The British Government's 1909 programme of battleship construction provided funding for eight new battleships, including the four vessels of the Orion Class. These were the first ‘Super-Dreadnoughts’ constructed by the Royal Navy, and ushered in another new era of battleship construction.
|Laying the keel of HMS Thunderer. © NMM|
HMS Thunderer was the last Royal Navy vessel to be constructed on the Thames at Blackwall. This vessel was not only the largest battleship in the Royal Navy during this period, but she also saw a return in the use of 13.5 inch/45 calibre armament. These guns provided the vessels with greater fire range and power.
HMS Thunderer saw action at the Battle of Jutland, as part of the British Grand Fleet. This was the largest surface naval battle of the First World War and took place on 31 May 1916. At the end of the war, she became a cadet training ship as a result of the Washington Treaty's restrictions on the size of navies. The vessel was finally sold and broken up in 1926.
|HMS Thunderer (1911). © NMM|