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HMS Devastation 

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HMS Devastation of the Devastation Class Battleships.  Photographs and history of HMS Devastation

HMS Devastation built at Portsmouth and launched 12th July 1871.  The idea of Sir E J Reed of the Admiralty as an improvement on the old Prince Albert design.  in 1881 Devastation was refitted with improvements in ventilation, and an overhaul of machinery. Devastation underwent modernization in 1890-92 and old guns were replaced with quick-firers and breechloaders. HMS Devastation was removed from the Navy List in 1907, being sold in May 1908.

Armament: four 29 ton guns, six 6 pounder guns and eight 3 pounder quick firers with a partial belt of armour from 12ins to10 ins.   Displacement: 9,330 tons.   I.H.P: 7,000.   Length: 285 ft.   Beam: 62ft 3 ins.   Max Draught: 27ft 6ins.   Speed: 14 knots (after modernisation).   Complement: 410.   


HMS Devastation in dock, 1873.

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HMS Devastation, 1873.

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HMS Devastation returning from her Gibraltar service c.1902.

The Devastation was one of the earliest ironclad vessels to be built in a public dockyard, and she excited considerable attention at the time. She was thought by many to be too heavy, with sarcastic jokes made about her weight. By 1902 she had served 31 years with the navy. Her Gibraltar station was taken over by HMS Irresistible.

HMS Devastation, 1873.

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HMS Devastation, July, 1894

HMS Devastation - Portguard Ship at Devonport

The Devastation was an iron second-class battleship and was completed for sea in 1873. She was built at Portsmouth Dockyard and engined by Messrs Maudsley, Son & Field. Commissioned at Portsmouth in December 1893 under Captain William M Lang of Fleet Reserve at Devonport.

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HMS Devastation was launched in 1871 and performed well on her first trials. She was originally designed to have two signal masts, one forward and one aft of the turrets but after completion she only had one mast on the superstructure.

The Company of the Devastation 1896

The complete seagoing complement of the Devastation was 410 of all ranks and ratings, but in ordinary conditions there was no need to keep so many men on board. At this time there were portguardships at Portsmouth, Chatham, Devonport, Pembroke, and Queenstown, all seagoing ships. There special duty was to join and act with the coastguard ships, which similarly comprised second-class ironclads and cruisers, as a Reserve Fleet and second line in support of the Channel Squadron. The port and coastguard ships were kept ready at all times to put to sea at short notice, and in cases of emergency would fill up their seagoing complements from the Naval Barracks and Marine Depots at each port, from the Coastguardsmen and Naval Reserve men living at home within clearly defined areas.

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Commander Stewart off Devonport Dockyard

This shows Commandeer Alexander E Stewart in a ships boat off the dockyard.

Devastation in the Hamoze

The Devastation is shown flying the flag of Admiral the Hon Sir Edmund Fremantle, who had just taken up the office of Commander-in-Chief in 1896 at Devonport. 

Petty Officers from the Devastation in 1896

The Chief and first and second class petty officers of the Devastation - all men of tried experience at sea, and specially selected for the Petty Officers rating on account of good character, intelligence and smartness.

Captain Burnard and N.C.O.s Marines 1896

Some of the Marines of the Devastation in 1896 both light infantry and artillerymen, among these is shown the ships postman with his leathern wallet.

The Devastation the Portguard ship at Devonport

The photograph shows Captain William Metcalfe Lang, the distinguished and able officer who organised the Chinese Fleet between the years 1886-1890 until compelled by a disgraceful mandarin intrigue to throw up his appointment - surrounded by the other officers of the ship.

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The following is an extract from the Naval and Military Gazette:

"We hesitated to give currency to reports which reached us during the cruise of the Devastation round the coast with the Channel Squadron, as we had good reason to believe that it was the intention of the Admiralty to pay her off, and berth her in Portsmouth harbour as a tender to the Excellent the advantage of so doing being that a very large number of men passing through the School of Gunnery would thus be enabled to become acquainted with the latest improvements in the turret system ... But since the arrival of the Admiralty of Rear Admiral Hornby, late in command of the Channel Squadron, who certainly should be able to form a correct estimate of the Devastions fitness in every respect for the sea service, it has been determined that she shall be ordered to Gibraltar, there probably to remain during the coming winter as a kind of guardo. A cruise across the bay in the month of November is not looked forward to by the present crew, who have had a little experience both of being stifled by being battened down and of being nearly blown out of their hammocks when efforts at ventilation are made by opening up every hatch. Her qualities as a sea boat have been fairly tested, and the present notion of filling her up with stores for six months further service, and then stowing her away at Gibraltar, leads to the conclusion that on this point at least the value of the counsel of the First Lords new Naval adviser is not altogether apparent."



