1/600 Royal Navy 5.5"/50 (14cm) BL MKI x12 (HMS Hood, Closed Sighting Ports)
1/600 Scale Royal Navy 5.5"/50 (14cm) BL MKI Guns x12 with Sighting Hatches Closed (HMS Hood). Used on HMS Hood from launch to her 1940 refit. These are highly detailed parts modelled using the Anatomy of the Ship plans and many reference photographs. Ideal upgrades for the 1/600 Scale Airfix HMS Hood kit.
- 12x Mounts
- Highly detailed and accurate parts, modelled from the John Lambert Anatomy of the Ship plans and photographic reference
- Details include: Training and Elevation Gear, Sighting Apparatus, Accurate Breech loading mechanism, Non-slip pattern on Footplates, Steps, Rivets and Hex nuts
- Shield Sighting Port Hatches are Closed
This weapon was introduced to British service when two cruisers being built for Greece, Antinavarhos Kontouriotis and Lambros Katsonis, were taken over at the start of World War I and then renamed HMS Birkenhead and HMS Chester, respectively. Subsequently, this weapon was mounted on the battlecruisers Hood and Furious and later on the aircraft carrier Hermes. This was the only gun obtained in such a manner ever to be adopted for use on other British ships.
This gun caliber was selected by the Greeks over the contemporary British 6” (15.2 cm) weapons because it fired a lighter shell than did the British 6” (15.2 cm) guns and as a result its ammunition could be more easily handled. It is interesting to note that similar considerations led the Japanese to adopt the 14 cm (5.5”) caliber for their light cruisers built after World War I.
During World War II, guns removed from the above ships were used to arm two AMC’s while others were used for coastal defense batteries. Two ex-HMS Hood guns were sent to Ascension Island, as shown in the photographs below.
These guns were built by Coventry Ordnance Works (COW) and were of wire-wound construction with a tapered inner A tube, A tube, full-length wire, B tube, overlapping jacket, breech ring and breech bush. The Welin breech-block was manually operated with a Holmstrom mechanism. A total of 81 guns were finished out of 246 originally ordered, of which 79 still existed in 1939.
As of 2006, at least five of these guns still exist: One at the Imperial War Museum in London (formerly on HMS Chester), two on Ascension Island at Fort Benson (formerly on HMS Hood) and two on Stremoy Island (Faroe Islands) at Fort Skansin (formerly on HMS Furious).
Nomenclature note: The 5.5”/42 (14 cm) BL Mark II was intended for DAMS of World War I, but this did not progress beyond the design stage, even though 1,100 guns were planned. Construction would have been A tube, taper wire and full length jacket. Weight without BM would have been 5.625 tons (5.72 mt). Later 5.5” (14 cm) BL guns were Army howitzers of the World War II period.