Marshal Soult class monitors

Marshal Soult class monitors

Marshal Soult class monitors

The two Marshal Soult ships were probably the least successful monitors built for the British navy during the First World War. They closely resembled the earlier Abercrombie and Lord Clive class monitors, but were armed with a twin 15in turret. This turret was far too big to be entirely contained inside the shallow hull of the monitors, and so a large part of the barbette was exposed above the deck. The biggest problems with these ships were caused by their under-powered and unreliable diesel engines.

Marshal Ney served with the Dover squadron from September 1915, but after just over a year had to be withdrawn because of engine problems. She had already lost her 15in guns earlier in 1916, and given one 9.2in gun and four 6in quick firing guns. She was then placed at the Downs as a fixed guard ship. There she did perform some service, helping to defeat a German raid on Ramsgate in April 1917. Despite her problems, she was retained after the war, serving as a depot ship and then a training ship, while undergoing four name changes, ending up as HMS Alaunia after the Second First War.

HMS Marshal Soult suffered fewer problems, and remained with the Dover Patrol from November 1915 until the end of the war. After the war she was retained as a gunnery training ship, having retained her 15in turret throughout the war. During the Second World War she returned to limited active service as a trawler depot ship.

Displacement (loaded)

6,900t

Top Speed

6kts in service

Range

Armour – deck

4in-1in

- belt

4in

- bulkheads

4in

- barbettes

8in

- turret face

13in

- conning tower

6in

- deck

4in-1in

Length

355ft 8in

Armaments

Two 15in Mk I guns
Two 12pdr quick firing guns
One 3pdr anti-aircraft guns

Crew complement

187

Launched

1915

Completed

1915

Ships in class

HMS Marshal Ney
HMS Marshal Soult

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War


‘Roberts’ class British monitor

The designation ‘monitor’ is used for the type of comparatively small warship which was not fast or strongly protected, but carried a small number of guns characterised by their disproportionately large calibre. Monitors were operated by several navies from the early 1860s until the end of World War II in 1945, and in fact saw their final use, in a somewhat strange form, by the US Navy during the Vietnam War.

The first monitor was designed in the USA during 1861 by John Ericsson, who named his ship Monitor. This and subsequent ships of the same basic type were designed for operations in shallow waters, and therefore served as coastal ships. The term ‘monitor’ was also used for the later and more useful breastwork monitor, which had a raised turret or turrets as well as a heavier superstructure on a platform above the hull, for superior capability in the shore bombardment rather than ship versus ship role.

The shore bombardment role appealed strongly to the British, with their considerable heritage of involvement in European wars through the use of landed troops supported by the powerful guns on warships lying close inshore. In this role, the monitor required little in the way of speed, range or manoeuvrability, which were therefore sacrificed to a broader beam (providing a more stable firing platform), shallower draught (allowing the ship to approach the coast more closely) and very heavy armament. The strongest of the riverine warcraft were known as river monitors. In the early 20th century, the term monitor was revived for shallow-draft armoured shore bombardment vessels, particularly those of the Royal Navy: two of the eight ‘Lord Clive’ class monitors, launched in 1915 with a primary armament of two 12-in (305-mm) guns in a single turret, were later adapted also to carry one 18-in (457-mm) gun firing the heaviest shell ever fired by a warship out to a range of 36,000 yards (32920 m), which was the longest range at which a Royal Navy vessel ever engaged a target using guns a third conversion had not been completed before the end of World War I in 1918.

The smaller Royal Navy monitors were mostly scrapped following World War I, though Erebus and Terror survived to fight in World War II. When the requirement for shore support returned, two large new Roberts class monitors, Roberts and Abercrombie, were constructed and fitted with 15-inch (380 mm) guns from older battleships. Most of the 40 British monitors built in World War I with 6-, 9.2-, 12-, 15- and 18-in (152-, 234-, 305-, 381- and 457-in) guns, were removed from service after the end of that war, some of them for adaptation to other tasks, but two ‘Erebus’ class ships, each armed with two 15-in (381-mm) guns, were retained and saw service in World War II.

New construction

These two ships were supplemented by the two ships of the ‘Roberts’ class, which were Roberts, built by John Brown on Clydebank and completed in 1941, and Abercrombie, built by Vickers-Armstrongs at Wallsend-on-Tyne and completed in 1943.

The design of the ‘Roberts’ class was a development of that of the ‘Erebus’ class, Roberts being built to utilise the 15-in (381-mm) turret from Marshal Soult, a monitor disarmed in 1940, while Abercrombie had one of the 15-in (381-mm) turrets originally constructed as a standby for the light battle-cruiser Furious if the latter’s 18-in 457-mm) guns were failures. This turret was brought up to date and the mountings in both ships allowed a maximum elevation angle of 30°. The turret, carrying the two 15-in (381-mm) Mk I L/42 guns, was carried above a tall barbette ahead of the superstructure: each gun had a muzzle velocity of 2,458 ft (749 m) per second, and fired its 1,938-lb (879-kg) shell to a maximum range of 33,550 yards (30680 m) at a gun elevation angle of 30°. The secondary armament comprised eight 4-in (102-mm) QF Mk XVI L/45 anti-aircraft guns in four twin turrets installed on the upper deck in Roberts and on the shelter deck in Abercrombie. The secondary anti-aircraft armament was 16 2-pdr ‘pom-pom’ guns in one octuple and two quadruple mountings, and Roberts had eight single 40-mm Bofors light anti-aircraft guns added in July 1945, and the greatest number of 20-mm Oerlikon cannon in either ship seems to have been 20.

