HMS Iron Duke (1870)

Audacious-class central battery ironclad (1870) For other ships with the same name, see HMS Iron Duke.

HMS Iron Duke was the last of four Audacious-class central battery ironclads built for the Royal Navy in the late 1860s. Completed in 1871, the ship was briefly assigned to the Reserve Fleet as a guardship in Ireland, before she was sent out to the China Station as its flagship. Iron Duke returned four years later and resumed her duties as a guardship. She accidentally rammed and sank her sister ship, Vanguard, in a heavy fog in mid-1875 and returned to the Far East in 1878. The ship ran aground twice during this deployment and returned home in 1883. After a lengthy refit, Iron Duke was assigned to the Channel Fleet in 1885 and remained there until she again became a guardship in 1890. The ship was converted into a coal hulk a decade later and continued in that role until 1906 when she was sold for scrap and broken up.


Design and description

The Audacious class was designed as a second-class ironclad intended for overseas service. They were 280 feet (85.3:m) long between perpendiculars and had a beam of 54 feet (16.5:m). Iron Duke had a draught of 21:feet 7:inches (6.6:m) forward and 22:feet 7:inches (6.9:m) aft. The Audacious-class ships displaced 6,034 long tons (6,131:t) and had a tonnage of 3,774 tons burthen. They had a complement of 450 officers and ratings.

Iron Duke had a pair of two-cylinder, horizontal-return, connecting-rod steam engines, each driving a single 16-foot-6-inch (5.03:m) propeller, using steam provided by six rectangular boilers. The engines were designed to give the ships a speed of 13 knots (24:km/h; 15:mph); Iron Duke, however, reached a speed of 13.64 knots (25.26:km/h; 15.70:mph) from 4,268 indicated horsep... more

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