Orion Class (1912) BB

The Orion Class marked a return to the 13.5in gun from the 12in gun, which had the advantage of having an equal or greater hitting power at lower muzzle velocity. This gave the larger guns a longer barrel life.

The class were the first since HMS Dreadnought (1906) to have all their main guns mounted on the centreline, and also the first to have superimposed turrets both forward and aft. Their armoured protection was improved by raising the height of the belt armour along the side, which gave increased protection from plunging fire.

More powerful machinery was needed to achieve 21kts with their heavier hull, but even at 27,000 horsepower they were still well below that of battlecruisers.

Their superstructure was much lower than previous classes, and  silhouette was similar to that of a cruiser. These low lines camouflaged a very powerful ship which had a weight of broadside almost double that of HMS Dreadnought of only six years before.


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This page last edited - 28 January, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.