Indefatigable class Battlecruisers (1909)

Indefatigable, Australia, New Zealand

Development and design

This second-class of battle cruisers (1908 plan) was based on that of Neptune to the artillery configuration plan and still strongly resemble the Invincible, not only keeping their armour configuration, but also their faults. Construction in a short time was also justified for providing two first line ships for the Pacific Commonwealth navies, HMAS Australia and HMNZS New Zealand. They were the subject of some exaggerations both from Sir John Fisher in terms of firepower, as from Fred T. Jane in his review for the armour.

HMAS Australia
HMAS Australia

In fact they were neither faster nor better armed/protected. Additional length for the hull was meant to give more room for the central battery, allowing an easier broadside, unlike the Invincible. For obvious reasons of smoke clogging the watcher's view, it was made higher during testing, a modification applied in the yard for the other two. The problem was also the same with the rear tripod fire control, which was dismantled during the war on the three ships.

Modifications

HMS Indefatigable was laid down and launched in 1909, completed in April 1911 while HMAS Australia was ordered in June 1913 and New Zealand in November 1912. The latter received a 76 mm and a 57 mm AA guns. The other two received a single 76 mm gun AA in March 1915. After the battle of Jutland their protection was altered, they received new modern searchlights, new enlarged fire direction post and a shorter, reinforced main mast.

Their stern torpedo tubes were removed. A further 76 mm gun was added in 1917 and in 1918 a short take-off platform on the two central turrets, operating a a Sopwith Strutter for reconnaissance and a Sopwith Camel for escort. In 1919-20, they received some changes to their AA artillery. Their career was active but not especially memorable.

HMS Indefatigable rear 1909
HMS Indefatigable rear 1909

HMS Indefatigable

HMS Indefatigable was operational within the 1st squadron of battle cruisers, then was sent to the Mediterranean with the 2nd squadron of battle cruisers. She participated in the hunting of the Admiral Souchon's German squadron, and then served in the Aegean. She became Admiral Carden's flagship, and was replaced by the HMS Inflexible.

Back to the Grand Fleet in early 1915 she was at the forefront of Beatty vessels during the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, taking several hits from the Von der Tann, including two in the ammunition rear turret bunker. The hull broke up in two at the rear, and the ship quickly sank by the stern. Another salvo made explode central bunkers and the ship was literally blew apart and disintegrated in the world's known largest explosion at that time, leaving no chance to her crew.

HMAS Australia at Sydney October 1913
HMAS Australia at Sydney October 1913

HMAS Australia

HMAS Australia was sent to Australia where she became the flagship of the RAN (Royal Australian Navy). She was mobilized in a massive squadron combining Australian and New Zealander ships to prevent an incursion of Von Spee's squadron in the South Pacific.

She participated in the Second Battle of the Falklands, still hunting down Spee's ships, then returned in the Grand Fleet. She was not present at the Battle of Jutland, being repaired after a collision at sea with her sister ship New Zealand in April 1916.

She remained flagship of the 2nd squadron of battle cruisers until 1919 before returning to Australia and serve until 1922 but then was out of service due to compliance with restrictions of tonnage resulting from the Washington Treaty.

The Australian Government decided to scuttle her in a great ceremony held in April 12, 1924 in Sydney Harbour. Today she's a large artificial artificial coral reef teaming with life, and a major local touristic and diver's attraction, a fitting end for such a steel grim reaper.

Indefatigable_class_battlecruiser_diagrams_Brasseys_1923
Indefatigable_class_battlecruiser_diagrams_Brasseys_1923

HMAS Australia
HMAS Australia

HMNZS New Zealand

HMNZS New Zealand became the flagship of the small Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), but she was requisitioned after completion by the Royal Navy to bolster the Grand Fleet's strenght. She began touring the world as RN courtesy ambassador, then left for the Baltic in 1913.

She was flagship of the Admiral of the 2nd squadron of battle cruisers in August 1914. She fought in Dogger Bank carrying Admiral Beatty's mark when HMS Lion was badly damaged and out of action. She collided later with Australia but was repaired in time to participate in the battle of Jutland.

She fired 420 shots but only scored 4 hits and in return was struck by a 280mm shell behind the rear turret. She made another cruise, carrying Admiral Jellicoe around the world in 1919, but was disarmed and demolished under Washington Treaty's tonnage limitations.

HMS New Zealand at Adelaide
HMS New Zealand at Adelaide

Links

The Indefatigable class on wikipedia
HMS Indefatigable on wikipedia
Specs Conway's all the world fighting ships 1921-1947.

Indefatigable specifications

Dimensions179,8 x 24,4 x 8,1 m
Displacement18 500 t, 22 110 t FL
Crew800
Propulsion4 screws, 4 Parsons turbines, 32 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, 44,000 hp
Speed25.8 knots (47.8 km/h; 29.7 mph)
Range 6,690 nmi (12,390 km; 7,700 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Armament8 x 305 (4x2), 16 x 102, 4 x 47 mm, 3 TT 457 mm (SM)
ArmorBelt 150, Battery 180, Barbettes 180, turrets 180, blockhaus 250, deck 65 mm.

Gallery

Indefatigable
Illustration of the Indefatigable in November 1914.

Ramming12inchShellHMASAustralia1918.jpg

Naval History

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WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

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Invincible class (1907)
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ww1 British cruisers
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WW2

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T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
US Navy USN (1990)


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