HMS Warrior (BC-1940)
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The next few drawings are going to use a single hull at 750 feet but the guns, superstructure and other bits and pieces will all be country specific.
Here we have HMS Warrior. Born out of the spare turrets resulting from the conversion of HMS Eagle to an aircraft carrier. The four twin turrets gave the ship a decent armament as the main ships the Warrior would expect to come across were the Scharnhorst and Deutschland classes armed with 11" guns. Just a few feet longer than the King George V, it was considerably narrower, which assisted in the Warrior making 30+ knots on the same powerplant rating as the KGV's. Less armour also reduced the weight of the ship.
The ship was perfect for its role as the German raider killer it was designed to be.
Along with the main armament was a set of dual purpose 4.5" guns with four twin turrets on each broadside. The main AA weapon was the octuple 2pdr mounting of which 6 were fitted to the ship. A number of 20mm Oerlikons were fitted to give extra short range firepower. More 20mm were fitted during 1941-42, then in an about face the 20mm were deemed to be less and less effective, eventually being removed and replaced with 40mm Bofors weapons. The cherry on the cake was the first of the twin Hazemeyer 40mm mounting which had its own RADAR predictor. This unit was fitted on a last minute mounting area above X turret. It was felt that that position would give the best cover against the Stuka dive bombers which attacked from astern whenever possible.
The ship was laid down in March 1937, and with the double shift orders from 1939, the ship was completed in May 1940. Six weeks of builders trials and crew work up and the Warrior was dispatched to the Rock of Gibraltar to join Force H. No sooner had the ship arrived than it was off to shoot at the Italians at the Battle of Calabria. The morale of Force H had been quite low after the resolution of the French at Mers-el-kebir. The action at Calabria restored morale to a high level as the ships of Force H chased away the Italian Fleet. Work with Force H continued through to November when Force H took part in the Battle of Cape Spartivento. The two faster battlecruisers Reliant, and Warrior left the older and slower Ramillies behind as they chased after two Italian battleships of the Cavour type. Both Warrior and Reliant score hits on the Italian ships but only Warrior received any damage in return from the Italians. The damage caused to the two Italian ships was not enough to slow them down to a point where the two British BC's could finish them off. The two British ships had to withdraw from the action once they came within range of Italian land based aircraft.
Force H, including the Warrior, were called through to the Atlantic to aid in the running down of the German Battlecruiser Admiral von Roon. Which they caught and sank in December 1940.
The Warriors damage from the Roon action was enough to send it back to the Clyde for repairs, boiler cleaning and leave for the crew. Warrior rejoined the fleet in January and was paired with the battlecruiser Hood at Scapa Flow. Ordered to the tanker both ships top up their tanks and are ordered to hunt for the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau that had broken through the North Atlantic gaps and were now hunting convoys and merchantmen. A continued stream of RRR messages gave the Hood and Warrior positions to chase and to guess where S&G would be next. A fruitless chase with S&G doing as they pleased till Admiral Lutjens decided enough was enough and the S&G went into Brest harbour in Occupied France. Hood and Warrior are split up, Hood returning to Scapa Flow and then the Denmark Strait, while the Warrior returns to Force H.
The closest Warrior comes to the Bismarck in May 1941 is watching Ark Royals Swordfish fly off into the annals of history. That one torpedo hit that damaged the steering sealing the fate of the worlds largest battleship (at that time).
Orders are received in November 1941 sending the Warrior south to Cape Town. On arrival it is easy to notice the Prince of Wales sitting in imperial majesty in the center of the harbour. A message is received from Admiral Phillips "Welcome to Force G." The two capital ships proceed from Cape Town to Singapore with three refueling stops on the way. At Trincomalee the ships are joined by the Repulse and head for Singapore. On arrival at Singapore the three ships become Force Z.
My only problem from here is whether to sink the Warrior at the Battle of Malaya, or the Battle of the Java Sea. The loss of another capital ship only 18 months old in the name of political necessity.
|Displacement||30,000 tons std, 38,500 tons full load|
|Machinery||4 shaft geared turbines, 130,000shp|
|Range||8,500 miles at 18 knots,
2,000 miles at 28 knots
|Armour||11" side, 5.5" deck, 9" turrets|
|Armament||8 x 14" (4x2)
16 x 4.5" (8x2)
2 x 40mm (1x2) Hazemeyer
48 x 2pd (6x8)
10 x 20mm (10x1)
|Notes||HMS Warrior (1940) Sunk in the Far East, December 1941.|
Swordfish turning to attack the Bismarck, May 1941.
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