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Shar2

HMS Warspite 1914-1919. Super Drawings in 3

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HMS Warspite 1914-1919
Kagero Super Drawings in 3D

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HMS Warspite was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship built for the Royal Navy during the early 1910s. Other than the Battle of Jutland, and the inconclusive action of 19 August, her service during World War 1 generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.

Warspite, the sixth warship of the Royal Navy to carry the name, was laid down on 21 October 1912 at Devonport Royal Dockyard, launched on 26 November 1913, and completed in April 1915 under the command of Captain Edward Phillpotts. Warspite joined the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet following a number of acceptance trials, including gunnery trials, which saw Churchill present when she fired her 15 inch (381 mm) guns. Churchill was suitably impressed with their accuracy and power. In late 1915, Warspite was grounded in the River Forth causing some damage to her hull; she had been led by her escorting destroyers down the small ships channel. After undergoing repairs for two months at Rosyth and Jarrow, she rejoined the Grand Fleet, this time as part of the newly formed 5th Battle Squadron which had been created for Queen Elizabeth-class ships. In early December, Warspite was involved in another incident when, during an exercise, she collided with her sister-ship Barham, which caused considerable damage to Warspite's bow. She made it back to Scapa Flow and from there to Devonport for more repair work, rejoining the fleet on Christmas Eve 1915.

Having escaped the trap the 5th Battle Squadron headed north, exchanging fire with both Hipper's battlecruiser force and the leading elements of Scheer's battleships, damaging Markgraf. When the squadron turned to join the Grand Fleet the damage from a shell hitting the port-wing engine room caused Warspite's steering to jam as she attempted to avoid her sister-ships Valiant and Malaya. Captain Phillpotts decided to maintain course, in effect circling, rather than come to a halt and reverse. This decision exposed Warspite and made her a tempting target; she was hit 13 times, but inadvertently diverted attention from the armoured cruiser Warrior, which had been critically damaged whilst attacking the leading elements of the German fleet. This action gained her the admiration of Warrior's surviving crew, who believed that Warspite's movement had been intentional.

The crew regained control of Warspite after two full circles. Their efforts to end the circular motion placed her on a course which took her towards the German fleet. The rangefinders and the transmission station were non-functional and only "A" turret could fire, albeit under local control with 12 salvos falling short of their target. Sub Lieutenant Herbert Annesley Packer was subsequently promoted for his command of "A" turret. Rather than continue, Warspite was stopped for ten minutes so the crew could make repairs. They succeeded in correcting the problem, but the ship would be plagued with steering irregularities for the rest of her naval career. As the light faded the Grand Fleet crossed ahead of the German battle line and opened fire, forcing the High Seas Fleet to retreat and allowing Warspite to slip away.

Warspite was holed 150 times during the battle, and had 14 killed and 16 wounded; among the latter warrant officer Walter Yeo, who became one of the first men to receive facial reconstruction via plastic surgery. Although she had been extensively damaged, Warspite could still raise steam and was ordered back to Rosyth during the evening of 31 May by Rear-Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas, commander of the 5th Battle Squadron. Whilst travelling across the North Sea the ship came under attack from a German U-boat. The U-boat fired three torpedoes, all of which missed their target. Warspite later attempted to ram a surfaced U-boat. She signalled ahead for escorts and a squadron of torpedo boats came out to meet her. They were too slow to screen her effectively, but there were no more encounters with German vessels and she reached Rosyth safely on the morning of 1 June, where it took two months to repair the damage.

Upon the completion of her repairs, Warspite rejoined the 5th Battle Squadron. Further misfortune struck soon afterwards, when she collided with Valiant after a night-shooting exercise, necessitating more repair work at Rosyth. Captain Philpotts avoided reprimand on this occasion, but was moved to a shore-based job as Naval Assistant to the new First Sea Lord, Admiral Jellicoe. He was replaced by Captain de Bartolome in December 1916. In June 1917, Warspite collided with a destroyer, but did not require major repairs. In the following month, Warspite was rocked at her moorings in Scapa Flow when Vanguard, a St. Vincent-class battleship, exploded with the loss of hundreds of her crew when an ammunition magazine detonated. Early in April 1918 she joined the Grand Fleet in a fruitless pursuit of the German High Seas Fleet which had been hunting for a convoy near Norway. In 1918, Warspite had to spend four months being repaired after a boiler room caught fire. Captain Hubert Lynes relieved Captain de Bartolome and on 21 November he took Warspite out to escort the German High Seas Fleet into internment at Scapa Flow following the signing of the Armistice.

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This is the latest book of Kageros 3D Drawings, and the 38th in the series, which is building up nicely into a superb single point of reference for maritime modellers. Following the now familiar format, but with only four pages of text giving the information on the design of the ship and its operational service; these are followed by seventy three pages of beautifully rendered drawings covering all external areas of the ship, and it is these drawings that set this series above others as the show much more detail than any period photograph can show, or that shown on 2D plans. Each rendering has brief annotations which give useful insights as to what the areas are and the subtle details included. The last nine pages contain drawings of individual items, such as the main turrets, secondary and tertiary armament, ships boats, (ranging from the 50ft steam pinnace right down to the 15ft dinghy), torpedoes, and the various calibres of shells she carried. Unfortunately this title doesn’t come with any line drawings or plans, unlike most of the series.

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Conclusion
This is another great addition to the series and will be very useful if you’re building the Trumpeter 1:700 kit, although it will be just as useful for any other scales. It’ll certainly be a nice addition to any maritime library, especially those with family connections to this great ship as I do. Very highly recommended.

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