Friday, 6 January 2012

The Greek battleships Hydra, Psara and Spetsai



Text and pencil drawing Hydra by Ron van Maanen


Computer line drawing by Andreas Kendristakis

The Hydra-class had a displacement of 4,885 tons and as dimensions 103 x 15,8 x 6,4 metres, a speed of 17 knots, an armament of 3-27cm (10.6”) guns and 5-15cm (6”) guns while they were protected by a 7” thick deck and the hull by 10-28 cm thick armour. (1)

The Hydra-class with as dimensions 351’x 52’x 14 or 103 x 15,8 x 6,4 metres and a displacement of 4,885 tons. They were armed with 3-27cm (10.8”) guns, 5-15cm *6”) guns, 1-10,2cm (4”) gun, 8-9pdr guns, 4-3pdr guns and 12-1pdr guns. The armour consisted of a 12-3,05cm thick belt tall 1,22 metres below water, a 7,6cm tick upper belt, the barbettes were protected by 30,5cm, the battery redoubt by 13¾”, the turrets and hoists by 15,2cm thick armour. The coal bunker capacity was 400-600 tons. The 2 coal-fired boilers and two vertical inverted 3-cylinder triple expansion engines supplied 4.996 kW and with the twin screw was a speed of maximum 12-13 knots possible. Her crew numbered 440 men. (2)

The Psara-class. With a displacement of 4,808 metric tons/4,732 long tons/5,300 short tons were her dimensions 102,01 (between perpendiculars) x 15,80 z 5,5 (mean) metres or 334’8”x 51’10”x 18. Her two steam engines supplying 6,700 ihp allowed a speed of maximum 17 knots. Her crew numbered 400 men. She was armed with 3x1-10.8”, 5x1-5.9” guns,4-3.4” guns, 4-3pdr guns, 4-1pdr guns, 6-1pdr revolver guns and 3-14” torpedo tubes (between 1908-1910 was one tube replaced by a 15”). The armour consisted of a 12” belt while the barbettes were protected by maximum 14” thick armour, and the Hydra with a deck of 1.9” in contrary to her both sister ships which had a deck of 2.3” (3)

The Hydra was ordered at the French Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire shipyard at St. Nazaire in 1885, launched on 15 May 1889, handed over 3 years later, decommissioned in 1918, stricken a year later, plans to sell her to be broken up in 1921 were cancelled, naval artillery school ship 1922-1929 and finally broken up in 1929. With a displacement of 4,808 metric tons/4,732 long tons/5,300 short tons were her dimensions 102,01 (between perpendiculars) x 15,80 z 5,5 (mean) metres or 334’8”x 51’10”x 18. Her two steam engines supplying 6,700 ihp allowed a speed of maximum 17 knots. Her crew numbered 400 men. She was armed with 3x1-10.8”, 5x1-5.9” guns,4-3.4” guns, 4-3pdr guns, 4-1pdr guns, 6-1pdr revolver guns and 3-14” torpedo tubes (between 1908-1910 was one tube replaced by a 15”). The armour consisted of a 12” belt while the barbettes were protected by maximum 14” thick armour.(4)


The photo above can be found on the url http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Psara2.jpg and was made by Anastasios Gaziadis (1853-1931) around circa 1900 showing the Psara.

The Psara was ordered and laid down in 1885 at the French Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée shipyard in Graville although not earlier launched as 5 years later on 20 February and in the same year commissioned, in 1912 all ready considered as being obsolete, around 1920 decommissioned used as school for quartermasters and in a later period as a school ship for junior boys at Poros and finally sold to be broken up in 1932. With a displacement of 4,885 (standard) tons were her dimensions 103 x 15,8 x 6,4 metres. Her speed was 20 knots. The armament consisted of 3-26,9 cm (10.6”) guns and 5-15cm (5.9”) guns. The armour consisted of a 7cm thick deck while the hull was protected by 10-28cm.(5)


The photo above can be found on the url http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spetse2b.jpg and dated from 1885.

The Spetsai was launched at the French Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée shipyard in Graville on 20 February 1890.(5), decommissioned in 1920, next naval communications school ship and finally in 1929 broken up (6).

Jane’s Fighting Ships 1919 reported that all ships were rebuild in 1909 and now fitted out with flying topmasts and at the Psara and Spetsai was the thin s-called auxiliary funnel placed before the main funnel removed. The displacement was 4,808 tons with as dimensions 334½ (over all) x 51 5/6 x 18 (mean) feet. The armament consisted of 3-10.6” guns, 3-5.9” guns, 1-3.9” gun, 8-9pdr guns, 4-3pdr guns, 6 or 8 1pdrs and 1-15” and 2-14” torpedo tubes all surfaced. The armour or Creusot steel consisted of a lower belt thick  4¾-12”, a upper belt of 3” thick, a deck of 2¼”, a redoubte of “the battery was 12” just like the barbette and the conning tower while the hood was 6” just like the main hoist guns of the guns. The 2 sets vertical triple expansion engines and the Belleville boilers (since 1914-1915) supplied 6,700 hp to the two screws allowing a speed of 17 knots. Coal bunker capacity was 400 (normal)-690 (maximum) tons. The Psara was reported as being used as a stokers’ training ship while the Spetsai was refitted in 1919. Dealing with the Hydra was nothing special mentioned.

Conway’s All the world’s Fighting Ships 1860-1905 reported that all three ships belonged to the Spetsai-class with a displacement of 4,808 tons and as dimensions 334’8” (between perpendiculars) x 51’10” x 18’(mean) or 102,00 x 15,80 x 5,49 metres. The horsepower of 6,700 hp allowed a speed of 17 knots while they had a coal bunker capacity of 500-690 tons. Their  crew numbered 440 men. The armament consisted of 1-10.8” guns, 5-5.9” guns, 4-3.4” guns, 4-3pdr guns, 4-1pdr guns, 6-1pdr revolvers and 3-14” guns. Forward were four of the 5.9” guns were placed on a lower level with two of the main guns were forward placed just like 1-5.9” above while the third main gun was placed in a barbette aft.

Conway’s All the world’s Fighting Ships 1906-1921 reported that all three ships were broken up in 1929. This ships of the Hydra-class were in 1908-1910 rearmed with 5-5.9” quick firing guns. All ships were in 1919 stricken. For the Hydra and Psara was the intention to sell these ships two years later, in stead became the first a gunnery training ship, the latter was as a hulk used as a boys school at Poros Island. The Spetsai was after 1022 used as a stationary training ship .

The Naval Annual for 1913 said that all three ships had a displacement of 4,808 tons and as dimensions 334½ x 51¾ x 23¼ feet. The horsepower was 7,000 ihp allowing a speed of 17 knots and with a coal bunker capacity of 600 tons.  Their crew numbered 400 men. The armour consisted of a 4-11¾“ belt, a 2½” tick deck while the side above the belt was protected by 3” armour.

Notes
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydra_class_battleship
2. http://www.cityofart.net/bship/gr_hydra.html
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spetsai-class_battleship
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_ironclad_Hydra
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_ironclad_Psara
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_ironclad_Spetsai.