HMS Sultan (1870)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Sultan.
HMS Sultan
HMS Sultan as she originally appeared.
History
Name: HMS Sultan
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 29 February 1868
Launched: 31 May 1870
Completed: 10 October 1871
Fate: Broken up, 1946
General characteristics
Displacement: 9,290 long tons (9,439 t)
Length: 325 ft (99 m)
Beam: 59 ft (18 m)
Draught:
  • 25 ft 6 in (7.77 m) light
  • 28 ft 9 in (8.76 m) deep load
Propulsion: One-shaft Penn trunk engine, 7,720 ihp (5,757 kW)
Sail plan: Full rigged ship, sail area 49,400 sq ft (4,590 m2)
Speed:
  • 14.13 knots (16.26 mph; 26.17 km/h) under power
  • 6 knots (11 km/h) under sail
Complement: 633
Armament:
Armour:
  • Belt: 6–9 in (150–230 mm)
  • Main deck battery: 9 in (230 mm)
  • Upper deck battery: 8 in (200 mm)
  • Bulkheads: 4.5–6 in (110–150 mm)

HMS Sultan was a broadside ironclad of the Royal Navy of the Victorian era, who carried her main armament in a central box battery. She was named for Sultan Abdülâziz of the Ottoman Empire, who was visiting England when she was laid down. Abdülâziz cultivated good relations with the Second French Empire and the British. In 1867 he was the first Ottoman sultan to visit Western Europe; his trip included a visit to England, where he was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria and shown a Royal Navy Fleet Review, with Isma'il Pasha of Egypt.

Design[edit]

With the exception of some small warships designed only for harbour defence, every ironclad warship so far completed, starting from HMS Warrior, had mounted their main armament in broadside batteries. Although the turret-armed ships HMS Monarch and HMS Captain were building, it was decided by the Board of Admiralty that, pending results from these two experimental ships, Sultan would carry her artillery in a centrally-placed box battery.

The design of the ship was closely based on the design of HMS Hercules. Unlike the battery of the earlier ship, that of Sultan was on two levels; the main deck guns provided broadside fire, with limited ahead fire from the foremost gun, while the upper deck guns provided additional broadside fire and also could fire astern, by traversing the after gun on a turntable.

The hull had one of the roundest amidships cross-section ever adopted at the time of her launch, and this and the low metacentric height of only three feet made her a very steady gun platform. It was soon found, however, that she lacked adequate stability - in naval parlance she was "tender" - and some six hundred tons of extra ballast had to be inserted into her double bottom.

Service history[edit]

A 10-inch (254 mm) 18-ton rifled muzzleloading gun aboard Sultan in the 1890s.

She was commissioned at Chatham for the Channel Fleet, in which she served until 1876. She was refitted, being reduced to barque rig, and posted to the Mediterranean under the command of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. She was with Admiral Geoffrey Hornby at the Dardanelles in 1878.

She was then again refitted, and reduced to reserve until 1882, when she returned to the Mediterranean. At the bombardment of Alexandria (1882) she sustained casualties of two killed and eight wounded from a single hit on the battery.[1] She was with the Particular Service Squadron during the Russian war scare of June to August, 1885, and was retained in the Mediterranean thereafter.

On 6 March 1889 she grounded on an uncharted rock in the Comino Channel between Malta and Gozo, ripping her bottom open.[2] The Temeraire unsuccessfully tried to pull her off.[3] The Sultan slowly flooded and in a gale on 14 March 1889 she slipped off the rock and sank. She was raised in August by the Italian firm of Baghino & Co for a fee of £50,000.[2] On 27 August the Sultan was brought into Malta.[2] Malta dockyard made preliminary repairs. In December 1889, the Sultan made the passage back to Portsmouth under her own steam, at 7 knots (8.1 mph; 13 km/h) (though accompanied by another ship), arriving at Spithead on 22 December.[3]

Modernisation[edit]

The Sultan was put in dry dock at Portsmouth.[4] Between October 1892 and March 1896,[5] she was modernised at a cost of over £200,000.[6] She was given two tall funnels, a double bridge forward, and new decks.[6][7] Her old sailing rig was removed,[4] and replaced by two military masts with fighting tops.[6][7] She was given modern boilers capable of 150 pounds per square inch (10 atm; 1,000 kPa),[8] and modern triple-expansion engines made by J & G Thomson of Clydebank.[5][7][8] At natural draught, on trial in late May 1895, these made 6,531 indicated horsepower (4,870 kW) giving an average speed 14.6 knots (16.8 mph; 27.0 km/h).[6][7] On a four hour trial, with forced draught, she made an average of 15.3 knots (17.6 mph; 28.3 km/h), for a power of 8,244 indicated horsepower (6,148 kW).[8] Parkes said that there was intense vibration on these trials.[3]

