HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

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Kyler
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HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Kyler » Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:55 am

HMS Agincourt (1914)

This entirely unique battleship was originally ordered for the Brazilian Navy in 1911 as the “Rio De Janeiro”. She was laid down in 1911 by the Armstrong Elswick Ltd. Launched in 1913, she was subsequently sold to Turkish government due to financial constraints of the Brazilian Government. To raise the needed funds to purchase the battleship, the Turkish government put forth a national collection effort and raised part of the funds directly from its population. Agincourt was than refitted out with Arabic style furnishings and facilities and renamed “Sultan Osman 1.” She was completed shortly after World War I started. Due to fears that she could be used by the Turks if they entered the war in favor of the Germans, Agincourt was commandeered by the Royal Navy for service during the war as part of the contract for construction of the ship. She served from 1914 through 1922 in the RN, when she was decommissioned as part of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921.

The most unique feature of the Agincourt is her 7 center line main gun turrets. The most turrets and main guns of any battleship ever constructed. They were officially named 1-7, but unofficially named for each day of the week. Each turret housed two 12inch Mark XIII naval guns. For the time period in which she was completed her guns were of a smaller make the contemporary battleships. There was serious concern when Agincourt was finished, that if she would fire a full broadside she would break in half or sink. Though during her service in the 1st Battle Squadron during World War I, she participated in the Battle of Jutland and fire several full broadsides with only a few popped rivets being the only damage she received all day. The full broadside was described as “Such a ball of fire that it seemed the ship had blown up.”

Beside her main armament Agincourt carried 18 6”/50 BL MkXIII guns in single casemates, 10 3”/40 QF guns, and 3 21” torpedo tubes (all submerged: 2 broadside, 1 stern)

Agincourt also had two major flaws in her compartment construction and her armor compared to other period battleships and cruisers. She was not very compartmentalized even by British standards. If she would have received damaged in battle, it would have been much harder for her isolate or stop flooding. Her armor was also considerably thinner for a battleship of her design & size, with her main armor belt being on 9” compared to British and German ships of the period being at least 12”. These faults are a major reason why she was easily given up after the Washington Naval treaty. It is easy to theorize that these faults were mainly due to the fact the Agincourt was never designed to take on British or German 1st rate battleships but to battle similar and older vessels serving in the other navies of South America.

She was initially an unpopular ship with British crews because item’s in the ship being mislabeled and the lavatories being Arabic style.

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Dimensions
Length: 670’9”, Beam: 88’9”, Draft: 26’9”, Displacement 27,500 std./ 30,250 full
Crew: 1,267
Propulsion
Engines: 4 Parsons steam turbine by Vickers
Boilers: 22 Babcock & Wilcox (coal & oil fired)
Shafts: 4, Shaft Horse Power: 34,000
Speed: 22 kt, Range: 7,000 nm at 10 knots.

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"It was a perfect attack, Right Height, Right Range, Right cloud cover, Right speed,
Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

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Gary
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Gary » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:22 pm

Some wonderful photos there my friend - including a couple I'd never seen before.
Anyone know why they crammed so many 12 inch guns into one hull?
Why not house less guns of say 13.5 inch calibre?

But still,, I bet it was impressive when she let loose a full 14 gun broadside :wink:
Sorry it took so long for someone to respond to you.
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby RF » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:59 am

Hello Gary, its been quite a while since we've heard from you.

I must confess that I am baffled by the turret arrangement of Agincourt. Seven double turrets - I would have gone for triple turrets in the traditional position, OK two guns less but surely more economical on weight?
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Kyler » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:53 pm

When orginially designed for Brazil, the Agincourt (Rio De Janeiro) was to have 6 double 14in gun turrets.

I am not sure where in the design phase it was decided to switch to 12in guns, plus an additional turret.
I think cost was the driving factor, but I will check into it.

The Agincourt is definately a white elephant if there ever was one. She was built in a period where larger
gun calibers were common, and she is very under armored for her size.
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:42 am

Hello Gary, its been quite a while since we've heard from you.


Same here. U being missed in the forum.
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Kyler » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:25 am

Agincourt was redesigned after the mutiny aboard the Minas Gireas, Brazil asked for opinion in how to change the design of the warship.
Emperor Wilhelm recommended a ship with as many 12in turrets as possible. The Brazilian government agreed and the ship was laid down
for a 4th with an additional 12in double turret added by Armstrong.
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Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby tommy303 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:38 pm

But still,, I bet it was impressive when she let loose a full 14 gun broadside


I have read that on one occasion when Agincourt fired a full broadside, observers at first thought she had blown up.

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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Gary » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:01 pm

Hi all.

Yeah sorry I havent been on this forum for sometime, no reason really I just havent been here :oops:

Emperor Wilhelm recommended a ship with as many 12in turrets as possible

I read somewhere that Wilhelm had something of a fetish for 12inch guns, it was his belief that anything larger was overkill :whistle:
I then wonder why Brazil got Britain to construct their ship and not Germany?

The Royal navy would never have accepted Agincourt (poor armour and sub-divison) into their service had it not been for the emergency of WW1
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby hammy » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:16 pm

At the start of WW2 Britain repeated her previous action by seizing / " purchasing " warships building for foreign customers in British yards .

