Continued from: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5846
(have cleared this attempt with jabba, artist of the current version of HMS Dreadnought on the site)
This is my first Shipbucket drawing, HMS Dreadnought as she appeared in 1906, 1909, 1913, 1914, 1916, and 1918.
HMS Dreadnought, 1906
HMS Dreadnought as she appeared upon completion in 1906.
HMS Dreadnought revolutionized naval architecture—she was the first battleship to carry an “all big gun” main armament, and the first capital ship to be driven by steam turbines. When commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1906, Dreadnought was the most powerful capital ship afloat, able to outrun and outgun all of her rivals. At a stroke, she rendered obsolete all of the world’s battleships—including those of Britain’s own Royal Navy then extant. Her launch triggered a global arms race that contributed greatly to the tensions which eventually sparked the First World War, and she lent her name to a whole new breed of battleship—the dreadnoughts.
Armament in 1906
Main armament: 10x 12 in 45cal Mk X rifles fitted in five twin turrets (BVIII)
Secondary armament: 27x 12pdr anti-torpedo boat guns, dispersed as follows:
10x mounted on turret tops, 2 per turret
12x mounted in the superstructure, 6 on each side
3x mounted on the quarterdeck
2x mounted on the forecastle (stowed)
Torpedoes: 5x 18 in torpedo tubes:
4x broadside, 2 on each side
In 1907, after a prolonged trial cruise, Dreadnought became flagship of the Nore Division of the Home Fleet. In 1909, following the reorganization of the Home Fleet, the Nore Division became the 1st Division and Dreadnought became flagship of CinC Home Fleet Sir Francis Bridgeman.
HMS Dreadnought, 1909
HMS Dreadnought as she appeared in 1909.
She was completed without rangefinders, but in 1907 a rangefinder was fitted over the after conning tower. Collapsible blast screens were fitted on either side of the rangefinder platform (not shown in the drawing). In 1909, an experimental range indicator was fitted over the fore control top, and a pair of 36 in searchlights was removed from the superstructure amidships. She flies Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Bridgeman's flag as flagship of the Home Fleet.
In 1911 Dreadnought was relieved as flagship of the 1st Division by HMS Neptune, and underwent a brief refit before returning to the Division as a private ship. By 1912 only six years after her completion, Dreadnought was no longer considered to be as combat effective as her newer and larger sisters. She was transferred to the 4th Battle Squadron of the Home Fleet, based in Gibraltar, and assumed flagship duties in the 4th BS in 1913.
HMS Dreadnought, 1913
HMS Dreadnought as she appeared in 1913.
Blast screens were added to the twin 12 pdr mount on the fore turret in an attempt to make the position less vulnerable. The range indicator mounted atop the foremast was removed in 1912. The 24 in searchlight mounted below the forward control platform was removed, and long signal struts were fitted on the foremast. The rear topmast was removed, and two cranes were fitted at the rear mast. She flies the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Briggs, as flagship of the 4th Battle Squadron, Home Fleet.
In 1914, with war in Europe looming, the Royal Navy recalled its dreadnoughts to home waters. In July, Dreadnought and the 4th BS moved to Scapa Flow, the wartime anchorage of the Home Fleet. With the outbreak of war, as part of the newly renamed Grand Fleet, Dreadnought led the 4th BS, consisting of the battleships Bellerophon, Temeraire, Agincourt, Erin, and Iron Duke. Through 1914, the squadron patrolled the waters northeast of Scotland, but did not see combat.
HMS Dreadnought, 1914
HMS Dreadnought as she appeared in late 1914.
Several sets of alterations were made to the ship to prepare her for war. The first priority was to improve Dreadnought’s fire control. The awkwardly mounted amidships rangefinder, unable to look forward or aft, was removed. Director control for the main armament was fitted, with the director tower mounted over the fore control top. A rangefinder was also added on the bridge.
Additionally, the 12 pdr secondary armament—which was considered barely adequate even in 1906—was clearly incapable of engaging contemporary destroyers by 1914. The troublesome twin 12 pdr mount on the fore turret was removed, and all 12 pdr guns were removed from the superstructure save the upper pair of the forward superstructure. The 12 pdr guns mounted on the quarterdeck were replaced by four 12 pdr AA guns (capable of high elevation fire). A pair was mounted aft on deck, with the second pair flanking the aft tripod.
The area around the forward conning tower was also cleared to improve visibility from the armored tower in battle. The bridge wings were removed, and the 36 in searchlights previously mounted there were moved to platforms on the forward legs of the main tripod. The wheelhouse was also set back, with supports added to extend the navigating platform forward. The final change to her appearance was the removal of the anti-torpedo nets.
At the end of 1914, Dreadnought was relieved as flagship of the 4th BS by HMS Benbow, remaining in the 4th BS as a private ship. On Feb 18, 1915, while returning to port following exercises with the Grand Fleet, Dreadnought spotted German U-boat U29 and gave chase, despite not being equipped with any anti-submarine armament. Dreadnought rammed the submarine, cutting her in two and becoming the only battleship in history to ever sink a submarine.
HMS Dreadnought, 1916
HMS Dreadnought as she appeared in 1916.
Dreadnought had her stern torpedo tube removed, and the after control top was also removed, replaced by an open platform where the aft searchlights were remounted. As part of the fleet-wide changes following the Battle of Jutland, Dreadnought had anti-flash protection fitted to her magazines and ammunition hoists, and some extra deck protection was fitted over the magazines. She flies the flag of Vice-Admiral Edward Bradford as flagship of the 3rd Battle Squadron.
In 1916, Dreadnought was transferred to the 3rd BS, which was detached from the Grand Fleet and rebased to Sheerness. In addition to the flagship, the 3rd BS consisted of the surviving pre-dreadnought battleships of the King Edward VII class: Africa, Commonwealth, Hibernia, Dominion, Hindustan, Zealandia and Britannia, and was deployed to counter raids on the east coast of Britain by German heavy ships. On May 31, 1916, the 3rd BS sailed to support the Grand Fleet at Jutland, but the squadron did not arrive in time to see combat.
HMS Dreadnought, 1918
HMS Dreadnought as she appeared at war’s end, 1918.
In 1917, deflection scales were painted on the forward and after turrets. The quarterdeck 12 pdr AA guns were replaced by a pair of 3 in AA guns, and the foretopmast was also reduced in height.
In 1918, Dreadnought rejoined the Grand Fleet as a private ship in her old squadron, the 4th BS. As the oldest dreadnought battleship in the fleet, she was placed in reserve at war’s end. In 1921 the ship was paid off, and she was scrapped in 1923.
This concludes this series on HMS Dreadnought. Up next is the following class of dreadnoughts built for the Royal Navy, the Bellerophon class: HMS Bellerophon, HMS Temeraire, and HMS Superb!