The sixth HMS Dreadnought , of the Royal Navy, was the prototype of the Cuirassé known as monocalibre . It had such an influence that its name became synonymous with this type of ship which was the modern battleship. It was the first large boat propelled by steam turbines. Its appearance made obsolete all the existing buildings and, with the approach of the First World War, it started an arms race naval.
GenesisHitherto, the Cuirassé S were armed typically with four principal guns in two double turrets, one on before ship and the other with the back. A collection of parts of an intermediate gauge furnished the two sides with the ship, increasing the firepower of this one. This organization of the armament had several défauts :
- it limited to four the number of parts usable at long distance;
- the diversity of the Gauge S and Balistique S complicated at the same time the storage of the ammunition and the pointing of artillery;
- the openings of the lowest casemates in the hull were not easily usable by heavy weather, presented risks of Voie of water and, in a general way, they weakened the shielding of the boat, at the same time while obliging to extend it to cover the many positions of shooting of the side parts, and by the openings necessary to the shooting.
The invention, by Charles Algernon Parsons, of the steam turbine, in 1884, and the demonstration of its application to the marine propulsion by the Turbinia , which reached 34 node S, is 63 km/h, in 1897, was followed soon by the Torpilleur S HMS Viper and HMS Cobra , which convainquirent the British Admiralty that it was the way with a future. The arrival of the admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher like First Lord of admiralty, with his ideas of fleet made up of Destroyer S, Underwater S and the futures cruisers of battle, played the part of release. Fisher, although preaching speed like principal protection, however had to create a battleship inspired of its ideas, the Dreadnought , beside its Invincible .
TechnologyThe concept had been relatively simple and had been considered for a few years per many navy. It consisted in benefitting from the speed of 21 node S, obtained thanks to the replacement of the steam engines with triple expansion by turbines, which returned the attack of the more difficult ship in particular for small the Torpilleur S, to get rid of the secondary artillery which was supposed to fight them. The space saver and of mass thus created was then reinvested in an increase in principal artillery.
Dreadnought thus had five Tourelle S, each one with two guns of 305 mm of gauge. Three of them in a very conventional way were placed in the axis of the ship, one with before and two with the back, the two others were placed on both sides superstructure, behind of the front turret. This provision was thereafter regarded as enough ineffective, because it limited in all case number maximum of parts usable on single objective to eight, and tendency on its successors was to place turrets all in axis, which was facilitated by the appearance of the superposition of the turrets which had been isolated on Dreadnought, by fear of a simultaneous destruction. Twenty-seven guns of 76 mm with fast shooting moreover were assembled, but in a role of defense brought closer against the small units.
This battleship could thus engage eight parts of the heaviest gauge, whereas its predecessors had only four of them to oppose to him. Added to the fact that its high speed enabled him to remain out of reach many secondary artillery of those and also allowed him to break the combat with its suitability, Dreadnought was potentially higher than two of its elder. As evoked previously, the reduction of the types of guns to only one uniform model simplified the use of those largely. They could be pointed by a direction of shooting centralized and fired electrically all at the same time. This shooting of salvo authorized a technique of aiming per framing much simpler and effective that with various parts, the sheaves caused by the missed blows being able to come only from one type of shell; their grouping still facilitated their observation, associated with the use with an optical rangefinder coincidentally. One could then find the distance much more quickly than before, in the beginning of an engagement.
Other innovations had also been made on this ship. One had removed the longitudinal corridors which ran through the tight compartments, under the principal bridge. These passages, with the combat, were of course blocked by the closing of the tight doors but, in normal weather, at the time of collisions or another sea accidents, they could appear fatal with the survival of the building.
Another innovation of size for the Royal Navy, the displacement of the districts of the officers, traditionally located at the back of the ship, as times of the veil, forwards under the footbridge of command. Space with the back thus released was re-used by the drivers and the mechanics who approached thus them also their work station.
Construction and testsConvinced that construction would be ordered, Fisher took the happy initiative to start to store steel necessary to construction before even as a hold of construction is not available. During this storage, one found a configuration of the hull which could reduce the trail of this one and thus, to final, to increase speed. Satisfied by the twenties and one nodes already obtained, Fisher chose rather an improvement of the shielding which reaches on the sides and the turrets the thickness of 279 mm, that is to say 76 mm moreover than the former drawing one year.
Construction started finally in October 1905. Work went then very quickly, since launching intervened as of February of the following year. The October 3rd, the ship carried out its first exit at sea, the use of the turrets designed for the preceding class Lord Nelson having contributed to this speed.
In the month of December, it was armed for its tests and, as of January 1907, it left for the the Mediterranean, then for the island of the Trinité. Under the command of the captain Sir Reginald Bacon, the engines and the armament were then tested under the attentive eye of the experts of the whole world because, from its characteristics and its power, it eclipsed all existing it. However the British underestimated the German will of competition in the naval field and, instead of crushing the competition of the other countries, the Dreadnought caused a race with naval constructions without precedent.
Admiralty, satisfied with the result, launched the construction of six similar battleships, in two classes of three units, the classes Bellerophon and St Vincent , which corrected only some minor defects.
Between 1907 and 1912, the HMS Dreadnought was useful like flagship of the British Home Fleet. Like symbol of the British naval power, it was the very indicated victim of the small joke of Horace de Vere Cole, the Dreadnought hoax in 1910. At that time, its speed was not any more one sufficient guarantee against the Torpilleur S which, them also, had progressed. One thus equipped it with guns of 12 delivers S additional on the turrets and of nets anti-torpedes to protect it with damping.
With the declaration of war, it was flagship of the fourth squadron of battle , pertaining to the Home Fleet, based with Scapa Flow. Its only brilliant deed took place the March 18th 1915, when it éperonna and ran the German submarine U-29, becoming thus the only battleship to have run a submarine. In May 1916, because of its disuse, one moved it as leader of the third squadron of battle which, based with Sheerness, was to be opposed to the raids bombardment German cruisers of battle. Programmed for a Careenage, it could not take part in the Bataille of Jutland. It turned over within the Fleet Home of March to August 1918 but, after the war, in rather bad condition after its many patrols in the the North Sea, it was placed in reserve with Rosyth. It remained there until radiation, the March 31st 1920. Sold in Ward & Company in 1922, it was demolished with Inverness in 1923.
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