Warfare in News
Posted on Wednesday 27th November
The ship, the seventh Royal Navy vessel to bear the name Warspite, was launched on 26 November 1913, at a ceremony attended by 30,000 guests including the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill.
Warspite served in both World Wars and holds more honours than any other ship in British naval history.
She played an important part in the First World War Battle of Jutland in 1916, holding off the German High Seas Fleet. During the Second World War she saw action in the Arctic, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and the English Channel.
Author and historian Iain Ballantyne, an associate member of the HMS Warspite Association, said of the ship:
'She was created and launched when Britain was at the zenith of its imperial power and last saw action when the empire was in decline.
'Warspite used oil-fired boilers for her propulsion at a time when most naval vessels relied on coal, plus she carried the biggest guns ever mounted in a vessel of her kind.
'Warspite turned out to be a tremendous success [and] a remarkable vessel
'Churchill famously had nightmares that, with time running out in the race with Germany, Warspite would turn out to be slow and her untested guns might not work at all.
'[However] she and four sister vessels - Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, Barham and Malaya - were the deadliest battleships fielded by any side in World War One and greatly feared by German Navy.'
Iain Ballantyne documented the ship's history in his book Warspite - From Jutland Hero to Cold War Warrior (Pen and Sword Books) which is available in paperback and hardback as well as eBook formats.
Warspite(Paperback - 224 pages)
by Iain Ballantyne
No warship name in British naval history has more battle honours than Warspite. While this book looks at the lives of all eight vessels to bear the name (between 1596 and the 1990s), it concentrates on the truly epic story of the seventh vessel, a super-dreadnought battleship, conceived as the ultimate answer to German naval power, during the arms race that helped cause WW1. Warspite fought off the entire German fleet at Jutland, survived a… Read more...
Of further interest...
Warspite at JutlandWed 3rd February
With its 15-inch guns, HMS Warspite caused a mixture of fear and professional fascination among the Kaiser’s officers. They would soon find out what it was like to be on the receiving end of Churchill’s and Admiral Fisher’s Queen Elizabeth Class monsters. Read article...
The First Ship To Open Fire on D-DayMon 9th June
Iain Ballantyne describes HMS Warspite's role during the Normandy Landings, reputedly the first major vessel to open fire and hammer Hitler's so-called Atlantic Wall. Read article...
'Killing the Bismarck' - Slaying the MythsTue 20th May
Iain Ballantyne considers the myth and the reality of the Royal Navy’s pursuit and destruction of the German battleship Bismarck, as investigated in the new paperback edition of his book ‘Killing the Bismarck’ Read article...
RANDOLPH CHURCHILL FOLLOWS IN WINSTON'S FOOTSTEPSFri 22nd April
With Winston Churchill at the Front is the new release from Frontline Books. It follows the story of Winston Churchill on the front line in 1916, as told my his Adjutant Andrew Dewar Gibb. Read article...