HMSAS Natal (BB-1914 (1937-mod))


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Started life as the Turkish Reshadieh, the ship was delayed in its building and was taken over at the outbreak of WW1 for service in the Royal Navy. Doing the delay tactic on both of the ships that were building in Britain for Turkey really incensed the Turks and made it certain that they would join the German sphere of influence. Being 'given' the German battlecruiser Goeben as a replacement did not hurt either. Erin took its place in the 2nd Battle Squadron and fought at Jutland.

With wars end the Erin was laid up while its future was decided. Being of a non-standard Royal Navy design the Royal Navy did not want to keep the ship for its peacetime fleet. The Washington Treaty also meant that to keep this ship the Royal Navy would have had to scrap another ship of similar tonnage.


The Southern Africans were in the process of divorcing themselves from the British Empire and turning themselves into a self governing Dominion that would remain part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Like Australis, Southern Africa wanted its own fleet, shipbuilding and other heavy industries. They did not want to rely on the British Isles anymore as had been shown by WW1 survival of the United Kingdom was the prime aim of the British while the rest of the 'Empire' came a distant second. All of the manufactured goods went one way - to England. While the need for manufactured goods in the 'Empire' remained unfilled. Southern Africa had alleviated its problem by sourcing replacements from Australis, with joint ventures and trading ventures between the two continued after wars end.

The Southern African Navy decided what it wanted for its ships and armed with this list, went shopping amongst the reserve ships of the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy (and the Government) showed the Southern Africans what was completing and would be for sale to them and what would have to be made available by the terms of the Washington Treaty and the building of the new Nelson class ships. A deal was done that both sides could live with and a payment scheme worked out on a "Sail now, Pay later" basis. The Southern Africans made a lot of the payment of this fleet by way of raw materials shipped to Britain.


Displacement 28,000 tons std, 32,500 tons full load
Length 597 ft
Breadth 92 ft
Draught 28 ft
Machinery 4 shaft geared turbines, 70,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 4500 at 16 knots
Armour 12" side, 5.5" deck, 11" turrets
Armament 8 x 13.5" (4x2)

16 x 4.5" (8x2)

48 x 2pd (6x8)

8 x 20mm (2x2 4x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1200
Notes HMSAS Natal (ex Erin 8/1914)




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