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Click above to see all of our aviation art index - Eight random half price aviation items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Aviation Art Offers

 One of the most notable pilots of 3 Squadron was the Frenchman Pierre Clostermann who enjoyed much success flying Spitfires with the Free French 341 <i>Alsace</i> Squadron before moving to 602 and 274 Squadrons RAF.  Once on the strength of 3 Squadron, however, he quickly got to grips with the mighty Hawker Tempest V in which he downed two Focke-Wulf Fw.190D-9s on 20th April 1945, just two of the confirmed 12 aircraft destroyed whilst flying the Tempest, plus 6 shared and two probables.  He is shown here flying Tempest V NV724, bearing the legend <i>Le Grand Charles</i> and the Squadron badge on the tailfin.

Tribute to Flt Lt Pierre Clostermann by Ivan Berryman.
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 At 3.30am on the 23rd June 1945, a Dakota of 357 (special duties) Squadron took off from Mingaladon airfield nr.  Rangoon , to travel the 600 miles, 300 of them behind enemy lines, to rescue a downed American Liberator crew deep in the jungles of   Siam  .  The Dakota was flown by pilot Fl Lt. Larry Lewis, who already held the DFM awarded to him for 33 ops as a rear gunner on   Wellingtons  in 1941. Two crews had already failed when Lewis was asked to attempt this hazardous mission. Flying between 5,000 - 6,000ft he flew over The Hump, a ridge of mountains running down the spine of   Burma  . Local villagers had cleared a rough airstrip 800yds long with Lewis finding it by the time dawn broke. With monsoon clouds gathering, the Liberator crew aboard and the Dakota sinking in the wet ground, he managed, just, to get airborne. Flying at zero feet and looking out for Japanese Zero fighters Lewis took a different course back. Although being fired on from the ground they managed to make it all the way to the airfield at Dum Dum nr.   Calcutta ,  India  . Lewis was awarded an immediate DFC. By the end of the war he had completed 63 ops, held the rank of Squadron Leader with his service from 1938-1945, and was awarded the Air Efficiency Medal.

Larry Lewis DFC by Graeme Lothian. (B)
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 Routine, though essential, maintenance is carried out on a 501 Sqn Hurricane at the height of the Battle of Britain during the Summer of 1940.  Hurricane P3059 <i>SD-N</i> in the background is the aircraft of Group Captain Byron Duckenfield.

Ground Force by Ivan Berryman.
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DHM683.  Alouette III Helicopter of Rhodesian Fireforce 1979 by John Wynne Hopkins.

Alouette III Helicopter of Rhodesian Fireforce 1979 by John Wynne Hopkins.
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 One of 6,176 Halifaxes built during World War II, NA337(2P-X) was shot down over Norway on 23rd April 1945. In 1995 it was recovered from the lake that had been its watery home for fifty years and has now been restored by the Halifax Aircraft Association in Ontario, Canada.

Halifax Mk.III NA337 by Ivan Berryman. (D)
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 From the day they began their aerial campaign against Nazi Germany to the cessation of hostilities in 1945, the USAAF bomber crews plied their hazardous trade in broad daylight. This tactic may have enabled better sighting of targets, and possibly less danger of mid-air collisions, but the grievous penalty of flying daylight missions over enemy territory was the ever presence of enemy fighters. Though heavily armed, the heavy bombers of the American Eighth Air Force were no match against the fast, highly manoeuvrable Me109s, Fw190s and, late in the war, Me 262 jet fighters which the Luftwaffe sent up to intercept them. Without fighter escort they were sitting ducks, and inevitably paid a heavy price. Among others, one fighter group earned particular respect, gratitude, and praise from bomber crews for their escort tactics. The 356th FG stuck rigidly to the principle of tight bomber escort duty, their presence in tight formation with the bombers often being sufficient to deter enemy attack. Repeatedly passing up the opportunity to increase individual scores, the leadership determined it more important to bring the bombers home than claim another enemy fighter victory. As the air war progressed this philosophy brought about an unbreakable bond between heavy bomber crews and escort fighter pilots, and among those held in the highest esteem were the pilots of the 356th. Top scoring ace Donald J Strait, flying his P-51 D Mustang Jersey Jerk, together with pilots of the 356th Fighter Group, are seen in action against Luftwaffe Fw 190s while escorting B-17 bombers returning from a raid on German installations during the late winter of 1944. One minute all is orderly as the mighty bombers thunder their way homeward, the next minute enemy fighters are upon them and all hell breaks loose. <br><br><b>Published 2003.<br><br>Signed by three of the top pilots from the 356th Fighter group.</b>

Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y)
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 Two Spitfire Mk1Bs of 92 Squadron patrol the south coast from their temporary base at Ford, here passing over the Needles rocks, Isle of Wight, in the Spring of 1942.

