HMS Collingwood Postcard

Many of the Dreadnought battleships laid down in the pre-World War One arms race were to have very short service lives. Technology was developing so fast that they were obsolete within a year or two of commissioning and few survived beyond 1920. One of those ships with a very short lifespan is the subject of today’s postcard; HMS Collingwood. HMS Collingwood was a St Vincent class dreadnought ordered in 1907 and commissioned in 1910. The design was an updated Bellerophon class and the resultant ships were handsome vessels with a displacement just shy of 8000 tons:

HMS Collingwood was powered by Parsons turbines driving four propellers and fed with steam from 18 Yarrow boilers which combined to give her a sustained speed of over twenty knots. The ship’s main armament consisted of ten 12 inch guns in five twin turrets with one turret forward, two aft and two abeam to give a broadside of eight guns to either side. The twelve inch gun would soon be superseded by larger guns, but was perfectly acceptable when the ship was launched.

Collingwood spent the last years of peace doing the usual round of fleet work, including taking part in the coronation review for King George V and a spell as the flagship of the first Battle Squadron. When World War I broke out she was based at Scapa Flow and things were quite uneventful until 1916 when she was part of the fleet that sailed to the Battle of Jutland. She concentrated her fire on the German battlecruiser Lutzow and had to turn sharply to avoid a couple of torpedoes. After Jutland her was was pretty quiet, and in 1919 she became the gunnery training ship at Devonport. She went into reserve in 1920 and was paid off in 1922 before being scrapped in 1923.

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