:: HMS DEVASTATION (1871) ::

HMS Devastation battleship (1871) High resolution picture

The HMS Devastation was a British ironclad battleship launched in 1871 and a revolutionary ship on that time. By suppressing the traditional rigging from a ship, it was estimated that the artillery turrets would be more effective and the hull more stable. The HMS Devastation was a hard blow for those who had supported to the end the necessity of sails in the high-seas warships. With the main armament installed on the top of the hull instead of inside it, the two ships of the Devastation class were the most powerful battleships in the world until the advent of the Italian ironclads of the Caio Duilio class.

The HMS Devastation remained in service for long years, albeit passing through important upgrades. Firstly, in 1880 two torpedo launchers were added, and later in 1891 the engines were replaced by more modern ones and the same happened with the armament; the outdated muzzle-loading cannons were replaced by breech-loading pieces of lesser caliber but much higher range, and a number of minor pieces was added as defense against torpedo boats. The ships of the Devastation class were finally scrapped in 1908-1909.

Class: Devastation (2 units - Devastation, Thunderer)

Type: Ironclad battleship

Length: 94 meters

Beam: 19 meters

Draught: 8.2 meters

Displacement (standard): 9330 tonnes

Propulsion (as built): 2 x shaft, 4 x direct-acting steam trunk engine, 8 x rectangular boiler, 6637 horsepower

Propulsion (in 1891): 2 x shaft, triple expansion steam engines, 8 x cylindrical boiler

Speed: 13.84 knots (25.6 kilometers/hour) as built; 14 knots (25.9 kilometers/hour) in 1891

Range: 3550 nautical miles (6570 kilometers) at 12 knots

Complement: 329-410

Armament (as built): 4 x 305-millimeter 13.5-caliber rifled muzzle-loading cannon

Armament (in 1880): 4 x 305-millimeter 13.5-caliber rifled muzzle-loading cannon, 2 x 356-millimeter torpedo tube

Armament (in 1891): 4 x 254-millimeter 32-caliber breech-loading cannon, 6 x 57-millimeter cannon, 8 x 47-millimeter cannon, 2 x 356-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 216-305 millimeters in belt (with a wooden backing of 406-457 millimeters), 254-305 millimeters in citadel, 127-152 millimeters in bulkheads, 51-76 millimeters in deck, 254-356 millimeters in main turrets, 152-228 millimeters in conning tower

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