Armour protection was provided on only a modest scale. The conning tower has armour between 2 and 3 in (51 and 76 mm) tick. The belt, between 4 and 5 in (102 and 127 mm) thick, sloped outward along the top of the anti-torpedo bulge and extended between the main and lower decks from a point well forward of the barbette to the main mast. The turret had a 13-in (330-mm) face, 11-in (279-mm) sides and rear, and a 5- or 6-in (127- or 152-mm) roof. The armour deck at main deck level was between 2 and 4 in (51 and 102 mm) thick with a greater area of the thicker armour in Abercrombie, and both ships had a glacis between 4 and 6 in (102 and 152 mm) thick, and a raised deck over the 15-in (381-mm) magazine, which also had splinter protection 1.5 in (38 mm) thick. The lower deck was 3 in (76 mm) thick over the steering gear. The anti-torpedo bulge on each side was of the sandwich type with a width of 17 ft (15.54 m) amidships with a 1.5-in (38-mm) protective bulkhead, and the system was designed to withstand the detonation of a 1,000-lb (454-kg) charge.

Good survivability

During World War II, Roberts was hit by two 1,102-lb (500-kg) bombs, which her armour withstood while nonetheless suffering considerable damage, and Abercrombie was twice damaged by moored contact mines, on the second occasion striking two of them. As a result Abercrombie’s wartime career was much less active than that of Roberts.

Other features of the class were shallow draught for operations close inshore, broad beam to give stability and also added resistance to torpedoes and mines, and a tall observation platform to observe the fall of shot.

Roberts was completed on 27 October 1941 and provided bombardment support during the ‘Torch’ landings of November 1942 in French North-West Africa, where she was damaged by two bombs as noted above. She was repaired in time to support the ‘Husky’ invasion of Sicily in July 1943, the ‘Avalanche’ landing near Salerno on the Italian mainland in September 1943, the ‘Overlord’ landing in Normandy in June 1944, and the Walcheren operations of late 1944.

Roberts was sold for scrapping shortly after the end of World War II, but hired back by the Royal Navy as an accommodation ship at Devonport until 1965, when she was broken up for scrap.

Abercrombie was completed on 5 May 1943 and was damaged by contact mines on several occasions while supporting the invasion of Italy, but was repaired. On the completion of her repairs, the monitor was sent for service in the Pacific theatre, but the war ended before her arrival. The monitor was used as a gunnery training and accommodation ship at Chatham after the war, and broken up for scrap in 1954.

Other data for the ships included a displacement of (Roberts) 7,973 tons standard and 9,150 tons full load, and (Abercrombie) 8,536 tons standard and 9,717 tons full load, length of 373 ft 4 in (113.79 m) overall, beam of 89 ft 9 in (27.36 m), draught of (Roberts) 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m) and (Abercrombie) 14 ft 5 in (4.39 m), propulsion by two Admiralty three-drum boilers supplying steam to two sets of Parsons steam turbines delivering 4,800 shp (3579 kW) to two shafts, oil capacity of 491 tons (498.9 tonnes), speed of 12.5 kt, and complement of between 442 and 460.


during the Great War 1914-1918.

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HMS Marshal Soult

Laid down, by Palmers of Jarrow, in February 1915 as the Monitor M-14, a Marshal Ney Class monitor.

(Named after a French General of the Napoleonic Wars)

Launched : 24th August 1915

Commissioned : 2nd November 1915

Propulsion : Twin-Screw oil engines by the Builders, developing maximum design 1,898 HP

Service speed at normal service power of 1,500 HP : Design – 9 knots Trials – 6.6 knots

Main armament was her two massive 15 inch guns

HMS Marshal Soult served in both World Wars. She was used for the three years from November 1915, as part of the R.N.'s Dover Patrol, for the bombardment, in the shallow waters off Belgium for which she had been designed, of strategic land targets and port installations – in particular around Zeebrugge and Ostend. Engaged in offensive operations against German positions in Flanders. Then served as a Tender to the gunnery school HMS Excellent at Portsmouth and, later, served in a similar role at Devonport.

During WWII, she served as a Depot Ship, mainly serving Trawlers, at Portsmouth. Was also used for training purposes.


ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

Project history: Roberts was built by the 1940 program under modified Erebus design with shorter hull, some smaller machinery power and geared turbines instead of steam machines . In comparison with a prototype they had more developed superstructure and outwardly resembled Nelson class. Roberts received 381mm turret from monitor Marshal Soult. The second ship of this class Abercrombie was armed with a turret in due time ordered for a battlecruiser Furious. She differed from leading ship by arranging of 102mm guns, they were raised by one deck level.

Protection: Main belt extended between barbette and main mast and sloped outwards along the top of bulges. Abercrombie has a greater area of 102mm deck armour than Roberts. Main deck over main magazines was raised and has 152-102mm glacis. There was also 38mm splinter protection for magazines. Thickness of lower deck over steering gear was 76mm. Underwater protection depth was 5.2m, there was 38mm torpedo bulkhead.

Modernizations: 1943, Roberts: - type 281 radar + 8 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 279, type 272P radars

7/1945, Roberts: - type 272P radar + 8 x 1 - 40/56 Bofors Mk I/III, 4 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 268 radar, full displacement: 9500 t

1945, Abercrombie: - type 272M, 281 radars + 4 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 293, 79B radars, oil stowage was 670t, full displacement: 9900t

1/1946, Roberts: 1 x 2 - 381/42 Mk I, 4 x 2 - 102/45 Mk XIX, 8 x 1 - 40/60 Mk III, 1 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 2 x 4 - 40/39 Mk VII, 20 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, type 272P, type 279, 3x type 282, 2x type 285 radars

1/1946, Abercrombie: 1 x 2 - 381/42 Mk I/N, 4 x 2 - 102/45 Mk XIX, 1 x 8 - 40/39 Mk VIA, 2 x 4 - 40/39 Mk VII, 8 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 8 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, type 79B, 3x type 282, 2x type 285, type 293 radars

Naval service: Roberts served as drill ship after war, stricken in 1955 and sold for BU in 1965. Abercrombie from 7.1946 served as drill ship and later as accommodation ship for RNVR.

