Nelson class Battleships

History written by Bruce T. Swain

Individual Specifications
Name Completed Builder Details
Nelson 10 Aug 1927 Armstrong Whitworth Sold for scrapping 15 March 1949
Rodney 8 Nov 1927 Cammell Laird Sold for scrapping 28 March 1948
1:600 HMS Nelson as completed. Two pom-poms were mounted on each side of the bridge and two on each side of the after director tower. Two main directors controlled the 16" guns, one fore and aft, and there is a rangefinder on the armoured conning tower on the bridge face. There were two low-angle directors forward and two aft for the 6" guns and the 4.7" guns were originally undirected. There was a rangefinder for the 6" guns abeam the funnel. She differed from Rodney in not carrying an aircraft / catapult, had different masts and foretops and carried her boats in different places. © Andrew Arthur
1:600 HMS Nelson, in 1938. A pom-pom has been added on each side of the funnel, and one on the quarterdeck. There is a quadruple o.5" MG on each side of the bridge and sided just behind it, and a HA director has been added to the foretop. © Andrew Arthur
1:600 HMS Nelson, in 1940. A 20 barrel 7" UP launcher has been added on "C" and "B" turrets. © Andrew Arthur
1:600 HMS Nelson, 1944. SW type 273 RDF has been added on the mainmast, SR type 284 on the forwerd 16" director, AR type 285 on the HA director and AW ype 286 on the mastheads. An octuple pom-pom has been added on "B" turret and another pair on each side of the mainmast. About forty-four 20mm AA guns were dotted around the superstructure, including those replacing the single pom-poms, and this figure was later increased to sixty-five by pairing many of them. Radar has replaced the duties of the conning tower rangefiner, and this has been removed and a temporary structure for 20mm AA added. On each side of the bridge, two quadruple US pattern Bofors guns are fitted, for when she will be required in the far-east. © Andrew Arthur
1:600 HMS Rodney, newly completed in the early 'thirties. Different masts / foretops define her and her sister, but the main identification feature is the catapult for a Walrus amphibian on "C" turret. A crane to recover it was fitted on the port side of the bridge. © Andrew Arthur
1:600 HMS Rodney, 1938. She carries the same modifications as her sister, and her Walrus has been camouflaged as tension in Europe increase. © Andrew Arthur
1:600 HMS Rodney, gaudily camouflaged for Mediterannean deployment in 1942. Carrying the same RDF fit as her sister, she still retains the conning tower director and catapult / aircraft. A pom-pom has been fitted to "B" turret and one on each side of the mainmast, and there are sixteen 20mm AA sprinkled around the superstructure, also replacing tthe single pom-poms, and by 1945 this figure had increased to sixty-one with addition of more single and twin mounts. The aircraft and it's gear was removed in 1943, and the six 4.7" guns replaced by four twin 4" AA, with a second, RDF equipped, director added.© Andrew Arthur

The trunkated appearance of the "Nelson" Class resulted from their original design being modified in accordance with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. Britain was anxious to build battleships with 16" guns to match the American "Colorado" Class and the Japanese "Mutsu" Class, but was restricted to a standard displacement of 35,000 tons.
Thus all the main armament was forward, the secondary armament aft, and the bridge was moved further aft than in the original design to shorten the hull, the armour belt and armoured deck still further. To further save weight, a twin-screw arrangement was adopted, and although the ships had a small turning circle, the use of twin screws, the long forecastle and the tall tower bridge made them very difficult to handle. Also, the triple 16" guns proved troublesome, and were a disappointment when compared with the 15" guns of other British capital ships.
Both ships saw considerable action during the war, most notable Rodney who contributed greatly to the demise of Bismarck, pounding her with King George V, disabling her for Dorsetshire to finish off.
Winston Churchill saw a place for both ships in his post-war fleet, after they had been re-engined to give them a top speed of 28 knots, but his failure to get re-elected put an end to any such plans.

Standard Displacement 36,000 tons Length 710’
Full Displacement 43,140 tons Beam 106’
Load tons Draught 35’4"


Performance & Propulsion
Range 15000 nm @ 12 knots Speed 23 knots
Propulsion 8 x Yarrow Small-tube boilers; 2 x Brown-Curtis geared turbines @ 45000 shp


Armament, Armour & Complement ( as completed )
Complement 1314 officers & ratings
  • Gun
    • 3 x 3 x 16"
    • 6 x 2 x 6"
    • 6 x 1 x 4.7" AA
    • 8 x 1 x 2pdr AA
  • Torpedo
    • 2 x 1 x 24" submerged
  • 14" Belt
  • 3"-6" Main Deck
  • 3" Lower Deck
  • 7"-16" Main Turrets
  • 14"-15" Barbettes
  • 1"-11" Secondary Turrets


Anti-Aircraft Armament - 1945
  • 6 x 1 x 4.7"
  • 8 x 6 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
  • 4 x 4 x 40mm Bofors AA
  • 5 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 55 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 4 x 2 x 4" AA
  • 6 x 8 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
  • 61 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
Хостинг от uCoz