Courageous as a battlecruiser was an oddity and was an unsuccessful design. Fortunately, England was able to make lemonade out of a lemon by converting her to an aircraft carrier. Admiral Fisher called her a large light cruiser to circumvent cabinet restrictions on building further capital ships; however, she did displace 19,230 tons, whereas the largest light cruiser, still building at the end of the war, was 9750 tons and had a main battery of 7.5 inch guns. As a battlecruiser, Courageous was armed with only a four gun 15-inch gun main battery, which proved to be too few for accurate ranging against her expected adversaries, fast German light cruisers. Her armor belt was only 3-2 inches thick. Her triple 4-inch mountings had good arcs of fire, but required 32 men to operate and loading was awkward, so the rate of fire was below expectations. I can imagine that 32 men would get in each otherís way and would feel very much exposed under fire. In combat, she suffered the ignominy of being bested by German light cruisers.

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As she was 786 feet long, she is a surprisingly large ship by WWI standards and dwarfs all of the other ships I have made in 1:550 scale. I was unable to shoot any good photos of her on the diagonal because I think my depth of field on my Kodak camera is insufficient, as the model is too long.

Gregory Shoda

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