HMSAS Namibia (BB-1913 (1936-mod)


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These two Iron Duke class ships gave the Southern Africans 5 ships with 13.5", 1 with 14" and one with 15", which made amunition supply a bit lopsided. That is the problem with the pace of the arms race between the Naval powers of 1905-1925. That 20 year period saw main armaments rise from two 12" turrets through to 8x16" on the completing Nelson class, Nagato's and US Colorados. The bulk of the 13.5"-15" ships were built during 1912 to 1916 period which meant when the ships were theoretically "obsolete" in the early 30's there was no money or ships to replace them with. The various treaties were still in force and the old ships got a lease of life by being rebuilt to modern standards with new propulsion systems and AA armaments while armour schemes were upgraded.

Arriving in Southern Africa in 1928 the two ships were renamed to meet Southern African Naval policy where Capital ships were to be named after provinces. Along with the Natal (ex Erin) and the Gauteng the four ships made up the Southern Africans Battlefleet with the Eagle providing the air element. Taken in hand in 1934 for the standard Battleship refurbishment rebuilding, both ships received new propulsion systems and secondary dual purpose armament with modern AA weapons. No aircraft handling fittings were installed the area being used for better secondary weaponry and accomodation. It also gave room for better placement of the ships boats which were tightly fitted on some ships.


Displacement 30,400 std 34,500 tons full load
Length 641 ft
Breadth 89.5 ft
Draught 30 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 75,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 5000 miles at 18 knots
Armour 12" side, 5.5" deck, 11/9/5" turrets
Armament 8 x 13.5" (4x2)

24 x 4.5" (12x2)

72 x 2pd (9x8)

8 x 40mm (8x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1300
Notes HMSAS Namibia (ex Iron Duke)

HMSAS Limpopo (ex Benbow)



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