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Great Britain's Majestic class light aircraft carriers

Photos

HMS Hercules:
Great Britain's HMS Hercules light aircraft carrier
©IWM, FL-13890
HMS Magnificent and HMS Powerful under construction in November 1944 in Belfast at the Musgrave Shipyard of Harland & Wolff:
HMS Magnificent and HMS Powerful under construction in November 1944 in Belfast at the Musgrave Shipyard of Harland & Wolff:
©IWM, A-28022

Design

The Majestic class ships were similar to the Colossus class light carriers.2,4 The Majestic class would be designed to handle heavier aircraft with higher landing speeds.4

Ships

HMS Hercules

  • Manufacturer: V.A. at Tyne1, Parsons1, Vickers-Armstrong at Newcastle4, Vickers-Armstrong at Tyne2
  • October 12, 1943: Laid down.4
  • September 22, 1945: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • March 4, 1961: Commissioned2

HMS Leviathan

  • Manufacturer: Swan Hunter1,2,4, Wallsend1
  • October 18, 1943: Laid down.4
  • June 7, 1945: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • Not completed.2

HMS Magnificent

  • Manufacturer: Harland & Wolff1,2,4
  • July 29, 1943: Laid down.4
  • November 16, 1944: Launched.1,2,4
  • May 21, 1948: Commissioned2

HMS Majestic

  • Manufacturer: V.A. at Barrow1, Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow2,4
  • April 15, 1943: Laid down.4
  • February 28, 1945: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • November 8, 1955: Commissioned2

HMS Powerful

  • Manufacturer: Harland & Wolff1,2,4
  • November 27, 1943: Laid down.4
  • January 30, 1945, February 27, 19451,2,4: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • January 17, 1957: Commissioned2

HMS Terrible

  • Manufacturer: Devonport1,2,4, Parsons1
  • April 19, 1943: Laid down.4
  • September 30, 1944: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • February 5, 1949: Commissioned2

 

Usage

Did not see action in World War II and none served with the Royal Navy.2,4

 

Specifications

  Majestic class
Crew 1,1001,4
Displacement 14,000 tons1,2,3,4
Displacement - Loaded 17,780 tons2,4, 18,000 tons3
Physical Characteristics  
Length 693' 2"3, 695'1,2,4
211.83 m2, 211.84 m4
Length - Water Line 630'1,2,3, 650'4
192.02 m2, 198.12 m4
Length - Between Perpendiculars 630'4
192.02 m4
Beam 80'2,4, 80' 3"1
24.38 m2,4
Beam - Flight Deck 112' 6"3
Draft / Height 21' 4"3, 23'1,3
7.01 m2
Draft / Height - Maximum 23' 6"4, 23' 7"3
17.16 m4
Flight Deck 680' x 75'4
207.26 m x 22.86 m4
Performance  
Speed 23 knots3, 24.5 knots1, 25 knots2,4
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 3 pdr: 43
40 mm twin mounts1, 40 mm Bofors twin mounts4: 61,4
40 mm1,3, 40 mm Bofors single mounts4: 181,4, 303
40 mm Bofors2: 192
2 pdr4: 244
2 pdr pompom quad mounts: 62
Aircraft 341, 372,4
Armor  
Main belt  
Deck  
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty 3 drum boilers: 42,3,4
Shafts 21,2,3,4
Turbines Geared1, Parsons geared2,3,4
HP 40,0002,3,4, 42,0001
Oil 3,000 tons2,4
Gasoline 75,000 gallons2

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. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  4. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site