- HMS Hindustan during the Great War -
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1st July 1914 HMS Hindustan
HMS Hindustan was built by John Brown & Company at Clydebank. She was laid down on 25 October 1902 and launched on 19 December 1903. She began trials in January 1905 and was completed in March 1905
HMS Hindustan was a King Edward VII-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy. Like all ships of the class (apart from HMS King Edward VII) she was named after an important part of the British Empire, namely the Indian Empire. Commissioned in mid 1905, she served with firstly the Atlantic Fleet and then the Channel Fleet. When the latter fleet was reorganised to the Home Fleet, she was attached to that fleet.
In 1912, Hindustan and her King Edward VII-class sister ships formed the 3rd Battle Squadron. The squadron was assigned to the Grand Fleet at the beginning of World War I, and served on the Northern Patrol. In 1916, she, with the rest of the squadron was transferred to Nore Command until she was detached in February 1918 to serve as a parent ship for the raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend. Decommissioned in May 1918, she finished the war as an accommodation ship, and was disposed of in 1919
Upon completion in March 1905, HMS Hindustan was placed in reserve. She went into full commission on 22 August 1905 at Portsmouth Dockyard for service in the Atlantic Fleet. She transferred to the Channel Fleet in March 1907. Under a fleet reorganization on 24 March 1909, the Channel Fleet became the 2nd Division, Home Fleet, and Hindustan became a Home Fleet unit in that division. She underwent a refit at Portsmouth in 1909–1910.
Under a fleet reorganization in May 1912, Hindustan and all seven of her sisters of the King Edward VII class (Africa, Britannia, Commonwealth, Dominion, Hibernia, King Edward VII and Zealandia) were assigned to form the 3rd Battle Squadron, assigned to the First Fleet, Home Fleet. The squadron was detached to the Mediterranean in November 1912 because of the First Balkan War (October 1912 – May 1913); it arrived at Malta on 27 November 1912 and subsequently participated in a blockade by an international force of Montenegro and in an occupation of Scutari. Hindustan and Africa returned to the United Kingdom in February 1913 and rejoined the Home Fleet; they were attached to the 4th Battle Squadron, then transferred back to the 3rd Battle Squadron upon that squadron's return to the United Kingdom and the Home Fleet on 27 June 1913.
World War I
Upon the outbreak of World War I, the 3rd Battle Squadron was assigned to the Grand Fleet and based at Rosyth. It was used to supplement the Grand Fleet's cruisers on the Northern Patrol. On 2 November 1914, the squadron was detached to reinforce the Channel Fleet and was rebased at Portland. It returned to the Grand Fleet on 13 November 1914.
Hindustan served in the Grand Fleet until April 1916. During sweeps by the fleet, she and her sister ships often steamed at the heads of divisions of the far more valuable dreadnoughts, where they could protect the dreadnoughts by watching for mines or by being the first to strike them.
On 29 April 1916, the 3rd Battle Squadron was rebased at Sheerness, and on 3 May 1916 it was separated from the Grand Fleet, being transferred to the Nore Command. Hindustan remained there with the squadron until February 1918.
Hindustan left the 3rd Battle Squadron in February 1918 when she selected to serve as a parent ship for preparations for the Zeebrugge Raid and first Ostend Raid and served as depot ship for the raids. She was stationed in the Swin in this capacity until May 1918, and collided with and badly damaged the destroyer HMS Wrestler in May 1918.
On 15 May 1918, Hindustan paid off into reserve at the Nore, and was employed as an accommodation ship for the Royal Naval Barracks at Chatham Dockyard. She was placed on the disposal list at Chatham in June 1919 and on the sale list in August 1919. She was sold for scrapping to T. W. Ward & Company, Limited on 9 May 1921. She was towed to Belfast for stripping in 1923 and arrived at Preston for scrapping on 14 October 1923.John Doran
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