Among these were six repeats of the H class destroyers ( of Narvik fame ) which were for Brazil . I remember reading that the Gunners were surprised and alarmed to find that all the instruments , including the brass circle direction indicator around each main gun mounting were marked off in Radians rather than Degrees .
( Anybody know why the Brazilian navy did this ? )

Was this the case with Agincourt , or did the early sale to Turkey mean these details were redesigned prior to delivery ?
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Kyler » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:16 pm

hammy wrote:At the start of WW2 Britain repeated her previous action by seizing / " purchasing " warships building for foreign customers in British yards .

Among these were six repeats of the H class destroyers ( of Narvik fame ) which were for Brazil . I remember reading that the Gunners were surprised and alarmed to find that all the instruments , including the brass circle direction indicator around each main gun mounting were marked off in Radians rather than Degrees .
( Anybody know why the Brazilian navy did this ? )

Was this the case with Agincourt , or did the early sale to Turkey mean these details were redesigned prior to delivery ?


Little is known about the Agincourt, the ship was laid down 4 times and went through numerous design changes before she was sold to Turkey, then taken over by the British. I'll keep looking for more information if I can find it.

Emperor Wilhelm believed that capital ships should have smaller but faster firing guns, then bigger slower firing guns. Actually his favorite type was the 11in, it took a lot of convincing by the Adm's during the WW1 for German Navy to move to 15in guns.
"It was a perfect attack, Right Height, Right Range, Right cloud cover, Right speed,
Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby tommy303 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:39 pm

I then wonder why Brazil got Britain to construct their ship and not Germany?


I suspect Britain had the excess building capacity while Germany did not. In the latter case the German yards were pretty much occupied filling orders for the HSF.

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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Kyler » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:01 pm

tommy303 wrote:
I then wonder why Brazil got Britain to construct their ship and not Germany?


I suspect Britain had the excess building capacity while Germany did not. In the latter case the German yards were pretty much occupied filling orders for the HSF.


Brazil was just looking for advise in the redesign, Wilhelm's suggestion was quickly incorporated into Armstrong design to keep the contract, though there is little information if German builders were trying to sway the Brazilians to have the ship built with them.
"It was a perfect attack, Right Height, Right Range, Right cloud cover, Right speed,
Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby hammy » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:27 pm

This business about the desirability of using smaller , faster shooting guns goes right back into the pre and intermediate dreadnought era .

The two pre-dreadnoughts Swiftsure and Triumph were bought by the Royal Navy prior to WW1 , while being completed for a South American Navy in their British building yards , following a "scare" about earlier German Naval strength .
With two twin 10 inch turrets ( instead of the usual British 2 x 12 inch ) , the secondary battery was fourteen 7.5 inch 50 cal guns in barbette mounts ( rather than the usual British 12 x 6 inch ) .
A 7.5 throws a 200lb projectile a bit further than a 6inch throws it's 100lb projectile , but it is slower to operate , probably around two to three shots per minute per gun , as opposed to the six inch which could fire for or five rounds in the same time .
The guns of course are for two different envisaged situations , however , in the British case for beating off torpedo attacks by torpedo boats ( small early destroyers , not MTB / PT / S-boote ) , while in the South American scenario they would be used in "smothering" fire against bigger opponents .

Interestingly , the accounts from the Dardanelles campaign from the British Lord Nelson + Agamemnon intermediate dreadnoughts ( two twin 12 inch turrets on the ends , and three twin 9.2s along each beam ) say that when engaging the Turkish shore positions they would often use the 9.2 battery rather than the slower 12 inch guns , as they got a better effect -- many more shells onto the target in the time .

You also see a similar debate in the 1930s in regard to the 10,000 ton Washington cruisers , and whether to arm them with eight or so 8 inch guns , or twelve 6 inch . with an 8 inch averaging four 260lb rounds per minute , and the 6 inch six 100lb , the paper figures look like this ; -

with Eight inch :- 8 x 4 = 32 shots per minute x 260lb = 8,320lb of shot thrown per minute
with Six inch :- 12 x 6 = 72 shots per minute x 100lb = 7,200lb of shot thrown per minute

Given that the EFFECTIVE shooting range of the eight inch is only about 12% further than six inch , you can see that the ship armed with the smaller gun calibre has about twice the chance to hit the one armed with the bigger weapons .
Remembering also that the cost of guns , projectiles , and the ships you put them in rises exponentially as the weapon calibre increases , and you can begin to see where Kaiser Bill is coming from !
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby RF » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:25 am

Gary wrote:I read somewhere that Wilhelm had something of a fetish for 12inch guns, it was his belief that anything larger was overkill :whistle:
I then wonder why Brazil got Britain to construct their ship and not Germany?


The Germans would have driven a harder bargain (more money) and probably with some political strings attached, knowing the Kaiser's ego. Moreover the German shipyards would have been at more or less full capacity with their own construction, as there is the moot point here as to why they didn't build any ships for their allies the Turks.
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Re: HMS Agincourt 1914 (Pictures)

Postby Gary » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:36 am

Thanks guys.

Yeah I suppose that saying as Britain was the main sea power and premier sea builder at that time then it made sense to file an order with her
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