Royal Sovereign Class (1916) BB
five ships of the Royal Sovereign Class (1916) are sometimes referred
to as 'R' Class battleships, from the first letters of each of their
names. They are very similar to the preceding Queen
Elizabeth Class (1915), except for one important area. They were
designed for coal fired boilers with lower powered engines than the 'Queen
Elizabeth's'. Although they were altered to oil fired boilers
while under construction they remained limited in power. So their speed of
21kts, adequate for WW1 was not fast enough to make them first line ships
Their armament was similar to the 'Queen Elizabeth's. But the secondary 6in guns were mounted further towards the rear along the side of the ship, which made them less vulnerable to flooding during a seaway. They had directors for their main guns fitted during construction.
Armoured protection was similar to the 'Queen Elizabeth's', but with slightly improved deck armour.
Ramillies had anti-torpedo bulges fitted during construction, all the others had them fitted later.
They were unusual for their period in having one funnel, which gave them a distinctive silhouette. They also had an smaller auxiliary rudder ahead of a single balanced main rudder fitted on the centreline. This auxiliary rudder was found to be unnecessary.
Like the 'Queen Elizabeth's they all underwent a series of
modifications up to WW2. However these modifications were limited by a
number of factors.
Watertight integrity and anti-flash arrangements for cordite hoists
Anti-torpedo bulges fitted to Royal Oak.
Further changes made to the 4in guns.
Several improvements made to AA armament as the war progressed.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.
This page last edited - 27 February, 2013.