RZS Rhovanion (BB-1915)


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During the worldwide Dreadnought race that lead up to World War One, the Zealandian Navy was under pressure to follow the Royal Navy lead in going from 12" to 13.5" then 15" guns. The Zealandian Navy had actually circumvented this by going to the 14" gun early. First in twins then in triples to be fitted to the Rhovanion class. The one thing the Zealandians did follow was the Queen Elizabeth's increase in speed from the fleet 21 knots to 25 knots for the new ships. Like most Zealandian capital ships only two were authorised to be built. There were plenty of other innovations that were placed aboard the Rhovanion class. The raised 14" mount forward kept it dry when compared to the 'A' mountings on a lot of the bow heavy Royal Navy battleships. The raised foredeck allowed for the placement of four 6" casemate guns that could fire full forward over the bow. These guns however, were only useable in good sea conditions. Taking it green over the bow washed out the casemates and made conditions very wet. They had been placed there to stop destroyers attacking from the bow, but this advent was not carried on to any other Commonwealth Navy.

The Zealandian Navy liked the ships, and kept them virtually continually in service from when they were commissioned for service in 1915 right through to 1935 when they were taken in hand for a Life Extension Rebuilding.

Displacement 30,000 tons standard, 34,500 tons full load
Length 647 ft
Breadth 100 ft
Draught 29 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, steam turbines, 85,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 8000 miles at 14 knots
Armour 13" side, 2" deck, 12"/8"/5.5" turrets
Armament 9 x 14" (3x3)
16 x 6" (16x1)
10 x 4" (6x1)
4 x 2pd (4x1)
Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 2 x 18" (2x1 submerged)
Complement 1490 (1540 as Flagship)
Notes RZS Rhovanion (03/1915)

RZS Lothlorien (05/1915)

The rebuilding of the Rhovanion class was quite comprehensive with new bridge superstructures, funnel, aircraft handling arrangements, new 4.5" heavy AA guns, 2pd AA guns, new propulsion systems, deck armour, and most of all, up to date fire control systems. The main battery gunnery controller was fitted with Zealandias first Radar gunnery assistance set. While this was not much better than the mark one eyeball it gave a good indication of what was to come, especially at night.

New Drawing to make the new rebuilt model look a little less bulky and topheavy. Removed the forward 6",I can't see them being retained.


Displacement 31,400 tons standard, 37,500 tons full load
Length 647 ft
Breadth 100 ft, 108 ft over bulges
Draught 29 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, steam turbines, 100,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 9000 miles at 14 knots
Armour 13" side, 5.5" deck, 12"/8"/5.5" turrets
Armament 9 x 14" (3x3)
20 x 4.5" (10x2)
48 x 2pd (6x8)
4 x 20mm (4x1)
Aircraft 3
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1550 (1610 as Flagship)

Twin 4.5" as fitted to the Rhovanion class rebuilt battleships.


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