RHNS Giorgios Averof (CA-1910)


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The tensions between Turkey and Greece were high during the early part of the 20th Century, culminating in the Balkan Wars 1912-13. The Averof was the best warship on either side of the conflict and stopped the Turkish Fleet from being able to transport reinforcement troops to the front lines on the Balkan Peninsular.

The Averof was a half-sister to the Italian Amalfi Class cruisers. Where the Italian ships had the 10" guns as the main armament, the Averof was armed with British pattern 9.2" guns. This was the armament the world had been led to believe the Invincible type would be armed with, eight 9.2". The Averof would have been the first of the Italian Amalfi trio laid down. The ship was too far advanced to have the design changed to the inline armament the Italians went to for their ships. Which is why the Greek Navy was able to get the ship at a favourable price. The design would have two twin 9.2" turrets fore and aft, and four single 9.2" turrets on the beams. Still a respectable 8x9.2" armament but only six guns could be fired to either broadside.

The 1926-27 refit at Toulon was about bringing ship systems up to date. Boilers being changed from coal to oil firing. the simple rangefinders replaced with proper gun directors. A few AA machine guns fitted. It was the 1941 refit at Alexandria that gave the ship much better command and control functions, and Radar. The old low angle 4" were replaced with twin and single DP 4" mountings. Some were replaced with 2pd single mounts. The ships intended wartime role was to be convoy escort and raider hunter in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean areas. A heavier AA battery would not be required. Its main targets would be German merchant raiders, for which it was already armed for with the 9.2" main armament.

Displacement 12,500 tons std 15,750 tons full load (1928) 13,250 tons std 17,100 tons full load
Length 497 ft
Breadth 70 ft
Draught 24 ft
Machinery 2 shaft, steam turbines, 24,000shp
Speed 26 knots
Range 5000 miles at 10 knots
Armour 8" side, 2" deck, 8"/6"/3" turrets
Armament Original 1910

8 x 9.2" (2x2, 4x1)

10 x 4" (10x1)



Refits to 1940

8 x 9.2" (2x2, 4x1)

12 x 5.3" (6x2)

8 x 37mm (4x2)

18 x 20mm (1x2, 16x1)

Aircraft nil 2
Torpedoes 3 x 18" submerged 6 x 21" (2x3) 18 reloads
Complement 685 710

Original drawing and photos of the Greek cruiser Averof from launching to 1913.

Fitting out 1910.

During the Balkan Wars 1913.

Drawing of Averof after its French refits 1926-27. Armament 4x9.2", 8x7.5".

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