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NEW ZEALAND

   (later, ZEALANDIA)

 

Nationality:

Britain

Type: B
Class: KING EDWARD VII - eight in class
Builder: Portsmouth Dockyard
Completed: July, 1905
Displacement: 15,885 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

453' 9" x 78' x 25' 8"

Armor:
PLACEMENT THICKNESS
Belt: 8" - 9"
Bulkheads: 8" - 12"
Barbettes: 12"
12" Gun houses: 8" - 12"
9.2" Gun houses: 5" - 9"
6" battery: 7"
Decks: 1" - 2.5"
CT: 12"
Machinery: 2-shaft, 4-cyl. VTE; 12 Niclausse plus three cylindrical boilers; 18,000ihp.  Coal:  2,200 tons.  Range:  7,000nm at 10 knots
Speed: 18.5 knots
Armament:
NUMBER SIZE MOUNTS
4 12" BL 2x2
4 9.2" BL 4x1
10 6" QF 10x1
14 12-pdr. 14x1
14 3-pdr. 14x1
4 18" TT submerged
Compliment: 777

 

 

Sister ships:  AFRICA, BRITANNIA, COMMONWEALTH, DOMINION, HIBERNIA, HINDUSTAN, KING EDWARD VII

 

 

Notes:  The eight ships of the KING EDWARD VII class were ordered in three separate groups in the period 1901-1904.  They were the first Royal Navy battleships to mount the 9.2" gun in their secondary armaments.  As it turned out, this jump to 9.2" guns proved to be problematic in action, as the difference in splashes between the 12" guns of the main battery and the 9.2" guns of the secondary was very small, which made gunlaying corrections very difficult.  This difficulty gave impetus to the development of the "all-big-gun" type both in England and in other navies.  They were also the first class to have fire control positions on both masts, in place of the "fighting tops" found in the older ships.

 

The KING EDWARD VII class was over 1,000 tons heavier than the preceding DUNCAN class.  This increase in weight was not only due to increased size, but also due to an increase in the armor; the casemate protection of the 6" guns was abandoned in favor of a central battery layout.  The armor here was 7" thick, and increased the area covered by one deck higher than in the DUNCAN class.  The machinery installed in the eight ships differed greatly, as the entire class served as "test beds" for varying combinations of boilers.  However, they all exceeded their design speeds on trials.  They had very good turning circles (noted as being as little as 340 yards at 15 knots).  But their balanced rudders (the first installed in front-line ships since the 1870's) did not function as desired; it proved to be difficult to steer a steady course, and the subsequent, nearly-constant corrections that had to be made earned the class the nickname "The Wobbly Eight".  The KING EDWARD VII class were noted as being good gun platforms, but with a lower freeboard, they were noted as being wet ships in heavy weather.

 

Upon her commissioning in 1906, NEW ZEALAND was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet; she was transferred to the Channel Fleet in 1907.  In March, 1909, she joined the 2nd Division, Home Fleet.  On 1 December 1911, she was renamed ZEALANDIA to release her "old" name for the INDEFATIGABLE-class battlecruiser NEW ZEALAND.  In May, 1912, she was assigned to the 3rd Battle Squadron.  At the beginning of World War I, the squadron was transferred to the Grand Fleet, and was used in support of cruisers on the Northern Patrol.  On 10 September 1914, ZEALANDIA rammed a German submarine in the North Sea.  During December, 1915 - January, 1916, ZEALANDIA served in the eastern Mediterranean, and in February, 1916 she was refitted at Portsmouth.  Upon her return, ZEALANDIA continued her service with the 3rd Battle Squadron.  She underwent a refit again in December, 1916 - June, 1917 at Chatham.  After a final refit (during which her casemated 6" guns were removed and replaced with four 6" guns mounted a deck higher, a tripod foremast, a director and fire control system), ZEALANDIA was sent to Portsmouth in January, 1918 for duty as a gunnery training ship and for trials.  ZEALANDIA was paid off in September, 1918, and served as an accommodation ship at Portsmouth in 1919.  ZEALANDIA was sold for scrapping in 1921.

 

Pictures

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Navis 111

(as AFRICA)

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