HMS Hermes (CVL-1924 (1938-mod))


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HMS Heremes was ordered as far back as 1917 but once WW1 finished the pace of building slowed as the workers went off shift rates back to peacetime hours. Completed in 1924 Hermes was still the first ship designed, built, and completed as an aircraft carrier as we know them today. Fast enough to work with the battlefleet, at 25 knots it was not fast enough to be the eyes of the fast scouting forces namely the Battlecruisers. The original design called for half a dozen 5.5" guns as main armament to enable the ship to fight off minor attackers. The ports cut into the hull for these guns impacted on the hangar area and reduced the already small hangar area. These guns were removed in 1937 in Hermes final pre-war refit. While the carrying capacity only went from 20 to 24 a 20% increase was not to be taken lightly.

HMS Hermes as she appeared in WW2 with 5.5" removed and light AA increased. Light AA was further incresed with single 20mm guns being mounted in sponsons along the edge of the flight deck. The enclosed bow of Hermes was copied by all other purpose built Royal Navy aircraft carriers.

The Hermes was built to act with the battlefleet. In 1920 that was 21 knots with the fastest ships the 24-25 knot Queen Elizabeth's. The battlecruisers had their own faster units. (Unless the BC's are not there.)


Displacement 11,050 tons std, 13,900 tons full load
Length 600 ft
Breadth 70.25 ft
Draught 25 ft
Machinery 2 shaft, Steam turbines, 40,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 6400 miles at 10 knots
Armour 3" side, 1" deck.
Armament 2 x 4" (1x2)

12 x 2pd (3x4)

8 x 20mm (8x1)

Aircraft 24
Torpedoes nil
Complement 570


Hermes in 1934 ready for refit. Note single 4" guns before bridge superstructure, and single 5.5" in their side sponsons.

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