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Great Britain's Courageous class fleet aircraft carriers

Photos

HMS Courageous fleet aircraft carrier:
Great Britain's HMS Courageous fleet aircraft carrier
©IWM Q 65692
HMS Courageous fleet aircraft carrier:
Great Britain's HMS Courageous fleet aircraft carrier
©IWM Q 71908
HMS Courageous fleet aircraft carrier sinking :
Great Britain's HMS Courageous fleet aircraft carrier sinking
©IWM HU 45268
HMS Courageous or HMS Glorious next to HMS Furious off Gibraltar:
Great Britain's HMS Courageous or HMS Glorious next to HMS Furious off Gibraltar
©IWM Q 80418
HMS Glorious fleet aircraft carrier:
Great Britain's HMS Glorious fleet aircraft carrier
Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
HMS Glorious fleet aircraft carrier:
Great Britain's HMS Glorious fleet aircraft carrier
©IWM Q 65694
HMS Glorious fleet aircraft carrier:
Great Britain's HMS Glorious fleet aircraft carrier
©IWM Q 65695

Design

As a result of the Washington Treaty the Courageous class ships were converted from battlecruisers. They were intended to be used together a squadron.

Flight Deck

The HMS Glorious had a longer flight deck than the HMS Courageous. There was a short flying off deck on the hull. There was a ramp to help with takeoffs.

The funnel and island were located on the starboard side of the flight deck.

Two catapults were installed that could launch up to 10,000 lbs.

hangars

The upper hangar was 550' long and had two 46' x 48' elevators.

Ships

HMS Courageous

  • Manufacturer: Armstrong, Armstrong Withworth
  • March 28, 1915: Laid down.
  • February 5, 1916: Launched
  • 1917 - 1918: Member of Grand Fleet's 1st Cruiser Squadron.
  • May 5, 1928: Completed.
  • February 1924 - March 10, 1930, June 1924: Reconstruction at Devonport. Approximate cost £2,025,800.
  • Early 1930s: Four 2 pdr "M" pompoms added.
  • 1935, June 1935: Refit. Single / three pompoms replaced by 2 pdr eight barred. Catapults installed. Tripod mast replaced single pole mast.
  • 1939: With the Home Fleet.
  • September 17, 1939: Sunk. Hit by two torpedoes from U-29 and sank within 15 minutes.

HMS Glorious

  • Manufacturer: Harland & Wolff
  • May 1, 1915: Laid down.
  • April 20, 1916: Launched
  • March 10, 1930: Completed.
  • June 1924 - May 5, 1928, 1925: Reconstruction at Rosyth. Finished at Devonport.
  • Early 1930s: Four 2 pdr "M" pompoms added.
  • 1935: Refit. Deck lengthened to 570'. Catapults installed. Three 2 pdr eight barrel pompoms added.
  • 1939 - 1940: With the Mediterranean Fleet.
  • 1940: With the Home Fleet.
  • 1940: Norway.
  • June 8, 1940, June 18, 1940: Sunk.

Usage

Norway Evacuation

During the evacuation of forces from Norway the HMS Glorious was lost to the 11" guns of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. It took a little more than an hour for her to sink.

 

Specifications

  Courageous class
Crew 748, 1,200, 1,215, 1,216
Displacement 18,600 tons, 22,000 tons, 22,500 tons
Displacement - Loaded 22,700 tons, 26,100 tons, 26,500 tons, 27,560 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 786' 3", 785' 9", 786' 6", 786' 7", 786' 9"
239.5 m, 239.73 m, 239.75 m
Length - Water Line 735'
224.02 m, 224.03 m
Beam 81', 90' 6"
27.6 m, 27.68 m
Draft / Height 22' 2", 24'
7.3 m, 7.32 m
Draft / Height - Maximum 26', 27' 3", 27' 11" - 28'
8.31 m, 8.51 - 8.53 m
Flight Deck 530' x 84' 6"
161.54 m x 25.76 m
Performance  
Speed 30 knots, 30.5 knots, 31 knots
Range at 16 knots 5,860 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 4.7", 4.7" L/40 QF Mk VIII HA: 16
2 pdr pom pom: 4
3 pdr, 3 pdr saluting: 4
Aircraft 45, 48
Armor  
Main belt 1.5 - 2", 1.5 - 3", 3"
Deck 1 - 3"
Engines  
Boilers Yarrow, Yarrow small tube: 18
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared steam, Parsons geared
HP 90,000
Oil 3,250 tons, 3,685 tons, 3,800 tons
Aircraft fuel 34,500 gallons
  HMS Courageous
Crew  
Displacement 22,500 tons
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Main belt  
Deck  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  HMS Glorious 1939
Crew  
Displacement 22,500 tons
Displacement - Loaded 26,500 tons, 27,400 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Flight Deck 570'
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Main belt  
Deck  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil 3,450 tons

Sources:

  1. Warships of World War II, H. T. Lenton and J. J. Colledge, 1964
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  5. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site