“On this day in history” Royal Navy battleship HMS London placed in commision

On this day in history 7 June 1902, the Royal Navy Formidable-class battleship HMS London was placed in commission.

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HMS London at Malta, 1915.

Built at Portsmouth Dockyard, London was a battleship of the pre-dreadnought era, armed with four Armstrong Whitworth 12-inch naval guns, firing semi-armour-piercing shells weighing 850 lbs.

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At the outbreak of war in 1914, London was assigned to the Channel Fleet, and later served in the Dardanelles campaign and with the Mediterranean Fleet.

In 1918, now obsolete as a battleship, London’s main armament was removed and she was converted to service as a minelayer. By 11 November 1918, London had laid 2,640 mines as part of the Northern Mine Barrage.

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HMS London as minelayer, painted in dazzle camouflage, 1918.

Reduced to reserve status in 1919, London paid off in 1920 and was towed to the breaker’s yard in 1922.

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