HMS St. Vincent (1908)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS St Vincent.
HMS St Vincent (1908).jpg
St Vincent at the Coronation Review, Spithead, 24 June 1911
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: Saint Vincent
Namesake: Admiral of the Fleet John Jervis, Earl of St Vincent
Ordered: 1907
Laid down: 30 December 1907
Launched: 10 September 1908
Commissioned: 3 May 1910
Decommissioned: March 1921
Fate: Sold for scrap, 1 December 1921
General characteristics (as built)
Class & type: St. Vincent-class dreadnought battleship
Displacement: 19,700 long tons (20,000 t) (normal)
Length: 536 ft (163.4 m) (o/a)
Beam: 84 ft (25.6 m)
Draught: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Installed power: 24,500 shp (18,300 kW)
18 Yarrow boilers
Propulsion: 4 × shafts; 2 × steam turbine sets
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Range: 6,900 nmi (12,800 km; 7,900 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 758

HMS St. Vincent was the lead ship of the St. Vincent-class dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century.

Design and description[edit]

Right elevation and plan of the first generation of British dreadnoughts from the 1912 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships

The design of the St Vincent class was derived from that of the previous Bellerophon class. St Vincent had an overall length of 536 feet (163.4 m), a beam of 84 feet (25.6 m),[1] and a normal draught of 28 feet (8.5 m).[2] She displaced 19,700 long tons (20,000 t) at normal load and 22,800 long tons (23,200 t) at deep load. In 1911 her crew numbered 756 officers and enlisted men and 835 in 1915.[3]


St Vincent was powered by 2 sets of Parsons direct-drive steam turbines, each driving two shafts, using steam from eighteen Babcock & Wilcox boilers. The turbines were rated at 24,500 shp (18,300 kW) and intended to reach a maximum speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). During her sea trials on 17 December 1909, the ship reached a top speed of 21.67 knots (40.13 km/h; 24.94 mph) from 28,218 shp (21,042 kW). She had a range of 6,900 nautical miles (12,779 km; 7,940 mi) at a cruising speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[4]


The St Vincent class was equipped with ten breech-loading (BL) 12-inch (305 mm) Mk XI guns guns in five twin gun turrets, three along the centreline and the remaining two as wing turrets. The secondary, or anti-torpedo boat armament, comprised twenty BL 4-inch (102 mm) Mk VII guns. Pairs of these guns were installed in unshielded mounts on the roofs of the fore and aft centreline turrets and the wing turrets, and the other ten were positioned in single mounts in the superstructure.[3] The ships were also fitted with three 18-inch torpedo tubes, one on each broadside and the third in the stern.[2]


The St Vincent-class ships had a waterline belt of Krupp cemented armour (KC) that was 10 inches (254 mm) thick between the fore and aftmost barbettes that reduced to a thickness of 10 inches (254 mm) before it reached the ships' ends. Above this was a strake of armour 8 inches (203 mm) thick. Transverse bulkheads 4 to 8 inches (102 to 203 mm) inches thick terminated the thickest parts of the waterline and upper armour belts once they reached the outer portions of the endmost barbettes.[5]

The three centreline barbettes were protected by armour 9 inches (229 mm) thick above the main deck that thinned to 5 inches (127 mm) below it. The wing barbettes were similar except that they had 10 inches of armour on their outer faces. The gun turrets had 11-inch (279 mm) faces and sides with 3 inches (76 mm) roofs. The three armoured decks ranged in thicknesses from .75 to 3 inches (19 to 76 mm). The front and sides of the forward conning tower were protected by 11-inch plates, although the rear and roof were 8 inches and 3 inches thick respectively.[6]

Construction and career[edit]

She was commissioned on 3 May 1910 as 2nd flagship of 1st Division Home Fleet at Portsmouth. She was commanded by Capt. Douglas Nicholson and was flagship of Rear-Admiral Richard Peirse, M.V.O., Home Fleet, at the Coronation Spithead Review of 24 June 1911.

In April 1914, she became flagship of the Second-in-Command, 1st Battle Squadron Home Fleet, which she remained until November 1915, when she became a private ship. She was in the 5th Division of the battlefleet at the Battle of Jutland, 20th in the line of battle, and engaged a German battleship believed to have been of the König class.

In June 1916, she was transferred to the 4th Battle Squadron. In March 1919, she was reduced to reserve and became a gunnery training ship, which she remained until placed on the Disposal list in March 1921. Her captain had been Harold Briggs. She was sold for scrap in 1921.


  1. ^ Burt, pp. 75–76
  2. ^ a b Preston, p. 125
  3. ^ a b Burt, p. 76
  4. ^ Burt, pp. 76, 80
  5. ^ Burt, pp. 76, 78; Parkes, p. 503
  6. ^ Burt, pp. 76, 78; Parkes, p. 504


External links[edit]