Hercules was one of the battleships of the British Grand Fleet of WWI. I have always been fascinated by these ships. This has led me to want to build representatives of all of the different classes. My model was built in 1/550 scale. In 1909, Britain and Germany were locked in a furious arms race involving the construction of dreadnought battleships, which were then the epitome of naval power. HMS Hercules was one of the eight British battleships of the 1909 program, which resulted from the public cry: "We want eight, and we won't wait!" Winston Churchill wrote that Parliament resolved the debate of the size of the battleships program in a peculiar way that perfectly illustrated the frenzy: "In the end a curious and characteristic solution was reached. The Admiralty had demanded six ships, the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight." Numbers were the most important factor, and the sisters Hercules and Colossus were not much in the way of an advance over the previous Dreadnought, the Bellerophon, and the St. Vincent classes, as they all mounted 12 inch main guns, other than an additional en echelon turret with limited arcs of fire. In addition, Hercules and Colossus unfortunately reverted to the placement of the spotting top behind the stack, which was found to be a mistake in Dreadnought as funnel gases made the spotting position untenable. At Jutland, Hercules was attached to the 5th Division and expended 98 main caliber rounds (fewest in the division) without herself being hit and scored at least 2 hits on Seydlitz. By the end of the war, she was obsolescent, being surpassed by superdreadnoughts mounting main armaments of 13.5" or more and was disposed of in 1921.

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Greg Shoda

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