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Re arming HMS Iron Duke

uk 75

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The London Treaty left the Royal Navy keeping HMS Iron Duke as a training ship. She was used as an anti-aircraft platform and a decoy during World War 2.
Could she have been put to better use by rearming her in som way?
 

Dilandu

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Frankly, no. She was slow, old ship. Restoring her to combat condition would just cost too much for very little gain.

Now, if HMS "Tiger" was chosen for conversion to training ship in 1930, the matter would be different. "Tiger" was a fast, big battlecruiser. If refitted with bulges and more deck armor, she would be as good as "Repulse" & "Renown".
 

EwenS

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In 1938/39 there was a proposal to modernise Iron Duke over 2 years at a cost of £920k-£1.2m.

The missing turrets and guns were in store so could have been replaced. She needed new armour, both to replace what had been removed when she was converted to a training ship and to bring her nearer then modern levels of protection. Where is that going to come from given the Admiralty’s problems sourcing armour for new built ships around this period? Same goes for a new secondary armament of 4.5” or 5.25” guns.

The hull needed bulged for increased protection against torpedoes and that would have reduced her designed and slow 21 knots. So new machinery would be required. (New boilers were needed anyway as her forward group had been “mutilated” to comply with demilitarisation requirements so her actual speed was only about 18 knots). And she would have occupied Dockyard space at the expense of reconstructing something else that might have proved more useful eg Hood, Nelson or Rodney come to mind.

Ultimately the money was better spent on building new ships.

She was bombed in Oct 1939 and near missed by 3 probably 500lb bombs which was enough to cause damage sufficient to cause her to be beached for the remainder of the war, being refloated in April 1946. So that would have needed repair if reconstruction is to happen after that.

Any work on her would have been a total waste of limited resources available.
 

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Thanks for the info. Thought there would be good reasons, but with Airfix doing a kit...
 

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