Saturday, August 8, 2020

London calling

HMS London, that is, along with Bulwark, Venerable, Queen and Prince of Wales.

A powerful squadron of London class battleships and Cressy class armoured cruisers patrol off Cape Trafalgar of blessed memory.

Three London class ships were laid down in 1898. Comprising London, Bulwark, and Venerable they completed in 1902. HMS Queen and Prince of Wales followed, being laid down in 1901 and completed in 1904. The latter were more properly a sub-class of the London, being identical externally but with a different arrangement of armour plating. The class served in Home waters and the Mediterranean.

All but Bulwark survived the First World War. Bulwark became a casualty at 7.50am on November 26th, 1914 when an explosion ripped her apart as she lay at anchor in the River Medway. The explosion cost the lives of over seven hundred men and was heard as far away as London. At first sabotage was suspected, but as she had taken on ammunition the day before it was later thought that a defective lyddite shell was the culprit.

At the moment I'm trying to track down my copy of Sea Battles in Miniature by Paul Hague. The book was published in 1981, and has a number of rules sets for periods all the way from ancient galley warfare to the First World War. I remember the latter rules give a great, quick game and think they'd be preferable to the overly-complex sets I have now.


Paul Liddle said...

Yes it was a cracking book, I used to borrow it from the library on a regular basis.

Carlo said...

I have that book as well as AJ. Greatv looking ships.

A J said...

It seems to be a classic. I like the humour in Hague's writing as well as his simple but effective rules.


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