HMS Campania (1914)

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HMS Campania
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Campania
Builder: Fairfield, Glasgow, Scotland
Laid down: 1892
Launched: 8 September 1892
Acquired: 27 November 1914
Commissioned: 17 April 1915
Fate: Sank during a gale, 5 November 1918
General characteristics
Type: Aircraft/Seaplane carrier
Displacement: 12,884 long tons (13,091 t) (gross)
18,000 long tons (18,000 t) (normal)
Length: 622 ft (190 m)
Beam: 65 ft (20 m)
Draught: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Installed power: 28,000 ihp (21,000 kW)
Propulsion: 2 × 5-cylinder triple expansion steam engines
2 × shafts
Speed: 19.5 kn (22.4 mph; 36.1 km/h)
Complement: 600
Armament: 6 × 4.7 in (120 mm) QF guns, 1 × 3 in (76 mm) anti-aircraft gun
Aircraft carried: 10

HMS Campania was a seaplane tender and aircraft carrier, the first Royal Navy vessel to launch aircraft whilst underway.

Early career

Originally built as a passenger liner for Cunard Line's Liverpool-New York service in 1893, RMS Campania was holder of the Blue Riband from 1893-1894, losing it to her sister ship Lucania. In 1914, she was sold to the shipbreakers TW Ward.

World War I

Rather than be broken up, Campania was purchased by the Royal Navy on 27 November 1914 and converted to an aircraft carrier, renamed HMS Campania. The fore funnel was removed in a 1916 refit and replaced by two smaller smoke pipes. A 160 ft (49 m) wooden flight deck was added at the bow, making her more suitable for launching Sopwith Pup fighters, the original configuration of a short wooden flight deck forward of the fore funnel having caused problems during take-off. Like many warships of the time, she was painted in dazzle camouflage.

File:HMS Campania (1914) sinking.jpg
Campania sinking, 5 November 1918

For the majority of the war, Campania worked out of Scapa Flow; however, in the autumn of 1918, she transferred operations to the Forth. She missed the Battle of Jutland because of engine trouble, after sortieing too late.

On the morning of 5 November 1918, Campania was lying at anchor off Burntisland in the Firth of Forth. A sudden Force 10 squall caused the ship to drag anchor. She collided first with the bow of the nearby battleship Royal Oak, and then scraped along the side of the battlecruiser Glorious. Campania's hull was breached by the initial collision with Royal Oak, flooding her engine room and losing all main electrical power. The ship then started to settle by the stern, sinking some five hours after breaking free. The ship's crew were all rescued by neighbouring vessels. A Naval Board of Enquiry into the incident held Campania's watch officer largely responsible for her loss, citing specifically the failure to drop a second anchor once the ship started to drift.

The wreck of HMS Campania was designated in 2001 under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 as a site of historic importance, making it an offence to dive it without a licence.


External links

ja:カンパニア (水上機母艦)