Temeraire Class (1877) BB

HMS Temeraire was built as a class of one. Was unique in having two of her 11in guns mounted in barbettes and the rest in a broadside battery.

The barbettes had a deep circular armoured shield without a roof, and the guns were raised by hydraulic machinery above the level of the shield for firing. They remained lowered when stowed or reloading. The barbettes were considered to offer advantages over the turret as the guns could be aimed more easily and the crews had more room to work in. At the normal firing ranges of the day, of about one mile or less, there was no need to provide protection from plunging fire as shells travelled almost horizontally to their targets. (But as fighting ships were fitted with  small, quick firing guns and small arms, the barbette crews became more exposed.)

She was rigged with only two masts to lessen the obstructions to the field of fire from the barbette guns and was unique in having a brig rig.

With twin screws and more efficient compound steam machinery, her sails were hardly needed.


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This page last edited - 02 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.