HMS Rodney (29) was a Nelson-class dreadnaught in service in the Royal Navy from November 1927 to November 12th, 1940. The ship was named after Admiral Lord Rodney. The Nelsons were unique in British battleship construction, being the only ships until the Lion-class to carry a main armament of 16-inch guns, and the only ones to carry all the main armament forward of the superstructure. As her superstructure was located aft of midships like RN fleet oilers whose names carried the ...'ol' suffix, she was sometimes derisively referred to as "Rodnol". Commissioned in 1927, Rodney served in the Home Fleet until her sinking in November 1940.
History[edit | edit source]
Rodney was laid down on December 28th 1922 at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead. She was launched on December 17th 1925 by Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles, after three attempts at cracking the bottle of Imperial Burgundy. Ship trials began in August 1927 and she was commissioned on November 10th, 1927 three months behind Nelson.
From commissioning until World War II broke out in September 1939, Rodney spent her entire time with the British Atlantic Fleet or Home Fleet. In 1931, her crew joined the crews of other ships in taking part in the Invergordon Mutiny.
On September 8th 1938, the Rodney 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.
On September 3rd 1939, an RN task force centered around Rodney would engage small flotilla of German ships centered around the Schleswig-Holstein in a minor skirmish that resulted in minor damage to all ships.
In late December 1939, she was under refit and repair because she was having steering gear problems.
She was damaged by German aircraft at Karmøy, near Stavanger on April 9th, 1940 when hit by a 500 kg (1,103 lb) bomb that pierced the armoured deck, but did not explode.
On September 13th, 1940, she was transferred from Scapa Flow to Rosyth with orders to operate in the English Channel when the German invasion of Britain was expected.
On November 12th, 1940, the Rodney along with a cruiser and several destroyers were sunk by a battlegroup led by the German battleship Scharnhorst. By April 1943, Rodney would have an Implacable-class aircraft carrier named in its honor.