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Naval Warfare

Basileus Georgios (1867)

Ironclad Warship [ 1867 ]

The Basileus Georgios was named after George I, the King of Greece ruling from 1863 to 1913.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/26/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

In the latter half of the 1800s, the world was a rapidly changing radical place, particularly in Europe due the expanding industrial revolution. The days of sail-powered, wooden tall ships was giving way to the steam-powered, steel-clad vessels. The ruling warship of the day was undoubtedly the "ironclad", armored to the core and sporting low profiles while brandishing powerful cannon for devastating effect.

By the 1860s, the nation of Greece was lagging well behind her sea-going contemporaries across Europe and could muster only two ironclads under her flag - these being the being the Basileus Georgios and her sister ship, the Basilissa Olga. The Basileus Georgios, designed by George Mackrow of the Thames Ironworks and procured in the mid-1800s, was launched in December of 1867 with the Basilissa Olga following in 1869. Because these vessels appeared during such a transition period in naval history, they sported both internal engines to exploit the power of combustible resources as well as masted sails to harness the power of the wind. To honor their leader, the Basileus Georgios was named after King George I, ruler of Greece from 1863 to 1913.

The Basileus Georgios (formally categorized as a "Central Battery Ship" due to the placement of her armament battery) was the lighter of the two ship types, weighing in at 1,774 tons against the Basilissa Olga's 2,060 tons. The Basileus Georgios displayed a running length of 200 feet, with a beam of 33 feet and a draught equal to 16 feet. The vessel's twin screw compound engines outputted 2,400 horsepower driving the vessel up to speeds of 12 knots in ideal conditions. The engine exhausted from a funnel at amidships. The sails were fitted to masts at the forward and aft decks. Life boats were carried at the aft deck as well. Range was out to 1,200 miles. The ship was crewed by 152 personnel and armed with 2 x 9-inch (229mm) cannons as well as 2 x 20-pdr (84mm) cannons. The main 9-inch guns were held in a hexagonal housing (i.e. "battery") fitted ahead of the engine smoke funnel and amidships and featured ports for firing the guns at targets ranged ahead or behind the vessel. The pair of 20-pdr cannons were held outside of the battery and could engage targets as needed.

Perhaps most importantly, the vessel was armored with 7-inches of protection across the length of her belt. This protection rose some 6 feet, 6 inches out from the waterline and sat a further 3 feet, inches under it. In all, her armor weighed in at 335 tons. The gun battery was protected over in up to 6-inches of armor. For her day, the Basileus Georgios was a seemingly perfect blend of offensive firepower and defensive protection within a rather small frame - making her one of the most powerful ironclads of her day.

It was only in 1887 that further measures were taken to strengthen Greek naval power in the region and this resulted in the development of the "Hydra" class of small battleships. Making up the class were its lead ship - Hydra - and her two sisters Psara and Spetsai. It was only at the turn of the century that the Greek Navy found more help.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Greece national flag graphic


Basileus Georgios

Basileus Georgios; Basilissa Olga

National flag of Greece Greece
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore Bombardment
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
Flag Ship / Capital Ship
Serving in the fleet Flag Ship role or Capital Ship in older warship designs / terminology.

200.0 ft
60.96 m
33.0 ft
10.06 m
16.0 ft
4.88 m

Installed Power: Twin Screw Compound Engines delivering up to 2,400 horsepower; 2 x main sail masts.
Surface Speed
12.0 kts
(13.8 mph)
1,300 nm
(1,496 mi | 2,408 km)

kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
2 x 9-inch (229mm) cannons in central battery
2 x 20-pdr cannons

Supported Types

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Basileus Georgios (1867)
Right side view of the Basileus Georgios ironclad warship; color

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