H.M.S. Iron Duke (1912)

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H.M.S. Iron Duke (1912)
Pendant Number: 94 (Aug 1914)
76 (Jan 1918)
14 (Apr 1918)[1]
Builder: Portsmouth Royal Dockyard[2]
Ordered: 1911 Programme[3]
Laid down: 12 Jan, 1912[4]
Launched: 12 Oct, 1912[5]
Commissioned: 10 Mar, 1914
Sold: 2 Mar, 1946[6]
Fate: Scrapped

H.M.S. Iron Duke served as flagship of the Grand Fleet from 4 August, 1914 until replaced in this role by Queen Elizabeth on 16 February, 1917.[7]

Construction

The keel of the battleship to be known as Iron Duke was laid on 15 January, 1912 at Portsmouth Royal Dockyard. The first keel-plate was laid by Miss Evelyn Moore, sister of the Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, Sir Arthur W. Moore. Also present were the Admiral Superintendent Rear-Admiral Alban G. Tate and Mrs. Tate, Mr. J. Apsey (manager of the Constructive Department) and Mrs. Apsey, Captain William B. Fawckner (Captain of the Dockyard) and Mrs. Fawckner, and other officials.[8] The ship was launched on 12 October on a sunny Saturday before a crowd estimated to be in excess of 60,000 people. The Duchess of Wellington performed the naming ceremony. Also on the launching platform were the new Admiral Superintendent, Herbert L. Heath, his wife and daughters, and a large number of other naval and civil dignitaries.[9]

Service

Iron Duke commissioned at Portsmouth on 10 March, 1914, by Captain Robert N. Lawson as the flagship of the Home Fleets, Admiral Sir George A. Callaghan. She replaced Neptune, which joined the First Battle Squadron.[10] The oiler Rosalind was blown into collision with Iron Duke on 18 March, 1914, causing bent awning stanchions and damaging a number of scuttles.[11] The cost of repairing the damage was stated to be "about £10."[12]

Jutland

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

Post-War

Iron Duke recommissioned at Portsmouth on 21 March 1919 to become the flagship in the Mediterranean.[13] On 6 April, 1919, she hoisted the flag of Vice-Admiral [Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe|The Hon. Somerset A. Gough-Calthorpe]].[14]

The ship re-commissioned at Portsmouth 24 October, 1923.[15]

In 1924, in competitive firing trials as part of the Mediterranean Fleet, her forward torpedo flat fired at intervals of 62, 70, 93 and 132 seconds, and the aft flat at 59, 85, 75, and 101 seconds.[16]

Iron Duke was refloated by Metal Industries on 19 April, 1946 and on 19 August arrived at their newly-leased premises at No. 1 Military Port (Faslane). Her hulk was beached for final demolition at the Smith & Houston yard at Port Glasgow in November, 1948 as the beaching ground at Faslane had not yet been completed.

Torpedoes

In a torpedo firing practice exercise on 1 July, 1918, Iron reloaded a submerged tube in a one minute fifty-four seconds, and fired the second shot after a further delay of six seconds. With the other tube, she took two minutes fifteen seconds to reload and 45 further seconds to fire.[17]

Boats

In July 1914, the ship was appropriated 42-foot motor launch No. 195, though the boat was not yet delivered from the contractor.[18]

Habitability

In October 1914, the ship was to be given 7 Pattern 1582 Electric Radiators to warm cabins whose stoves could not be used for heating them.[19]

Alterations

In 1913, Iron Duke was slated as part of the twelve ship order to receive a director along the lines of that developed in Neptune. She was fully equipped sometime in 1914 prior to the start of the war.[20] Her class received their directors after King George V received hers, and likely to a similar design, placing the light aloft tower atop the spotting top.[21]

Her secondary battery directors were installed in May, 1917.[22]

In 1919, she was selected to receive one of the first six Renouf Torpedo Tactical Instrument Type Bs and one of the first nine Renouf Torpedo Tactical Instrument Type Fs manufactured by Elliott Brothers.[23]

Gunnery Practice

Iron Duke undertook a short range gunnery practice on 20 December, 1915.[24]

Forty rounds were fired using reduced charges at a towed target of 146 by 30 feet at a mean range of 7,000 yards on a smooth sea. Extreme visibility was 13,000 yards and director firing was used. A two point turn was made during the firing, but rapidity was maintained. A "high" bearing rate of 6 degrees per minute was incurred, and continuous training was carried out. "Rapid Salvos" was ordered after three salvos, and the ship fired seven times in the next 85 seconds – faster than the guns could be continuously loaded. At least twelve actual hits on the target were counted. The rangefinders worked rapidly throughout the shooting, obtaining 10 cuts per minute for each of the first three minutes. This was in part possible, as the 6 degree elevation used did not require the guns to be depressed while loading to clear the lines of sight of the turret rangefinders. Thirty-eight of the shells were fired in 2 minutes, 52 seconds.

