Orion class Battleships (1911)

United Kingdom (1911): Orion, Monarch, Conqueror, Thunderer.

Built in emergency

Built in the emergency plan of 1909 (due to public pressure "we want eight and we won't wait" the programme was raised to six dreadnoughts and two battlecruisers), these four battleships innovated by their main artillery, with a 343 mm caliber (13.5 in) instead of 305 (12 in).

The house of commons was very satisfied on many points: This Orion class outclassed the German caliber by quite a margin both in hitting power and range, while retaining and arrangement in line, for a full broadside, and were much larger than previous battleships.

Orion in completion
HMS Orion in completion

With the four Orion, the Home Fleet once again took the initiative of the game. The class included the HMS Orion, Monarch, Conqueror and Thunderer (started in March 1910, launched in 1911, August 1910 for Orion) completed in 1912 (January for the Orion, November for the Conqueror). They had a short but active career.

Profile of the HMS Monarch
Profile of the HMS Monarch

Design

There were several points of comparisons with their forebearers, in addition to the main artillery. Essentially these were the first "clean-slate" design, free of cost limitations. According to the shipyard's data, their overall cost ranged from £1,918,773 (Orion) to £1,860,648 (Conqueror)


Orion's main rear battery

Armament

Their turrets were arranged in a centerline and in superfiring gun turrets, a first for a British battleship. These guns were the new breech-loading (BL) 13.5-inch Mark V gun, essentially rebored 12 in 45-calibre pieces that had a 300 feet per second (91 m/s) less muzzle velocity, significantly reducing the wear and tear of the barrel.

But the paradox was their rounds retained much of the velocity by their masses and therefore turned to have a 2,500 yards (2,286 m) greater range at +20° elevation, only limited by their restricted gunsights (his was corrected with super-elevating prisms installed in 1916). Fire rate was two rounds per minute, with about 80 to 100 shells in store per gun.


The next sixteen 50-calibre BL four-inch (102 mm) Mark VII were arranged in exposed shelter deck and superstructure, unshielded. They had a 11,400 yd (10,424 m) range, fired at 2,821 ft/s (860 m/s) muzzle velocity, +15° elevation, and had 150 rounds in store. The small 3-pdr were 1.9 in (47 mm) saluting guns. The 21-inch torpedo tubes were submerged, placed in each broadside and stern, with 20 more torpedoes in store.


Dreadnoughts through the Solent

Fire direction

The installation of their tripod mast was one of their most important innovation: They were all equipped with a new type of fire control and direction, located behind the front chimney. This was justified to avoid smoke disturbance and by relocating the cranes lifting the lifeboats.

Similarly, the superstructures around the front chimney were modified shortly before the war. That took time however, pushed by Board of Admiralty and architects while two major members of the Admiralty, the Director of Naval Ordnance arguing for roof-mounted sights and Jellicoe being obsessed by boat-handling arrangements.


At last their views were overcome and the Orion would get the best fire direction so far, unhampered by hot funnel gases.

The data obtained by Barr and Stroud coincidence rangefinders was electrically transmitted to a Dumaresq mechanical computer, and then to Vickers range clocks located in the transmitting stations for and aft and translated into range and deflection data.

Protection and propulsion

The hull received a waterline belt of Krupp cemented armour, with a thickness concentration on the armoured citadel, decreased at 6–2.5 inches outside. There were 6-inch (152 mm) bulkheads, and a total of four armoured decks from 1 to 4 inches (25 to 102 mm) thick.


Collision between the Revenge and Orion

Submarine protection could not be enhanced by the addition of lateral ballasts (if not further subdivided below the waterline), in order to preserve the metacentric height of the building with unchanged speed. The lest innovative of their design were the three engine-room layout inherited from the Colossus-class design.

The outer propeller shafts were coupled to the high-pressure turbines while the two inner shafts were served by resulting low-pressure steam. Their turbines were fed by water-tube boilers, providing 21,000 hp for a 21 knots top speed as designed. However, they all exceeded these figures on trials.

