HMS Tiger (BC-1914)


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The Washington Treaty made a lot of near new ships excess to requirements and the various navies involved looked for ways to save these ships. On completion of the Nelson class ships Great Britain was required to delete 2 Iron Duke and the Tiger. At that stage Australis still had spare battleship tonnage available but were not allowed to build new ships till after 1930. They could however get the excess ships from Great Britain but again with the Great Depression hitting the funds were not available. So a lease system was introduced, sail now pay later.

The Australis Navy already had a Tiger class battlecruiser, which had been built to a slightly different design, and were quite happy to get the original to make up a pair. The new Tiger was renamed Kimberley on arrival at a commissioning ceremony in Darwin where the ship was to be based with other ships of the Fast Intervention Special Tactics unit (referred to as Mailed F.I.S.T.) as Japan was flexing its military muscles to see what responses it could draw from the regions other major powers. 

Above: Tiger as received by Australis Navy in 1928. Below: HMAS Queensland as built. The differences are fairly obvious. The Q turret has moved to the 'X' position and like the Japanese the main guns were 14".

Both HMAS Queensland and HMAS Kimberley went through the late 1930's rebuild, being taken in hand at the Newcastle dockyards for a complete rebuilding from B to X/Y turret. New propulsion systems, heavy and light AA batteries, new superstructures, most of all a new armoured deck. Anti-torpedo bulges were fitted which helped with stability.

As can be seen the 'Q' turret made a difference in where and how the AA and aircraft handling facilities could be placed. Everything was slightly awkward.

The Queensland with its better layout was able to fit a better set of AA guns, aircraft handling facilities and even the placing of the gun directors was easier.

HMS Tiger on its way to join the Australis Navy.

Displacement 29,250 tons standard, 34,500 tons full load
Length 704 ft
Breadth 90 ft
Draught 32 ft
Machinery 4 shaft Steam turbines 90,000shp 4 shaft Steam turbines 120,000shp
Speed 28 knots 31 Knots
Range 5000 miles at 14 knots 7200 miles at 14 knots
Armour 9" side, 3" deck, 9/6/5" turrets 9" side, 5" deck, 9/6/5" turrets
Armament As completed Tiger
8 x 13.5" (4x2)
12 x 6" (12x1)

As completed Queensland
8 x 14" (4x2)
12 x 6" (12X1)
3 x 3" AA (3x1)
4 x 2pd AA (4x1)
Kimberley to 1939
8 x 13.5" (4x2)
20 x 4.5" (10x2)
40 x 2pd (5x8)
12 x 20mm (12x1)
Queensland to 1940
8 x 14" (4x2)
20 x 4.5" (10x2)
56 x 2pd (7x8)
26 x 20mm (26x1)
Aircraft nil nil 2 3
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1350-1450 1500-1550
Notes HMAS Kimberley (ex Tiger), 10/1914

HMAS Queensland, 08/1915

HMAS Kimberley in Newcastle dockyard for rebuilding 1935.

Fisherless Royal Navy Versions: Original Jabba drawing, 1930 Trials ship, late 1930's rebuild:

HMS Tiger was the last battlecruiser in my Fisherless RN. Commissioned into RN service in October 1914, it took part in all the Battlecruiser actions that occurred in 1915-16. The Washington Naval Treaty allowed the Tiger (and 4 Iron Duke Class) to be kept through to the completion of the Nelson and Rodney at which stage it (they) were to be demilitarised and or scrapped. On completion of the Nelson class ships in 1927-28, the 4 Iron Duke's were demilitarised and scrapped, except Iron Duke which was disarmed and retained as a trials ship.

In 1936 the ship was taken in hand to be converted back to full battlecruiser status. B and Q turrets being refitted. The 6" battery deck being fully plated over out to the side of the ship and a new battery of twin 4.5" BD mounts being fitted. A new bridge and central superstructure being fitted with a heavy battery of 2 pounder AA guns. The ships boats were moved to the space between the Q turret and the aft conning position with a handling crane. A new set of engines being fitted when the ship had its old armoured deck lifted and replaced with a new sheet of 4.5" deck armour. The difference in weight between the old propulsion system and the new one allowed for the new deck armour to be fitted. The ship retained its original 9" belt armour. The original coal fired boilers and engines had produced 85,000shp for 28 knots. The new oil fired propulsion system attained 100,000shp for 30 knots. Normal displacement was at 29,000 tons and 34,000 tons full load. At 704 x 90 feet the ship was still longer and wider than the Queen Elizabeth class that had the same rebuilding work.

Original drawings I did for the Australis Tigers.

Above Queensland with aircraft handling systems in place and below Kimberley with the aircraft systems removed with enhanced anti-aircraft weaponry.



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