Collingwood Class (1887) BB

HMS Collingwood was completed as a class of one, and can be considered the start of a line of battleship development which continued until HMS Vanguard (1946) BB.  

She returned to the layout last seen with HMS Dreadnought (1879) and which became the standard for all later classes. Her main armament was located on the centreline forward and aft. Between the two turrets was the superstructure containing the secondary armament, air intakes to the boiler rooms, the funnels, bridge armoured conning tower, masts, searchlights small arms etc. 

Her armoured protection began the move away from a massive central citadel. The barbettes were fully armoured, but the centre of the ship had only an armoured belt along the waterline, protecting the boilers and engines. The 6in secondary guns were not armoured. An armoured deck gave some protection to the vitals of the ship but she was designed to be able to float and fight with the forward and aft compartments flooded. Coal bunkers were placed close to the ships side in the bow and stern to give additional protection to these areas.

Her guns were mounted in barbettes on the grounds that these were simpler, and lighter than turrets, they allowed the guns to be mounted higher, and they had more freedom in depression and elevation.

She was the fastest battleship of her time and also the longest ranged.

Despite her detractors, she was a significant step forward in battleship design and also considered a handsome ship.


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This page last edited - 08 December, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.