:: LION CLASS (1910-1911) ::

Lion class battlecruiser (1910-1911) High resolution picture

The British battlecruisers of the Lion class, launched in 1910-1911, supposed a significant improvement over their predecessors in terms of speed, armament and armor. These improvements were in response to the ships of the Moltke class, the first German battlecruisers, which were larger and more powerful than their British counterparts. With a length of 213.4 meters and a full load displacement of 29680 tonnes, the battlecruisers of the Lion class were even larger than the largest battleships, which in those years had been growing in size and displacement, but not in speed.

The main armament of the new battlecruisers was represented by the largest caliber then in use, the 343 millimeters, and it was integrally installed in the centerline to ensure a more stable platform. On the other hand, the powerful machinery made these ships the fastest capital ships of that time regardless of being as well the largest ones. They were as well the most expensive ones: including the artillery, they costed about two millions sterling each. Despite of the high cost, the year that the HMS Lion was completed, it was started the construction of an even larger battlecruiser, the HMS Tiger, which with a full load displacement of 35160 tonnes and 108000 horsepower surpassed in one knot the speed of the Lion class.

In the Battle of Dogger Bank the HMS Lion perforated one of the barbettes of the SMS Seydlitz from a distance of 16000 meters. This caused the deflagration of the charges ready to be used and the flames extended to the adjacent turret; only the prompt flooding of the magazines saved the German ship. In turn, the HMS Lion would later suffer a similar fate during the Battle of Jutland, surviving a explosion by means of the same method of flooding the magazines. In the end the HMS Lion and her sister HMS Princess Royal would survive the First World War to be scrapped in 1924 and 1926 respectively.

Lion class: 2 units - Lion, Princess Royal

Type: Battlecruiser

Length: 213.4 meters

Beam: 27 meters

Draught: 8.8 meters

Displacement (normal): 26690 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 42 x boiler Yarrow, 73800 horsepower

Speed: 27 knots (50 kilometers/hour)

Range: 5600 nautical miles (10400 kilometers) at 10 knots

Complement: 1092

Armament: 8 x 343-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 16 x 102-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 2 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 102-229 millimeters in belt, 102 millimeters in bulkheads, 25 millimeters in upper deck, 25-63 millimeters in main deck, 203-229 millimeters in barbettes, 102-229 millimeters in main turrets, 254 millimeters in conning tower

~ Return to Battlecruisers ~

~ Return to Military Ships ~