HMS Tiger

United Kingdom (1913)

Genesis of the Tiger

Despite active lobbying from Sir “Jackie” Fisher, the Admiralty began to doubt the usefulness of battle cruiser concept in 1911 already. Instead of launching a new class of three ships, a sole battlecruiser was authorized in the 1911–12 Naval Programme, and a less expensive ship than the last “splendid cats”. (In fact the cost was £2,593,100) This plan focused on improvements based on the Queen Mary, integrating the experience gained in years.

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Turrets placement and superstructure were completely revised, as well as the position and height of funnels and the front firing control tower. A potent secondary armament was added, located into the central battery, giving concentrated superstructures to clear the range, like the Japanese Kongo class, then under construction at Vickers.

Again, it was specified a very high speed, 28 knots from a nominal 85,000 hp and more resulting from machines pushed white hot to give 105 000 hp (in theory capable of giving 30 knots). In fact 29 knots were achieved with 104,000 hp, but with a daily consumption rising to 1245 tonnes of fuel oil. The smaller hull necessitated twisted compromises to try to find the missing extra storage.

Tiger in 1916
Tiger in 1916


Although not yet have good protection, the Tiger was a ship with fine and pleasant lines, original though childless. Although it was laid down after the Kongo, the chief engineer of Vickers drew extensively the ideas contained in the design of Tiger, whose plans had arrested early summers. Indeed, the last of the “splendid cats” – a little less expensive than the others, was launched in December 1913 and completed and accepted into service after trials in October 1914.

The HMS Tiger in 1918.

Active service

HMS Tiger joined the Grand Fleet in November, naturally placed with the 1st squadron of battle cruisers. She took Part in the Dogger Bank battle, her first major commitment, and took six large caliber hits, one blowing off its Y rear turret, but only suffered 11 dead and 11 wounded.

Repaired in February 1915 she later participated in the battle of Jutland. At the heart of the scrum in David Beatty squadron wing, she fired no less than 303 rounds, but only score thee hits, conceding 15 heavy impacts, without however compromising its chances of survival. Yet it was a miracle: The Q turret (rear center) was blown ff, and a barbette, but the ammunition stores were spared a flash. Returning to Rosyth, she was listing to port and had 24 dead and 46 wounded.

Repairs were completed in July 1916 and the Tiger resumed service in the 1st squadron, performing various missions. She served in the squadron of the Atlantic from 1919 to 1922, and after the Treaty of Washington served as gunnery training ship after two years of conversion, from 1924 to 1929. She then replaced the Hood in 1929 and 1931 and was retired in 1931 in Devonport, paid off and broken up in 1932.


The HMS Tiger on wikipedia
Detailed armour scheme
Specs Conway’s all the world fighting ships 1921-1947.

HMS Tiger specifications

Dimensions214,6 x 27,6 x 8,7 m
Displacement428 430 t, 35 710 t FL
Propulsion4 screws, 4 Brown-Curtis turbines, 39 B&W boilers, 85 000 cv.
Speed28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Armament8 x 343, 12 x 152, 2 x 76 AA, 4 x 47 parade, 4 TT 533 mm SM.
ArmorBlockhaus 254, belt 230, bulkheads 100, barbettes 230, turrets 230, deck 75 mm.


HMS Tiger profile

HMS Tiger in drydock
HMS Tiger in drydock

Tiger X barbette damageX turret roof damageDamaged sustained at JutlandSopwith pup on a launching ramp 1919Diagrams Brasseys annual 1923

Tiger illustration
The HMS Tiger in 1916.

Nassau class battleships
Lion class Battlecruisers