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    Posted: 08 Sep 2010 at 19:13
The following information relates to the Canopus Class Battleships which served during the Gallipoli/Dardanelles Campaign. This information can be viewed in full at the following URL;

Canopus class battleship



Class overview


 Royal Navy

Preceded by:

Majestic class

Succeeded by:

Formidable class



In commission:








General characteristics


Pre-dreadnought battleship


13,150 tons


430 ft (131 m)


74 ft (23 m)


26 ft (7.9 m)


2 shafts, water tube boilers, vertical triple-expansion steam engines, 15,400 ihp


18 knots (33 km/h)




§                     4 × BL 12-inch (305 mm) Mk VIII guns[1]

§                     12 × 6-inch (152.4 mm) QF guns[1]

§                     10 × 12-pounder QF guns

§                     6 × 3-pounder QF guns

§                     4 × 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes(submerged)


§                     Belt: 6 inches (152 mm)

§                     Bulkheads: 6–10 inches (152–254 mm)

§                     Barbettes: 12 inches (305 mm)

§                     Gunhouses: 8 inches (203 mm)

§                     Casemates: 6 inches (152 mm)

§                     Conning tower: 12 inches (305 mm)

§                     Decks: 1–2 inches (25.4–51 mm)

The Canopus class was a six-ship class of pre-dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy designed by Sir William White.

Technical Description

The Canopus-class ships were designed for service in the Far East, where the new rising power Japan was beginning to build a powerful and dangerous navy, and thus had to be able to pass through the Suez Canal. They were designed to be smaller (by about 2,000 tons), lighter, and faster than their predecessors, the Majestic-class battleships, although they were slightly longer at 430 feet (131 m). In order to save weight, the Canopus class carried less armour than the Majestics, although the change from Harvey armour in the Majestics to Krupp Armour  in the Canopus class meant that the loss in protection was not as great as it might have been, Krupp armour having greater protective value at a given weight than its Harvey equivalent. Still, their armour was light enough to make them almost second-class battleships. Part of their armour scheme included the use of a special 1 inch (2.54 cm) armoured deck over the armour belt to defend against plunging fire by howitzers that France reportedly planned to install on its ships, although this report proved to be false.[2]

Like the Majestics, theCanopus-class ships had four 12 inch (305 mm) 35-calibre long guns mounted in twin turrets fore and aft. In the Majestic-class ships Caesar and Illustrious, these guns were mounted in circular barbettes that allowed all-around loading, although at a fixed elevation. The final ship, Vengeance, had an improved mounting that also allowed loading at any elevation; her turret gunhouses also differed from those of her sisters in being Krupp-armoured and flat-sided, Krupp armour plates being difficult to curve.[2] The ships also mounted twelve 6 inch (152 mm) 40-calibre guns (sponson mounting allowing some of them to fire fore and aft) in armoured casemates in addition to smaller guns, and four submerged 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes.[3]

The Canopuses were the first British battleships with water-tube boilers, which generated more power at less expense in weight compared with the cylindrical boilers used in previous ships. The new boilers led to the adoption of fore-and-aft funnels, rather than the side-by-side funnel arrangement used in many previous British battleships. The Canopus-class ships proved to be good steamers, consuming 10 tons of coal per hour at full speed,[4] with a high speed for battleships of their time, a full two knots faster than the Majestics.[5]


Operational history

The Canopus-class ships joined the fleet between late 1899 and 1902. The appearance in 1906 of the first all-big-gun battleship or "dreadnought", HMS Dreadnought, made all pre-dreadnoughts like those of the Canopus class obsolete. Before World War I, they saw service in home waters, on the China Station, and in the Mediterranean Fleet. After the war began, they saw service widely around the world, including home waters, the Atlantic, Africa, north Russia, and the Mediterranean, where two were sunk during the Dardanelles campaign. The four survivors were reduced to subsidiary duties late in the war and were scrapped in the early 1920s.[6]

Ships in Class

HMS Albion

HMS Albion served on the China Station 1901–1905 and in the Channel Fleet 1905–1906, Home Fleet 1907, Atlantic Fleet 1907–1909, and Home Fleet again 1909–1914. At the beginning of World War I, she was in the Channel Fleet and served in the Atlantic, then in South Africa and West Africa 1914–1915, and then in the Mediterranean 1915–1916, where she saw combat against Ottoman forces in the Dardanelles campaign. She then performed guard ship duty in Ireland and England 1916–1918 before being reduced to subsidiary service in late 1918. She was scrapped in 1920.[7]

