anchor chain

British Flag

Saints Class

Line drawing of Saint Andrew

Displacement 49,000 tons
Armament 3 x 3 18"
MCG and AA
32 knots
VTS Rating   6   6   7

These fine warships, a prototype for the "fast battleships" of the late 1930's, were designed just after the end of WW I. The British "G 3 Battlecruiser" specification called for a long, fast ship with nine 16" guns, and "N 3 Battleship" called for a slower, shorter ship with nine 18" guns. Both their designs featured a concentration of the main armament to save armor coverage, which the British later took to heart in the Nelson class BB's and the French in their Dunkerque and Richelieu classes. As the Washington treaty took effect before these giants could be built, they never took to the seas unless you take into consideration their watered-down Nelson/Rodney progeny.

In "Grand Fleet" the various design studies specified by letters are combined to produce the finest combination of armament, staying power, and speed of any warship afloat for some fifteen years. More public recognition and publicity surrounds the Superb, but among knowledgeable Navy personnel the two ships Saint Andrew and Saint Patrick are the "Best of the Royal Navy". An American liason officer was overheard at a function saying "Any foreign admiral who makes war on the British will have a reckoning, as we say in New Orleans, 'when those 'Saints' come marchin' in.... or should I say, sailin' in". It caught on and that tune worked its way into the ships' official songs.

Taking accurate fire simultaneously from three 15"-gun Italian warships, Saint Patrick was sunk in the first mass fleet engagement in the Mediterranean when the two Saints were paired together. Whilst her sister was taking the brunt of hits, Saint Andrew sank the Littorio and Napoli, but took aerial torpedo hits that put her out of action. Repairing in Britain, the remaining Saint Andrew stood watch at Scapa Flow for any sign that any German dreadnoughts, or the rival Japanese Kii, holed up in Germany, might sally forth. When they did, the Saint Andrew was out of position and never made contact. In the big confrontation with the powerful remnants of the Kriegsmarine late in the war, a salvo from Saint Andrew hit Führer just when the enemy leviathan blew apart. Credit at first was given to Saint Andrew until the Norwegian limpet-mine plot was later revealed. Near the last days of the war the Saint Andrew was sunk by a ship-killing missile fired from a Type XXI U-boat that set off uncontrollably spreading ammunition fires.

to French Navy  |   to German Navy  |   to Italian Navy

to Minor Countries' Navies   |   to Royal Netherlands Navy   |   to Royal Navy

to Soviet Navy   |   to United States Navy