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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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AVIATION PRINTS

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

The B-17 Flying Fortress 'Memphis Belle' returns from one of her 25 mission over France and Germany.  Memphis Belle, a  B-17F-10-BO, USAAF Serial No.41-24485, was supplied to the USAAF on July 15th 1942, and delivered to the 91st Bomb Group in September 1942  at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine.  Memphis Belle deployed to Scotland at Prestwick on September 30th 1942 and went to RAF Kimbolton on October 1st, and then to her permanent base at Bassingbourn on October 14th.1942.  Memphis Belle was the first United States Army Air Force heavy bomber to complete 25 combat missions with her crew intact.  The aircraft and crew then returned to the United States to promote and sell war bonds.  The Memphis Belle B-17 is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Coming Home by Tim Fisher (AP)
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 A pair of English Electric Lightning F3s of 111 squadron depart. Reheat selected, they accelerate rapidly to blast off, cascading spray from a rain-soaked runway. This is the classic interceptor, with superb handling qualities and unmatched climb-to-height performance. The Lightning is the only British-designed and built fighter capable of achieving twice the speed of sound. The RAF took delivery in 1960 and they remained in front-line service until phased out in 1988. The last of the classic single-seat fighters, the Lightning enters the hall of fame alongside the Camel, Fury, Hurricane and Spitfire. The artist was once able to fly a two-seat version- Lightning T5- at just over 1000mph- which he describes as an unforgettable experience.

Thunder & Lightnings by Gerald Coulson. (Y)
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 British Midlands 737 (300 series) en route from London to Belfast. 1993.

Boeing 737 by David Pentland.
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The scene depicts an encounter between Manfred Von Richthoffen, leader of the Jasta II squadron and a patrol of Sopwith Camels. This particular battle above France took place only weeks before Richthoffen was killed as can be seen from the Balken Kreuz insignia which replaced the iron cross on German aircraft after a directive dated March 1918.

Manfred Von Richthoffen (The Red Baron) by Tim Fisher.
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 Resplendent in the striking new red and yellow corporate livery, Boeing 757 SF freighter OO-DPJ, the first to bear the new colours, lifts off from Brussels National Airport, DHL's European hub.

The Power to Deliver by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
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 Westland Wessex of No.72 Squadron based at RAF Aldergrove, flying over the Copeland Islands in Belfast Lough.

Wessex Over the Copelands by David Pentland.
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 With Italys entry into WW II on June 10, 1940, the epic two-and-one-half-year siege of Malta began. Symbolizing the defiant resistance of the people and defenders of that tiny island, the legend of Faith, Hope, and Charity grew from a handful of Gloster Sea Gladiators which initially comprised Maltas sole aerial defense. Until the arrival of the more modern Hawker Hurricanes, these obsolescent biplanes fought the Regia Aeronautica alone in the skies above Malta. Only six or seven Gladiators were assembled from the shipment of eighteen crated aircraft which had been delivered by the HMS Glorious. Others were utilized for spare parts, and three had been dispatched, still crated, to Egypt. Though hugely outnumbered, the defenders fought on, raising the morale of the citizens of Malta, and denying the Italians mastery of the sky. Suffering from a constant shortage of spare parts, tools and equipment, the devoted ground support crews were never able to keep more than three Gladiators operational at any point in time. Only one of these Gladiators was totally lost in aerial combat, and the sole surviving aircraft was presented to the people of Malta, and today stands in their National War Museum as a proud symbol of courage and endurance. In Stan Stokes painting, a Sea Gladiator, piloted by Flight Lt. James Pickering, tangles with a Fiat C.R. 42 over Malta in 1940 while an Italian Savoia S.79 tri-engined bomber passes by in the background. The Gloster Gladiator represented the zenith of development of the classic biplane fighter aircraft, a design formula which characterized an entire era from WW I until the advent of the monoplane fighter just before WW II. Glosters naval model of the Gladiator was equipped with a Bristol Mercury VIIIA engine providing a maximum speed of 253 MPH, a rate of climb of 2300 feet per minute, an operational ceiling of 32,200 feet, and a range of 415 miles. The Gladiator was armed with four .303 inch Browning machine guns, and incorporated several advanced features including an enclosed cockpit and wing flaps. One top RAF ace, Sqd. Ldr. Pattle, attained eleven victories flying the Gladiator. A total of 527 Gladiators were produced, and the aircraft served in twelve different countries. The Italians were overly persistent in their emphasis on biplane fighters, stemming from their successes with these highly maneuverable machines during the Spanish Civil War. Employing distinctive Warren-truss type interplane bracing the C.R. 42 was powered by a Fiat A74 R.C. 38 engine providing a maximum speed of 274 MPH and a range of 485 miles. The C.R. 42 was more lightly armed than the Gladiators it opposed, possessing only two 12.7mm Breda machine guns. The C.R 42 served on all of Italys fronts including North and East Africa, France, Britain, the Balkans, and Russia. Exported to Hungary, Sweden and Belgium, the C.R. 42 ironically served alongside the Gladiator in other theaters of operation during WW II.
Faith Hope and Charity†by Stan Stokes. (C)
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 Flt. Lt. John Alexander Cruickshank in his consolidated Catalina. Winning his Victoria Cross for sinking U-347.

Sinking of U-Boat 347 by Tim Fisher.
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NAVAL PRINTS

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

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

 Having departed the Namsen Fjord in Norway, on a course home to England across the North Sea, HMS Arab was intercepted by a Heinkel He.115 and ordered to sail due east or be attacked.  His orders ignored, the German pilot began a series of passes over the trawler, raking the small vessel with continuous fire from both of its guns.  The gallant crew of the Arab returned fire with all Lewis and Oerlikon guns blazing, the Heinkel being mortally wounded as it made a low pass across the bow of Arab, finally plunging into the sea some two miles astern of the trawler who continued, without further incident, to her destination at Scapa.

