Directing Gun

From The Dreadnought Project
Jump to: navigation, search

The Royal Navy's initial commitment to Director Firing left it with a number of worthy ships which lacked sufficient sites for multiple directors to permit flexible and redundant service in action. The workaround they hit upon was to have one or more Directing Guns which could be used to provide training and elevation angles for other guns in the battery.

It was preferable to have ships whose fall-back position was a proper fixture in an Armoured Director Tower, as was incorporated in the ships of the Revenge, Queen Elizabeth and Renown classes.


All Royal Navy capital ships except the Renown, Courageous and Furious classes had a directing gun. Information on which gun each employed for the purpose can be found in their articles detailing their ship class.

Performance in Action

The Royal Navy was not enamoured of the use of directing guns vis-a-vis proper directors, as it received "adverse reports" in light of its "inherent disadvantages."[1] In April 1915 options were discussed but no action taken. Finally, in January 1917, the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet asked that ships of the Iron Duke, Orion, Lion, King George V classes as well as Erin, Agincourt and Tiger be given alternative main armament directors. However, it was reluctantly realised that there were no resources to spare to make such installations happen, and the initiative was restricted to a belated fitting of an additional aloft tower aft to each of Lion, Princess Royal, and Tiger.[2]

See Also


  1. The Technical History and Index: Fire Control in HM Ships, p. 18.
  2. The Technical History and Index: Fire Control in HM Ships, p. 18.