HMS Lion, Battle Cruiser, 1912


Warships of the Royal Navy Steam 1892-1917

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One of the most famous ships of the Royal Navy, HMS Lion took part in virtually every major engagement of the First World War. Flagship of the dashing Sir David Beattie she achieved legendary fame, and to a generation of British she became the romantic symbol of Britain’s naval might and pride. Having entertained the Russian Royal Family on a goodwill visit to Kronstadt in June 1914, within 2 months she was leading in action at the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28th August when she sank the Ariadne and the Cöln. In January 1915 she was sent to intercept Admiral Hipper’s force en route to bombard Scarborough. In January 1915 Admiral Hipper attempted to clear the Dogger Bank of British craft but was intercepted. It was only because Lion had to withdraw with damage inflicted by Derfflinger that prevented the annihilation of the German force. The battle of Jutland was fought on 31 May 1916 initially between Beattie’s battlecruiser fleet and the German High Seas Fleet. Lion was hit at 16:00 and 4 minutes later Indefatigable blew up, followed, 20 minutes later, by Queen Mary prompting Beattie’s famous remark: ‘There’s something wrong with our bloody ships today!’ The hit on Lion’s Q turret killed all within and below and RM Francis Harvey, Q Turret commander, received a posthumous VC for ordering the magazine flooded, thereby saving the ship. Lion accompanied the German High Seas Fleet to internment at Scapa in 1918 but was broken up in 1924 to meet Washington treaty obligations.

Additional information

Weight 0.023 kg
Dimensions 44.5 × 33.8 cm