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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.
AUDACIOUS was with the Home Fleet at the outbreak of World War I, but was soon transferred to the Grand Fleet's 2nd Battle Squadron. While based at Lough, Swilly, she put to sea on 27 October 1914 for gunnery practice. While off Tory Island, AUDACIOUS struck a mine (laid as a part of a minefield by the German auxiliary cruiser BERLIN) abreast of her port engine room. Subsequent flooding of the port and centerline engine rooms caused a list, and counterflooding had to be done on the starboard side to reduce that list. As it turns out, many of the compartments thought to be watertight proved otherwise, and despite efforts to tow her to safety (by ships including the White Star liner OLYMPIC), AUDACIOUS sank about twelve hours after striking the mine. Considerable efforts were made to keep her loss a secret, and appear to have generally been successful.