Active service

These four vessels were part of the Great Fleet, more precisely within the 2nd line squadron, or the 2nd Battle Squadron (BS) and fought in Jutland in May 1916 without loss, but some suffered collisions before the war.

Prewar, they participated in the Parliamentary Naval Review on 9 July at Spithead, participated in training manoeuvres with Vice-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg, and greeted President of France, Raymond Poincaré, at Spithead on 24 June 1913. At the time of the July crisis they participated in a test mobilization.


HMS Monarch firing

In late 1914 the ships received nine-foot rangefinders, and the computer and range clocks were replaced by Mark II or III Dreyer Fire-control Tables. Shelter-deck guns were enclosed in casemates, a pair of QF 3-inch (76 mm) anti-aircraft (AA) guns were installed and additional armour fitted after the battle of Jutland.

They were cleared of their anti-torpedo nets in 1915 and their masts were reduced, and after Jutland they saw their ammunition tanks reinforced and airplane platforms fitted on their turrets. In 1917 4-inch AA gun were exchanged for one of the 3-inch guns. HMS Orion was the flagship of Cdr Leveson during the Battle of Jutland. All four were disarmed in 1922-25 because of the Washington Treaty, the HMS Thunderer becoming a training ship until 1926.

Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby

As the German admiralty projected a raid on these cities led by Rear-Admiral Franz von Hipper, British Intelligence decoded the message and allowed the fleet to prepare. The three orion were mobilized but during the night heavy weather of 16 December, only destroyers met, Hipper retiring before the big battleships could met.

HMS Orion

Jutland

Jellicoe was to met the 2nd BS, coming from Cromarty, Scotland, mustering his force morning of 31 May, and the Orion class were organized into a single four battleship column, with the two divisions of the 2nd BS to his eastern flank. Conqueror and Thunderer fired at the SMS Wiesbaden without results, and did also against German battleships.

Monarch and Orion did some hits on the SMS König and SMS Markgraf, more seriously damaging SMS Lützow (five hits). The rest of their wartime career was linked to a possible German raid, which never happened. Their last sortie occurred in the afternoon of 23 April 1918. They were present at Rosyth, Scotland when the Hochseeflotte surrendered on 21 November 118.


Painting - HMS Monarch

After the war in 1920 they were transferred to the Reserve Fleet at Portland. Two were briefly recommissioned to carry troops into the Mediterranean and back. Thunderer became a training ship for naval cadets in 1921, and Orion a gunnery training ship. As the result of Washington Naval Treaty limitation all four had to be sold for scrap in 1922.

HMS Thunderer at Spithead, 1912
HMS Thunderer at Spithead, 1912




Links/Sources

https://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_orion_class_battleships.html
https://www.worldwar1.co.uk/battleship/hms-orion.htmlhttps://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/Orion_class_battleship-_HMS_Orion
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion-class_battleship
https://www.naval-encyclopedia.com/ww1/pages/royal_navy/orion.htm
Conway's all the world's fighting ships 1906-1921
British Battleships 1914–18 (2): The Super Dreadnoughts by Angus Konstam
The Battleships Builders
2-view color illustration

A class specifications

Dimensions177,1 x27 x7,6m ()
Displacement22,200t, 25,870t FL
Crew752
Propulsion4 screws, 4 Parsons Turbines, 18 Babcock & W boilers, 27,000 HP
Speed21 knots (39 kph; 24 mph) surf/sub
Range6,730 nautical miles (12,460 km; 7,740 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Armament10 x343, 16 x102, 4 x37, 3 TT 533 mm (18 in)



Author's Illustration of the HMS Orion in 1914

Blueprint - HMS Monarch
Blueprint - HMS Monarch


Orion details superstructure
Orion stern large
Orion stern wow
Orion prow
world of warships Orion Yokohama
Gallery - Orion on WoW

Naval History

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WW1

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WW2

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WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
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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