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AJAX

 

Nationality:

Britain

Type: BB
Class: KING GEORGE V - four in class
Builder: Scotts, Greenock
Commissioned: March, 1913
Displacement: 23,000 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

597' 6" x 89' x 28' 8"

Armor:
PLACEMENT THICKNESS
Belt: 8" - 12"
Bulkheads: 4" - 10"
Barbettes: 3" - 10"
Turret faces: 11"
Decks: 1" - 4"
Machinery: 4-shaft Parsons turbines, 18 Babcock & Wilcox boilers; 31,000shp.  Coal:  2870-3150 tons;  oil:  800 tons.  Range:  6,730nm at 10 kts.
Speed: 21 knots
Armament:
NUMBER SIZE MOUNTS
10 13.5" / 45 cal. 5x2
16 4" / 50 cal. 16x1
4 3-pdr. (47mm) 4x1
3 21" TT submerged
Compliment: 782

 

 

Sister ships:  KING GEORGE V, CENTURION, AUDACIOUS

 

 

Notes:  The four battleships ordered by the Royal Navy in the 1910 Program were to have been repeat ORIONs, but lessons learned from their predecessors allowed for some alterations to be made.  Most notable was the relocation of the pole foremast ahead of the funnels, instead of between them.  Consideration was made to upgrade the secondary battery to 6" guns, but as this would have not only added to the weight (by nearly 2,000 tons), but the overall cost, the 4" battery remained.  This decision was soundly criticized, especially when it was compared to the secondary batteries being installed in foreign battleships.  However, Lord Fisher believe that the volume of fire from the 4" guns would compensate for the smaller "hitting power" of each individual shell, and they were built with the 4" guns.  Later, the criticism proved valid, and succeeding classes carried 6" guns in their secondary batteries.  Deck armor in the KING GEORGE V class was improved over the ORION class, and the class was fitted with taller funnels.  The 13.5" guns were upgraded, allowing them to fire a slightly heavier shell which aided in accuracy at longer ranges.

 

AJAX  was commissioned for the 2nd Battle Squadron, Home Fleet, in October, 1913.  In 1914, she joined the Grand Fleet.  AJAX fought at Jutland on 31 May 1916.  During the battle, she fired six - 13.5" rounds at the German 1st Scouting Group in a "ranging salvo"; while making corrections for subsequent salvos, her line of sight was blocked by the maneuvers of the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron.  Subsequently, she never regained contact with her adversaries and no further fire was attempted.   AJAX was transferred to the Mediterranean in 1918; and in 1919, AJAX served in support of the White Russians in the Black Sea.  Following this service, AJAX returned to the Mediterranean Fleet.  She returned to the Nore in 1924 and was put into reserve.  AJAX was sold for breaking up in November, 1926.

 

 

Pictures

navis_103n_ajax_bb_1913_-_00.jpg (25318 bytes) Navis 103n
navis_103n_ajax_bb_1913_-_01.jpg (15490 bytes) Navis 103n