HMS Hannibal

Battleship (a)
Pembroke Dockyard
Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Pennant Number:
April 28, 1896
Keel Laid:
May 1, 1895
May 10, 1898
Sold Jan. 28, 1920 to M. Yates and scrapped in Italy.
1915 main armament removed and converted into troop transport. Later served as Depot Ship.

Battle Honours
Portland 1653
Gabbard 1653
Scheveningen 1653
Baltic 1854
Crimea 1855

Commanding Officers (in progress)

Combat Victories (none)

Ship's History (Wikipedia)
The keel for HMS Hannibal was laid down at the Pembroke Dock on 1 May 1894. Her completed hull was launched on 28 April 1896. She went into the commissioned reserve upon completion in April 1898. On 10 May 1898 she went into full commission to serve in the Portsmouth division of the Channel Fleet, under the command of Captain Sir Baldwin Wake Walker. She was part of a huge fleet of ships present in the Solent for the passage of the body of Queen Victoria from Cowes to Portsmouth on 2 February 1901. Captain George Augustus Giffard was appointed in command on 10 May 1902, and she was present at the Coronation Fleet Review for King Edward VII on 16 August 1902.

Earlier the same month, two officers and a seaman of the Hannibal drowned while on a fishing excursion outside Berehaven. In September 1902 she was part of a squadron visiting Nauplia and Souda Bay at Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. On 17 October 1903 she collided with and badly damaged her sister ship HMS Prince George off Ferrol, Spain. When a fleet reorganisation led to the Channel Fleet being redesignated the Atlantic Fleet on 1 January 1905, Hannibal became an Atlantic Fleet unit. Hannibal transferred to the new Channel Fleet (formerly the Home Fleet) on 28 February 1905. This service ended on 3 August 1905, when she paid off into reserve at Devonport.

Hannibal underwent a refit in 1906 in which she was converted to burn oil fuel and received fire control for her main battery. She then recommissioned in reserve on 20 October 1906. In January 1907, Hannibal went into full commission as a temporary replacement for battleship HMS Ocean in the Channel Fleet while Ocean was under refit. When Ocean returned to service, Hannibal remained in Channel Fleet service as a temporary replacement for battleship HMS Dominion while Dominion was undergoing refit. When Dominion returned to service in May 1907, Hannibal went back into the commissioned reserve, becoming a part of the Portsmouth Division of the new Home Fleet in July 1907. While in commissioned reserve at Portsmouth, Hannibal suffered two significant mishaps. On 19 August 1909 she struck a reef in Babbacombe Bay, damaging her bottom. On 29 October 1909 she collided with torpedo boat HMS TB 105, suffering no damage herself but badly damaging the torpedo boat. She underwent a refit at Devonport from November 1911 to March 1912.

The Royal Navy began a precautionary mobilisation in July 1914 when war appeared increasingly likely. As part of this, Hannibal and her sister ships HMS Mars, HMS Magnificent, and HMS Victorious formed the 9th Battle Squadron on 27 July 1914, stationed at the Humber to defend the British coast. Hannibal was serving as a guard ship on the Humber when the First World War began in August 1914. The 9th Battle Squadron was dissolved on 7 August 1914, and Hannibal was transferred to Scapa Flow, where she served as a guard ship until relieved by the first-class protected cruiser HMS Royal Arthur on 20 February 1915. Hannibal then paid off at Dalmuir.

The Majestic-class ships were by then the oldest and least effective battleships in service in the Royal Navy. While inactive at Dalmuir, Hannibal was disarmed between March and April 1915 except for four 6-inch (152-mm) guns and some lighter guns. Her 12-inch (305-mm) guns were taken for use aboard the new Lord Clive-class monitors HMS Prince Eugene and HMS Sir John Moore. After she was disarmed, she was laid up at Scapa Flow and Loch Goil until September 1915. Hannibal recommissioned at Greenock on 9 September 1915 to serve as a troopship in the Dardanelles campaign. She arrived at Mudros in this capacity on 7 October 1915. In November 1915, Hannibal became a depot ship for auxiliary patrol craft at Alexandria, Egypt, supporting both forces operating from Egypt and those in the Red Sea until June 1919, leaving Egypt for Malta on 9 September. Hannibal was paid off for disposal at Malta on 25 October 1919, was sold for scrapping on the 28 January 1920, and was broken up in Italy.

Page published Mar. 10, 2007