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HMS Swiftsure in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- HMS Swiftsure during the Great War -

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HMS Swiftsure

1st June 1914 HMS Swiftsure  

HMS Swiftsure

HMS Swiftsure, Pre-Dreadnought Battleship. Built Armstong, Elswick, laid down February 1902, completed June 1904, cost 957,520.

Swiftsure Class. (Two ship class - sister ship HMS Triumph). Designed originally for overseas navy these ships were quite distinctive from the normal British designs with wide spaced funnels and prominent cranes between them, including smaller main gun turrets. The ships were only considered Second Class Battleships in British service.

HMS Swiftsure.

The two ships had slightly different main guns as they were armed by their respective builders. They were the only British battleships to mount a 7.5 inch gun although that calibre was used in some cruisers. Likewise the 14 pounder anti torpedo boat guns were unique to this class.

Size: Length 462 feet 6 inch waterline 475 feet 3 inch overall, beam 71 feet 2 inches, draught 24 feet 8 inches, displacement 11,740 load 13,432 tons deep.
Propulsion: 2 shaft Triple Expansion, 12,500 ihp, Speed 19 knots.
Armour: 7-3inch belt, 10inch barbettes, 10inch gun houses, 3-1inch decks.
Armament: 4 x 10inch 45 cal BL (2 x 2), 14 x 7.5inch BL (14 x 1), 14 x 14 pounder QF (14 x 1), 2 x 12 pounder QF (2 x 1), 4 x 6 pounder (4 x 1), 2 x 18inch TT
Crew complement 729 Officers and ratings.

Originally designed by Sir Edward Reed for Chile to counter Argentinean armoured cruisers but owing to financial problems the ships were put up for sale before completion. The ships were purchased by the British government in December 1903 mainly to prevent their possible sale to Russia. The design emphasised speed and a heavy secondary armament at the expense of protection and main armament. Crew 729.

World War 1 Service:

  • Flagship East Indies Squadron.
  • November 1914 escorted Indian Convoy.
  • December 1914 Detached to Suez.
  • February 1915 joined Dardanelles Squadron.
  • 2 March 1915 attack on forts.
  • 5-9 March 1915 attacks on forts at Smyrna.
  • 18 March 1915 onwards supported landings at Helles.
  • 18 September 1915 unsuccessfully attacked by German submarine (U21?).
  • 18 January 1916 bombardment of Dedeagatch.
  • February 1916 attached to 9th Cruiser Squadron in the Atlantic.
  • 11 April 1917 paid off at Chatham to release crews.
  • Mid 1917-February 1918 accommodation ship.
  • Autumn 1918 prepared for use as block ship but not used before the Armistice.
  • 1920 sold for scrap.
John Doran

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  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Those known to have served in

HMS Swiftsure

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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Want to know more about HMS Swiftsure?

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