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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 12TH JULY 1871 SOLD  MAY  1908

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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 Pinnacles of technology and nature at the roof of the world.  Northrop Grumman B2 Spirit from Wightman AFB, Missouri soars high over majestic snow-covered peaks, still climbing to its operational altitude of 50,000 feet.

The High and Mighty by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
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Operation Barras, 10th September 2000 by David Rowlands (GL)
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Stukas over England, South Coast, July 1940 by David Pentland.
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Frozen Chosin, Korea, December 1950 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 Boulton Paul Defiant of 151 Sqn, based at Wittering, attacking a Messerschmitt Me110. Following an exhausting summer during the Battle of Britain, 151 was designated a night fighter squadron and was equipped both with Hurricanes and Defiants. On the night of 15th January 1942, two Defiants succeeded in bringing down three German aircraft and further successes were recorded during enemy raids on Birmingham when a further nine kills were claimed.

Night of Defiance by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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Bug Killer by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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3 Squadron Typhoon, Operation ELLAMY, Libya 2011 by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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Final Days by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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HMS Eagle and HMS Albion by Ivan Berryman.
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Operation Neptune by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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HMS Hood Opens Fire Upon the Bismarck by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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USS Tang, The Life Guard of Truk Atoll by Robert Barbour (AP)
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February 1942 and Viz. Admiral Ciliaxs mighty Scharnhorst leads her sister Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen up the English Channel during Operation Cerberus, their daring breakout from the port of Brest on the French Atlantic coast to the relative safety of Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel. All three ships survived what became known as the Channel Dash, not without damage, but the operation proved a huge propaganda success for Germany and a crushing embarrassment for the British. A number of torpedo boats are in attendance, including Kondor and Falke and the Z class destroyer Friedrich Ihn in the distance.

Operation Cerberus, Channel Dash by Ivan Berryman.
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HMS Ambuscade by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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Admiral Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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Trafalgar - The Destruction of the Bucentaure by Ivan Berryman.
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British troops on exercise or on duty in Northern Ireland.

Orders Group by John Wynne Hopkins.
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The Battle of Wagram 6th July 1809 by Emil Adam
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D-Day Gold Beach, 6th June 1944 by Simon Smith.
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The Hindenburg Line known also as the Siegfried Line was a vast system of German defences in northeastern France between Lens and past Verdun.  Built over the winter of 1916 and 1917, the high command in Germany believed the Hindenburg line was was impregnable.  But in 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai it was temporarily broken by the British and Newfoundland troops.  Included in these forces were tank units, and the line was successfully breached a number of times during the hundred day offensive by the Allied forces in September 1918. Shown in this painting are the wounded being taken back behind lines by medical personnel as the reinforcements and supplies move forward.

Breaking the Hindenburg Line by J P Beadle. (Y)
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Thermopylae 480BC, Spartan and Thespaian Hoplites. By Chris Collingwood.
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Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk, France 24th May - 4th June 1940 by David Pentland. (GL)
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Panther at the Zoo, Tiergarten, berlin, 2nd May 1945 by David Pentland.
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 Michael Schumacher wins again!

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