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.


M15-class

The M15-class monitors were fourteen ships ordered in March 1915, as part of the War Emergency Programme of ship construction, mounting 9.2 inch Mk VI gun turrets removed from the Edgar-class and the Mk X turrets held in stock for the Drake-class and Cressy-class cruisers.

ShipMain gunsDisplacementPropulsionService
Laid downCommissionedFate
HMS   M151 × 9.2   in (23   cm) 540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915June   1915Sunk by UC-38 on 11   November   1917.
HMS   M161 × 9.2   in (23   cm) 540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915June   1915Sold 29   January   1920
HMS   M171 × 9.2   in (23   cm) 540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915June   1915Sold 12   May   1920
HMS   M181 × 9.2   in (23   cm) 540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915July   1915Sold 29   January   1920
HMS   M191 × 9.2   in (23   cm) 540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915June   1915Sold 12   May   1920
HMS   M201 × 9.2   in (23   cm) 540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915July   1915Sold 29   January   1920
HMS   M211 × 9.2   in (23   cm)
later
1 × 7.5   in (19   cm)
540 long ton s (550   t ) 2 × shafts
Triple Expansion steam engines
1   March   1915July   1915Sunk 20   October   1918 off Dover
HMS   M22 (later HMS Medea)1 × 9.2   in (23   cm) 540 long ton s (550   t ) 2 × shafts
Triple Expansion steam engines
1   March   1915August   1915Converted to a minelayer in 1920, renamed HMS Medea 1925, became a training ship 1937, sold 1938, wrecked 2   January   1939
HMS   M23 (later RNVR Claverhouse)1 × 9.2   in (23   cm)
later
1 × 7.5   in (19   cm)
540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915July   1915Became a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve drillship, and was renamed Claverhouse in 1922, sold 1959
HMS   M241 × 9.2   in (23   cm)
later
1 × 7.5   in (19   cm)
540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
Campbell 4-cylinder paraffin engines
1   March   1915August   1915Sold 29   January   1920 for conversion to a mercantile oil tanker, and renamed Satoe
HMS   M251 × 9.2   in (23   cm)
later
1 × 7.5   in (19   cm)
540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915September   1915Scuttled in the Dvina River 16   September   1919
HMS   M261 × 9.2   in (23   cm)
later
1 × 7.5   in (19   cm)
540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915October   1915Sold 29   January   1920
HMS   M271 × 9.2   in (23   cm)
later
1 × 6   in (15   cm)
540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915November   1915Scuttled in the Dvina River 16   September   1919
HMS   M281 × 9.2   in (23   cm)
later
1 × 6   in (15   cm)
540 long ton s (550   t ) 4 × shafts
4-cylinder semi-diesel engines
1   March   1915August   1915Sunk during the Battle of Imbros on 20   January   1918

British Monitors East of Malta

WHEN WINSTON CHURCHILL and Jacky Fisher authorised a fleet of monitors to be built for the Royal Navy at the end of 1914, their main idea was to use them to bombard German naval bases to force the High Seas Fleet to sortie to face the Grand Fleet. To this end, four 6,150 ton vessels each carrying a twin 14-inch turret of American origin were ordered in November, followed by eith 5,900 ton vessels with a twin 12-inch in December and two 6,700-ton vessels in January 1915 with a twin 15-inch. By March, it was clear that the original intention was impractical so the plans were altered to use the monitor fleet to support operations against the Turks in the attempt to force the Dardanelles.

Meantime 22 smaller 600 ton monitors had been ordered, four with a single long range 9.2-inch Mark X (M15-18), ten with a short range 9.2-inch Mark VI (M19-28) and five with two modern 6-inch Mark XII (M29-33). With the first monitors nearing completion in May, Churchill ordered nine large and six small monitors to be sent out to the Dardanelles to support the landings made at Helles and Anzac in April. Heavy artillery was lacking ashore, yet battle-ships with their big guns were too vulnerable to mines and torpedoes close inshore. Their place was successfully taken by the monitors, designed essentially as expendable vessels with a shallow 10-foot draft and protective bulges, which could operate in such conditions.

Abercrombie was the first of the 14-inch monitors to arrive during July 1915 at the Allied naval base at Mudros, 50 miles west of the Dardanelles. She was soon followed by her sisters Roberts, Havelock and Raglan. Their big guns could range nearly 20,000 yards, so they were deployed immediately off the Gallipoli peninsula firing on the Turkish lines. One was normally anchored in the shelter of Mavro Island to counter Turkish batteries on the Asiatic shore. Havelock supported the Suvla landings in August, which linked up with the Australians and New Zealanders at Anzac, but failed to break through the peninsula to open up the Dardanelles and the way to Constantinople and the ally Russia.

Fifteen of the smaller monitors, M15-23 and M28-33, were used for close support, bombardments of other parts of the Turkish coastline and patrol work in the Aegean. Two of the 12-inch monitors arrived in the autumn, Earl Of Peterborough and Sir Thomas Picton, but the planned deployment of more of the class and the 15-inch monitors (Marshals Ney and Soult) has been cancelled after Churchill and Fisher left the Admiralty in May. These latter vessels were used off the Belgian coast to support the Allied flank on the Western Front and to bombard German forward naval bases.

