H.M.S. Orion (1910)

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H.M.S. Orion (1910)
Pendant Number: 52 (1914)
91 (Jan 1918)
86 (Apr 1918)[1]
Builder: Portsmouth Royal Dockyard[2]
Ordered: 1909 Programme[3]
Laid down: 29 Nov, 1909[4]
Launched: 20 Aug, 1910[5]
Commissioned: 2 Jan, 1912
Sold: 19 Dec, 1922[6]
Fate: Scrapped

Service

H.M.S. Orion was one of eight armoured vessels authorised in 1909 and one of four Orion Class Battleships and was built at Portsmouth Royal Dockyard.[7] She was laid down on 29 November 1909 and launched on 20 August 1910.[8][9] She had a displacement of 22,500 tons and was the first vessel to be mounted with a 13.5-inch Mk II mountings for her main battery guns.[7][10] Her acceptance trial was concluded on 25 November 1911.[7] A few weeks later on 12 December 1911 eighteen officers and men were injured when an explosion occurred onboard while Orion was at Portsmouth.[7] She was launched on 2 January 1912.

She recommissioned at Devonport on 4 February 1914.[11]

Commander Julian Francis Chichester Patterson, 1914-1917 (Gunnery Officer)

Orion served in the Second Battle Squadron from at least December 1912, acting as that formation's second flagship from at least December 1913. She served with the Second throughout the war.[12]

In 24-25 August 1915, Orion won the Second Battle Squadron Pulling Regatta at Scapa. Dreyer rowed in boats that proved victorious in the Officers' Cutter Race and the Officers' Veterans Skiff Race. The ship also won the 2BS Sailing Regatta held on 23 September.[13]

When the Fleet was reorganized in May 1919, Orion was transferred to the Third Battle Squadron, acting as that formation's second flagship.[14]

Jutland

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

Post-War

Orion recommissioned at Portland on 1 October, 1920.[15]

On 19 December 1922, Orion was decommissioned and sold off.[16]

Radio

By the end of 1913, she and the rest of the Second Battle Squadron were all equipped with Battleship Auxiliary W/T sets.[17]

Boats

In July 1914, the ship was appropriated 42-foot motor launch No. 263, though the boat was not yet delivered from the contractor.[18]

Secondary Battery

Orion differed from her sisters in using a P. IV* mounting (as in the Colossus class) rather than a P. II* mounting for her sixteen 4-in guns. Their details can be found here. She may have been fitted with a director system for these by mid/late 1917 — a tweak that was not as easily offered her nominal sisters with their older mountings.[19]

Torpedoes

The ships had three 21-in submerged torpedo tubes. Orion's broadside tubes were angled at 90 degrees, unlike her sisters, whose were angled 10 degrees in advance of the beam.[20]

Searchlights

In late 1913, two 24-in Automatic Motor Lamps manufactured by Messrs. Clarke, Chapman & Co. Ltd., a model which had recently been trialled in Vernon, were to be installed in the ship at Devonport Royal Dockyard for a three-month trial.[21]

Alterations

In 1913, Orion was slated as part of the seventeen ship order to receive a director for her main battery. It was fitted in late April or early May, 1915 during a weeklong refit in Devonport, and the wiring was completed in May at Scapa Flow. Very soon thereafter, a test of six half salvoes in Scapa demonstrated mean patterns of 200 yards at 12,000 yards.[22][23][24]

In October 1913, it was decided that the 4-in mountings should also have buzzers for their firing circuits.[25]

In late 1913, the ship landed a Pattern 873 Zeiss stereo spotting telescope Mark II at Portsmouth in order to take on a Ross model of the same pattern for a three-month comparative evaluation.[26]

In June 1914, the ship was directed to return its Waymouth-Cooke Rangefinder to the manufacturer to replace the long telescope with a shorter one.[27]

In late July 1914, the ship received one of five Waymouth-Cooke Rangefinders purchased for evaluation, possibly of a new model.[28]

In late 1914, it was decided that Orion should receive one of 22 Open Director Sights for her "Q" turret. It was fitted between April 1916 and June 1917.[29]

In October 1914, the ship was to be given 2 Pattern 1582 Electric Radiators to warm cabins whose stoves could not be used for heating them.[30]

In 1915, it was also decided to outfit her 4-in battery with director firing as a test, as resources did not permit wholesale support of the ships with 4-in secondaries. However, this installation did not actually occur until mid-1918.[31] It seems that Orion was the only capital ship in the Royal Navy to have a director for a 4-in secondary battery.

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

Robert Cecil Hamilton was alleged to be in command around September, 1920, but the Navy Lists and his own Service Record do not seem to support this.[44]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 28.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 28.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 28.
  5. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  6. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Explosion at the Orion. The Times (London, England), Wednesday, Dec 13, 1911; pg. 7; Issue 39767.
  8. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  9. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 28.
  10. Hodges. The Big Gun. p. 62.
  11. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 352.
  12. See Second Battle Squadron for citations.
  13. Dreyer. The Sea Heritage. p. 95.
  14. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1919). p. 12.
  15. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 818.
  16. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  17. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. W/T Appendix, p. 13.
  18. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 122 of 10 July, 1914.
  19. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 145.
  20. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 190.
  21. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 702 of 5 Dec, 1913.
  22. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 9-10.
  23. Dreyer. The Sea Heritage. pp. 94-95.
  24. Burt. British Battleships of World War One. p. 140.
  25. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 569 of 17 Oct, 1913.
  26. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 662 of 21 Nov, 1913.
  27. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 68 of 26 June 1914.
  28. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 219 of 31 July 1914.
  29. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 18.
  30. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 512 of 16 Oct, 1914.
  31. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 16-7.
  32. Waller Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 207.
  33. The Navy List. (October, 1913). p. 351.
  34. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 396h.
  35. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 396h.
  36. Dreyer Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 353.
  37. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 396h.
  38. Backhouse Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 206.
  39. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 856.
  40. Fullerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 518.
  41. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 856.
  42. Hornell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/435. f. 437.
  43. Ellison Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 516.
  44. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.

Bibliography


Orion Class Dreadnought
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