Wednesday 6 February 2013

Somebody stole our Battleship!

HMS Agincourt as she became - after the Brazilians had sold her and the Turks 'lost' her. In Royal Navy service she lost the 'flying bridge' between the funnels before going on active service.

Plans are afoot for the great 1/2400th WW1 naval-fest in which I shall be painting not one but four navies. An order has been sent to Stonewall Figures (together with the models for replacement) and moves are also afoot to acquire a few models from C in C (via those very nice chaps at Wargames Emporium) for collection at the Tonbridge show at the end of the month.

The navies of Fezia and Rusland, for the 1910 to 1920 era, will be modelled on the Royal Navy and the High Seas Fleet in the early dreadnought years - say up until around 1914. I have deliberately limited the navies to 11" and 12" weapons for their dreadnoughts as this fits in rathe more readily with the fictional background. This means the Fezian will be using Bellerophons and some of the later 12" armes types whilst the Rulanders will be making use of Westfalens and Helgolands. I do have one rather special addition to the Fezian navy though.

HMS Agincourt (ex Rio de Janeiro, ex Sultan Osman) has a number of unique features. Aside from the small matter of being the dreadnought battleship with the record for the number of main gun turrets (seven) she also boasted the largest wardroom in the fleet - an important consideration for the original owners, that is the Brazilian navy. Apparently they set great store by the provision of comfort for their officers - I seem to recall reading about this with a couple of monitors the RN took over in 1914 in which the officers quarters were described as palatial - lots of mahogany panels and plush fittings.HMS Agincourt saw service at Jutland and the sight of her firing full fourteen 12" gun salvoes was described, one imagine somewhat tongue in cheek - although with questionable taste, as looking 'like a battle cruiser blowing up!' At Churchill's insistence she was taken from the Turks (the crew had already arrived in England to take delivery) as having the possibility of her being used against her builders was not what a scenario he wanted to consider. Turkey was rightly miffed by this apparently high handed attitude and so moved further into the German camp - cemented of course when the Goeben and the Breslau were 'given' yo Turkey.

In the 1914 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships HMS Agincourt appears in the section devoted to Turkey and so  such a matter of historical record cannot lightly be set aside. I am acquiring a C in C version of the Agincourt for use as the Fezian fleet flagship.

That should give the Rusland navy something to think about.


SteelonSand said...

Nice! - I think IIRC, the ship was so luxurious that her nickname was the 'Gin Palace'.....

David Crook said...

Hi SoS,

That and also that Pink Gin was the preferred tipple of choice of many naval officers.

Lovely looking ship though.

All the best,