H.M.S. Erin (1913)

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H.M.S. Erin (1913)
Pendant Number: 56 (Aug 1914)
61 (Jan 1918)
76 (Apr 1918)[1]
Builder: Vickers[2]
Laid down: 1 Aug, 1911[3]
Launched: 3 Sep, 1913[4]
Requisitioned: Aug 1914[5]
Commissioned: Aug, 1914[6]
Sold: 19 Dec, 1922[7]
Fate: Scrapped

H.M.S. Erin was a dreadnought battleship ordered along with her uncompleted sister-ship Reshad-i-Hamiss by the Ottoman Navy in 1911. She was considered very similar in design to the King George V class.

Contents

Launch

Reshadieh was launched on Wednesday, 3 September, 1913, by Naile Hanoum, the daughter of the Turkish Ambassador to Britain, Tewfik Pasha. Rose water instead of the usual bottle of wine was used to christen the ship, which took the water in 45 seconds. Hanoum was afterwards presented with a platinum necklace set with diamonds. Hakki Pasha, Grand Vizier when the order for Reshadieh was placed with Vickers, was also present and gave a speech at the post-launch luncheon.

Armament

Main Battery

This section is sourced from The Sight Manual, 1916.[8]

  • ten 13.5-in 45calMark VI "Vickers Special"[9] guns were in special mountings able to elevate 20 degrees and depress 5 degrees. The sights, however, were limited to 15 degrees elevation (18,800 yards). It is not known whether "20 degree super-elevation strips" were provided. 6 degree super-elevation prisms may have been provided by 1916.[Inference]

The sights were F.T.P. and gear-worked with a range gearing constant of 17 and range dials for 2379 fps, 2000 fps and 6-pdr sub-calibre guns. Muzzle velocity was corrected by adjustable scale plate.

The deflection gearing constant was 57.5, with 1 knot equalling 2.69 arc minutes, calculated as 2379 fps at 5500 yards. Drift was corrected by automatic displacement of the deflection pointer.

The side position sight line was 37.5 inches above the bore and 52 inches abreast. The central position's sight lines were 46.5 inches above and 41.4 inches abreast.

Presumably, the sights had temperature and "C" correctors, but no detail is known.

The original storage was 80 rounds per gun.[10]

Secondary Battery

  • sixteen 6-in 50 cal on P. X mountings,[11] with 150 rounds per gun.[12]

Torpedoes

Elswick 21-in side-loading tube[13]
  • four Elswick 6.3m 21-in submerged broadside tubes, depressed 2 degrees with forward pair bearing 85 and aft pair 90.[Inference] Impulse from Elswick H.P. air.[14]

At the start of the war, all 21-in Weymouth torpedoes in England were purchased: ten 21-in Weymouth Mark II Torpedoes intended for Japan were given to Erin, but her Elswick type submerged tubes required the torpedoes be shortened to 6.5m from 6.8m by removing a section at the rear of the head. The modified Mark II torpedoes retained their settings for:[15]

  • 41 knots to 1,000 metres
  • 41 knots to 2,000 metres (sic)
  • 38 knots to 3,500 metres
  • 29 knots to 7,000 metres
  • 25 knots to 10,000 metres

In 1916 or soon thereafter, she may have received some of the 21-in Weymouth Mark III Torpedoes previously allotted to Agincourt's stern tube after they had been re-ranged for 21-knot running.[16]

Fire Control

Erin's Fire Control Systems
As shown in Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1915.

Rangefinders

As completed, she carried six rangefinders: one in the control top, one on the fore bridge, and four in turrets. A high angle model (likely a 2m F.T. 29) was added in 1918 over the control top.[17]

Evershed Bearing Indicators

In 1917, it was approved that capital ships of Dreadnought class and later should have Evershed equipment added to their C.T., able to communicate with either the fore top or the G.C.T.. In Erin, this might be interpreted as the spotting tower.[Inference] If there were not enough room in the C.T., a bearing plate with open sights and 6-power binoculars would be added to the C.T..[18]

Also in 1917, it was decided that all directors were to be fitted with receivers and, "as far as possible", ships were to have fore top, G.C.T. and controlling turrets fitted to transmit as well as receive, though this was noted as being impossible in some earlier ships. While it would have been nice to have the C.T. able to transmit bearings to the 6-in guns, it was decided not to do this for reasons of space.[19]

Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter

At some point, Erin was equipped with a pair of Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter Mark Is, one on each side of the foretop, keyed off the Evershed rack on the director. As the need for such gear was apparently first identified in early 1916, it seems likely that these installations were effected well after Jutland.[20]

In 1917, it was decided that these should probably all have mechanical links from the director and pointers indicating the aloft Evershed's bearing.[21]

Gunnery Control

The control arrangements were as follows.[22]

Control Positions

  • Fore top
  • Spotting tower

Control Groups

Prior to the installation with director firing, wiring in the T.S. for the 13.5-in battery was flexible enough that "any gun can be controlled from any position", as there were 5 sets of transmitters with a C.O.S. as to whether to transmit from the T.S.'s own D.O.R. transmitter, or pass on that from the fore top or the spotting tower.[23] The 6-in guns were in 4 groups of 4 guns — 2 groups on each side.

Directors

In 1915, Erin had not yet been fitted with a director.[24]

Main Battery

By the end of 1917, Erin had a director in a light aloft tower with two directing turrets as back-ups.[25]

The turret Elevation Receivers were pattern number H. 4, capable of matching the 20 degree elevation limit of the mountings. The Training Receivers were the double dial type, pattern number 11.[26]

Secondary Battery

Erin eventually received two directors on pedestal mountings,[27] likely one on each broadside, forward.

