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HMS Formidable was a battleship serving with the Royal Navy in the Channe, 15,000 tons. Launched 17th November 1898, Portsmouth. Heaviest gun, 12 in, 50 tons. She had a crew of 780 men. On New Year’s Day, 1915, the fleet was returning from firing exercise. Six battleships and two cruisers were sailing in line through Lyme Bay . HMS Formidable developed engine trouble and was last in the line. Unknown to the navy the fleet was being shadowed by a German submarine. At 2.30am, in bright moonlight, HMS Formidable was sunk by torpedo from German submarine U24 off Portland Bill, in the English Channel, on 1st January 1915. Nearly 600 men were drowned or died of cold in the freezing waters.

Last updated 23 November, 2010

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