H.M.S. Ajax (1912)

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H.M.S. Ajax (1912)
Pendant Number: 40 (1914)
05 (Jan 1918)
46 (Apr 1918)[1]
Builder: Scott, Greenock[2]
Ordered: 1910 Programme[3]
Laid down: 27 Feb, 1911[4]
Launched: 21 Mar, 1912[5]
Commissioned: 31 Oct, 1913
Sold: 9 Nov, 1926[6]
Fate: Scrapped
H.M.S. Ajax was one of four King George V class battleships completed in 1912-13.

There was a light cruiser named Ajax launched in 1934 which saw action against the pocket battleship Graf Spee in the Battle of the River Plate, as well as an ironclad battleship launched in 1880.

Alterations

Ajax was one of the first ships fitted with a director, receiving hers in 1913 after she was listed in that year's twelve ship order.[7] Her director was certainly fitted after King George V received hers, and to much the same design.[8]

In October 1914, the ship was to be given seven Pattern 1582 Electric Radiators to warm cabins whose stoves could not be used for heating them.[9]

By the end of 1915, and probably during 1915, she received one of the first three sets of Walker's Instruments, presumably for trial.[10]

In 1916 or soon thereafter, she would have received Evershed Bearing Indicators for her main battery, as approved in 1916.[11]

Between late 1915 and mid 1917, she was fitted with a Torpedo Control Plotting Instrument Mark II in the T.C.T..[12][13]

Rangefinders

When in 1918 it was desired to give each capital ship possible an additional effective 9-foot rangefinder to support torpedo control, Ajax proposed one centrally on the fore bridge.[14]

Telescopes

In September 1914, the ship was to be sent eight 3/9 power telescopes and to return the same number of 2.5 power scopes, Pattern G. 329 upon receipt. These were likely to serve as trainer telescopes. Constrained supplies meant that 26% of the scopes actually supplied her may have wound up being 5/12 or 5/21 scopes.[15]

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

Radio

By the end of 1913, she and the rest of the Second Battle Squadron were all equipped with Battleship Auxiliary W/T sets.[40]

Service

Ajax served in the Second Battle Squadron from at least December 1913.

Great War

On 23 August, 1914, Ajax reported having burned out a boiler. The Admiralty was asked to instruct Scotts of Greenock to send spares and 20 boilermakers to take the repairs in hand.[41]

Jutland

Main article: H.M.S. Ajax at the Battle of Jutland

Ajax operated in the Second Battle Squadron under the command of George H. Baird,[42] being the second ship in the battle line after deployment.

Post-War

In February 1919, she was sent to Portsmouth.[43] In March 1919, she found herself in Devonport with Centurion.[44] In May, she was on "miscellaneous service", remaining so until July at least.[45]

Ajax was re-commissioned at Chatham on 14 May, 1924.[46]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 30.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 30.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 30.
  5. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  6. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  7. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 9-10.
  8. Letter in D'Eyncourt Papers at the National Maritime Museum's Caird Library, DEY/27
  9. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 512 of 16 Oct, 1914.
  10. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1915. p. 60.
  11. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 145.
  12. Handbook of Torpedo Control, 1916. p. 38.
  13. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1915. p. 60.
  14. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 177.
  15. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 408 of 25 Sep, 1914.
  16. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 391d.
  17. Henniker-Hughan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 383.
  18. Henniker-Hughan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 383. This misstates the year as 1915.
  19. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 391d.
  20. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 391e.
  21. Baird Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 249.
  22. The Navy List. (September, 1919). p. 725.
  23. Anderson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 415.
  24. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 724.
  25. Haggard Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 238.
  26. Crooke Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/89/136.
  27. Crooke Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 36.
  28. Trewby Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/452. f. 503.
  29. Trewby Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/452. f. 503.
  30. The Navy List. (January, 1923). p. 722.
  31. The Navy List. (January, 1923). p. 722.
  32. Hardy Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/44/316. f. 355.
  33. Hardy Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/44/316. f. 355.
  34. Kerr Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/225. f. 225.
  35. Kerr Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/225. f. 225.
  36. Braithwaite Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/504. f. 507.
  37. Braithwaite Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/504. f. 507.
  38. Douglas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/173. f. 93. The month may be read wrong here.
  39. Douglas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/173. f. 93.
  40. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. W/T Appendix, p. 13.
  41. "Grand Fleet Operations - Narrative of Events." Jellicoe Papers. British Library. Add MS. 48995. f. 57.
  42. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. p. 43.
  43. See Second Battle Squadron for citations.
  44. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 19.
  45. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1919). p. 19 and Supplements through July.
  46. The Navy List. (February, 1926). p. 215.

Bibliography


King George V Class Dreadnought
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