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From a series of cards 'Cammell Laird ships of WW2'
Launched Birkenhead 17.12.1925. She took part in the sinking of the Bismark, saw action in the 'D [email protected] Landings and was detailed for duties with Force "H" (convoy duty) in the Atlantic in 1943. She survived the war and was scrapped at Inverkeithing 26.3.1948.

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Rodney, second ship of the two Nelson class battleships of the RN these ships initially were not liked because of their 'odd' looks, until the Nelson's came out an all forward armament had never been tried out. Originally these were to have been far bigger ships but the 1922 Washington treaty limited the size of battleships to 35,000 tons and guns of 16 inches so the design was cut down - hence the nickname the 'cherry tree class' as the were cut down by Washington. They were also nicknamed Rodol and nelsol after the fleet oilers they reportedly looked like. As time went by these ships which were undoubtably the most powerful battleships in the world at the time became very popular with their crews.

The guns were all concentrated together to shorten the length of the ship that needed armour protection and in fact the weight limit of 35,000 tons was not quite reached.

Length 710 feet, beam 106 feet (Panama canal max), Draft 36 feet displacement - standard 33,950, full load 38,000 tons

Main battery : nine 16" C45 in three triple turrets ( guns and turrets were MK1 as they were the first 16 inch in the RN)

Secondary battery : 12 x 6" C50 Mk22 in six twin turrets
Heavy AA battery : 6 x 4.7" C40 QF Mk8 in single shielded mounts
Light AA 24 x 2pdr ( 40.5mm) C40 in two octuple and 8 single mounts

she was alos fitted with two of the useless quad 0.5 inch quad machine gun mounts and in 1939 had two UP mounts fitted which were an appaling weapon.

Unusually they class were also fitted with two huge 24.5 inch torpedo tubes and the Rodney remains the only battleship to have torpedoed another battleship when she hit the Bismark with one ( which seemed to have little effect).

The armour of these ships was very good :
belt - 14.12" cemented at 72º abreast magazines.13" at 72º abreast machinery and aft magazines

Decks: 6.3 inches

Armoured bulkheads : 12" to 8" forward and 10" to 4" aft

Torpedo bulkheads 10 inches

Turrets : Faces 16.24" sides 11"-9" backs 9" roofs 7"

Barbettes : 15.24" tapering to 12"

Conning tower sides : 14 inches, front 12 inches, roof 6 inches and floor 4 inches

Machinery : to save weight these ships were only twin screw and rather slow - there only serious achillies heel

2 Brown Curtis single reduction geared steam turbines of 45,000 HP giving 23 knots. Steam supplied by 8 admiralty three drum boilers

Fuel : HFO 770 tons and 162 tons diesel range 5,500 nm at 23 knots and
7,000 nm at 16 knots

Crew arround 1,640

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