Navis Neptun 1118 HMS Glorious Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier 1940 1/1250

MRP £88.00

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(Product Ref 58330)
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HMS Glorious was a warship of the Royal Navy. Built as a large light cruiser during World War I, Glorious, her sister HMS Courageous, and half-sister HMS Furious were the brainchildren of Admiral Lord Fisher, and were designed to be light cruiser destroyers. They were originally intended to be heavy support for shallow water operations in the Baltic Sea, which ultimately never came to pass. She saw action in World War 1, was converted into an Aircraft Carrier and sunk in World War 2. Glorious was built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast as a light battlecruiser. While having 15 inch guns, she was actually classed by the British Navy as a Light Cruiser because of her light armour. Her keel was laid down on 1 May 1915, the ship was launched 20 April 1916, completed on 14 October 1916, and  commissioned in January 1917, costing £2,119,065 to build. Her machinery was essentially similar to an earlier light cruiser, HMS Champion, with two sets to drive four shafts. During a test in 1917, Glorious managed to fire a torpedo out of one of her submerged torpedo tubes while moving at full speed. Under normal conditions, the firing of the underwater tubes could be done at speeds of no more than 23 knots, because of potential damage from water pressure. Her secondary guns were a new type of triple 4-inch gun, intended to provide a high rate of fire against torpedo boats and other small craft. However, as it turned out, the loaders for the guns would get in each other's way, and the rate of fire was far slower than three single mountings. One interesting note is that it was observed that Glorious was actually 1 knot faster on full load than when in normal loading condition. Because of her light construction and other faults, causing more than average time in the repair yard, she was nicknamed 'Uproarious'. When Glorious commissioned, she was the flagship of the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron, and later the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron. On 17 November 1917, along with Courageous and Repulse, she engaged light German forces in the Heligoland Bight, sustaining no damage. In 1918, short take-off platforms for aircraft were mounted on both 15-inch turrets. On 21 November 1918 she was present at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet. In 1919, she was attached to the Gunnery School at Devonport as a gunnery training ship. Later, she became flagship of the Reserve Fleet. When the Washington Naval Treaty was signed in 1922, Glorious was surplus tonnage as a capital ship, so the decision was made to convert her to an aircraft carrier. The combination of a large hull and high speed, not to mention an un-successful original design, made her an ideal candidate for conversion, which started in 1924, and she was re-commissioned 10 March 1930. The conversion was begun at Rosyth, but when the that shipyard closed in 1929, she was transferred to Devonport for completion at a total cost of £2,137,374. When recommissioned as an aircraft carrier, she had two flight decks: the main Flight Deck and at the bow, a lower smaller 'flying off deck'. During a 1935-36 refit, this smaller forward flight deck was converted a gun deck with anti-aircraft guns, and two catapults capable of shooting off aircraft weighing 10,000 lb were installed on the main flight deck. She had two levels of hangars, both 550 feet long, both 24 feet (7.3 m) high. She could carry up to 48 aircraft when first recommissioned, carrying Fairy Flycatchers, Ripons, and Fairey 3F reconnaissance planes. Later, Fairey Swordfish and Gloster Gladiators were carried. Glorious could be distinguished from her sister Courageous by a longer round-down on her flight deck at the stern, and by a different type of mast. On April 1st 1931 she collided with the French liner Florida, sixty miles from Gibraltar, holing the liner severely; she took passengers on board and towed the other vessel to Malaga. Over thirty lives were lost, one of which was a member of the crew of Glorious. She served with the Mediterranean Fleet for a time after World War 2 broke out. In October 1939, she moved through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean area for a short time to participate in the group searching for the Graf Spee. When the Invasion of Norway occurred in April 1940, she was recalled to home waters. On April 23, she and HMS Ark Royal arrived in Britain, and sailed the next day for Norwegian waters. She conducted a series of strikes on German positions in Norway with her Skua and Gladiator aircraft. On April 27, she was detached to return to Britain to refuel, and returned to Norway on May 1 for further attacks. On this return trip, she brought some Gloster Gladiators to Norway to operate off of a frozen lake, but these were soon destroyed by the Germans. On May 28, she delivered a squadron of Hawker Hurricane fighters to Bardufoss, which provided cover for the evacuation. On this voyage, she sailed without escort because there were no destroyers available. On June 2, her aircraft assisted in providing cover in the Narvik evacuation. Starting on June 5th, Glorious took part in Operation Alphabet, the evacuation of Allied troops from Norway. On June 8th, the Glorious, under the command of Captain Guy D'Oyly-Hughes (who was a submarine specialist and had only 10 months experience in aircraft carrier operations), had taken on board 10 Gloster Gladiators and 8 Hawker Hurricane from RAF 46 Suqdron and 263 Squadron RAF - the first landing of modern aircraft without arrestor hooks on a carrier. These were flown off from land bases to keep them from being destroyed in the evacuation. Glorious left a larger convoy to proceed independently but while transiting through the Norwegian Sea to return to Scapa Flow along with her two escorts, the destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent, was intercepted by the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. The carrier and both escorts were sunk in 70 minutes, roughly 170 nautical miles (315 km) west of Harstad, with the loss of 1,519 men; there were only 45 survivors. The Scharnhorst was badly damaged by a torpedo from Acasta, and both German vessels took a number of 4.7 inch shell hits. The damage to the German ships was sufficient to cause them to retire to Trondheim, which allowed the safe passage of the evacuation convoy through the area later that day. Bletchley Park had received information and reports that wireless traffic analyses indicated that Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were out, but these were disregarded as insufficiently credible.
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