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HMS Warspite

Several ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Warspite.

One HMS Warspite was a first-class armored cruiser, launched December 29, 1884 and commissioned in 1886. Warspite was the flagship on the Pacific Station between 1890 and 1893, then a portguard ship at Queenstown until 1896. She was placed on the sale list in 1904 and scrapped sometime before 1906.

Another HMS Warspite was a battleship of the Queen Elizabeth class, launched November 26, 1913. Her main armament was eight 15-inch (380-mm) guns that were noted for extreme accuracy.

She took part in the Battle of Jutland, and was severely damaged. She was modernized after World War I.

In World War II she was in the Second Battle of Narvik (April 13, 1940), the Battle of Calabria, the Battle of Cape Matapan, at Crete in 1941, and hit by a German glider bomb at the Salerno landings in 1943. After repairs at Gibraltar, she then assisted in shore bombardment at the Normandy landings, then Brest, Le Havre, and Walcheren Island.

She was scrapped in 1947.

Reference: Ross Watton, Anatomy of the Ship: The Battleship Warspite (Conway Maritime Press, 1986.

Another HMS Warspite was the third of Britain's nuclear-powered submarines, and the second (and final) of the Valiant class. She was launched on 25 September 1965 by the wife of the then British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, and entered service on 18 April 1967.

She suffered a serious fire whilst in Liverpool, UK on 2 May 1976 caused by a broken coupling spraying oil. Repairs and refitting took two years. She subsequently took part in the Falklands War, and was decomissioned in 1991 following the discovery of hairline cracks in the primary coolant circuit during a refit. Her hull and reactor are currently laid up afloat at Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth, Devon until facilities are available for the long term storage of her radioactive components.