HMS Vulcan, Torpedo Boat Depot Ship. HMS Vulcan built at Portsmouth Dockyard and launched 13th June 1889. Her main purpose was to launch smaller torpedo boats against enemy shipping. She looked very similar to a cruiser except for two large cranes used for deploying torpedo boats, similar protective deck armour to a cruiser. In 1915 she was used as a submarine depot ship and in 1931 became a training hulk and was renamed HMS Defiance III, finally being scrapped in 1955.
Displacement: 6,600 tons Speed: 20 knots. Armament: eight 4.7 ins guns replaced in 1915 by four 3 pdr guns. She carried six 2nd class torpedo boats. Complement: 432.
HM Torpedo-Boat Depot Ship Vulcan : Hoisting Out a Torpedo Boat
Photograph shows Vulcan hoisting out one of six torpedo boats the she carried. The Vulcan was the only ship in the British Navy in 1896 with special cranes to do this. The cranes were hydraulic and could lift 30 tons each.
Original Photographic image from quality magazine published in 1896 image size 8" x 5" approx , plus title and specifications. price ?15 plus ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order number AN2/62 order photograph here
|The Vulcan seen here bows-on, was the only craft of
her special class in existence. She was a cruiser, fighting ship,
repairing shop, torpedo depot, and floating dockyard. As a cruiser
and fighting ship, she mounted 20 quick-firing guns and torpedo
tubes; as a repairing shop she was fitted with lathes, drilling,
planing, slotting and punching machines, circular saws, workshops
and smithery, forges and furnaces; as a torpedo depot, she carried
on board large supplies of torpedos, torpedo stores, mines and
mining apparatus; as a floating dockyard, she contained a small
flotilla of torpedo boats with cranes for lifting them, as well as
all sorts of special appliances. Her raison d'etre was torpedo nurse
and general repairing establishment afloat for general service with
a Fleet. She measured 350 ft between perpendiculars, breadth of 58
ft, mean draught of 25 ft and a displacement of 6,630 tons.
Original Photographic image from quality magazine published in 1896 image size 10" x 8" approx , plus title and specifications. price ?20 plus ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order number AN2-44 order photograph here
The Vulcan, Royal Sovereign and Thetis at Plataea Harbour c.1900.
For a considerable portion of the year the Mediterranean Fleet cruised eastward. This work was not well liked as it did not present the social amenities found at Malta or some of the other Italian and Spanish ports, and after all life on board was sufficiently monotonous in 1900 for a little excitement to be needed. Greece was friendly to Great Britain and allowed the navy to make limited use of her ports and islands. Here torpedoes were run and gun practise was carried out. The British ships shown at anchor above are in the small port of Plataea.
The Captain of the Vulcan and His Officers 1896
Captain Charles Grey Robinson, in command of the Vulcan and the officers of his ship are shown in the photograph in 1896. The Vulcan was employed on what was termed Particular Service on the Mediterranean Station. During the winter months she would go to Volo or Plataea in the Aegean Sea for the purpose of carrying out torpedo and mining classes, the ships in the Mediterranean Fleet were detached in turn, two or three at a time to bear her company.
Original Photographic image from quality magazine published in 1896 image size 8" x 5" approx , plus title and specifications. price ?20 plus ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order number AN2/62b order photograph here
The Workshop on board HMS Vulcan
One of the special features of the Vulcan was her workshop. In it were five lathes of various sizes (from 18in centre and 17 ft bed, down to 5in centre and 3ft 6 in bed), two drilling machines with complete sets of twist drills and boring bars, planing, shaping and slotting, punching and shearing machines, and a circular saw bench. These were all driven by an engine placed in the workshop. For casting and founding purposes there was a hot air furnace complete with crucibles capable of melting down 2 cwt of iron or brass, the air supplied under pressure by a fan which worked at 2,000 revs a minute. A sand pit, moulding boxes, and other appliances were also placed at hand in close proximity, so that any work required could be expeditiously performed. There were also fitters benches and vices, and a store-room complete with all kinds of tool likely to be needed.
Original Photographic image from quality magazine published in 1896 image size 10" x 8" approx , plus title and specifications. price ?20 plus ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order number AN2/63