HMS Resolution (1892)

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HMS Resolution
HMS Resolution
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Resolution
Builder: Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company, Jarrow
Cost: £953,817[1]
Laid down: 14 June 1890
Launched: 28 May 1892
Completed: November 1893[1]
Commissioned: 5 December 1893
Decommissioned: 8 August 1911
Nickname: The Royal Sovereign-class battleships were called the "Rolling Ressies"[2]
Fate: Sold for scrapping 2 April 1914
General characteristics
Class and type: Royal Sovereign class
Type: Predreadnought battleship
Displacement: 14,190 t; 15,580 t full load
Length: 410 ft 5 in (125.10 m) overall
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Draught: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Installed power: 9000 ihp
Propulsion: Twin coal-fired Humphreys & Tennant 3-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, two screws;
Speed: 15.7 knots max
Range: 2,780 nautical miles (5,149 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h); 4,720 nautical miles (8,741 km) at 10 knots (18.5 km/h)
Complement: 712

4 x BL 13.5-inch (342.9 mm) guns (2 × 2)
10 x QF 6-inch (152.4 mm) guns (10×1)
10 x 6 pdr (10×1)
12 x 3 pdr (12×1)

6 x 18 in (457-mm) torpedo tubes (4 abovewater, 2 underwater)
Armour: Belt 18 in (457 mm) compound, deck 3 in (76.2 mm), turret 17 in (432 mm)

HMS Resolution was a Royal Sovereign-class predreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy.

Technical characteristics

Resolution was laid down by Palmers on 14 June 1890, launched on 28 May 1892, and completed in November 1893.[1]. She was 410 feet (120 m) long and had a maximum cruising speed of 17 knots (31 km/h). Her armament included four 67-ton 13.5-inch (343-mm) guns and several smaller calibre guns.

File:HMS Resolution (1892) dressed overall 1895.jpg
Resolution dressed overall in 1895.

The Royal Sovereign class battleships were designed by Sir William White and were the most potent battleships in the world until HMS Dreadnought rendered them obsolete overnight in 1906. In their day the Royal Sovereigns had also embodied revolutionary improvements in firepower, armour and speed. The main armament of four 13.5-inch (343-mm) guns was housed in two barbettes, rather than turrets, at either end of the ship which allowed a high freeboard, greatly increasing their capacity for fighting in rough weather; however, they tended to roll heavily in certain conditions, and after Resolution rolled badly in heavy seas in 1893, the Royal Sovereign class was nicknamed the "Rolling Ressies," a name which stuck even though the problem quickly was corrected by the installation of bilge keels.[2] The secondary armament was designed to provide potent, quick firing support for the main battery. Despite their greatly increased weight, thanks to a main armour belt which ran for two thirds of their length, they were the fastest capital ships in the world in their time.

In 1906, the Royal Sovereigns, like every other battleship in the world, were made obsolete with the launch of the revolutionary HMS Dreadnought, the first all-big-gun battleship.

Operational history

HMS Resolution was commissioned at Portsmouth, United Kingdom, on 5 December 1893 for service in the Channel Squadron. She left Plymouth on 18 December 1893 to join the squadron at Gibraltar. On 19 December 1893 and 20 December 1893 she encountered very heavy weather, including 42-foot (12.8 m) seas with up to 300-foot (91.5 m) lengths. She rolled very heavily, and at least two seas broke over her upper deck and caused slight damage. Sensationalist press reporting claimed that Resolution had rolled as much as 40 degrees and, although the fitting of bilge keels to the Royal Sovereign-class battleships soon corrected the problem, the ships of the class were nicknamed the "Rolling Ressies" based on the experience of Resolution in the 1893 storm.

From 2 August 1894 to 5 August 1894, Resolution was a unit of "Fleet Red" in annual maneuvers held in the Southwest Approaches. She recommissioned for further Channel Fleet service on 9 April 1895. On 18 July 1896, she collided with her sister ship HMS Repulse, suffering slight plating and keel damage. She again took part in annual maneuvers from 24 July 1896 to 30 July 1896, this time off the southwest coasts of England and Ireland as part of "Fleet A."[3]

On 26 June 1897, Resolution was part of the Fleet Review at Spithead for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.[3]

From 29 July 1899 to 4 August 1899, Resolution participated in annual maneuvers in the Atlantic as part of "Fleet A." The next summer, she again participated in the annual maneuvers, which were held from 24 July 1900 to 3 August 1900 in the Southwest Approaches, this time as a part of "Fleet A2."[3]

Resolution paid off at Portsmouth in October 1901 and was placed in reserve, but on 17 November 1901 she recommissioned to serve as coast guard ship at Holyhead. On 8 April 1903, she paid off into reserve again to undergo a refit.[3]

Resolution recommissioned on 5 January 1904 to relieve battleship HMS Sans Pareil as port guard ship at Sheerness. On 20 June 1904, she transferred to the Fleet Reserve at Chatham.[3]

In the summer of 1906, Resolution took part in maneuvers during which she suffered slight damage when she collided with her sister ship HMS Ramillies near the Tongue Lightship on 15 July 1906.[4] Later that year, she underwent another refit at Chatham.[3]

On 12 February 1907, Resolution transferred to the Special Service Division of the Home Fleet at Devonport. She remained in that service until 8 August 1911, when she paid off. She was then laid up at the Motherbank, awaiting disposal.[3]

On 2 April 1914, Resolution was sold for scrapping. In May 1914 she was towed to the Netherlands where she was scrapped.[3]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Burt, p. 63
  2. 2.0 2.1 Burt, p. 66
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Burt, p. 84
  4. Burt, p. 84; however, Burt p. 81, says the collision date was 16 June 1906.


  • Burt, R. A. British Battleships 1889-1904. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 0870210610.
  • Roger Chesneau and Eugene M. Kolesnik, ed., Conway's All The Worlds Fighting Ships, 1860-1905, (Conway Maritime Press, London, 1979), ISBN 0-85177-133-5