With the evacuation of Gallipoli at the end of 1915, some of the monitors were withdrawn. Havelock and Roberts went home to be allocated to guardship duties at East Coast ports, where their low 7-knot speed would be little handicap. Others moved north to Salonika to support Allied operations against Bulgaria on the Macedonian Front. Four of the small monitors moved south to the Suez Canal area to protect the vital waterway against Turkish attacks. Australian troops were among those deployed in Sinai, who during 1916 stopped the Turks 30 miles from Port Said. Then as Allied forces were built up in Egypt, an advance was made along the Sinai coast towards Palestine. Initial assaults on Gaza were repulsed in the spring of 1917, but a new offensive was started in October. Supported by a heavy bombardment from Raglan, M15, M29, M31 and M32, the Turkish lines broke and the advance into Palestine continued into 1918, with the Anzac Corps playing an important part.

Other small monitors were involved in minor operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Gulf of Akaba, but the best known was the destruction of the German cruiser Konigsberg. The latter had taken refuge in the shallow Rufiji River delta in East Africa, out of range of British ships patrolling offshore. Two shallow draft river monitors, which had originally been ordered for Brazil but taken over by the RN on the outbreak of war, were sent in to bring their two single 6-inch to destroy Konigsberg. In July 1915, Severn and Mersey fired 837 rounds to put the German ship out of action with the aid of aircraft spotting. Their sister Humber, who retained the original twin 6-inch turret, had remained in the Mediterranean, initially off the Anzac beaches, later in Egyptian waters.

In 1916, Earl of Peterborough and Sir Thomas Picton moved to the Adriatic to support the Italians against the Austrians. Based at Venice, their bombardments helped stem the Austrian advance after Caporetto in October 1917. The Italians had also developed a number of monitors, but these were mostly makeshift converted craft less successful than the British purpose-built ships.

After the evacuation from Gallipoli, several monitors were deployed watching the Dardanelles to try to prevent a sortie by the German battle cruiser Goeben and cruiser Breslau. Although their slow speed, light protection and high-explosive shells would be of limited use against the more powerful German vessels, there were two 12-inch gun battleships, Lord Nelson and Agamemnon, based nearby at Mudros. When the German ships did sortie on 20 January 1918, there was no prior warning. Raglan and M28 were caught at anchor at Imbros and quickly sunk by accurate gunfire. The battleships were too far away to help, although British defensive minefields sank Breslau and damaged Goeben.

After the Armistice, most of the monitors were soon paid off. Abercrombie, Earl of Peterborough and Sir Thomas Picton returned home in 1919, but most of the small monitors were laid up at Malta. Four were recommissioned in 1919 for operations against the Bolsheviks in the Black Sea. They were able to help the White Russians (anti- Bolsheviks) against the Bolsheviks in their initial successes in the Crimea although after the monitors were withdrawn, the Bolsheviks gradually took control of the whole country in 1920.

Eight of the small monitors were sold to Anglo-Saxon Petroleum (now Shell) for conversion into coastal tankers. M16 was renamed Tiga and was used as a bunkering vessel at Sydney from 1924 to 1953. She was then sold to J. Stride at Sydney, but her ultimate fate is not recorded – perhaps readers can help?

No monitors were built between the wars. By the outbreak of World War II, only three of the large vessels remained – Erebus, Terror and Marshal Soult. The two former were 12-knot 8,000-ton vessels built in 1916 for operations off the Belgian Coast. Their two 15-inch guns could range 29,000 yards with 30° elevation. All other monitors not sold or scrapped were converted to depot ships or coastal minelayers.

During the 1930s, the large naval base at Singapore gradually took shape. Fixed defences with coastal artillery up to 15-inch calibre were planned, but to fill the gap while they were still building, Terror was sent out as guardship in 1933. In the event of war, she would be stationed east of the naval base, provided with Walrus spotting aircraft and linked up with the fortress plot ashore. Before the war, she made occasional cruises up the Malayan coast and carried out shoots at towed targets with armour-piercing shells.

After the five 15-inch had been installed at Singapore, together with 9.2-inch and 6- inch coast defences, Terror was assigned at the end of 1939 to the Mediterranean to reinforce the naval forces depleted by transfers to home waters. Arriving at Malta in April 1940, she was used as an anti-aircraft guardship whilst the island’s AA defences were being strengthened. After helping beat off Italian air attacks, she moved to Suda Bay at Crete in November as guardship at this forward naval base. Then came her opportunity to revert to her originally designed role of coastal bombardment. A major offensive against the Italian Army threatening Egypt and the Suez Canal was planned for December.


Marshal Soult class monitors - History

BATTLE HONOURS and SINGLE-SHIP ACTIONS OF THE ROYAL NAVY 1914-18

with thanks to Don Kindell

HMS Carmania,, single-ship action with SMS Cap Trafalgar 1914 (Cyber Heritage/Terry Phillips , click to enlarge)

Acknowledgements, and a Comment

The original list of battle honours and single ship actions was taken from "A Companion to the Royal Navy" by David Thomas , published in 1988, but now updated from " Battle Honours of the Royal Navy " by Ben Warlow, published 2004. In his book Ben Warlow acknowledges the help of the Naval Historical Branch and Captain Chris Page, at that time, the Director. The Warlow list of ships is somewhat longer than the earlier Thomas one. I am grateful to both authors for all the research they have carried out.