The Elevation Receivers were 6-in P. VII Type with electrical tilt correctors, Pattern H. 23. They could indicate elevations up to 15 degrees. The Small Type Training Receivers were pattern number 19.[28]

Torpedo Control

By mid 1917 and likely a considerable time before,[Inference] she was provided a Torpedo Control Plotting Instrument Mark I in the T.C.T..[29]

By 1917-1918, a number of common Torpedo Control equipment packages were to be provided to those ships not already sporting them. Those for the 21-in torpedo ships follow.

Torpedo Control Data between C.T. and T.C.T..[30]

The data instruments to be wired between C.T. and T.C.T. to share range, order and deflection data provided a single deflection transmitter in the T.C.T. so that the results of the torpedo plot to be sent to the single deflection receiver in the C.T. for the information of the Torpedo Control Officer. Conversely, a combined range and deflection transmitter forward allowed the T.C.O. to send back the deflection and intended firing range to the secondary T.C.O. in the T.C.T..[31]

Torpedo Control Evershed[32]

The 21-in torpedo ships were also to be provided with Evershed transmitters in the C.T. and a receiver at the torpedo rangefinder in the T.C.T. in order to ensure that it was obtaining data on the intended target. Limited "slit space" in the C.T. required that the customary binocular-based transmitters be foregone in favour of placing the transmitter on or below the floorboards and to drive it by a shaft from a Torpedo Deflection Sight Mark IV. A control key on the transmitter allowed it to indicate when it was controlling the remote rangefinder or not.[33]

Finally under the 1917-1918 mandate, sufficient instruments were to be provided to permit the Fore Bridge to communicate with the tubes.[34]

Transmitting Stations

Erin had a single T.S..[35]

Dreyer Table

Fire Control Instruments

Erin was equipped with Mark III Vickers Fire Control Instruments with some Barr and Stroud instruments such as their Combined Range, Order and Deflection gear.[36]

Machinery

In September, 1914, the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet, Admiral Sir John R. Jellicoe, wrote to the Director of Naval Construction, Eustace H. W. T. d'Eyncourt:

The Erin is I fear going to be a trouble to me. She only has 1000 tons of coal that is available for steaming. The rest is athwart Engine Rooms & can't be trimmed forward for real steaming. The nominal 2000 tons is a fraud. I am telling her to use oil whenever possible to help the coal out.[37]

Alterations

Although in November, 1914 Erin was specified as a ship to receive a director and this task received special emphasis in mid 1915,[38] she fought at the Battle of Jutland without a director[39] and was not fitted until some time in July-August, 1916 at Invergordon.[Citation needed]

Erin received directors for her secondary battery in December, 1917.[40]

At some point, Erin was equipped with a pair of Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter Mark Is, one on each side of the foretop, keyed off the Evershed rack on the director. As the need for such gear was apparently first identified in early 1916, it seems likely that these installations were effected well after Jutland.[41]

Rangefinders

When in 1918 it was desired to give each capital ship possible an additional effective 9-foot rangefinder to support torpedo control, it was proposed that Erin should receive one aft of the after funnel, which would require a platform between No. 3 searchlight towers, on a transversing mounting to permit forward arcs. [42]

Torpedo Control

In mid-1920, it was decided that Erin should each receive a Renouf Torpedo Tactical Instrument Type B.[43]

Service

Erin joined the Fourth Battle Squadron in September 1914. In November 1915, she transferred to the Second Battle Squadron, remaining there until the war ended. When that formation was reclassified as the Third Battle Squadron in March 1919, she came along.[44]

There was a ship's magazine called The Erin Echo.[45]

Jutland

Main article: H.M.S. Erin at the Battle of Jutland

Post-War

Erin recommissioned with reserve crew at the Nore on 18 December, 1919 to serve as a turret drill ship.[46]

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 34.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 36.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 36.
  4. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 34.
  5. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 33.
  6. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 36.
  7. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 34.
  8. The Sight Manual, 1916. pp. 32, 108.
  9. Burt. British Battleships of World War One. p. 248.
  10. Burt. British Battleships of World War One. p. 248.
  11. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 145.
  12. Burt. British Battleships of World War One. p. 248.
  13. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1914. Plate 20.
  14. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1915. p. 36.
    The bearing of aft tubes is not clearly indicated.
  15. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1914. pp. 10-11.
  16. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 46.
  17. Burt. British Battleships of World War One. pp. 225, 230.
  18. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 230.
  19. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 230.
  20. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 25-6.
  21. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 230.
  22. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. pp. 222-223, Plate 110.
  23. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 223.
  24. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 223.
  25. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 88.
  26. The Director Firing Handbook. pp. 144-6.
  27. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 143.
  28. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 145, 146.
  29. Handbook of Torpedo Control, 1916. p. 38. Inference based on Mark II gear being in place in other ships in 1915.
  30. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate 71.
  31. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 208. (T.O. 29/17.).
  32. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate 72.
  33. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 208. (C.I.O. 4585/17.) .
  34. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 208. (C.I.O. 1644/17, 3706/17.).
  35. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 223 and Plate 110.
  36. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 223.
  37. Jellicoe to d'Eyncourt. Letter of 9 September, 1914. D'Eyncourt Papers. National Maritime Museum. DEY/16.
  38. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 10.
  39. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 11.
  40. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 16.
  41. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 25-6.
  42. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 177. Particulars are here described as offered for King George V.
  43. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1919. p. 119.
  44. See Fourth Battle Squadron, Second Battle Squadron and Third Battle Squadron for citations.
  45. See National Maritime Museum. ADL/Z/18.
  46. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 770-1.
  47. Stanley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 432.
  48. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 394e.
  49. Ellerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 153.
  50. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 393n.
  51. The Navy List. (August, 1919). p. 788.
  52. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 770-1.
  53. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.

Bibliography


Dreadnought H.M.S. Erin
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