Warfare in News

Posted on Wednesday 27th November

A CEREMONY WAS HELD YESTERDAY in celebration of HMS Warspite, 100 years from the day of her launch at Plymouth's Devonport Dockyard.

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.

Further Reading

Warspite

Only £14.99

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...


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