As in World War 2, I am somewhat surprised by campaigns and actions that were not thought worthy of a Battle Honour. These might include the submarine campaign in the Baltic, German East African Campaign, Otranto Straits, perhaps Northern Patrol and Q-ships. And also the ships honoured - just two trawlers and no drifters for example.

Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

LIST OF BATTLE HONOURS and SINGLE SHIP ACTIONS

(with links to summaries of actions, London Gazette despatches, casualties, honours and gallantry awards)

DOVER, 21 Apr 1917 - German destroyer attack on the Straits of Dover (summary not yet available)

MESOPOTAMIA , 1914-18

OSTEND (or ZEEBRUGGE (OSTEND)), 23 Apr 1918

OSTEND , 10 May 1918

SCANDINAVIAN CONVOYS, 17 Oct and 12 Dec 1917 - German surface ship attacks on the convoys (summary not yet available)

SUEZ CANAL , 2-4 Feb 1915 - Major Turkish land attack on the Canal



BATTLE HONOURS and SHIPS AWARDED THE HONOUR IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

(excluding single ship actions)

Redoubtable (ex-Revenge (1)), 1915

Revenge (1), (later Redoubtable), 1914/15

Sargetta (possibly Sagitta), 1915

Abercrombie, monitor 1915/16

Earl of Peterborough, monitor, 1915/16

Sir Thomas Picton, monitor, 1915/16

Lawrence, RIM troopship, 1914/15

OSTEND (or ZEEBRUGGE (OSTEND)), 23 Apr 1918

CMB.22B, coastal motor boats

SCANDINAVIAN CONVOYS, 17 Oct and 12 Dec 1917



BATTLE HONOURS and SHIPS AWARDED THE HONOUR BY TYPE

(excluding single ship actions)

Battleships EXMOUTH, IRRESISTIBLE, RUSSELL, VENERABLE

Light cruisers ATTENTIVE, BRILLIANT, CARYSFORT, CENTAUR, CLEOPATRA, FORESIGHT, SAPPHIRE, SIRIUS, UNDAUNTED

Bombarding ship REDOUBTABLE

Monitors EREBUS, GENERAL CRAUFORD, GENERAL WOLFE, GORGON, HUMBER, LORD CLIVE, M.23, M.24, M.25, M.26, M.27, MARSHAL NEY, MARSHAL SOULT, MERSEY, PRINCE EUGENE, PRINCE RUPERT, SEVERN, SIR JOHN MOORE, TERROR

Kite balloon ship MENELAUS

Destroyer leaders BOTHA, BROKE, FAULKNOR, LIGHTFOOT, NIMROD

Destroyers AFRIDI, AMAZON, ARIEL, COSSACK, CRANE, CRUSADER, FALCON, FAWN, FERRET, FLIRT, GIPSY, GHURKA, GREYHOUND, KANGAROO, LANCE, LAPWING, LAUREL, LEVEN, LIZARD, LOCHINVAR, LUCIFER, LYSANDER, MANLY, MANSFIELD, MAORI, MASTIFF, MATCHLESS, MEDEA, MELPOMENE, MENTOR, MERMAID, MILNE, MIRANDA, MOHAWK, MOORSOM, MORRIS, MURRAY, MYRMIDON, NUBIAN, NUGENT, PHOEBE, RACEHORSE, RADIANT, RECRUIT, RETRIEVER, SARACEN, SATYR, SHARPSHOOTER, SKILFUL, SPRINGBOK, STARFISH, SURPRISE, SWIFT, SYREN, TARTAR, TAURUS, TERMAGANT, THRUSTER, TRUCULENT, URE, VELOX, VIKING, ZULU

Gunboats BUSTARD, EXCELLENT, HAZARD

Old sloops RINALDO, VESTAL

Paddle minesweepers ALBYN, BRIGHTON QUEEN, CAMBRIDGE, DEVONIA, DUCHESS OF MONTROSE, GLEN AVON, JUPITER II, KEMPTON, LADY ISMAY, MARMION II, RAVENSWOOD, WESTWARD HO

Coastal Motor Boats CMB.1, CMB.2, CMB.3, CMB.4, CMB.5, CMB.7, CMB.8, CMB.9, CMB.10, CMB.12, CMB.13, CMB.14A, CMB.15A, CMB.16A, CMB.19A, CMB.20A, CMB.21B, CMB.22B, CMB.23B, CMB.24A, CMB.25BD, CMB.28A, CMB.30B, CMB.33A, CMB.38B, CMB.63BD, CMB.64BD, CMB.66BD, CMB.68B, CMB.70A, CMB.71A, CMB.73BD, CMB.74BD, CMB.76A, CMB.86BD, CMB.89BD

Motor Launches ML.103, ML.105, ML.110, ML.239, ML.252, ML.272, ML.276, ML.279, ML.280, ML.282, ML.283, ML.532

Yacht SARGETTA, (possibly SAGITTA)

Fleet messengers CURRAN, GRANSHA

Paddle netlayer QUEEN VICTORIA

Light cruisers, ASTRAEA, CHALLENGER

Dreadnought battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH

Battleships AGAMEMNON, ALBION, CANOPUS, CORNWALLIS, EXMOUTH, GLORY, GOLIATH, HIBERNIA, IMPLACABLE, IRRESISTIBLE, LONDON, LORD NELSON, MAGNIFICENT, MAJESTIC, MARS, OCEAN, PRINCE GEORGE, PRINCE OF WALES, QUEEN, RUSSELL, SWIFTSURE, TRIUMPH, VENERABLE, VENGEANCE

