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Bellerophon-class battleship
HMS Bellerophon 1909.jpg
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: HMS Dreadnought
Succeeded by: St. Vincent class
Cost: about £1,600,000 plus £116,300 for guns
Built: 1906–1909
In service: 1909–1921
In commission: 1909–1921
Completed: 3
Retired: 3
General characteristics
Type: Dreadnought battleship
Displacement: 18,800 tons (load)
22,102 tons (full load)
Length: 160.3 m (526 ft) overall
Beam: 25.2 m (83 ft)
Draught: 8.3 m (27.2 ft)
Propulsion: Parsons turbines, direct drive on four shafts
18 Babcock & Wilcox or Yarrow boilers
23,000 ihp

Bellerophon: 21.25 knots (39.4 km/h) at 25,061 ihp (18,688 kW)
Superb: 21.56 knots (39.9 km/h) at 27,407 ihp (20,437 kW)

Temeraire: 21.55 knots (39.9 km/h) at 26,966 ihp (20,109 kW)
Range: 5,720 nmi (10,590 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Complement: 733
  • Belt: 5–10 in (127–254 mm)
  • Barbettes: 5–9 in (127–229 mm)
  • Conning tower: 8–11 in (203–280 mm)
  • Turrets: 11 in (280 mm)
  • Deck: ½–4 in (15–102 mm)
  • The Bellerophon class was a class of three dreadnought battleships that were built in the United Kingdom prior to World War I, and served in the Royal Navy during the war. The Bellerophons were near carbon copies of the previous HMS Dreadnought, with the exception of a second tripod mast. The lead ship, HMS Bellerophon, was laid down on the same day of Dreadnought's final completion, which was also built at Portsmouth Dockyard.


    Left elevation view from Jane's, 1915. Darkened areas show armour.

    Plan view facing left from Jane's, 1919.

    Changes to the hull gave a more complete internal protection and allowed the larger ships to make the same speed with the same powerplant. While Dreadnought had bulkheads that protected only the magazines, the Bellerophons had complete bulkheads running longitudinally through the ship. The 12-pounder guns that had been added to Dreadnought for protection from torpedo boats were recognised as being insufficient and their secondary armament was made up of 4-inch (102 mm) guns. A mainmast added ahead of the aft funnel was still affected by the plume of the fore funnel and was not considered a success. These changes did require some compromises in the design resulting in thinner armour, reducing the belt armor from 11 to 10 inches (254 mm), and a reduced coal bunkerage, which limited the steaming endurance.

    General characteristics

    The Bellerophon's design was virtually identical to that of the preceding Dreadnought, with some minor improvements.[1] The tripod foremast, which on Dreadnought was behind the forward funnel, was positioned in front of the forward funnel so that lookouts stationed on the observation platform could be out of the smoke plume.[1] A second tripod mast was placed in front of the second funnel.[2]

    The ships of the Bellerophon class were 160.3 m (526 ft) long. They had a beam of 25.2 m (83 ft), a draught of 8.3 m (27 ft), and normally displaced 18,800 tonnes with a maximum displacement of 22,102 tonnes.[3]


    The Bellerophon class had the same propulsion design as the previous Dreadnought. The ships were powered by four-shaft Parsons turbines in 18 coal-fired boilers. The ships' powerplants delivered at a rated 23,000 shp.[4]


    The Bellerophon's armament featured an improved second battery. Sixteen 4 in (10 cm) guns replaced the twenty-seven 3 in (7.6 cm) guns on Dreadnought. However, the main armament was the same having ten 12 in (30 cm) guns in five twin turrets.[3]


    Ship Builder Engine builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Cost according to
    HMS Bellerophon Portsmouth Dockyard, Portsmouth, England Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company,
    Parsons turbines
    6 December 1906 27 July 1907 20 February 1909[1]
    HMS Superb Armstrong Elswick Works, Newcastle upon Tyne, England Wallsend Co.,
    Parsons turbines
    6 February 1907 7 November 1907 9 June 1909[1]
    HMS Temeraire Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth, England Hawthorn Leslie and Company,
    Parsons turbines
    1 January 1907 24 August 1907 15 May 1909[1]



    • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1922. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-907-3. 
    • Miller, David (2001). Illustrated Directory of Warships of the World. Osceola: Salamander Books. ISBN 0-7603-1127-7. 

    External links

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