HMS Dreadnought (1875)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Dreadnought.
HMS Dreadnought of 1875
HMS Dreadnought at Malta during her first full commission, sometime between 1884 and 1894.
Career (United Kingdom)
Builder: Pembroke Dockyard
Laid down: 10 September 1870
Launched: 8 March 1875
Commissioned: 15 February 1879
Out of service: 1905
Struck: 1908
Fate: Scrapped July 1908
General characteristics
Displacement: 10,886 long tons (11,061 t)
Length: 320 ft (98 m) pp, 343 ft (105 m) oa
Beam: 63.8 ft (19.4 m)
Draught: 26.8 ft (8.2 m)
Propulsion: 12 boilers, 2 6-cycle triple expansion steam engines, 2 shafts = 14.52 kn (26.89 km/h; 16.71 mph) @ 8,210 shp (6,120 kW)
Range: 5,700 nmi (10,600 km; 6,600 mi) @ 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 369
Armament: As built: 4 x 12.5-inch (317 mm) 38 ton Muzzle-loading Rifles

(1884) Ten Nordenfelt Machine Guns added

(1894) Machine guns removed, six 6-pdr, ten 3-pdr added
Armour: 8-14" midships belt, 3" deck, 14" turret face, 14" conning tower side

The fifth HMS Dreadnought of the Royal Navy was a turret ironclad battleship built at Pembroke Dockyard, Wales.


Right elevation and deck plan of Dreadnought as depicted in Brassey‍ '​s Naval Annual, 1888

Begun as Fury in 1870, the original design was recast for heavier armour and higher speed. The renamed ship was laid down in 1872 at Pembroke Dockyard and was subsequently launched in March 1875, with final completion at Portsmouth in 1879. She carried her four muzzle-loading guns in two twin turrets, and had a very heavily armored hull, low freeboard, and no sailing rig. Her secondary armament was very light, though it varied in detail throughout her career. Despite their obsolescence,[citation needed] she retained her muzzle-loading big guns to the end of her days.

Service history[edit]

Being fitted with Nordenfelt guns (visible abaft the bridge), probably after returning from the Mediterranean in 1894.

After completion, Dreadnought remained in reserve until 1884, when she was commissioned for service in the Mediterranean Sea. The battleship returned to British waters in 1894 and, after refit, served in 1895-1897 as a coast guard ship at Bantry Bay, Ireland.

Dreadnought was partially modernized in 1897-1899 and took part in British fleet manoeuvres in 1900 and 1901 as a second-class battleship. From 1902, she served as a tender and depot ship. She was placed out of service in 1905, and sold for scrapping in July 1908.


See also[edit]


  • D. K. Brown, Warrior to Dreadnought, Warship Development 1860-1906, ISBN 1-84067-529-2
  • Roger Chesneau and Eugene M. Kolesnik, ed., Conway's All The Worlds Fighting Ships, 1860-1905, (Conway Maritime Press, London, 1979), ISBN 0-85177-133-5

External links[edit]