As modernised her armament consisted of:[9]

As the modernisation affected the distribution of weights on the ship, her beam was increased with a waterline girdling of 9 inches (23 cm) teak, which raised her metacentric height.[6]

The Engineer criticised the decision to retain the muzzle-loading guns, saying that "So much money has been spent on this ship since she was brought home from the Comino Channel that one would like to see a better result."[10] According to Parkes, "nothing could be done to strengthen the old M.L. battery"; he thought that the old ship was not worth the money spent modernising her.[6]

Post-modernisation[edit]

Sultan sometime after her 1892-1896 reconstruction. Note the double-bridge, tall funnels and military masts. The fighting tops on the military masts held 3 pr (47mm) guns.

She then served in the reserve. She commissioned for sea-service twice whilst in reserve:

  • For the 1896 annual manoeuvres,[11] from 8 July to 25 August 1896,[12] when she served as one of the battleships of the C Fleet based in Milford Haven.[11]
  • For the 1900 annual manoeuvres,[13] 10 July to 24 August 1900,[14] when she served as one of the 12 battleships of the A Fleet based in Ireland.[13] The action on 2 August took the form of a general chase of the A Fleet by the stronger B Fleet. To get away, the A Fleet steered a course against a strong head wind and heavy sea, which was sustained for hours. This obliged the A Fleet to detach the old Dreadnought and send her to Queenstown. The Sultan was able to keep up for a while, but when the A Fleet made 13 knots, the Sultan struggled to maintain station, and eventually had to be detached and sent to Berehaven, allowing the remaining battleships (of the Royal Sovereign and Majestic classes) to quickend speed to 14 knots and get away.[15]


In 1906, she was partially dismantled and became an artificers' training ship under the name of Fisgard IV; in 1931 she was further converted into a mechanical repair ship, regaining her original name of Sultan. During World War II she was a depot ship for minesweepers at Portsmouth, and was sold in 1947.

Costs[edit]

The initial cost of the Sultan (excluding armament) was £374,777, to which were apportioned dockyard incidental charges of £110,378.[16] Included in the £374,777, was £76,000 for her trunk engines made by John Penn and Sons Ltd.[17] Subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations sea stores, etc are given in the following table.

