login   |    register

Battlecruiser, HMS Queen Mary


…-can there be a more evocative term for a warship type?

Generally, Battlecruisers were similar in layout and armament to battleships but with significantly less amour allowing for gains in speed. The concept was conceived by the Royal Navy’s Admiral " Jackie" Fisher who believed “that speed is the best protection". Fisher's idea centered on Battlecruisers operating with the fleet, the intention being that they would hunt down enemy cruiser squadrons and evade the battleships.

To enable these large ships to achieve the speed advantage sought the design concept deviated from the standard practice of providing a ship with sufficient armor to protect against its own guns. The weight saving from the reduced armor allowed more powerful engines to be fitted.

However, different nations built to widely different designs. Some Battlecruisers were smaller than battleships while others were larger than contemporary battleships. The chief similarity was the role specification. They were designed to hunt down and outgun smaller warships and outrun larger warships that they could not outgun.

The Lion class Battlecruisers were an improved development on the previous Invincible and Indefatigable classes of first generation Battlecruisers.

HMS Queen Mary is often listed as the third member of the Lion class although a better description would be a half-sister ship as she was fitted with more powerful machinery, different secondary armament disposition, carried a sternwalk as well as the centre funnel being round-the easiest visual clue to differentiate her from HMS Lion and Princess Royal. Queen Mary was the only warship fitted with the 'Pollen' gunnery control system. Her 13.5-inch guns were considered to be the most accurate in the British fleet.

Ship Specs...

Overall length: 703 feet 6 in
Beam: 89 feet
Draught: 28 feet
Displacement: 26,780 tons
Normal: 31,486 tons deep.
4 shaft Parsons turbines, 75,000 shp, 27.5 knots (Trials: 83,350 shp = 28.348 knots.)
8 x 13.5 in (343 mm) (4x2)
16 x 4 in (102 mm) (16x1)
1 x 3 in/20 AA
1 x 6 pdr Hotchkiss
2 x 21 in (533 mm) submerged torpedo tubes

1st Battlecruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
28 August 1914 Battle of Heligoland Bight
January-February 1915 refit at Portsmouth.
31 May 1916 sunk at the Battle of Jutland

Upon commissioning, she joined the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron. On 28 August 1914 she took part in the Battle of Heligoland Bight.

At the Battle of Jutland she had fired about 150 13.5 in shells and scored 4 hits on the German battklecrusier SMS Seydlitz, nevertheless the /Seydlitz / hit back. /Queen Mary/ was first hit above the right gun on 'Q' turret; which put that gun out of action whilst the left gun kept firing. She took some more 12 in shell hits on her forward 'A' and 'B' turrets followed by another hit on ‘Q’ turret. The forward magazine exploded, the ship listed to port, more explosions followed as the ship was sinking. All but twenty of her 1,275 crew were lost.

Building the Model

Well known German ship resin kit manufacturer, NNT has produced an excellent starting point for building a 1/700 scale model of this majestic vessel.

Along with various book and web resources I used primarily the excellent large scale plans supplied with the John Roberts book, "Battlecruisers". This has, along with the usual plan and side elevation some very helpful cross-section at various stations as well as a very explanatory large perspective drawing of the bridge-tower structure. I cross-referenced these plans with as many photos as I could find from both electronic as well as printed sources. The ships short career is, I believe, reflected in the relative scarcity of close-up photos!

About the Author

About JimBaumann


Excellent Jim! Good work here - still find your rigging amazing, and this sure is a very good one Also like the details made of paper and CA, as well as all the ships boat details Congrats Jim Thanks for all your work Mark Cheers, Skipper
OCT 30, 2007 - 11:30 AM
A real beauty Jim, thank you for sharing with us. Ciao Luciano
OCT 30, 2007 - 12:25 PM
Beautiful Jim! I love the look of British battlecruisers. Gator
OCT 30, 2007 - 02:55 PM
Well there is something bloody right about Jim's model ships today. Such a handsome boat, and such an end that I would even get interested in Royal Navy! Very great SBS as usual, you need a binocular to see the tiniest details..
OCT 30, 2007 - 07:36 PM
A great build, and fine template for anyone wanting to indulge in the Grand Fleet roster. Cheers, Peter F
OCT 30, 2007 - 11:31 PM
Nice paraphrase there JBA. Anybody else get it? Great build Jim. The "Splendid Cats" were among the most beautiful ships of their time and your build certainly did the Queen Mary justice.
OCT 31, 2007 - 01:37 AM
Simply put, beautiful. The small scale makes it all that much more amazing. Thanks for sharing!
OCT 31, 2007 - 02:04 AM