HMS Terror (I03)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
HMS Terror (I03).jpg
HMS Terror underway in Plymouth Sound, October 1933
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Terror
Operator:  Royal Navy
Builder: Harland & Wolff, Govan
Yard number: 493
Laid down: 26 October 1915
Launched: 18 May 1916
Completed: 6 August 1916
Commissioned: 6 August 1916
Fate: Sunk 23 February 1941 off Derna
General characteristics
Class and type: Erebus-class monitor
Displacement: 7,200 long tons (7,300 t)
Length: 380 ft (120 m) (p/p); 405 ft (123 m) (o/a)
Beam: 88 ft (27 m)
Draught: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Installed power: 6,235 ihp (4,649 kW) (trials); 6,000 ihp (4,500 kW) (service)
Speed: 13.1 kn (24.3 km/h; 15.1 mph) (trials); 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph) (service)
Capacity: Fuel Oil: 650 long tons (660 t) (normal); 750 long tons (762.0 t) (maximum)
Complement: 223
  • Deck: 1 in (25 mm) (forecastle); 1 in (25 mm) (upper); 4 in (100 mm) (main, slopes); 2 in (51 mm) (main, flat); .75 to 1.5 in (19 to 38 mm) (lower)
  • Bulkheads: 4 in (100 mm) (fore and aft, box citadel over magazines)
  • Barbettes: 8 in (200 mm)
  • Gun Houses: 4.5 to 13 in (110 to 330 mm)
  • Conning Tower: 6 in (150 mm)

HMS Terror was an Erebus-class monitor built for the Royal Navy in 1915-1916 at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Govan, Scotland.

The Erebus-class monitors were of 7,200 long tons (7,300 t) displacement, 405 ft (123 m) long, with a maximum speed of 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph) produced by reciprocating engines with two shafts, and a crew of 223. The ship's main armament consisted of two, BL 15 inch Mk I naval guns in a single forward turret. This turret had been built as a spare for Furious.[1]

The original secondary armament of two 6 in (152 mm) mounts was soon replaced by eight 4 in (102 mm) guns in single mounts and two 3 in (76 mm) anti-aircraft guns, also in single mounts. Between the wars, the 4 inch low angle guns were replaced by anti-aircraft mounts and the 3 inch guns by eight 0.50 in (12.7 mm) anti-aircraft Vickers machine guns in two quadruple mounts.

The class mostly served in the Naval Gunfire Support role.

Service history[edit]

First World War[edit]

The turret and main armament of Terror, 1915

Terror joined the Dover Patrol in August 1916 and operated against German forces on the coast of occupied Belgium. On 19 October 1917, she was torpedoed by German motor torpedo boats off Dunkirk. There were no casualties and the ship was beached before being towed back to Portsmouth. The damage took three months to repair. In April 1918, Terror was in the Long Range Bombardment force for the Zeebrugge raid with her sister ship Erebus and destroyers Termagant, Truculent, and Manley. On 27 September, Terror, along with her sister ship Erebus, provided gunnery support for the Fourth Battle of Ypres. In the early 1920s, she was used for gunnery trials against several old warships including SMS Baden and HMS Superb.[2]

Second World War[edit]

At the outbreak of war in 1939, Terror was based at Singapore, supporting the defences of the major naval base there, and had to be recalled to serve in theatres closer to home.[3] She mainly served in the Mediterranean Theatre during the Second World War. After first using her anti-aircraft armament to help defend Malta against the first Italian Regia Aeronautica airstrike on 11 June 1940, Terror played an important part in Operation Compass, the British assault against the Italian Tenth Army in Libya.

During the successful advance by the Western Desert Force (later to become the 8th Army "Desert Rats"), Terror bombarded Italian land forces and fortifications, amongst others the fortified port of Bardia in eastern Libya, firing 660 rounds from her main guns. The ship also served as a water carrier for the advancing British and Commonwealth army.

Terror was subjected to dive bomb attacks by German Junkers Ju 88 bombers on 22 February 1941 after leaving Benghazi. She was badly damaged by near misses and abandoned by her crew. Although taken under tow, she sank off Derna, Libya before reaching the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet base at Alexandria, Egypt.


  • Roberts, John: "British Warships of the Second World War", Chatham Publishing, London 2000 ISBN 1-86176-131-7
  • Taylor, Michael J.H. (1990). Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I. Studio. ISBN 1-85170-378-0. 


  1. ^ Buxton, Ian Big Gun Monitors 978-1-84415-719-8 p. 150
  2. ^ Buxton p. 157
  3. ^ Roberts 2000: 138

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°59′N 22°32′E / 32.983°N 22.533°E / 32.983; 22.533