History – HMS Invincible

Six ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name Invincible.
HMS Invincible R05

The last (our) Invincible was the sixth in the famous line which began with the French 74 gun L’Invincible, captured off Finisterre in 1747.

The second Invincible was a third rate, 74 gun ship launched at Deptford in 1765. Her adventurous career included three historic sea battles and ended when she was wrecked off the Norfolk coast in 1801.

The third Invincible was built at Woolich in 1808, another third rater carrying 74 guns. this ship was broken up at Plymouth in 1861.

The fourth Invincible was an armoured “broadside battleship” built by Napier on the Clyde in 1869. She mounted 14 guns and saw action in the Egyptian War before being relegated to depot ship duties at Portsmouth, renamed Erebus in 1904 and Fisgard II in 1906, before foundering of Portland while under tow in a storm in 1914.

The fifth Invincible was built by Armstrong Whitworth on the Tyne in 1907. She was a battle cruiser attached to the 1st Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet at the end of 1908. She saw action at the Battle of Heligoland before steaming off secretly to avenge a British defeat at Coronel in the Battle of the Falkland Islands. She blew up in the Battle of Jutland and sank with the loss of 1,026 crew. Only six crew members survived.

(strictly speaking there would have been 7 Invincible’s. A iron hulled armoured Frigate that was sister to HMS Warrior would have been number 4 but was renamed HMS Black prince)

Battle honours:

St Vincent, 1780
St Kitts, 1782
Glorious First of June, 1794
Alexandria, 1882
Heligoland, 1914
Falkland Islands, 1914
Jutland, 1916
Falkland Islands, 1982


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