HMS Caesar

HMS Caesar was a Majestic class battleship that took part in the fighting on the Belgian coast in 1914 before spending most of the rest of the First World War on the North American and West Indies station. Before the war she had been one of the few members of her class to serve overseas, with the Mediterranean fleet from 1898 to 1903. From 1905-1907 she was the flagship of the rear-admiral of the Channel Fleet. In 1907 she briefly served as flagship of the Atlantic Fleet, before moving to the Home Fleet.

Plans of Majestic Class Battleships
Plans of
Majestic Class Battleships

At the outbreak of the First World War she was the only member of the class that was ready to join the 7th Battle Squadron of the Channel Fleet (Majestic and Jupiter were also part of the squadron but were in dockyard hands in August 1914). 

In late August 1914 three Marine battalions were transported by sea to Ostend in an attempt to prevent the Germans capturing that important port. HMS Caesar was part of the force that transported the Plymouth battalion across the channel.

In 1915 she was transferred to the North American and West Indies station. By late 1916 she was serving as the Bermuda guard ship and by the summer of 1917 she was the only battleship still on the station, the danger from German surface raiders having long passed. In 1917 she was transferred to the Mediterranean, where she formed part of the Allied fleet that sailed through the Dardanelles to Constantinople at the end of the war.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

16kts natural draught
17kts forced draught



Armour – belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - gun houses


 - casemates


 - conning tower


 - deck





Four 12in guns
Twelve 6in quick firing guns
Sixteen 12pdr quick firing guns
Twelve 2pdr quick firing guns
Five 18in torpedo tubes, four submerged

Crew complement



2 September 1896


January 1898

Sold for break up



Capt. Foot (1916)

British Battleships 1889-1904 New Revised Edition, R A Burt. Magnificent study of the Royal Navy's pre-dreadnought battleships, amongst the most powerful ships in the world when built, but seen as obsolete by the outbreak of war in 1914. Traces the development of the 'classic' pre-dreadnought design and the slow increase in the power of the secondary armament, leading up to the all-big gun ships that followed. [read full review]
cover cover cover

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 October 2007), HMS Caesar ,

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