Majestic Class (1895) BB
Majestic Class was similar in outward appearance to the Royal
Sovereign (1892) Class.
They were the most numerous class of British battleships ever built.
Although the main gun size was reduced to 12in from the 13½in of the Royal Sovereign's this was more than offset by improvements in gun design and mounting. Slow-burning cordite was used as a propellant and with longer, stronger barrels, greater muzzle velocity was possible.
The barbettes had fully-enclosed shields over them; with 10in sloping armoured fronts; the modern armoured turret had arrived.
The turrets in Caesar and Illustrious had improved all-round loading arrangements, but all others loaded from a fixed fore-aft position.
The use of all-steel armour meant better protection without a weight penalty.
Mars was the first battleship to burn oil fuel, and all but Jupiter and Illustrious were later refitted for oil burning. The oil was sprayed directly onto the coal so the boilers could not be steamed on oil alone.
They were considered fine ships and all saw service in WW1, although sometimes only in a supporting role.
This page last edited -
07 March, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.