Gorgon class monitors

The two Gorgon class monitors had been built as coastal battleships for the Norwegian navy, but in 1914 they were taken over by the Royal Navy. Work on converting them for British use began in January 1915, but was suspended in May 1915. Work did not resume until September 1917, and the two ships did not enter service until the summer of 1918.

HMS Glatton was destroyed after an internal explosion on 16 September 1918, only days after arriving at Dover. The explosion (in her 6in magazine) caused a fire which threatened to detonate the 9.2in magazine. That explosion might have caused serious damage to Dover and to other ships in the harbour, and so the badly damaged Glatton was sunk by four torpedoes. Later investigators discovered that cork insulation had been replaced by newspaper, leaving the magazine very vulnerable.

HMS Gorgon had entered service at Dover in June 1918. She fired the last shots against German batteries on the Belgian coast. After the war, several attempts were made to sell her, but she was eventually used as a target ship. 

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

15kts as designed
12kts as built

Armour – belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - turret faces


 - conning tower


 - decks




Armaments as designed

Two 9.4in guns
Four 5.9in guns
Six 3.9in guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Armaments as built

Two 9.2in Mk XII guns
Four 6in Mk XVIII guns
Two 3in anti-aircraft guns
Four 2pdr anti-aircraft guns (Gorgon)
Four 3pdr and 2 2pdr AA guns (Glatton)

Crew complement






Ships in class

HMS Gorgon (Nidaros)
HMS Glatton (Björgvin)

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 October 2007), Gorgon class monitors , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_gorgon_class_monitors.html

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