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HMS Nelson battleship from 1927 history and images.

CLASS

BATTLESHIP

ENT/SERVICE 

OCTOBER 9th 1927

BUILT

ARMSTRONG WHITWORTH / NEWCASTLE / ENGLAND

WEIGHT

33,950 TONS

LENGTH

710 FEET

WIDTH

106 FEET

SPEED

23 KNOTS - SINGLE REDUCTION TURBINES - TWO PROPS

GUNS

9 - 16 INCH / 12 - 6 INCH / 2 - 24 INCH TORPEDOES

ARMOR

14 INCH SIDE / 6 INCH DECK / 16 INCH TURRET FACES

In the early years of the 20th Century, Britain had the largest and most powerful navy in the world. By 1920' just after the end of WWI, Japan had built two 33,900-ton battleships, Nagato and Mutso, each with 16-inch guns. America responded to these ships by building four 32,500-ton Colorado class battleships also with 16-inch guns. Britain's answer to these ships was to order four 47,000-ton battle cruisers with 16-inch guns, and four 48,000-ton battleships with 18-inch guns.

After the Washington Treaty of 1922, the British were forced to scrap their plans for these ships as the treaty recommended they should only be allowed to build two battleships up to 35,000 tons with a maximum of 16-inch guns. The Washington Treaty, for many years, prevented an arms race and stopped warships from getting much larger than they were during WWI.

HMS Nelson image

To help stay within the treaty limits, Nelson and her sister ship Rodney were designed with their three main gun turrets in front of the bridge. With this design, their armor could be concentrated in a smaller area. Their propulsion system also had to be kept to a minimum in order to keep within the design limits.

Throughout the early years of World War Two, Nelson was used to support the invasions of Algeria, Sicily and Salerno. She had to be repaired in Philadelphia after being damaged by two mines while supporting the invasion of Normandy in 1944. The completion of these repairs in July 1945, allowed Nelson to join the East Indies Fleet to support the invasion of Malysia in the final months of the Pacific War.

After being decommissioned in February 1948, she was used for target practice before being scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1949.

Rodney will be remembered as the other ship in this class that took part in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck, she was scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1948.

HMS Nelson front image


HMS Rodney image

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