A second practice took place on 25 July, 1916 – shortly before the adoption of the Spotting Rules in September, 1916.[25] This practice featured:

  • rapid ranging with double salvos and ladders
  • rapid salvo firing under new regulations intended to eliminate catastrophic explosions as at Jutland
  • rapid and excellent rangefinding

Though maximum range at which director laying seemed optically possible was just 12,900 yards, firing was from 12,500 and 11,300 yards at the same sized target in misty weather with "severe mirage". In 1 minute, 52 seconds, six salvos had been fired and firing was stopped as continual straddling was occurring. A turn of two points away was then taken, and firing resumed after pausing three minutes firing was resumed. In 2 minutes 50 seconds, eight salvos were fired, six of which straddled and badly damaged the target. In all, fourteen salvos of 56 shells were fired with one missed fire.

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  2. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 31.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 31.
  5. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  6. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  7. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 1.
  8. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 16 January, 1912. Issue 39796, col B, p. 13.
  9. "Launch of the Iron Duke" (News). The Times. Monday, 14 October, 1912. Issue 40029, col C, p. 3.
  10. "The New Fleet Flagship" (News). The Times. Tuesday, 10 March, 1914. Issue 40467, col E, p. 12.
  11. "H.M.S. Iron Duke Damaged" (News). The Times. Friday, 20 March, 1914. Issue 40476, col D, p. 16.
  12. Hansard. HC Deb 23 March 1914 vol 60 cc54-5W.
  13. The Navy List. (January, 1921). pp. 793-4.
  14. Gough-Calthorpe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 130/264.
  15. The Navy List. (April, 1925). p. 248.
  16. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1927. p. 54.
  17. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. pp. 266-7.
  18. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 122 of 10 July, 1914.
  19. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 512 of 16 Oct, 1914.
  20. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 9-10.
  21. Letter in D'Eyncourt Papers at the National Maritime Museum's Caird Library, DEY/27
  22. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 16.
  23. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1919. pp. 118, 119.
  24. Admiralty. Extract of Gunnery Practices in Grand Fleet, 1914-1918. Battleships and Battle Cruisers. The National Archives. ADM 137/4822 p. 2.
  25. Admiralty. Extract of Gunnery Practices in Grand Fleet, 1914-1918. Battleships and Battle Cruisers. The National Archives. ADM 137/4822 pp. 2, 3.
  26. The Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 339.
  27. Lawson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 338.
  28. Lawson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 338.
  29. Dreyer Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 353.
  30. Dreyer Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 353.
  31. Chatfield Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 346.
  32. Chatfield Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 346.
  33. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 821. Exact date in February inferred from Chatfield Service Record.
  34. The Navy List. (August, 1919). p. 821.
  35. Fisher Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 45.
  36. Hill Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 146.
  37. Hill Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 146.
  38. Dunbar-Nasmith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90/89. f. 89.
  39. Dunbar-Nasmith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90/89. f. 89.
  40. The Navy List. (July, 1924). p. 248.
  41. Rose Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/14. f. 14.
  42. The Navy List. (April, 1925). p. 248.
  43. Forbes Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 130.
  44. Henley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 44.
  45. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  46. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  47. Fitzmaurice Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 8.
  48. Little Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/47/95. f. 300.
  49. Little Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/47/95. f. 300.
  50. Austin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46. f. 78.
  51. Austin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46. f. 78.
  52. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  53. Dewar Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 59.
  54. Boyle Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/135. f. 138.
  55. Coleridge Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/91. f. 160.
  56. Coleridge Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/91. f. 160.
  57. King Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 489.
  58. King Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 489.
  59. Allen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 408.
  60. Allen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48. f. 408.
  61. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/73. f. 79.
  62. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/73. f. 79.
  63. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  64. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.

Bibliography


Iron Duke Class Dreadnought
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