Cruisers BACCHANTE, CORNWALL, EDGAR, ENDYMION, EURYALUS, GRAFTON, MINERVA, THESEUS

Light cruisers AMETHYST, CHATHAM, DARTMOUTH, DORIS, DUBLIN, FORESIGHT, SAPPHIRE, TALBOT

Monitors ABERCROMBIE, EARL OF PETERBOROUGH, HAVELOCK, HUMBER, M.15, M.16, M.17, M.18, M.19, M.21, M.29, M.31, M.32, M.33, RAGLAN, ROBERTS, SIR THOMAS PICTON

Aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL, BEN MY CHREE

Kite balloon ships CANNING, HECTOR, MANICA

Destroyers ARNO, BASILISK, BEAGLE, BULLDOG, CHELMER, COLNE, FOXHOUND, FURY, GRAMPUS, GRASSHOPPER, HARPY, JED, KENNET, LAFOREY, LAWFORD, LOUIS, LYDIARD, RACOON, RATTLESNAKE, RENARD, RIBBLE, SCORPION, SCOURGE, STAUNCH, USK, WEAR, WELLAND, WOLVERINE

Submarines AE.2, B.6, B.11, E.2, E.7, E.11, E.12, E.14, E.15, E.20

Fleet sweeping sloops ANEMONE, ASTER, HELIOTROPE, HONEYSUCKLE, JONQUIL, PEONY

Minesweepers GAZELLE, HUSSAR

Submarine depot ship ADAMANT, destroyer depot ship BLENHEIM

Paddle netlayers PRINCE EDWARD, QUEEN VICTORIA

Battlecruisers INDOMITABLE, LION, NEW ZEALAND, PRINCESS ROYAL, TIGER

Light cruisers ARETHUSA, AURORA, BIRMINGHAM, LOWESTOFT, NOTTINGHAM, SOUTHAMPTON, UNDAUNTED

Destroyers ACHERON, ARIEL, ATTACK, DEFENDER, DRUID, FERRET, FORESTER, GOSHAWK, HORNET, HYDRA, JACKAL, LAERTES, LAFOREY, LANDRAIL, LAPWING, LARK, LAUREL, LAWFORD, LEGION, LIBERTY, LOOKOUT, LOUIS, LUCIFER, LYDIARD, LYSANDER, MASTIFF, MENTOR, METEOR, MILNE, MINOS, MIRANDA, MORRIS, PHOENIX, SANDFLY, TIGRESS

Battlecruisers INFLEXIBLE, INVINCIBLE

Cruisers CARNARVON, CORNWALL, KENT

Light cruisers BRISTOL, GLASGOW

Armed merchant cruiser MACEDONIA

Battlecruisers INVINCIBLE, LION, NEW ZEALAND, PRINCESS ROYAL, QUEEN MARY

Cruisers ABOUKIR, BACCHANTE, CRESSY, EURYALUS, HOGUE

Light cruisers AMETHYST, ARETHUSA, BIRMINGHAM, FALMOUTH, FEARLESS, LIVERPOOL, LOWESTOFT, NOTTINGHAM, SOUTHAMPTON

Destroyers ACHERON, ARCHER, ARIEL, ATTACK, BADGER, BEAVER, DEFENDER, DRUID, FERRET, FIREDRAKE, FORESTER, GOSHAWK, HIND, JACKAL, LAERTES, LAFOREY, LANCE, LANDRAIL, LAPWING, LARK, LAUREL, LAWFORD, LEGION, LENNOX, LEONIDAS, LIBERTY, LINNET, LIZARD, LLEWELLYN, LOOKOUT, LOUIS, LUCIFER, LURCHER, LYDIARD, LYSANDER, PHOENIX, SANDFLY

Submarines D.2, D.8, E.4, E.5, E.6, E.7, E.8, E.9

Dreadnought battleships AGINCOURT, AJAX, BARHAM, BELLEROPHON, BENBOW, CANADA, CENTURION, COLLINGWOOD, COLOSSUS, CONQUEROR, ERIN, HERCULES, IRON DUKE, KING GEORGE V, MALAYA, MARLBOROUGH, MONARCH, NEPTUNE, ORION, REVENGE (2), ROYAL OAK, ST VINCENT, SUPERB, TEMERAIRE, THUNDERER, VALIANT, VANGUARD, WARSPITE

Battlecruisers INDEFATIGABLE, INDOMITABLE, INFLEXIBLE, INVINCIBLE, LION, NEW ZEALAND, PRINCESS ROYAL, QUEEN MARY, TIGER

Cruisers BLACK PRINCE, COCHRANE, DEFENCE, DUKE OF EDINBURGH, HAMPSHIRE, MINOTAUR, SHANNON, WARRIOR

Light cruisers ACTIVE, BELLONA, BIRKENHEAD, BIRMINGHAM, BLANCHE, BOADICEA, CALLIOPE, CANTERBURY, CAROLINE, CASTOR, CHAMPION, CHESTER, COMUS, CONSTANCE, CORDELIA, DUBLIN, FALMOUTH, FEARLESS, GALATEA, GLOUCESTER, INCONSTANT, NOTTINGHAM, PHAETON, ROYALIST, SOUTHAMPTON, YARMOUTH