Date costs were up to Subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations sea stores, etc. Dockyard incidental charges apportioned to this ship Source
Cumulative Within the year Cumulative Within the year
31 Mar 1886 £178,623 Not stated [18]
31 Mar 1887 £185,668 £7,045 £46,340 [16]
31 Mar 1888 £193,847 £8,179 £47,863 £1,523 [19]
31 Mar 1892 £253,403 £48,864 [20]
31 Mar 1893 £258,389 £4,986 £49,639 £775 [21]
31 Mar 1894 £318,159 £59,770 £56,285 £6,646 [22]
31 Mar 1895 £397,442 £79,283 £65,810 £9,525 [23]
31 Mar 1896 £444,481 £47,039 £71,333 £5,523 [24]
31 Mar 1897 £446,576 £2,095 £71,519 £186 [25]
31 Mar 1898 £446,905 £329 £71,576 £57 [26]
31 Mar 1899 £447,768 £863 £71,698 £122 [27]
31 Mar 1900 £448,396 £628 £71,795 £97 [28]
31 Mar 1901 £451,564 £3,168 £72,065 £270 [29]
31 Mar 1902 £451,893 £329 £72,123 £58 [30]
31 Mar 1903 £452,465 £572 £72,228 £105 [31]
From 1 April 1896 the cost of coal used by the ship was included in sea stores.
These data were not given in the Navy Estimates before 1887. The Sultan is not listed in the relevant tables in the Navy Estimates for 1890-91,[32] 1891-92,[33] and 1892-93.[34]
The Sultan had been removed from the effective list by the time the Dockyard Expense Accounts for 1903-04 were published.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goodrich, Caspar F (Lt Cdr), Report of the British Naval and Military Operations In Egypt 1882, Navy Department, Washington, 1885, p.27
  2. ^ a b c Gossett (1986), p.133.
  3. ^ a b c Parkes, British Battleships, p165
  4. ^ a b "Miscellanea" (PDF), The Engineer, p. 62, 18 January 1895 – via Grace's Guide to British Industrial History 
  5. ^ a b Dodson, Aidan (2015), "The incredible Hulks: the Fisgard training establishment and its ships", Warship, 2015, Conway, p. 33, ISBN 978-1844862764 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Parkes, British Battleships, p165-6
  7. ^ a b c d "Miscellanea" (PDF), The Engineer, p. 473, 31 May 1895 – via Grace's Guide to British Industrial History 
  8. ^ a b c "Miscellanea" (PDF), The Engineer, p. 497, 7 June 1895 – via Grace's Guide to British Industrial History 
    On her forced draught trial, the steam pressure was 150 pounds per square inch (10 atm; 1,000 kPa), the engines made an average of 93.8 revolutions per minute. The power from the three cylinders of the engine was as follows:
    • High pressure cylinder 2,277 indicated horsepower (1,698 kW)
    • Intermediate pressure cylinder 2,989 indicated horsepower (2,229 kW)
    • Low pressure cylinder 2,978 indicated horsepower (2,221 kW)
    These results were achieved with an air pressure in the stokehold of 36 inches of mercury (1.2 atm; 120 kPa). The coal consumption was 2.4 pounds per indicated horsepower (1.5 kg/kW).
  9. ^ The Naval Annual, 1897, p233
  10. ^ "Although H.M.S. Sultan..." (PDF), The Engineer, p. 146, 15 February 1895 – via Grace's Guide to British Industrial History 
  11. ^ a b The Naval Annual 1897, ed TA Brassey, p149.
  12. ^ UK National Archives catalogue ADM 53/15883
  13. ^ a b The Naval Annual 1901, ed John Leyland, p90-91.
  14. ^ UK National Archives catalogue ADM 53/27016
  15. ^ The Naval Annual 1901, ed John Leyland, p112.
  16. ^ a b "Statement No 2 – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy Estimates for the Year 1888-89, printed by Henry Hansard and Son, p. 271, 1 Mar 1888 
  17. ^ "HMS Sultan" (PDF), The Engineer, pp. 7, 10, 3 January 1890 – via Grace's Guide to British Industrial History 
  18. ^ "Statement No 1 – showing the first cost of each effective ship under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, &c.", Navy Estimates for the Year 1887-88, printed by Henry Hansard and Son, p. 245, 4 Mar 1887 
  19. ^ "Statement No 3 – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy Estimates for the Year 1889-90, printed by Henry Hansard and Son, p. 275, 4 Mar 1889 
  20. ^ "Statement No 3 – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy Estimates for the Year 1893-94, printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 265, 23 Feb 1893 
  21. ^ "Statement No 3 – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy Estimates for the Year 1894-95, printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 261, 12 Mar 1894 
  22. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1893-94), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 165, 2 Feb 1895 
  23. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1894-95), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 167, 2 Mar 1896 
  24. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1895-96), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 151, 1 Mar 1897 
  25. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1896-97), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Wyman and Sons Ltd, p. 165, 8 Mar 1898 
  26. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1897-98), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Wyman and Sons Ltd, p. 165, 6 Mar 1899 
  27. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1898-99), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Wyman and Sons Ltd, p. 171, 26 Feb 1900 
  28. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1899-1900), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Wyman and Sons Ltd, p. 175, 5 Mar 1901 
  29. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1900-01), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Wyman and Sons Ltd, p. 165, 11 Mar 1902 
  30. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1901-02), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Wyman and Sons Ltd, p. 161, 11 Mar 1903 
  31. ^ "Appendix B – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1902-03), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Wyman and Sons Ltd, p. 165, 15 Mar 1904 
  32. ^ "Statement No 3 – showing the first cost of each effective ship under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy Estimates for the Year 1890-91, printed by Henry Hansard and Son, p. 271, 26 Feb 1890 
  33. ^ "Statement No 3 – showing the first cost of each effective ship under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy Estimates for the Year 1891-92, printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by the Hansard Publishing Union Ltd, p. 259, 12 Feb 1891 
  34. ^ "Statement No 3 – showing the first cost of each effective ship of the Royal Navy under year of completion, with the subsequent outlay upon repairs, alterations, sea stores, &c. inclusive of dockyard incidental expenditure.", Navy Estimates for the Year 1892-93, printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 265, 24 Feb 1892 
  35. ^ "Statement of the first cost of each combatant ship under year of completion, &c.", Navy (Dockyard Expense Accounts, 1903-04), printed for Her Majesty's Stationary Office by Wyman and Sons Ltd, pp. 178 and 199, 7 Mar 1905 

Publications[edit]

External links[edit]