HMS Erin

HMS Erin was one of two Turkish battleships under construction in Britain that were seized for the Royal Navy at the start of the First World War. She had been ordered as the Reshad V in 1911, then renamed Reshadieh while under construction. She was a shorter version of the British Iron Duke class ships, with her amidships turret raised by a deck and thinner armour. At the start of the war she was already complete, and was immediately seized on the orders of Winston Churchill to reinforce the Grand Fleet. Another Turkish ship, the Sultan Osman I was held back until Turkey’s position became clearer. The seizure of these two dreadnoughts significantly weakened the British position in Turkey, and many have played a role in bringing the Turks into the war on the German side.

The Erin jointed the 4th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet, which at the start of the war contained three of the oldest dreadnoughts in the fleet – Dreadnought, Bellerophon and Temeraire. By the battle of Jutland she was in the Second Battle Squadron, based at Invergordon, remaining with the squadron to the end of the war. She fought at Jutland with the main battlefleet, taking no damage. After the war she became flagship of the Nore Reserve until she was scrapped in 1922.

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

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



5,300 nautical miles at 10kts

Armour – deck


 - belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - turret faces


 - conning tower



559ft 6in


Ten 13.5in Mk  V guns
Sixteen 6in Mk XI guns
Six 6pdr guns
Two 3in Mk I anti-aircraft guns
Four 21in submerged torpedo tubes

Crew complement



3 September 1913


August 1914

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 Erin ,

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