In Them We Trust by Ivan Berryman. (J)
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 Following the initial parachute drops at Maleme (West) and Canea (Middle) Group East, comprising of Fallschirmjager Regiment 1 and 2nd battalion FJR2, prepared for their descent on Crete. Charged with the capture of Heraklion and its aerodrome, their departure was postponed until late afternoon due to the repairs and refuelling needed for the returning Junker 52 transports.

The Second Wave, Greece, 20th May 1941 by David Pentland. (Y)
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Click above to see all of our naval art index - Eight random half price naval items are displayed to the right.

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 The E-class light cruiser HMS Emerald is shown off the Newfoundland coast in company with a Flower class corvette.  Between October 1939 and August 1940, HMS Emerald carried £58 million in gold from Britain to Canada.

HMS Emerald by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 The Dido class cruiser HMS Naiad is pictured together with the cruiser HMS Leander during the encounter with the French Guepard in 1941 whilst they were both engaged in operations against the Vichy-French forces in Syria.

HMS Naiad by Ivan Berryman.
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 The heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen slips quietly through the waters of Kiel Harbour as one of her own Arado Ar.196s flies overhead. In the background, Bismarck, wearing her Baltic camouflage, is alongside taking on supplies.

Prinz Eugen by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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At 12.30pm on the 21st of October 1805, Admiral Lord Nelson on board his flagship, HMS Victory, breaks the line of the combined French and Spanish fleets.  The Victory is delivering a devastating stern rake to the 80 gun French ship Bucentaure, the flagship of the combined fleets, commanded by Vice-Admiral P. C. J. B. S. Villeneuve.  Starboard to the Victory is the 74 gun Redoutable.  This ship, the Victory and HMS Temeraire, seen left, became locked together soon after, the unequal exchange resulting in the Redoutable having the highest casualties during the entire battle.

Breaking the Line at the Battle of Trafalgar by Graeme Lothian. (AP)
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HMS Glowworm, burning severely after receiving hits from the mighty Admiral Hipper, is depicted turning to begin her heroic sacrifice off the Norwegian coast on 8th April 1940. Hugely out-gunned and already crippled, Glowworms captain, Lieutenant-Commander Roope rammed his destroyer into the side of the Admiral Hipper, inflicting a 40 metre rip in its armour belt before drifting away and exploding. 38 British sailors were rescued from the sea and Roope was awarded a posthumous VC for his bravery, the first earned by the Royal Navy in WWII.

The attack on the Admiral Hipper by HMS Glowworm by Ivan Berryman (Y)
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On 29th and 30th April 1944, while surfaced close to jagged reefs, and Japanese shore guns, the USS Tang rescued 22 downed flyers from Task Force 58s strikes against enemy positions on the islands - This was the largest rescue of airmen by a submarine in the war.  USS Tang (SS-306) would later be sunk by its own torpedo off Formosa, on the 24th of October 1944.

USS Tang, The Life Guard of Truk Atoll by Robert Barbour (AP)
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B61AP.  USS Oakland Escorting the Damaged USS Lexington by Ivan Berryman.
USS Oakland Escorting the Damaged USS Lexington by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 HMS Medway was the first Royal navy submarine Depot ship that was designed for the purpose from the outset. She is shown here with a quintet of T-class submarines on her starboard side, whilst an elderly L-Class begins  to move away having completed replenishment. HMS Medway was sunk on 30th June 1940 having been torpedoed by U-372 off Alexandria.

HMS Medway by Ivan Berryman
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Click above to see all of our military art index - Eight random half price military items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

DHM621GL. Headquarters 4th Armoured Brigade on Objective Copper South, Iraq 27th February 1991 by David Rowlands.

