70055 British Battleship HMS Edinburgh, 1887, 1/700


HMS Edinburgh was an ironclad battleship of the Colossus class which served in the Royal Navy of the Victorian era. She was the sister ship of HMS Colossus, being started before her but being completed after.

Edinburgh was the first British battleship since HMS Warrior, launched in 1860, to carry breech-loading artillery as part of her main armament. Warrior had been equipped with 10 110-pounder Armstrong breech-loading guns, which had not proved satisfactory, to complement her 26 muzzle-loaders. Edinburgh's guns were carried in two turrets positioned near the centre of the ship, and the turrets were mounted en echelon. It was expected that, by mounting the turrets in this way, at least one gun from each turret could fire fore and aft along the keel line, and all four guns could fire on broadside bearings; it was intended that every part of the horizon could be covered by at least two guns. In practice it was found that firing too close to the keel line caused unacceptable blast damage to the superstructure, and cross-deck firing similarly caused damage to the deck. Before Edinburgh the positioning of the conning tower in British ironclads had produced a variety of solutions; the difficulty was that the two important factors involved, maximum protection and maximum visibility, were essentially mutually incompatible. In this ship the conning tower was positioned forward of the foremast for good all-round vision; the chart-house was, however, placed on its roof, and the whole area surrounded by small guns, stanchions and other obstructions to the view. The problem was not solved until the political will to build larger ships in turn allowed more space for command facilities.

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