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HMS Queen Mary battle cruiser from 1913 history and image.

CLASS

BATTLE CRUISER

ENT/SERVICE 

AUGUST 1913

BUILT

PALMERS / JARROW / ENGLAND

WEIGHT

26,540 TONS

LENGTH

702 FEET

WIDTH

89 FEET

SPEED

27.5 KNOTS - GEARED TURBINES - FOUR PROPELLERS

GUNS

8 - 13 INCH / 16 - 4 INCH / 2 - 21 INCH TORPEDOES

ARMOR

9 INCH SIDE / 3 INCH DECK / 9 INCH TURRET FACES

The British battle cruiser Queen Mary was a one off design that became the largest warship in the world at that time. She took the title from the 24,333-ton Kaiser class battleships that began entering service for the German Navy in 1912. Battle cruisers were the design of Sir Admiral John Fisher. Built for speed, the lightly armored battle cruisers did not have the protection to match a battleship. Fisher’s thinking was, they could be used to destroy the enemy’s smaller ships and use their speed to avoid the more powerful battleships.

HMS Queen Mary image

During World War One, the German Navy began shelling the British coastal towns of Norwich, Lowestoft, Yarmouth and Lincoln. They pulled back to the coast of Norway after each of these attacks in an attempt to draw the British Grand Fleet into a trap. The first British ships to meet the German fleet at Jutland (Norwegian coast) were led by Admiral Beatty's fast battle cruisers. Beatty’s ships were supposed to encounter the German fleet and draw them into a battle. This would allow the slower British main fleet consisting of 24 dreadnoughts and supporting ships to join the battle soon after.

The thin armor of these ships soon proved to be a disaster as the four British battle cruisers that took part in the battle were decimated. Lion was badly damaged, Indefatigable was sunk with the loss of 1,017 of her 1,019 crew, Queen Mary blew up and sunk with the loss of 1,276 of her 1,285 crew, and Invincible was sunk with the loss of 1,020 of her 1,026 crew.

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