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AGINCOURT

   (ex - RIO DE JANEIRO)

   (ex - SULTAN OSMAN I)

 

Nationality:

Britain

Type: BB
Class: AGINCOURT - one ship in class
Builder: Armstrong
Commissioned: August, 1914
Displacement: 27,500 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

671' 6" x 89' x 27'
Armor:
PLACEMENT THICKNESS
Belt: 4" - 9"
Bulkheads: 4" - 8"
Barbettes: 3" - 9"
Turret faces: 12"
Decks: 1" - 2.5"
CT: 12"
Machinery: 4-shaft Parsons geared turbines, 22 Babcock & Wilcox boilers; 34,000shp.  Coal:  3,200 tons.  Oil:  620 tons.  Range:  4,500nm at 10 knots
Speed: 22 knots
Armament:
NUMBER SIZE MOUNTS
14 12" / 45 cal. 7x2
20 6" / 50 cal. 20x1
10 3" / 45 cal. 10x1
2 3" (76mm) AA 2x1
3 21" TT submerged: 2 beam, 1 stern
Compliment: 1,115

 

 

Sister ships:  none

 

 

Notes:  This ship was laid down as the Brazilian RIO DE JANEIRO in 1911.  Her design was influenced by a desire to "over-awe" her opponents, instead of more practical considerations; she was often criticized as being too lightly armored and guns of "too small a size" -- although no one could argue with the sheer volume of shells fired in a salvo.  As it turned out, RIO DE JANEIRO proved to be too expensive for the Brazilian government, who sold her to Turkey whilst building.  The Turkish government re-named her SULTAN OSMAN I in 1914.  She was complete at outbreak of World War I, but held by Britain until Turkey's position in regards to the brewing conflict became clear.  When Turkey showed signs of friendship with Germany, SULTAN OSMAN I was taken over by the Royal Navy and renamed AGINCOURT.  She required massive alterations before being accepted into the Grand Fleet; her protection and coal supply was never up to Royal Navy standards.  AGINCOURT's main battery turrets were unusual in being named for the days of the week, rather than the traditional "A", "B", etc.  She was nicknamed "The Gin Palace"; rumor had it that she would "turn turtle" if she fired all of her main battery guns at once. ("Conway 1906-1921", p. 37; see Bibliography.)  

 

AGINCOURT joined the 4th Battle Squadron in September, 1914.  She was transferred to the 1st BS in 1915 and fought at Jutland on 31 May 1916, where she did, indeed, fire full broadsides without "turning turtle" -- witnesses recorded that the massive sheet of flame when all 14 guns fired at once looked like a battle cruiser blowing up.  During the battle, she fired 144 12" and 111 6" shells, and scored hits on KAISER and MARKGRAF and possibly the WIESBADEN (Campbell, "Jutland"; see Bibliography).  AGINCOURT joined the 2nd BS in 1918.  She was put on the disposal list in 1919 (a rumored re-sale to Brazil never materialized), but she was re-commissioned at Rosyth in 1921 for experimental work and conversion to a depot ship.  This planned conversion involved removing all but the two forward turrets, and the provision for fuel and ammunition storage.  However, this conversion was never completed, and AGINCOURT was sold for breaking up in December, 1922.

 

Pictures

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