Aircraft carrier ENGADINE

Destroyer leaders ABDIEL, BROKE, FAULKNOR, KEMPENFELT, TIPPERARY

Destroyers ACASTA, ACHATES, ACHERON, AMBUSCADE, ARDENT, ARIEL, ATTACK, BADGER, CHRISTOPHER, CONTEST, DEFENDER, FORTUNE, GARLAND, GOSHAWK, HARDY, HYDRA, LANDRAIL, LAPWING, LAUREL, LIBERTY, LIZARD, LYDIARD, MAENAD, MAGIC, MANDATE, MANNERS, MARKSMAN, MARNE, MARTIAL, MARVEL, MARY ROSE, MENACE, MICHAEL, MIDGE, MILBROOK, MINDFUL, MINION, MISCHIEF, MONS, MOON, MOORSOM, MORESBY, MORNING STAR, MORRIS, MOUNSEY, MUNSTER, MYSTIC, NARBROUGH, NARWHAL, NERISSA, NESSUS, NESTOR, NICATOR, NOBLE, NOMAD, NONSUCH, OAK, OBDURATE, OBEDIENT, ONSLAUGHT, ONSLOW, OPAL, OPHELIA, OSSORY, OWL, PELICAN, PETARD, PORPOISE, SHARK, SPARROWHAWK, SPITFIRE, TERMAGANT, TURBULENT, UNITY

River gunboats BEE, BLACKFLY, BUTTERFLY, CADDISFLY, CRANEFLY, DRAGONFLY, FIREFLY, GADFLY, GNAT, GRAYFLY, GREENFLY, HOVERFLY, MANTIS, MAYFLY, MOTH, SAWFLY, SCARAB, SEDGEFLY, SNAKEFLY, STONEFLY, TARANTULA, WATERFLY

Armed launches LEWIS PELLY, MINER, MUZAFFRI, SHAITAN, SHUSHAN, SUMANA

River steamers BAHREIN, JULNAR, MASSOUDIEH

OSTEND (or ZEEBRUGGE (OSTEND)), 23 Apr 1918

Blockships (ex-cruisers) BRILLIANT, SIRIUS

Monitors GENERAL CRAUFORD, LORD CLIVE, M.21, M.24, M.26, MARSHAL SOULT, PRINCE EUGENE

Destroyer leaders FAULKNOR, LIGHTFOOT

Destroyers AFRIDI, MASTIFF, MATCHLESS, MENTOR, SWIFT, TEMPEST, TETRARCH, ZUBIAN

Coastal Motor Boats CMB.2, CMB.4, CMB.10, CMB.12, CMB.19A, CMB.20A

Motor Launches ML.11, ML.16, ML.17, ML.22, ML.23, ML.30, ML.60, ML.105, ML.254, ML.274, ML.276, ML.279, ML.283, ML.429, ML.512, ML.532, ML.551, ML.556

Blockship (ex-cruiser) VINDICTIVE

Destroyer leader FAULKNOR

Destroyers TRIDENT, VELOX, WARWICK, WHIRLWIND

Coastal Motor Boats CMB.22B, CMB.23B, CMB.24A, CMB.25BD, CMB.26B, CMB.30B

Motor launches ML.254, ML.276

SCANDINAVIAN CONVOYS, 17 Oct and 12 Dec 1917

Destroyers PARTRIDGE, PELLEW, MARY ROSE, STRONGBOW

Battleships OCEAN, SWIFTSURE

Troopships (RIM), HARDINGE, DUFFERIN (RIM)

Assault ships DAFFODIL, IRIS II, VINDICTIVE

Blockships (ex-cruisers), INTREPID, IPHIGENIA, THETIS

Destroyers MANLY, MANSFIELD, MELPOMENE, MOORSOM, MORRIS, MYNGS, NORTH STAR, PHOEBE, STORK, TEAZER, TERMAGANT, TRIDENT, TRUCULENT, ULLESWATER, VELOX, WARWICK, WHIRLWIND

Coastal Motor Boats CMB.5, CMB.7, CMB.15A, CMB.17A, CMB.21B, CMB.22B, CMB.23B, CMB.24A, CMB.25BD, CMB.26B, CMB.27A, CMB.28A, CMB.29A, CMB.30B, CMB.32A, CMB.34A, CMB.35A

Motor Launches ML.79, ML.110, ML.121, ML.128, ML.223, ML.239, ML.241, ML.252, ML.258, ML.262, ML.272, ML.280, ML.282, ML.308, ML.314, ML.345, ML.397, ML.416, ML.420, ML.422, ML.424, ML.513, ML.525, ML.526, ML.533, L.549, ML.552, ML.555, ML.557, ML.558, ML.560, ML.561, ML.562

Paddle minesweeper LINGFIELD




HONOURS AWARDED TO INDIVIDUAL SHIPS

(including single ship actions)

ABDIEL, destroyer leader, Jutland 31 May 1916.

ABERCROMBIE, monitor, Dardanelles 1915/16.

ABOUKIR, cruiser, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914.

ACASTA, destroyer, Jutland 31 May 1916.

ACHATES, destroyer, Jutland 31 May 1916.

ACHERON, destroyer, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914, Dogger Bank 24 Jan 1915, Jutland 31 May 1916.

ACHILLES , cruiser, single ship action with DUNDEE v LEOPARD, 16 Mar 1917.

ACTIVE, light cruiser, Jutland 31 May 1916.

AFRIDI, destroyer, Belgian Coast 1916/17, Ostend (Zeebrugge) 23 Apr 1918.

AGAMEMNON, battleship, Dardanelles 1915/16.

AGINCOURT, dreadnought battleship, Jutland 31 May 1916.

AJAX, dreadnought battleship, Jutland 31 May 1916.

ALBYN , paddle minesweeper , Belgian Coast 1915/16.

AMBUSCADE, destroyer, Jutland 31 May 1916.

AMETHYST, light cruiser, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914, Dardanelles 1915.

ANEMONE, fleet sweeping sloop, Dardanelles 1915/16.

ARCHER, destroyer, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914.

ARDENT, destroyer, Jutland 31 May 1916.

ARETHUSA, light cruiser, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914, Dogger Bank 24 Jan 1915.

