HMS Nelson (28) was one of two Nelson-class battleships built for the Royal Navy between the two World Wars. She was named in honour of Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson the victor at the Battle of Trafalgar. The Nelsons were unique in British battleship construction, being the only ships to carry a main armament of 16-inch (406 mm) guns, and the only ones to carry all the main armament forward of the superstructure. These were a result of the limitations of the Washington Naval Treaty. Commissioned in 1930, Nelson served extensively in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Indian oceans during World War II. She was decommissioned soon after the end of the war and scrapped in 1949
History[edit | edit source]
Nelson was laid down in December 1922 and built at Newcastle by Armstrong-Whitworth. Launched in September 1925, she was commissioned in August 1927 and joined by her sister ship HMS Rodney (built by Cammell Laird) in November. She cost £ 7,504,000 to build and made partial use of the material prepared for the cancelled Admiral-class battlecruisers HMS Anson and Howe, planned sister ships of HMS Hood.
She was the flagship of the Home Fleet from launch. In 1931 the crews of both Nelson and Rodney took part in the Invergordon Mutiny. On January 12th 1934 she ran aground on Hamilton's Shoal, just outside Portsmouth, as she was about to embark with the Home Fleet to the West Indies.
On September 8th 1938, the Nelson was part of a fleet assembled that took part in exercises in the North Sea where it encountered and sailed past a small German task force led by the KMS Deutschland.
In late 1942, the Nelson was assigned to the British Pacific Fleet along with the Anson, Barham, Dunkerque, Hood, Richelieu and Strasbourg.