HMS Indomitable

HMS Indomitable was an Invincible class battle cruiser. Second to be laid down, she was actually completed nine months ahead of the Invincible herself. The Indomitable entered service in June 1908. After a transatlantic voyage ferrying the Prince of Wales on a visit to Canada, she joined the Nore Division of the Home Fleet (October 1908). She remained in the Home Fleet until 1913 when she and the Invincible were sent to the Mediterranean as part of the 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron.

Plans of Invincible Class Battlecruisers
Plans of
Invincible Class

She was still in the Mediterranean at the outbreak of the First World War. There she took part in the unsuccessful search for the SMS Goeben and Breslau (August 1914), two German ships that were on their way to Turkey. She then took part in the early bombardment of the Turkish forts at the entrances to the Dardanelles (3 November 1914), this time with the Indefatigable.

In December 1914 the Indomitable returned to the Grand Fleet. She remained with the Home Fleet for the rest of the war, taking part in the Battle of Dogger Bank (24 January 1915) and the Battle of Jutland (31 May-1 June 1916). At Dogger Bank she fired 134 of her 12in shells at the German armoured cruiser Blücher (eventually sunk after a shot from HMS Princess Royal started a serious fire). At Jutland she fired 175 12in shells, hitting the battleships Derfllinger, Seydlitz (both scuttled in 1919)and Pommern (later torpedoed and sunk by British destroyers during the battle).

HMS Indomitable under full steam
HMS Indomitable under full steam

After the Battle of Jutland the Indomitable joined the 2nd Battle Squadron, where she remained until February 1919 when she was placed in the Nore Reserve. In March 1920 she was paid off and in 1922 she was sold.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



3090 nautical miles at 10kts

Belt Armour


Bulkhead Armour




Turret faces armour


Conning Tower armour


Deck armour





Eight 12in guns in four turrets
Sixteen quick firing 4in guns
Seven Maxim machine guns
Five 18in submerged torpedo tubes, 4 on beam one on stern

Crew complement



16 February 1907


June 1908


Sold 1922

British and German Battlecruisers - Their Development and Operations, Michele Cosentino & Ruggero Stanglini. A useful volume that covers the development, design and construction of British and German battlecruisers, their wartime deployments and both side's plans for the next generation of battlecruisers, of which only HMS Hood was ever completed. Having all of this material in a single volume gives a much better overview of the two Navy's battlecruisers, their advantages and flaws, and their performance in and out of battle. Concludes with a look at other nation's battlecruisers and battlecruiser designs [read full review]
cover cover cover


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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 August 2007), HMS Indomitable,

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