Military Pay Scale Military Ranks Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines

HMS Captain (1870)

Ocean-Going Ironclad Warship / Turret Ship

Naval Warfare / Ships

1 / 1
Image from the Public Domain.

HMS Captain proved a poorly-designed warship, ultimately capsizing after just a few short months at sea.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 5/22/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
HMS Captain was built to a "turret ship" standard common to the late-19th Century. These ships differed from earlier war models in that they held their primary armament (rifled cannon) in traversing turrets which offered for broadened firing arcs as well as protection for the gunnery crew. Warships could now engage from any approach angle instead of hoping to maneuver into position to deliver devastating broadsides. Laid down on January 30th, 1867 by Laird Brothers of Birkenhead, she was launched on March 27th, 1869 and formally commissioned in April of 1870.

As built, HMS Captain carried a crew of about 500 made up of a mix of enlisted and officer personnel. Propulsion was from a reciprocating 4-cylinder horizontal trunk engine developing 5,400 horsepower and this was fed by 8 x Rectangular boiler units all used to drive 2 x Shafts at the stern. Maximum speed (in ideal conditions) reached a useful 15.25 knots. As a "steam-and-sail" warship, HMS Captain retained the form and function of a three-masted sailing arrangement alongside her engine/boiler propulsion scheme. With sails as part of her drive system, she held essentially unlimited range.

Armament was 4 x 12" (25-ton) muzzle-loading rifled guns in two twin-gunned emplacements and 2 x 7" (6.5-ton) muzzle-loaded rifled guns in two single-gunned emplacements. Armor protection reached up to 8" at the belt and 10" at the turrets.

HSM Captain's service life was a short one by any standard for, on September 6th, 1870, she faced steadily increasing winds while sailing with ships of both the Mediterranean and Channel Squadrons. The storm only grew worse into the night until the vessel ultimately rolled over, took on water, and sank with some 480 souls aboard. Twenty-seven managed to survive by clinging to a boat that had become loose during the ordeal.


500 Personnel
Ship Class [ Captain ]
Ships-in-Class [ 1 ] Ship Names: HMS Captain
National flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
- Hunter
- Direct-Attack
320 ft (97.54 m)
Width / Beam:
53 ft (16.15 m)
Height / Draught:
25 ft (7.62 m)
Displacement (Surface):
7,770 tons
8 x Rectangular boilers with 1 x Reciprocating 4-cylinder horizontal trunk engine developing 5,400 horsepower and driving 2 x shafts; 3 x Sail masts.
Speed (Surface):
15 kts (18 mph)
1,303 nm (1,500 miles; 2,414 km)
4 x 12" muzzle-loading main guns
2 x 7" muzzle-loading rifled guns

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2021 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-