ran hard aground while entering the harbor at Port Said in route to China. Her coal had to be taken off before she could be floated free. In 1900, she returned to the Mediterranean and underwent a refit at Malta.

Her Mediterranean service over, Victorious paid off at Chatham on 8 August 1903 and began a refit there that lasted until February 1904.[2]

Victorious recommissioned at Devonport on 2 February 1904 to serve as second flagship of the Channel Fleet. On 14 July 1904, torpedo boat HMS TB 113 rammed her at Hamoaze, slightly damaging her. When under a reorganization on 1 January 1905 the Channel Fleet became the new Atlantic Fleet, Victorious became an Atlantic Fleet unit.[2] Captain Robert Falcon Scott, the Antarctic explorer, served as her Captain, acting as Flag Captain to Rear-Admiral Egerton aboard her, for a period from 1906. Her Atlantic Fleet service ended when she paid off at Devonport on 31 December 1906.[2]

On 1 January 1907, Victorious recommissioned to serve at the Nore as part of the Nore Division of the new Home Fleet. She underwent a refit at Chatham in 1908[2] in which she was converted to burn fuel oil and had main battery fire control and radio installed.[7] She was reduced to a nucleus crew, in commission in reserve, in March 1909.[7]

Victorious transferred to the Devonport Division, Home Fleet, in January 1911, and to the 3rd Fleet in May 1912.[7] She damaged her sternwalk in a collision with her sister ship HMS Majestic in fog on 14 July 1912,[8] and began a short refit at Chatham in December 1913.[9]

In July 1914, the Royal Navy began a precautionary mobilization as war began to seem imminent. As part of this, Victorious and her sister ships HMS Hannibal, HMS Mars, and HMS Magnificent, formed the 9th Battle Squadron on 27 July 1914, stationed at the Humber to defend the British coast; Victorious remained there as guard ship after the 9th Battle Squadron was dissolved on 7 August 1914. In December 1914, she transferred to the Tyne to serve as guard ship there.[2]

On 4 January 1915, Victorious paid off at Elswick. The Majestic-class ships were by then the oldest and least effective battleships in service in the Royal Navy; Victorious was laid up on the Tyne February until September 1915, and her 12-inch (305-mm) guns were removed for use aboard the new Lord Clive-class monitors HMS Prince Rupert and HMS General Wolfe.[7] Between September 1915 and February 1916 Palmers converted her into a repair ship at Jarrow.[2]

The converted Victorious was commissioned as a repair ship on 22 February 1916 and arrived at Scapa Flow to replace the converted merchant ship Caribbean, which had been lost in September 1915, as repair ship for the Grand Fleet. Victorious performed this role there until March 1920.[2]

In March 1920, Victorious was renamed Indus II and was transferred to Devonport for a refit to prepare her for service with the Indus Establishment. She arrived at Devonport on 28 March 1920 and paid off into a care and maintenance status while she awaited the beginning of her refit. However, plans for the refit were cancelled; work began to convert her into a harbor depot ship, but in April 1922 that conversion also was cancelled before it could be completed, and she was placed on the disposal list that month.[2]

Indus II was sold for scrapping on 19 December 1922, but the sale was cancelled on 1 March 1923. She was again sold on 9 April 1923, and was towed from Devonport to Dover to be scrapped.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Burt, p. 114
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Burt, p. 136
  3. ^ a b c Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905, p. 34
  4. ^ a b Gibbons, p. 137.
  5. ^ a b Gibbons, p. 137
  6. ^ a b Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905, p. 36
  7. ^ a b c d Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921, p. 7
  8. ^ Burt, p. 130 & 136, although Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921, p. 7, says this collision happened in June 1910
  9. ^ Burt, p. 136; Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921, p. 7


  • 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, London: Conway Maritime Press, 1979. ISBN 0-85177-133-5.
  • Dittmar F.J., and J. J. Colledge. British Warships 1914-1919. London: Ian Allen, 1972. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7.
  • 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.
  • New York Journal, February 16, 1989.

External links



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