HMS Superb (1909) BB (7th)
This the seventh ship to carry the name Superb was at the forefront of technology when she was laid down on 16 February 1907.
Completed in May 1909. She was a ‘Bellepheron Class’ Battleship, the first class of ‘Dreadnoughts’ to enter service with the Royal Navy.
World War dominated her career. At the outbreak of war she was in the 1st
Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet under the overall Flag of Admiral of
the Fleet Sir John Jellicoe. As heavier ships of the Royal Sovereign and
Queen Elizabeth Classes joined the fleet she was reassigned to the 4th
Battle Squadron on 26 October 1915.
On Tuesday the 30 May 1916, the news reached the Admiralty that a large portion of the German High Seas Fleet was at sea. Grand Admiral Hipper had sailed 3 days earlier with the intention to lure Admiral Beatty’s 1st Battlecruiser Squadron to sea and destroy it. However the British were not deceived and the entirety of the Grand Fleet sailed to intercept the Germans. The die was cast for one of the greatest but controversial actions of the history of the Royal Navy. HMS Superb at Rosyth received the following orders;
These signals conveyed to each unit by semaphore started the greatest clash of naval power since the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Surviving the battle undamaged Superb, later joined the Aegean Squadron at Mudros before becoming the Flagship for C in C Mediterranean on 31 Oct 1918. Her last deployment as a front line unit was between November 1918 and January 1919 where she was involved in operations supporting of White Russians fighting the newly formed Red Army in Southern Russia, with port visits to Sevastopol and Batum.
In 1919 Superb was put into reserve as a gunnery training ship and sold for breaking up on 12 December 1922.
Newer and heavier classes of Battleship had rendered Superb virtually obsolete only 15 years after her launch.
Won the Battle Honour: Jutland 1916.
This page last edited -
12 January, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.