Headquarters 4th Armoured Brigade on Objective Copper South, Iraq 27th February 1991 by David Rowlands. (GL)
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As the French regiment man the postion while under heavy attack, a French drummer boy and soldier are seen attending the wounded mascot dog of the regiment.
The Dog of the Regiment is Wounded by Horace Vernet. (Y)
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 Panoramic view of the battle fought between the French and the Austrian armies on 14th June 1800.

Battle of Marengo by Louis Lejeune (B)
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 This was the Austrians fourth attempt to relieve their besieged garrison of Mantua.
The Battle of Rivoli by Carl Vernet. (Y)
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 There is no retreat from here, men! said General Sir Colin Campbell (who at that moment may have said to have commanded the regiment in person) as he cantered along the front of the 93rd You must die where you stand To which some of the Highlanders replied cheerily Ay Ay, Sir Colin if needs be well do that. Nearer and nearer the Russian Squadrons approached - the ground trembling beneath their horses feet, and gathering speed at every stride, they galloped on towards that thin red streak, topped with steel the Sutherland Highlanders awaited the onslaught of the enemys horsemen in line, without a movement in their ranks. I would not even form four deep! was the reply of Sir Colin, when remonstrated with for giving the Russians such a chance. Cool as if on Birthday parade The Sutherlands stood until their foes were within 600 yards, then down on their knees they dropped the front rank, and delivered a steady volley. But the distance was too great, and, though a few saddles were emptied, the Russians pressed forward unchecked. On they rode, till scarcely 200 yards separated them from the intrepid Highlanders. When the rear rank brought their Minies to the present and over the heads of their kneeling comrades pourd a withering fire into the enemys masses.Shaken to their very centre, the Russian Squadrons fell back, but, encouraged by their gallant leaders, they determined to make one last bid for victory, and wheeling around, endeavored to turn the Highlanders right flank. here they were checkmated by the grenadier Company, which received the charge with such a volley, that the Russians went Files about and scampered off to seek the shelter of their guns.

The Thin Red Line by Robert Gibb. (Y)
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 On 27th November 1950, thousands of Chinese troops swarmed over the frozen Yalu river on the North Korean /Chinese border, cutting off US Marines in the Chosin Reservoir area. Over the next ten days the marines with air support from both the Navy and Marine Air Wings fought their way out of the trap to Hungnam and safety.

Frozen Chosin, Korea, December 1950 by David Pentland. (GL)
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VAR442.  Victory at Candahar by Stanley Berkeley.

Victory at Candahar by Stanley Berkeley.
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Confederate cavalry with the battle flag of the Confederacy gallop into battle.  The battle flag was also known as the Southern Cross.

Southern Steel by Simon Smith.
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Click above to see all of our sport art index - Eight random half price sport items are displayed to the right.

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 A product of United's magnificent youth policy, Nicky Butt has become an invaluable player in the most successful side in the club's history.  Gary Keane's portrayal of Nicky Butt captures the tenacity, determination and power of one of the country's leading midfield players.

Nicky Butt by Gary Keane.
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 Depicting Englands emphatic 1995 grand slam victory.

1995 Grand Slam by Scott Bridges. (Y)
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 Marlboro McLaren Mercedes MP4/11. 1996.
David Coulthard by Michael Thompson.
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Johnny Herbert is shown in the Benetton B195.  Herbert took a deserved victory at his home British Grand Prix at Silverstone, beating the Ferrari of Frenchman Jean Alesi into second place by more than 16 seconds, and ahead of fellow briton David Coulthard in the third placed Williams.  He also claimed victory at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.  Along with Michael Schumachers nine victories, Herbert  helped Benetton win their first constructors championship in the 1995 season.  The Formula One Benetton B195 was designed by Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn for use in the 1995 Formula One season by Benetton.  The B195 was almost identical to the B194 but for a change of engine supplier from Ford to Renault V10 engine, the same type the rival Williams team was using.  With his first two Formula One wins under his belt in 1995, Johnny Herbert won just one more race, winning at the Nurburgring at the European Grand Prix in 1999, racing for Stewart Ford.  He retired from Formula One in 2000.

Johnny Herbert/ Benetton B.195 by Ivan Berryman
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SC34. Throwing the Discus by Eduard Joseph Danton.

Throwing the Discus by Eduard Joseph Danton.
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 Jimmys total of 516 league appearances produced an amazing 357 goals.

Greavsie by Gary Keane.
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 Rothmans Williams Renault FW18.  World Champion 1996.
Damon Hill by Michael Thompson.
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SPC5008. Neil Lennon by Gary Brandham.

Neil Lennon by Gary Brandham.
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