|However, the positioning of the mainmast created its own problems on the Bellerophon Class. The two masts were very closely spaced with the main mast being located almost amidships. The exhaust fumes of the first funnel interfered with operational
effectiveness of the main top position. The same 12-inch/45 gun model was used, as it also was with the Invincible battle cruiser class, but of course the secondary armament was much improved with sixteen 4-inch QF compared to Dreadnought’s
twenty four 12pdr QF. While the Dreadnought had five submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes (1 bow and four beam), the Bellerophon Class dropped two of the beam tubes. Bellerophon was laid down at Portsmouth Dock Yard December 3, 1906 two
months after Dreadnought was completed. Temeraire followed at Devonport Dock Yard January 1, 1907 and Superb at the Armstrong yard at Elswick on February 6. With all three the yards were very quick in getting the ships ready for launch with
launchings in 1907, Bellerophon July 27, Temeraire August 24 and Superb November 7. However, completion took longer than the record breaking construction time of Dreadnought. Bellerophon was completed in February 1909 with other two being
finished in May 1909.
HMS Temeraire was laid down at the Devonport Dok Yard on January 1, 1907, launched on August 24, 1907. HMS Temeraire was commissioned on May 15, 1909 at Devonport and replaced HMS Implacable in the 1st Division of the Home Fleet.
She was 526-feet in overall length, 522-feet long at waterline, and 490-feet between the perpendicular bulkheads. Her beam was 82-feet 6-inches with a draught of 31-feet 2-inches. Displacement was 18,596-tons load and 22,359-tons deep load.
Armament was ten 12-inch/45 Mk X guns in Mk VIII mountings, sixteen 4-inch/45 Mk III secondary guns, four 3pdr QF guns, two machine guns three 18-inch torpedo tubes with two submerged beam tubes and a stern tube. Temeraire’s armor
scheme had a belt ranging from 10-inches amdiships tapering to 5-inches at the ends. Turrets had a frontal face of 11-inches, a rear face of 12-inches, and 3-inch crowns. Barbette armor ranged from 10-inches to 5-inches. The fore conning tower
armor was 11-inches with 3-inches on the crown. The aft conning tower had 8-inches of armor with a 3-inch crown. Armored bulkheads ranged from 8-inches to 4-inches. Deck armor had a main armored deck of 3-inches. Four sets of Parsons Direct
Drive turbines were supplied steam by 18 Yarrow boilers, each equipped with oil sprayers for emergency power. The power plant developed 23,000 horsepower for a top speed of 21-knots. Her range on coal only was 2,930nm at 18-knots or 3,970nm
at 10-knots. If oil was sprayed into the boilers the range increased to 4,230nm at 18-knots or 5,720nm at 10 knots. The complement was 681 in 1909 and 729 in 1911.
When completed the ships of the class were fitted with experimental director controlled gunnery equipment and range indicators. However, this experiment fit was removed in 1911-1912, which was unfortunate as director controlled gunnery proved
more accurate than the previous spotting system. It wasn’t until 1914-1915 that director control was again mounted in the main top and on a platform below the fore top. Also, as completed the three ships of the class were distinguished by white bands
painted on the funnels. Temeraire had two white bands on each funnel while Superb had the two bands only on the fore funnel and Bellerophon had none. In June and July 1909 Temeraire took part in the annual maneuvers in the Atlantic and on July
31 she participated in a review at Cowes for King Edward VIII and the Russian Tsar. Early in 1911 she underwent a refit and on May 16, 1911 was recommissioned at Devonport for the Home Fleet. She was at the Coronation Review for King George V
on June 24, 1911 with fleet exercises into July. The year 1912 was filled with reviews with tactical exercises in October. In 1912 the fore top on Temeraire was changed giving it a narrower face. In July 1913 as part of the 1st Battle Squadron,
Temeraire visited Cherbourg, France. In 1913 the 4-inch gun positions on the crowns of A, Q and P turrets were given blast shields behind the guns on Temeraire and the 24-inch searchlights were removed. In 1914 the 4-inch guns on the crown of A
turret were removed and mounted in the superstructure. Right before the start of World War One the Admiralty had scheduled a test mobilization and fleet maneuvers in July. On July 15, 1914 Temeraire was transferred to the 4th Battle Squadron and
left Portland for the maneuvers. The test mobilization and maneuvers lasted from July 17 to July 25 after which, the Temeraire returned to Portland. Four days later she departed to Scapa Flow. War was declared on August 8 and Home Fleet became
the Grand Fleet.