HMS Duncan

HMS Duncan was the name ship of the Duncan class of pre-dreadnought battleships. She spent most of the First World War in the Mediterranean, becoming involved in the Allied intervention in Greece. Before the war she served in the Mediterranean and with the Channel and Atlantic Fleets. Like the rest of her class, she formed the 6th Battle Squadron at the start of the war, before spending August-November 1914 with the Grand Fleet as part of the 3rd Battle Squadron. She then returned to Portland to form a new 6th Battle Squadron with the Channel Fleet.

In 1915 she was sent to the Mediterranean, but not to the Dardanelles. Instead she was one of the British battleships attached to the Italian fleet, retaining that connection into 1917. During her time in the Mediterranean she became involved in the Allied intervention in Greece. In October 1916 she was part of the fleet that seized the Greek fleet, landing troops on Lipso Island. On 1 December (with HMS Exmouth) she landed marines in Athens in a short-lived direct intervention. During 1917 she returned to Britain and was placed into the reserve to free up her crew to serve on more modern vessels.

Plans of Duncan Class Battleships
Plans of
Duncan Class

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – deck


 - belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - gun houses


 - casemates


 - conning tower





Four 12in guns
Twelve 6in quick firing guns
Ten 12pdr quick firing guns
Six 3pdr guns
Four 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement



21 March 1901


October 1903


Captain Heard

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 November 2007), HMS Duncan ,

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