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Battlecruisers - Significance 
  The first battlecruiser was a product of Admiral 'Jackie' Fisher. He wanted ships which could take on the fast armoured cruisers then entering service with navies around the world.  They had to out-gun the armoured cruiser and out-run the fastest cruiser. An exceptional requirement.

The main armament was to be almost the same as the Dreadnought battleship, 10 x 12in guns as against 12 x 12in guns.

To achieve the necessary speed they required very powerful and large engine and boiler rooms, (They developed twice the horsepower of Dreadnought), and a long hull. Which meant they were larger than contemporary battleships.  

To achieve these two requirements meant armoured protection had to be sacrificed, which made them vulnerable, especially to plunging fire.  

Against battleships their protection lay in their speed advantage, but unfortunately when operating with the main battle fleet such as at Jutland, they lost this speed advantage and their vulnerability became exposed.

Nonetheless the first 'Invincible' Class battlecruisers were a revolutionary type of ship, and allied to the introduction of Dreadnought type battleships two years before. They changed the face of navies around the world.  

 

 

This page last edited - 17 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.