HMS Eagle (CV-1923)


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HMS Eagle started out as an ex-Chilean battleship and the sister to HMS Canada/Gibraltar. The ship was not as far advanced as the Canada/Gibraltar, and work was suspended on the ship at the start of WW1. The Admiralty was looking for appropriate hulls to convert to the new style of ship, the aircraft carrier. To this end the Eagle was purchased in 1917. The Admiralty required a ship at sea to run the necessary trials on a through deck ship. To this end the Eagle was made seaworthy and with only half its boilers working, went out into the Irish Sea to carry out the trials program. On completion of the trials the Eagle returned to Belfast and into its builders hands for completion. (In the scenario which contains the Union of Commonwealth States (amalgamation of Northern Union and Canada) the Canada is known as the Gibraltar).

HMS Eagle as she appeared in the Irish Sea to do the flight trials on a through deck carrier, 1918.

HMS Eagle was purchased from Chile in 1917. This was the sistership to the Almirante Latorre that became HMS Canada/Gibraltar and was completed for service in the Royal Navy 9/1915. The purchase of the ship was spurred on by the Royal Navies drive to produce aircraft carrying ships. Already Argus and Hermes were under construction or completeing, Furious and Vindictive were doing aircraft trials, everything to do with naval aviation was in big demand. While wars end slowed construction, Eagle was still completed by 1923 (10 years after she was laid down in 1913).

With the limits set by the Washington Treaty the Royal Navy needed to divest itself of a couple of ships so that they would be able to build more from 1930 onwards. HMS Eagle became HMSAS Eagle under Southern African ownership and HMS Vindictive became HMAS Carpentaria. In Southern African colours the Eagle was virtually unchanged till taken in hand for its rebuilding in 1935. The Royal Navy loaned the Hermes during this period. Most of the work done was in improving the forward end to improve seakeeping and the removal of the unrequired 6". This all helped to clear and improve the hngar space which increased the stowage capacity from 24 to 28.


Displacement 22,500 tons std, 28,500 tons full load
Length 667 ft
Breadth 92.5 ft hull, 115 ft over flight deck
Draught 26.6 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, steam turbines, 50,000shp
Speed 24 knots
Range 5,500 miles at 16 knots
Armour 4.5" side, 1.5" main deck.
Armament 6 x 4" (6x1)

32 x 2pd (8x4)

24 x 0.5"mg (6x4)

Aircraft 24-28 depending on size and type
Torpedoes nil
Complement 850


Clearly showing the single 6" that were a complete waste of space. The single 6" get replaced with 4" in ongoing refits.

Original kitbash by me of Novices 1942 Eagle drawing using twin 4", to replace the single 6", another drawing needing an upgrade.


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