HMS Canopus

HMS Canopus served in the Mediterranean Fleet 1899–1903, Atlantic Fleet 1905–1906, Channel Fleet 1906–1907, Home Fleet 1907–1908, Mediterranean Fleet again 1908–1909, and Home Fleet again 1909–1914. She began World War I in the Channel Fleet in 1914, then served in the Atlantic and on the South America Station, and was guard ship at Stanley, Falkland Islands, when Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee's German squadron arrived there on 8 December 1914, leading to its destruction in the Battle of the Falklands at the hands of the British battlecruiser squadron. She served in the Mediterranean in 1915–1916 and saw action against Ottoman forces in the Dardanelles campaign. She decommissioned in 1916 and was scrapped in 1920.[8]

HMS Glory

HMS Glory saw service on the China Station 1900–1905, and in the Channel Fleet 1905–1906, Home Fleet 1906–1907, and Mediterranean Fleet 1907–1909, Home Fleet again 1909–1914, and finally the Channel Fleet upon the outbreak of World War I. She served on the North America and West Indies Station August 1914–May 1915, then transferred to the Mediterranean, where she served until 1916, including support during the Dardanelles campaign. She served in north Russia 1916–1919, returned to the United Kingdom and was renamed Crescent while performing subsidiary duties, and was sold for scrapping in 1922.[8

HMS Goliath

HMS Goliath served on the China Station 1900–1903 and in the Mediterranean Fleet 1906–1907, Home Fleet 1907–1908, Mediterranean Fleet again 1908–1909, and Home Fleet 1909–1914. At the outbreak of World War I she was in the Channel Fleet, then transferred to theEast Indies Station and saw action in German East Africa in 1914–1915, including operations against the German light cruiser Königsberg. She transferred to the Mediterranean in 1915, where she saw action against Ottoman forces in the Dardanelles campaign and was torpedoed and sunk on 13 May 1915.[9]

HMS Ocean

HMS Ocean served in the Mediterranean Fleet 1900–1901, on the China Station 1901–1905, in the Channel Fleet 1906–1908, in the Mediterranean Fleet again 1908–1910, and in the Home Fleet 1910–1914. She was in the Channel Fleet at the beginning of World War I, then performed guard ship duty in Ireland, served on the East Indies Station, and finally transferred to the Mediterranean before the end of 1914. In 1915, she joined the Dardanelles campaign, where she struck a mine and sank under fire from Ottoman shore batteries on 18 March 1915.[8]

HMS Vengeance

HMS Vengeance served in the Mediterranean Fleet 1902–1903, on the China Station 1903–1905, in the Channel Fleet 1906–1908, and in the Home Fleet 1908–1914. She began her World War I service in the Channel Fleet, then served in Egypt and the Atlantic in 1914–1915 before transferring to the Mediterranean, where she saw action against Ottoman forces in the Dardanelles campaign in 1915. She served in East Africa 1916–1917, then in subsidiary duties in home waters before being scrapped in 1922.[10]


1.      ^ a b Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905, p. 36

2.      ^ a b Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905, p. 35

3.      ^ Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905, p. 35–36; Gibbons, p. 145

4.      ^ Gibbons, p. 145

5.      ^ Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905, p. 35; Gibbons, p. 145

6.      ^ Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905, p. 35; Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921, pp. 7–8; Burt, pp. 154–160

7.      ^ Burt, p. 159–160

8.      ^ a b c Burt, p. 154–156

9.      ^ Burt, p. 158–159

10.  ^ Burt, p. 156–158



§                     Burt, R. A. British Battleships 1889–1904. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 0870210610.

§                     Chesneau, Roger, and Eugene M. Kolesnik, Eds. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. New York, New York: Mayflower Books Inc., 1979. ISBN 0831703024

§                     Gibbons, Tony. The Complete Encyclopedia of Battleships and Battlecruisers: A Technical Directory of All the World's Capital Ships From 1860 to the Present Day. London: Salamander Books Ltd., 1983.

§                     Gray, Randal, Ed. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985. ISBN 0870219073.

External links

§                     MaritimeQuest Canopus Class Overview

§                     World War 1 Naval Combat


Edited by Mal Murray - 08 Sep 2010 at 19:16
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