An ex-Turkish battleship
As a long-established shipbuilder, Great Britain, through its shipyards Vickers and especially Armstrong, has received orders for more than a dozen dreadnoughts after the first one was built in 1906. Of this total, only some have been delivered, the war imposing its priorities. The Ottoman Empire, at war with Greece in 1911-12 and seeing its interests threatened by the Russians in the Black Sea, wanted to stay in the race and modernize its fleet, hitherto equipped with two former German pre-dreadnougts, and buildings even more obsolete.
During 1911, the pourpalers engaged, then a firm order with Vickers for two dreadnoughts established on a rather large specifications, the chief engineer Thurston presenting a compromise design between King George V and Iron Duke. The first, Reshad V, later Reshadieh, was to be followed by a second one (Reshad-i-Hamiss), finally canceled in 1912 when it appeared the possibility of buying the Brazilian Rio de Janeiro then under construction at Armstrong (renamed Sultan Osman-I).
HMS Erin, in Moray, Firth of Forth 1915 – Credits: Imperial War Museum
The latter was requisitioned in August 1914 and integrated into the Royal Navy as HMS Agincourt. Reshadieh, begun in August 1911, was launched on 3 September 1913 and was completed at the time of the Sarajevo bombing. Since the Ottoman Empire had clearly shifted to the triple alliance, Winston Churchill, the first Lord of the Admiralty, decided to requisition him at the same time as Sultan Osman I. The Reshadieh was thus incorporated, while he was his essays, at the Royal Navy under the name of HMS Erin. Having a hull shorter than the British battleships, but wider, its maneuverability was all the greater and it was lighter than 2000 tons.
On the other hand, its autonomy was lower, although it was intended for use in the Mediterranean, and it was ultimately used cheaply in the North Sea. Its central turret had been raised and was less sensitive to spray, and the high hull also gave the barbettes a better efficiency in heavy weather. It was also the first English line building to display this bow in crescent improving the seakeeping, systematically repeated thereafter.
Career of the Erin
These combined qualities made it a good acquisition for the Royal Navy, which employed him extensively. When the Turkish government, this double requisition completed its hostility towards the British, which was illustrated during the bitter resistance it opposed to the Dardanelles. In 1917, the Erin went into dry dock and received new rangefinders, deflectors and additional searchlights, and in 1918 two aircraft platforms were installed on the B and Q turrets.
In September 1914, the Erin was assigned to the 2nd Fleet Line Fleet of the Grand Fleet Atlantic Area. He was detached to the Firth of Forth to participate in the Battle of Jutland, where he fired, was slightly touched, but without casualties. He became flagship of the Scapa Flow Reserve Fleet in 1919 but was demolished in 1922 due to the limitations of the Washington Treaty. The Royal Navy logically preferred recent, homogenous classrooms – Queen Elisabeth and Revenge. When the sublime door, she consoled herself by adopting the former German battle cruiser Goeben, become Yavuz.
|Dimensions||170.5 x 28 x 8.7 m|
|Displacement||22 800 t, 25 250 T FL|
|Propulsion||4 shaft Parsons turbines, 15 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, 26,500 hp|
|Speed||21 knots (39 km/h)|
|Range||6,680 nautical miles (12,370 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)|
|Armament||10 x 343 mm, 16 x 152 mm, 6 x 57 mm, 2 x 76 mm AA, 4 x 533 mm Sub TTs.|
|Armor||Blockhaus 300, belt 300, citadel-bulwark 200, barbettes 250, turrets 280, deck 75 mm.|
Author’s profile of the Erin in 1914.