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HMS Imperieuse 

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HMS Imperieuse, Royal Navy armoured cruiser built at Portsmouth Dockyard and launched on 18th December 1883. HMS Imperieuse served as flagship to the China Station 1889-1894 and moving to the Pacific Station 1896 -1899. She became a destroyer depot ship at Portland in 1905 and was renamed HMS Sapphire but reverting to HMS Imperieuse again in 1909. She was finally scrapped on 24th September 1914.

Displacement 8,400 tons,  Length. 315 feet.  beam 62 feet.  Draught 27.33 feet.   Horsepower 10,000 giving 16.75 knots

Armament. Four 9.2 inch guns,  six 6-inch guns. and six 14-inch torpedo Tubes.    Armour.  Belt amidships 10 inches. with 9 -inch Bulkheads. 8 inch Barbettes, No armour on Lesser Guns. 3 inch protective deck for and aft and on top of belt. 9 inch Conning tower.

HMS Imperieuse

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A Holophote on Board HMS Imperieuse 1896

The search-light or Holophote was one of the appliances that the torpedo boat brought into being. Search-lights were used on board ship in peace times for various purposes, such as for signalling at night, but in times of war their principal use would have been in connection with the work for which they were first designed. The working and control of the Holophote was at all times under the electrical staff of the ship. The projectors, situated at various points about the ship, could turn in any direction, electricity being supplied by dynamos down below, and produced by carbons placed within the projector so as to illuminate the concave mirror forming the back of the projector and reflect a perfectly straight beam of light onto any object above the horizon.

Petty Officers on HMS Imperieuse 1896

The Petty Officers, appointed from the lower deck from men of superior education and intelligence, numbered 2 chief petty officers and 31 first- and second-class petty officers, in addition to the artificers and the petty officers of the engine room.

The Marines on HMS Imperieuse 1896

The Marines of the Imperieuse comprised 70 non-commissioned officers and men, gunners and infantry, under a Major and Lieutenant. 

On Board the Imperieuse the Flagship in the Pacific in 1896.

At the head of everyone in the ship is Rear-Admiral Palliser, the Commander-in-Chief on the station, and next to him are the Flag Captain, who is directly in charge of the ship, Captain Adair, and Commander Calthorpe, the chief executive officer, an officer specially promoted for war service off the coast of Africa, and the youngest man of his rank in the Navy in 1896. The total number of officers on the Imperieuse was 43, including 5 warrant officers and the midshipmen and cadets, all of whom appear in the illustration above.  

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The Forward Barbette of HMS Imperieuse in 1896

The forward barbette of the Imperieuse is shown with its 22 ton gun protected by a redoubt of thick steel.

The Band of HMS Imperieuse 1896.

The ship's band comprised a bandmaster, band corporal, and fifteen musicians, supplemented by volunteers from the crew, and was practically supported by the officers beyond the 15 to 20 annual allowance from the Admiralty. 

The Company of the Imperieuse in 1896

Exclusive of the commissioned and warrant officers on board, the company of the first-class cruiser Imperieuse numbered in all, including various ratings from petty officers downwards, the seamen, artificers, stokers and marines, upwards of 520 men.  They are shown her on or about the forward barbette, where the bow chaser 22 ton gun of the ship is mounted, in 1896. They were allotted and organised in watches and divisions, each man having his own special station and duty to perform - general quarters for action, fire quarters, collision stations, boarding stations, boat stations, closing watertight door stations and so on. The carrying out of these tasks and the practice and drill in regard to them forms the daily routine of life on board ship in the 1890's. This way each year that the ship remained in commission smartness and efficiency increased as did the fighting value of her crew.

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A 22 Ton Breechloader in the Imperieuse 1896

Here we see one of the four heavy guns carried by the Imperieuse, the 22-ton gun mounted amidships on the port side, on a sponson projecting over the side of the ship so as to be capable of firing nearly right ahead or astern, as well as on the broadside. The 22-ton gun was designed and introduced originally to arm the Imperieuse and her sister ship the Warspite. It was the smallest type of breechloader carried on ships of the 1890's and could penetrate 17 inches of wrought-iron armour at 2,000 yards range. One of these guns fired the "Jubilee Shot" of 1887, which attained a range of 21,800 yards, or nearly 12 miles. Each gun cost at least 5,000 and fired 144lbs of powder as a charge, with a projectile of 380lbs weight - the round costing 33. The gun could fire practically a round a minute, and could be man handled independently of machinery, and loaded in any position.

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