HMS Leviathan (BC-1908)


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What sort of ship could the British have built if they were to build their battlecruisers with more armour and lesser armament. Vickers had designed and built a 10" gun with twin turrets for both Russia and Japan (Rurik and Satsuma types). Utilising this weapon loses a bit in explosive power (12" 850lb, 10" 520lb) but gains in the range of the guns with the twin turret being made so the guns can elevate to 30 degrees to give a range of over 26,000 yards. The same motive power as the Invincible could be fitted which means the ship(s) could still do 25-26 knots. The biggest change is in the armour where the original 6" belt is replaced with an 8" belt which would give cover against the German 8.2" and would also be thick enough to withstand hits from the German 11" shells.

The first drawing was based on an upgrade of the latest British Armoured Cruisers of the Minotaur class. It has the Satsuma 10"

The second drawing is a full superfiring fore and aft battlecruiser. The 10" are from the Italian Pisa. (I did the original drawing for the Zealandian Navy and upgraded it for the RN.)

Powerful and Leviathan, in whatever guise they are built in just could not survive after WW1. They would be sold off, or given away, and go on to other navies. If they had been built in place of the Invincibles then they would probably have gone to Chile with the three King George V class battleships.


Displacement 18,000 tons std 22,250 tons full load
Length Leviathan: 563 ft, Powerful: 553 ft.
Breadth 80 ft
Draught Leviathan: 28 ft, Powerful: 25 ft
Machinery 2 or 4 shaft steam turbines, 50,000shp
Speed 26-27 knots
Range 5,500 miles at 14 knots
Armour 8" side, 2" deck, 8"/6"/4" turrets
Armament Leviathan (as completed)

8 x 10" (4x2)
12 x 4" (12x1)


Powerful (with refits to 1917)

8 x 10" (4x2)
10 x 4" (10x1)
6 x 3" AA (6x1)
4 x 2pd AA (4x1)

Aircraft nil nil
Torpedoes nil nil
Complement 750 (800 as Flagship) 765 (810 as Flagship)
Notes Leviathan (1908)

Powerful (1908)

Terrible (1908) Sunk at Jutland 1916

3" AA guns fitted to Powerful from 1916 onwards.


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