HMS Bellona (1909)
|Builder:||Pembroke Royal Dockyard|
|Laid down:||5 June 1908|
|Launched:||20 March 1909|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 9 May 1921|
|Class & type:||Boadicea-class scout cruiser|
|Displacement:||3,350 long tons (3,400 t) (normal)|
|Length:||405 ft (123.4 m) (o/a)|
|Beam:||41 ft 6 in (12.6 m)|
|Draught:||14 ft (4.3 m)|
|Speed:||25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)|
HMS Bellona was one of two Boadicea-class scout cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She led the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla from completion until 1912. During World War I, she was assigned to battleship squadrons of the Grand Fleet. She was present at, but did not fight in, the Battle of Jutland in mid-1916. The ship was converted into a minelayer in mid-1917 and made four sorties to lay her mines before the end of the war. Bellona was paid off in 1919 and sold for scrap in 1921.
Design and description
Designed to provide destroyer flotillas with a command ship, Bellona proved too slow in service from the start of her career. Her 25-knot (46 km/h; 29 mph) speed was barely capable of matching the speeds of the River-class destroyers she led in her flotilla in 1909 and proved inadequate to match the speed of later destroyers.
Displacing 3,350 long tons (3,400 t), the ship had an overall length of 405 feet (123.4 m), a beam of 41 feet 6 inches (12.6 m) and a deep draught of 14 feet (4.3 m). She was powered by two sets of Parsons steam turbines, each driving two shafts. The turbines produced a total of 18,000 indicated horsepower (13,000 kW), using steam produced by 12 Yarrow boilers that burned both fuel oil and coal, and gave a maximum speed of 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph). She carried a maximum of 780 long tons (790 t) of coal and 189 long tons (192 t) of fuel oil. Her crew consisted of 317 officers and enlisted men.
Her main armament consisted of six breech-loading (BL) four-inch Mk VII guns. The forward pair of guns were mounted side by side on a platform on the forecastle, the middle pair were amidships, one on each broadside, and the two remaining guns were on the centreline of the quarterdeck, one ahead of the other. The guns fired their 31-pound (14 kg) shells to a range of about 11,400 yards (10,400 m). Her secondary armament was four quick-firing (QF) three-pounder (47 mm (1.9 in)) Vickers Mk I guns and two submerged 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes. During the war, four additional four-inch guns were added amidships to increase her firepower. A QF three-inch 20 cwt[Note 1] anti-aircraft gun was also added. In 1918 it was replaced by a four-inch gun.
As a scout cruiser, the ship was only lightly protected to maximize her speed. She had a curved protective deck that was one inch (25 mm) thick on the slope and 0.5 inches (13 mm) on the flat. Her conning tower was protected by four inches of armour.
Construction and service
Bellona, the sixth ship of that name, was laid down at Pembroke Royal Dockyard, on 5 June 1908 and launched on 20 March 1908. She was completed in February 1910 and became the leader of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla through 1912. She was assigned to the 1st Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet in Scapa Flow at the start of the war. On 17 December 1914, Bellona collided with the destroyer leader Broke. Although both ships were seriously damaged, no lives were lost.
Bellona was at the Battle of Jutland but was assigned to a position at the rear of the squadron and did not fire her guns. She was converted to a minelayer in June 1917 and laid 306 mines in four missions. After the war she was in 1919 and sold for scrap on 9 May 1921 to T. W. Ward at Lelant.
- "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 20 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.
- Gardiner & Gray, p. 50
- Friedman 2009, p. 295
- Friedman 2011, pp. 75–76
- Colledge, p. 37
- Corbett, Vol. I, p. 439; Vol. II, pp. 412, 417
- Jellicoe 1919, pp. 180–181.
- Smith, Gordon (2011). "June–December 1914". World War 1 at Sea - Royal Navy Vessels Lost and Damaged. Naval-History.net. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- Corbett, Vol. III, p. 345
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Corbett, Julian. Naval Operations to the Battle of the Falklands. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents I (2nd, reprint of the 1938 ed.). London and Nashville, Tennessee: Imperial War Museum and Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-256-X.
- Corbett, Julian (1997). Naval Operations. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents II (reprint of the 1929 second ed.). London and Nashille, Tennessee: Imperial War Museum in association with the Battery Press. ISBN 1-870423-74-7.
- Corbett, Julian (1997). Naval Operations. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents III (reprint of the 1940 second ed.). London and Nashille, Tennessee: Imperial War Museum in association with the Battery Press. ISBN 1-870423-50-X.
- Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-081-8.
- Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War One. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-84832-100-7.
- Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal, eds. (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
- Jellicoe, John (1919). The Grand Fleet 1914–1916: Its Creation, Development and Work. London: Cassell and Company.