ARIEL, destroyer, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914, Belgian Coast 1914, Dogger Bank 24 Jan 1915, Jutland 31 May 1916.

ARK ROYAL, aircraft carrier, Dardanelles 1915.

ASTER, fleet sweeping sloop, Dardanelles 1915/16.

ASTRAEA, light cruiser, Cameroons 1914.

ATTACK, destroyer, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914, Dogger Bank 24 Jan 1915, Jutland 31 May 1916.

ATTENTIVE, light cruiser, Belgian Coast 1914/18, Zeebrugge 23 Apr 1918.

AURORA, light cruiser, Dogger Bank 24 Jan 1915.

BACCHANTE, cruiser, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914, Dardanelles 1915/16.

BADGER, destroyer, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BAHREIN, river transport, Mesopotamia 1915.

BARHAM, dreadnought battleship, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BASILISK, destroyer, Dardanelles 1915/16.

BEAVER, destroyer, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914.

BELLEROPHON, dreadnought battleship, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BELLONA, light cruiser, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BEN MY CHREE, aircraft carrier, Dardanelles 1915/16.

BENBOW, dreadnought battleship, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BIRKENHEAD, light cruiser, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BIRMINGHAM, light cruiser, Heligoland 28 Aug 1914, Dogger Bank 25 Jan 1915, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BLACK PRINCE, cruiser, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BLACKFLY, river gunboat, Mesopotamia 1917.

BLANCHE, light cruiser, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BLENHEIM, destroyer depot ship, Dardanelles 1915/16.

BOADICEA, light cruiser, Jutland 31 May 1916.

BOTHA, destroyer leader, Belgian Coast 1917/18.

BRIGHTON QUEEN, paddle minesweeper, Belgian Coast 1915.

BRILLIANT, light cruiser, Belgian Coast 1914, Ostend (Zeebrugge) 23 Apr 1918.

BRISTOL, light cruiser, Falkland Islands 8 Dec 1914.

BROKE, destroyer leader, Jutland 31 May 1916, Belgian Coast 1917/18, Dover 21 Apr 1917.

BULLDOG, destroyer, Dardanelles 1915/16.

BUTTERFLY, river gunboat, Mesopotamia 1915/17.

C.1, submarine, Zeebrugge 23 Apr 1918.

C.3, submarine, Zeebrugge 23 Apr 1918.

CADDISFLY, river gunboat, Mesopotamia 1917.

CALLIOPE, light cruiser, Jutland 31 May 1916.

CAMBRIDGE, paddle minesweeper, Belgian Coast 1915.

CANADA, dreadnought battleship, Jutland 31 May 1916.

CANNING, kite balloon ship, Dardanelles 1915.

CANOPUS, battleship, Dardanelles 1915/16.

CANTERBURY, light cruiser, Jutland 31 May 1916.

CARMANIA, armed merchant cruiser, single ship action v CAP TRAFALGAR, 14 Sep 1914.


Marshal Soult class monitors - History

The Roberts class of Monitors were built during WW2 as a development of the WW1 Erebus class, HMS ROBERTS being built to re-utilise the 15" turret from the WW1 HMS Marshal Soult whilst HMS Abercrombie was issued with the turret originally intended as the standby turret for HMS Furious( in her original guise as a battlecruiser) should the 18" turrets prove to be unsuccesful. This turret was modernised to achieve the greater elevation of 30 degrees.

This pair's external appearance was made very distinctive by having the armour belt sloping down to the bulge for 3/4 of the hull length. Abercrombie was completed on 5 May 1943, just in time to participate in the Allied landing on Sicily, firing her first salvo in anger on 10 July at 07.15 am. Thereafter she engaged numerous enemy targets with considerable success.

By the 9th September Abercrombie was called in to support the American landings at Salerno whilst fighting off Heinkel 111's and Me.109 simultaneously on both sides some time later she drifted with a light breeze offshore into an unbuoyed and unswept minefield onto a 500 lb contact mine causing serious damage along a 100' section of her bulge and unseating the 15" director. After the stopping of leaks and counterflooding she sailed under her own steam for Palermo.

The Allied landings at Salerno were the first combined operations in Europe in WW2 where heavy naval bombardment had played a crucial role, convincing sceptical army officers of the value of accurately deployed naval heavy ordnance prior to the army being able to implement its own artillery in a landings scenario.

Whilst her sister HMS Roberts was in action extensively during the Normandy landings ( D-day) in June 1944, HMS Abercrombie's repairs were completed at the Taranto dockyard on August 15 1944 it was shortly afterwards during her working up period off the coast of Malta that she had the misfortune of striking not merely one but two mines, bending both propellor shafts, breaking the stb A-bracket and causing other major damage. She spent the next 11 months in Malta Dockyard being repaired.
Both HMS Roberts and Abercrombie were ordered to the Pacific, Abercrombie reaching the Seychelles by the time of the Japanese surrender.

In conclusion, despite all the problems, innacuracies and frustrations I actually really enjoy the finished model, she makes a very interesting contrast in the wallcase to my usual fare of Battleships and cruisers through the ages.

Combrig supplied a fair starting point, I suspect they were misled, as was I, by a very tempting looking SINGLE source of information which looked too good to be true, as it turned out it was.

It really underlines the importance of verifying and crosschecking all the information one has to hand BEFORE commencing the kit build.

I am grateful for the invaluable assistence of: John Snyder and Alan Raven in clearing up my timber deck conundrum, Dimi Apostolopous for scanning superbly various pictures and most especially to the fellow SMML'er Mr Edward Brown who without hesitation lent me his valuable copy of the Buxton book!.