Tribute to the Royal Navy Trawler Crews - HMS Arab by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Completed in 1916, the Resolution was one of the finest capital ships in the Royal Navy, serving in many theatres with her sister ships, Royal Sovereign, Royal Oak, Ramillies and Revenge, she is shown here in 1936.

HMS Resolution by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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Swordfish of 825 Sqn led by Lt-Cdr Esmonde begin their heroic attack on the battlescruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they make their way up the English Channel from Brest during Operation Cerberus on 12th February 1942.  Although all the aircraft were lost and no significant damage was done to the German fleet, all the pilots were decorated for their bravery and Lt-Cdr Esmonde received the first Fleet Air Arm VC to be awarded, albeit posthumously.  The painting depicts the first wave of Swordfish attacking the Scharnhorst with Gneisenau taking avoiding action in the distance.  A German torpedo boat has turned to confront the attacking aircraft.

Attack on the Scharnhorst by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 Spearheading the Falklands Task Force as it heads south in 1982, the carrier HMS Hermes is shown in company with two Type 21 frigates, HMS Arrow on the left and HMS Ardent in the near foreground.  In the far distance, HMS Glamorgan glints in the sun as Type 42 HMS Sheffield cuts across behind Hermes.

HMS Hermes by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 The pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, leaves Portsmouth on her way to the Fleet Review of King George V in July 1935. HMS Hood is followed by the destroyer HMS Express.

HMS Hood and HMS Express Departing from Portsmouth 1935 by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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The moment shortly after dawn on 24th May 1941 when HMS Hood, in company with HMS Prince of Wales, opens fire on the Bismarck, setting in motion one of the greatest sea dramas the world had seen.

HMS Hood Engages Bismarck by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 The cruiser HMS Frobisher dominates this scene off Houlgate at the Normandy landings of 1944.  The monitor HMS Roberts lies beyond Frobisher with a Large Infantry Landing Ship or LSI (L) unshipping its LCAs on the extreme right of the picture.  In the foreground, a motor launch attends a group of LCP (L)s as they head for the French beaches.  Two Spitfire Mk.IXs conduct sweeps overhead as Operation Neptune gathers momentum.

HMS Frobisher and HMS Roberts at Normandy by Ivan Berryman
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Viewed across the damaged stern of the 80-gun San Nicholas, Nelson drives HMS Captain onto the Spanish vessel in order that she can be boarded and taken as a prize, the British marines and men scrambling up the Captains bowsprit to use it as a bridge. The San Nicholas then fouled the Spanish three decker San Joseph (112), allowing Nelson and his men to take both ships as prizes in a single manoeuvre. A British frigate is moving into a supporting position in the middle distance.

HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent by Ivan Berryman (P)
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MILITARY PRINTS

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

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 None among Rackams crew were more resolute or ready to board or undertake anything that was hazardous. Quote taken from Captain C. Johnsons book. A General History of the Robberies and murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. (1724)

Anne Bonney, Mary Reid and Calico Jack Rackam by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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 Captain McCabe is mortally wounded as he leads a successful sortie against rebel guns bombarding the residency at Lucknow

Captain Burnard McCabe VC of the 32nd by William Barnes Wollen.
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 Helmand Province, Afghanistan, July 2009.  Troops of the 2nd Mercian Regiment 19th Light Brigade engaged on compound searches during Operation Panchai Palang.

Green Zone Patrol by David Pentland.
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DHM556P.  1st Texas Infantry by Jim Lancia.
1st Texas Infantry by Jim Lancia (P)
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 Vielsalm, Belgium, 22nd December 1944.  Men of the 508th PIR, along with the rest of the 82nd Airborne Division were rushed to the Ardennes and deployed in an attempt to halt the onslaught of 6th SS Panzer Army, specifically Kampfgruppe Peiper.

Holding the Line by David Pentland.
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In this Victorian painting,  a young child looks at his reflection in the breastplate armour worn by his father, a trooper of the Royal Horse Guards (the Blues)
Reflections.
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DHM607.  French Line Infantry by Jim Lancia.
French Line Infantry by Jim Lancia.
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 The storming on the night of April 6th 1812 of Badajoz astle proved to be Wellingtons bloodiest siege. Depicted here are soldiers of the 88th Connaught Rangers (famously the Devils Own) and part of Pictons 3rd Division, successfully escalading the high walls of the fortress.

Storming of Badajoz by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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SPORT PRINTS

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

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

Matt Le Tissier is quite simply a legend of Southampton Football Club. Since making his debut in 1986, Matt played 462 games for the Saints scoring 209 goals (including 49 penalties out of 50!)

Matt le Tissier by Gary Brandham. (Y)
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 Neil Hodgson celebrates winning the World Superbike Championship at Assen, September 2003.
No.1 by Dave Foord. (Y)
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SC34. Throwing the Discus by Eduard Joseph Danton.

Throwing the Discus by Eduard Joseph Danton.
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 With his typical degree of accuracy, Martin Smith has produced this fantastic portrait of David Coulthard, smiling as he walks towards his car in anticipation of a forthcoming race, every detail in his papers showing.
David Coulthard by Martin Smith
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Michael Atherton by Keith Fearon.
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Lester Piggott by Gary Keane. (Y)
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SP4.  Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.

Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.
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 Twickenham, March 16th 1996.  England return to the running game to clinch victory in style over Ireland and retain the Five Nations Championship.

In Full Flight by Keith Fearon.
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Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.

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