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HMS Inflexible

HMS Inflexible was one of three Invincible-class battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy in 1906-08.

She was built at John Browns' shipyard on the Clyde[?], being laid down on 5 February 1906, launched on the 26 June 1907, completed and commissioned in October 1908.

Dimensions

  • Length 530 feet.
  • Beam 78.5 feet.
  • Draught 26.2 feet.
  • Weight 17,250 tons standard, 20,125 tons maximum laden displacement.
  • Maximum speed 26 knots.
  • Range 6330 nautical miles at 10 knots, 2290 nautical miles at 23 knots.
  • Fuel capacity 3170 tons of coal.
  • Power: 31 Yarrow boilers, 4 Parsons steam turbines, total power output 41,000 hp.
  • Armament: - Main guns 8 x 12" (in four turrets)
  • - Secondary guns 16 x 4" (in 16 single gun turrets)
  • - light weapons: 3 x 4", 1 x 3" Anti-aircraft guns
  • - 5 x 18" submerged torpedo tubes.
  • Armour thickness: Belt - 2" - 6"; Turrets - 4" - 7"; Deck - 1" - 2.5"; Control Tower - 10"

The Ships' Complement was 784 men.

War history

On outbreak of World War I Inflexible was flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet. Between 4-10 August 1914 she was engaged on the hunt for the SMS Goeben[?], before being ordered back to Britain on 19 August 1914. Between 1-10 October, she was on the Shetland patrol, covering a troop convoy, before being ordered to the South Atlantic on 4 November 1914 following the British defeat at the Battle of Coronel. She arrived at the Falkland Islands on 7 December, one day before the Battle of the Falkland Islands where she assisted in the destruction of the German squadron without incurring any damage to herself. On 19 December she was ordered back to the Mediterranean, where she underwent a refit at Gibraltar before becoming flagship of the Dardanelles operation on 24 January 1915. On the 18 March, in the Dardanelles Narrows she was hit twice by gunfire from Turkish forts and nine crew members were killed; the same day, she struck a mine and was forced to withdraw after taking 2,000 tons of flood water. After repairs at Gibraltar, she joined the Grand Fleet[?] on 19 June 1915.

On 31 May 1916 she participated in the Battle of Jutland where she sustained no damage, unlike her sister-ship HMS Invincible which blew up after taking a hit from a German ship, revealing the weakness of the battlecruiser design - its' lack of adequate armour. The rest of the war was uneventful, and she was paid off to the Reserve Fleet in January 1919 before being laid up for disposal on 31 March 1920 and sold and broken up in December 1922.



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