HMS Neptune (1909)
|Preceded by:||St. Vincent class|
|Succeeded by:||Colossus class|
|Namesake:||Neptune, Roman god of the sea|
|Ordered:||1908 Naval Estimates|
|Laid down:||19 January 1909|
|Launched:||30 September 1909|
|Commissioned:||11 January 1911|
|Fate:||Scrapped in September 1922|
|Displacement:||19,900 tons (22,000 full load)|
|Length:||546 ft (166 m)|
|Beam:||85 ft (26 m)|
|Draught:||27 ft (8.2 m)|
|Propulsion:||Parsons steam turbines, direct drive on four shafts, 25,000 shp, 18 Yarrow boilers|
|Speed:||21 knots (39 km/h)|
|Range:||6,330 nm at 10 knots (19 km/h)|
HMS Neptune was a Royal Navy dreadnought battleship, intended to be the lead ship of three Neptune-class battleships, but the subsequent two ships had slightly thicker belt armour and were reclassified as the Colossus class.
She was the first Royal Navy battleship that differed in her gun turret layout from Dreadnought. She had two wing turrets staggered en echelon so that all five turrets could shoot in broadside, although in practice the blast damage to the superstructure and boats made this impractical except in an emergency.
To achieve this staggering firepower with such a small increase in hull length, the ship was equipped with superfiring rear turrets; arranged so that one would fire over the other when shooting towards the stern. She was the first Royal Navy ship to have a superfiring main armament (the American battleship USS South Carolina, launched in 1908, was the first battleship anywhere to have superfiring main turrets). However, the upper of the two turrets could not fire within 30 degrees of the stern without the lower turret being damaged by blast through its sighting hoods.
A further saving in length was achieved by siting the ship's boats on a flying deck over the two midships turrets to reduce the length of the vessel. However, had the flying deck been damaged during action, they may have fallen onto the turrets, immobilising them. The bridge was also situated above the conning tower, which risked similarly being obscured if the bridge collapsed.
She was flagship of the Home Fleet from May 1911 until May 1912 when she was transferred to the 1st Battle Squadron, where she remained until June 1916, just after the Battle of Jutland. She was accidentally struck by SS Needvaal in April 1916 but no serious damage was done. She was present at the Battle of Jutland as part of Admiral Jellicoe's Battle Fleet. She fired only 48 12 inch (305 mm) shells but is credited with scoring several hits on the German battlecruiser Lützow. Her captain was Vivian Bernard.
After the war she was quickly transferred to the reserve fleet and subsequently scrapped.
- Dreadnought Project Technical material on the weaponry and fire control for the ships
- The Times (London), Wednesday, 11 January 1911, p.7
- DK Brown (2003). The Grand Fleet, warship design and development 1906–1922. Caxton Editions. pp. 38–40. ISBN 1-84067-531-4.
- "Neptune Class Dreadnought Battleship". World War 1 Naval Combat. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
- "HMS Neptune". Battleships-Cruisers.co.uk. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to HMS Neptune (ship, 1909).|
- Burt, R. A. (1986). British Battleships of World War One. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-863-8.
- Campbell, John (1998). Jutland: An Analysis of the Fighting. Lyons Press. ISBN 1-55821-759-2.
- Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1922. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
- Hythe, Viscount (ed.). The Naval Annual 1914.
- Massie, Robert (2004). Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany and the winning of the Great War. Random House. ISBN 0-224-04092-8.
- Roberts, John (1997). Battlecruisers. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-068-1.