HMS Agincourt

HMS Agincourt was one of two Turkish battleships that had been completed in Britain just before the start of the First World War. She had originally been designed for Brazil, to be the most powerful battleship in the world. After a number of different configurations were considered, she was armed with seven turrets, carrying fourteen 12in guns, the most carried by any battleship of the period. This number of turrets required a rather unusual layout. At the front was a pair of superfiring turrets. In the middle were two centreline turrets. At the rear there was one pair of superfiring turrets, with a third turret behind and below them. As a result she was the longest battleship of the period, at 671ft 6in (a number of battlecruisers were longer).

In July 1912 the Brazilians changed their minds, and put her up for sale. Work continued, and she was launched in January 1913. At the start of 1914 the Turkish government bought the almost completed ship, and renamed her the Sultan Osman I. By the start of August she was complete, but on 2 August she was seized by the Royal Navy, on the orders of Winston Churchill.

She was allocated to the Fourth Battle Squadron, joining the fleet at sea on 7 September. She was moved to the First Battle Squadron, in 1915, fighting with that squadron at the battle of Jutland. She suffered no damage during the battle. In 1918 she was transferred to the 2nd Battle Squadron. After the war work began on turning her into a large depot ship, but the project was abandoned in 1921 and she was sold off in 1922.

Plans of HMS Agincourt c.1914-16
Plans of
HMS Agincourt

HMS Agincourt and HMS Erin at Scapa Flow, 1918
HMS Agincourt and
HMS Erin
at Scapa Flow, 1918

Side view of HMS Agincourt
Side view of
HMS Agincourt

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



4,500 nautical miles at 10kts

Armour – deck


 - belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - turret faces


 - conning tower



671ft 6in


Fourteen 12in Mk XIII guns
Twenty 6in Mk XI guns
Ten 3in quick firing guns
Two 3in Mk I anti aircraft guns
Three 21 in submerged torpedo tubes

Crew complement



22 January 1913


August 1914


D. R. L. Nicholson (1914)
H. M. Doughty (1916)

Sold for break up


Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 November 2007), HMS Agincourt ,

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