“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Portsmouth in Hampshire County, England, United Kingdom

HMS M.33

HMS M.33 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 30, 2018
1. HMS M.33 Marker
HMS M.33
Last Fighting Ship — Gallipoli 1915

The History of M.33
Belfast-built in 1915, the monitor HMS M.33 served Britain in peace and war. She is now one of the three remaining British fighting ships of the First World War.

She first saw action in August 1915 at Gallipoli in Turkey assisting, with her firepower, the Australians' & New Zealanders' attacks at Anzac south of the ill-fated British landings at Suvla Bay. The ship stayed on until the final British evacuation from the Gallipoli Peninsula in January 1916, after which she remained active in the Bulgarian Campaign and in the eastern Mediterranean until 1918. In 1919 M.33 joined five other monitors as part of a small Allied Force sent forlornly to fight the Bolsheviks in Northern Russia.

Between the wars, M.33 served as; a minelayer renamed HMS Minerva, a training vessel at HMS Vernon and a tender transporting people and materials at Portsmouth. During the Second World War she was a staff office, a fuel hulk and a floating boom defence workshop on the River Clyde.

Post-war back in Gosport, the ship was a floating workshop and office servicing other vessels until 1984. She was sold to the Hartlepool Ship Preservation Trust in 1987, and later towed back to Portsmouth in 1991 when purchased
HMS M.33 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 30, 2018
2. HMS M.33 Marker
by Hampshire County Council.

The ship entered No.1 Dry Dock in 1997, where Hampshire Council's Museums Service carried out much preservation and restoration work. Following a successful Heritage Lottery Fund application, the ship was transferred in 2014 to the National Museum of the Royal Navy to complete restoration.

Today, M.33 stands as a unique survivor of the First World War, embodying the might and traditions of that war's most powerful navy.

History of World War One
World War One (1914-1918) was a global conflict initiated by Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire against the alliance of France, Russia and Britain and its Empire. Many other nations joined as the war developed.

The war was principally fought in France, Belgium, Russia, Italy, the Balkans and the Middle East. Millions of men engaged in a monumental struggle in which unprecedented numbers of combatants were killed or wounded alongside many civilian casualties.

A stalemate developed during the first four years of the war, but a sudden German upsurge occurred in October 1917 after the collapse of the Russian Empire This was countered by the arrival of forces from the United States of America in 1918. Germany's final thrusts were repulsed in France in April 1918 and after a successful Allied advance, an armistice was finally negotiated
Hms M.33 image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 30, 2018
3. Hms M.33
on 11 November 1918.

A generation of men had been lost, nations destroyed and empires humbled. In a vain attempt to avoid further global conflict the League of Nations was formed, but barely twenty years later the lessons of this war were ignored as a new generation embarked on a second world war.

The Royal Navy in World War One
In 1914 the Royal Navy was the most potent fighting force in the world, its 648 warships far outnumbering the Imperial German Navy. The British Grand Fleet was based at Scapa Flow in Orkney opposite Germany's High Seas Fleet in Wilhelmshaven.

Early actions near home were inconclusive but the British sank three German cruisers at the Battle of Heligoland Bight in August, 1914, another at Dogger Bank in January 1915 whilst the Germans bombarded ports on the English East coast.

Although the German East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron scored a victory at the Battle of Coronel in November 1914, this force was destroyed a month later at the Battle of the Falklands. Germany's overseas commerce raiders were tracked down, but the cruiser Emden caused chaos in the Indian Ocean until finally sunk by the Australian cruiser Sydney .

In the North Sea, Germany began a campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare against Allied trade but restricted this after sinking the liner Lusitania
HMS M.33's Forward 6-inch Gun image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 30, 2018
4. HMS M.33's Forward 6-inch Gun
in May 1915 carrying many neutral Americans. By February 1915, many older RN ships were diverted to the Dardanelles, supporting the amphibious and land operations which lasted until January 1916.

The battle fleets of both nations clashed only once, at the Battle of Jutland near Denmark in May 1916. Although British losses were higher, the German fleet never reappeared and thus the strategic balance remained unchanged.

The Germans returned to unrestricted submarine warfare, reaching a peak in April 1917 when U-boats sank an average of thirteen ships a day. The convoy system and raids on the U-Boat bases in Belgium in 1918 finally defeated the U-boats. After the armistice, many of the German ships sailed to internment at Scapa Flow, where they were scuttled by their crews in July 1919. More than 650,000 men served in the Royal Navy during the First World War and 43,244 died.

Ship Details
Previous Names
HMS M.33 — 1915 to 1924,
HMS Minerva — 1925 to 1943
C23(M) and/or RMAS Minerva — from c.1943
Launched in May 1915, the monitor was a low, freeboard coastal bombardment vessel measuring 177 ft. 3 inch (54.03 m) length by 31 ft. (9.4 m) breadth. It had a shallow draught of 5'11" (1.8 metres) reducing its vulnerability to torpedo attack and allowing it to steam
HMS M.33's Wheelhouse image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 30, 2018
5. HMS M.33's Wheelhouse
close in to shore or navigate along rivers. These advantages were offset by poor stability and manoeuvrability in difficult seas.

Armed with two oversize 6-inch guns it was designed as a floating gun platform. The twin steam-reciprocating engines delivered a top speed of 9.6 knots and on full oil could sail 1440 miles (2300 km) at 8 knots.

The crew consisted of a complement of five officers and 67 men, who spent long periods of service in confined spaces with minimal comfort. M.33 was considered a lucky ship with no fatalities or damage from enemy action at Gallipoli or in the Mediterranean, but was hit four times in North Russia. ( photo captions )
Dockyard workers and crew completing fitting out of a sister ship to M.33 , Belfast 1915. M.33 shelling Turkish positions near Lone Pine at Anzac, Gallipoli during August 1915. The for'ard and aft 6 inch guns, manned by 7 men could fire steadily at a maximum elevation of 17.5 degrees and to range of about 13,500 yards (12,340 m). M.33 having had guns removed and minelaying rails fitted enters Portsmouth Harbour between the wars as minelayer HMS Minerva .
Location. 50° 48.098′ N, 1° 6.613′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, England, in Hampshire County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Queen Street and Wickham Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Located in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth, England PO1 3LR, United Kingdom.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Unique Survivor (here, next to this marker); Heavy Weather (here, next to this marker); HMS M.33’s People (a few steps from this marker); No. 1 Dock (a few steps from this marker); Conservation in Action (a few steps from this marker); Bruce Austin Fraser (a few steps from this marker); Ship Shape (within shouting distance of this marker); A Long Life (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
Also see . . .
1. Monitor HMS M33 at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. (Submitted on September 7, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. HMS M33 on Wikipedia. (Submitted on September 7, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Categories. War, World IWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on September 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 7, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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