RZS Numenor (BC-1912)


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1912 saw Zealandias most productive year of building capital ships ever. The two Rivendell Class battleships and two Numenor Class battlecruisers were all completed in the same year despite the difference in beginning dates. The Rivendell class were started in early 1908 while the Numenor class were laid down late 1908 and early 1909. Beautiful yet powerfull ships. To put them in perspective the Royal Navy was finishing the three ships of the Indefatigable class and started receiving the Lion class a few months later. The broadside of the 8x12" Indefatigable was 8x850lb = 6800lb, the 8x13.5" Lion 8x1250lb = 10,000lb, while the six gun Numenor 6x14", 6x 1600lb = 9600lb. Only requiring the three turrets to produce that broadside meant that a ship of slightly larger dimensions than the Indefatigables could produce almost the same broadside as the Lion class.

While most of the fleet, got sent off to join the Grand Fleet, the Gondor, Australia and two Australian Town class cruisers were sent off after Admiral Von Spee's Squadron of cruisers. Chasing them into the arms of Admiral Sturdee's Battlecruisers at the Falkand Islands. The two Numenor's and two of the Rohan class were sent after the two Roon class armoured cruisers and four small torpedo boats that left after Von Spee and was to try to reach Germany through the Indian Ocean while Von Spee went across the Pacific (under the command of Senior Captain Breusing). The two Rohan class set up a patrol line around the entrances to the Indian Ocean by Sumatra with the Numenors in open water ready to pounce. The Minhiriath sighted the German Squadron and the chase was on. The two Rohan class cruisers exchanged fire with the two German cruisers while the gunboats hid behind them. As soon as the Numenor class got within range the end was found shortly thereafter. The German cruisers had no defence against the massive explosions caused by the 14" shells. The two Rohan class mopped up the gunboats and that was that. Medals all round.

Displacement 24,500 tons standard, 28,200 tons full load
Length 626 ft
Breadth 86 ft
Draught 25 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, steam turbines, 80,000shp
Speed 30 knots
Range 8000 miles at 14 knots
Armour 10" side, 2" deck, 10"/8"/5.5" turrets
Armament 6 x 14" (3x2)
8 x 6" (8x1)
3 x 4" AA (3x1)
4 x 2pd (4x1)
Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 4 x 18" (4x1 submerged)
Complement 1290 (1325 as Flagship)
Notes RZS Numenor (10/1912) sunk at Savo Island 1942

RZS Arandor (11/1912) discarded 1946

The two ships went through the rest of World War One without damage and through the inter-war years in general duties. Due to follow the Rivendell class into oblivion from 1935, the ships were reprieved by Japans refusal to sign the new Arms Treaties. Oldest Zealandian ships refurbished, they still looked good well balanced ships. The urge to overload them was kept to a minimum and meant they could get through without needing extra bulging, though they could probably have done with them as extra torpedo protection. Their service around the Pacific Islands bore this out.

The new armoured deck paid for itself twice, taking bomb hits that saved the Arandor from major damage. It was the Numenor that paid the price for the weak anti-torpedo protection, receiving two 24" torpedo hits at Savo Island, the ship almost broke in half, destroyers raced up to take off the crew before the ship rolled onto its side, the boilers exploded and down the ship went.

Displacement 25,200 tons std 31,500 tons full load
Length 626 ft
Breadth 86 ft
Draught 28 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, geared turbines, 90,000shp
Speed 30 knots
Range 8000 miles at 14 knots
Armour 10" side, 4.5" deck, 10"/8"/5.5" turrets
Armament 6 x 14" (3x2)
12 x 4" (6x2)
24 x 2pd (1x8, 4x4)
8 x 20mm (4x2)
Aircraft 2
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1320 (1360 as Flagship)

Brand new Swordfish floatplane being hoisted aboard while operating with Atlantic Fleet in the mid-1930's. Looking for trouble early 1940's.


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