Ajax Class (1883) BB

The two ships of Ajax Class marked the start of a new era. The days of the broadside-armed ships were passing and the last fully-rigged  line-of-battle ship had been built.

They were designed as scaled down Inflexible Class (1881) without masts or sails.  The main requirement was for a smaller draught suited to operations in the Baltic or Black Sea, but the design was not a success. In particular the citadel was not capable of floating if either the bow or stern sections were badly damaged. They also handled extremely badly, their steering was erratic until the stern lines were modified.

They were the last battleships fitted with muzzle-loading rifled (MLR) guns, and the first to have a secondary gun battery fitted. Battleships were starting to be fitted with smaller guns as protection against torpedo carrying smaller vessels.


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This page last edited - 27 January, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.