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HMS Agamemnon Pre-Dreadnought Battleship (1908)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/6/2014

HMS Agamemnon was the last of the British predreadnought battleship types to be constructed and saw service in World War 1.

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HMS Agamemnon was the prize of the British Royal Navy and the last of her pre-dreadnought battleships produced. Because she was of a "bridge" design between the ironclad vessels of old and dreadnought ships to come, her design and her fate were already established before she was ever launched. Coming along just after the turn of the century, she survived long enough to see action in World War 1 (1914-1918) but very little beyond that. HMS Agamemnon was of a dying breed of ship, though a capable design she was, perhaps appearing two decades too late.

Her profile was dominated by a center superstructure, twin masts and twin funnels. Her battery of four 12" main guns was housed in two armored turrets - one fore and one aft, two guns to a turret. This was augmented by 10 x 9.2" guns positioned in turrets around the superstructure. Her other armament consisted of 24 x 12-pounder cannons and an additional 2 x 3-pounder types centering around a quick-fire action. To compliment this armament, 5 x torpedo tubes of 460mm were provided with 23 torpedoes to spare. Crew complement totaled over 800 personnel and power was derived from her vertical triple expansion 4-cylinder engines powered by no less than 15 x boilers. This turned twin screws at 16,750 horsepower and offered speeds close to 19 knots.

Once launched, the vessel undertook some basic operations before being called up to active service in the First World War as part of the Channel Fleet in February of 1915, serving alongside HMS Lord Nelson - her sister ship. Her main guns were brought to bear on inland Ottoman targets in the same month and provided cover fire for amphibious operations soon after including the infamous Gallipoli landings in April. During this time, HMS Agamemnon survive several direct howitzer ships but none were critical to underlying systems and her crew losses were manageable. The Agamemnon survived the war and had Ottoman representatives present on her decks to sign the Armistice. Beyond that, the class had reached its pinnacle and HMS Agamemnon was relegated to the role of a target ship in the middle 1920's. Surviving that affair, she was broken down and sold for scrap in 1927.

The Agamemnon was ordered in 1904 and laid down in 1905 by William Beardmore and Company, launched a year later.

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Specifications for the
HMS Agamemnon
Pre-Dreadnought Battleship


Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Initial Year of Service: 1908
Operators: United Kingdom


Crew: 810


Length: 443.6ft (135.21m)
Beam: 79.6ft (24.26m)
Draught: 26.9ft (8.20m)
Displacement: 16,090tons


Machinery: Vertical Triple Expansion 4-cylinder engines with 15 x boilers powering 2 x screws at 16,750 horsepower.

Surface Speed: 18kts (21mph)
Range: 10,563miles (17,000km)


Armament:
4 x 12" main guns
10 x 9.2" guns
24 x 12-pdr cannons
2 x 3-pdr quick fire cannons
5 x 460mm torpedo tubes (23 torpedoes)


Ship Class: Lord Nelson-class
Number-in-Class: 2
Ships-in-Class: HMS Lord Nelson; HMS Agamemnon