fighting ships of the world



CONQUEROR turret rams (1886-1887)

Conqueror 1886




Yard No


Laid down




Conqueror     Chatham DYd 28/4/1879 8/9/1881 3/1886 sold to BU 4/1907
Hero     Chatham DYd 21/4/1884 27/10/1885 5/1888 target 11/1907


Displacement normal, t

Conqueror: 6200

Hero: 6440

Displacement full, t


Length, m

82.3 pp 87.8 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



2 3-cyl IVC, 8 cylindrical boilers

Power, h. p.

4500 (natural draught)

6000 (forced draught)

Max speed, kts

14 (natural draught)

15.5 (forced draught)

Fuel, t

coal 650

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

compound; belt: 305 - 203 with 330mm wood backing, citadel: 305 - 267, bulkheads: 279 - 267, turret: 356 - 305, decks: 64 - 32, CT: 305 - 152


Conqueror: 1 x 2 - 305/25 BL Mk II, 4 x 1 - 152/26 BL Mk IV/VI, 7 x 1 - 57/40 6pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 5 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 6 - 356 TC

Hero: 1 x 2 - 305/25 BL Mk V, 4 x 1 - 152/26 BL Mk IV/VI, 7 x 1 - 57/40 6pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 5 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 6 - 356 TC



Ship project history: Conqueror was provided under 1878-79 Estimates, Hero under 1881-1882. Third ship, ordered 31/12/1884 from Chatham DYd, was cancelled in 1885. There were improved Ruperts with heavier guns, steel hull, compound armour and modern machinery. Like Rupert they were intended to serve as rams, being fast and handy with their main armament concentrated fwd. They were not successful ships as they were too small to serve efficiently as ocean-going ships and too large for coast defence.

    The arcs of fire of the turret were seriously restricted by blast effect on the forecastle deck and superstructure. The 152mm guns were positioned on each side of the upper deck aft, and abreast the mainmast on the superstructure deck. Aft 152mm pair on Hero was moved up to the superstructure deck. With only 2.9m of freeboard they were very wet fwd and could not maintain more than 10kts in heavy weather. They were bad seaboats and rolled heavily, but they manoeuvred and steamed well in calm weather.

Ship protection: The belt between lower and main decks was 305mm amidships and 203mm at the ends, and stopped 8.2m short of the stern where the ends were closed by 279mm bulkheads. Beyond this the steering gear was protected by 64mm plating on the lower deck. The citadel between the main and upper decks was 31.1m long on the centreline, with 305mm sides and 267mm angled bulkheads, covered by 44mm deck. The turrets had 356mm faces and 305mm walls. 152mm guns on Hero were protected by shields.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: Both served for most of their careers as gunnery tenders. Conqueror was laid up until sold in 1907. Hero was used as a target from November 1907, and was finally sunk off the Kentish Knock 18/2/1908.

Hero as completed

© Ivan Gogin, 2008-14