Technical Data: HMS Natal

• Displacement – 13550 tons.
• Length – 5051/2 feet.
• Beam – 731/2 feet.
• Ram Bow.
• Four funnels.
• Two masts each fitted with searchlight platforms.
• Two sets of four cylinder inverted, vertical, triple expansion engines .
• Two propellers.
• 23500 internal horsepower at 135 revs.
• 19 Yarrow water tube boilers and 6 cylindrical boilers, each with sprayers to enable oil burning.
• 2050 tons of bunkered coal as main fuel.
• 600 tons of fuel oil and 30 tons of “patent fuel” ( solidified fuel oil) for emergencies.

From Brassey's naval Annual 1916: Authors Collection

• 6 inch armour plate midships tapering to 4 inch plate forward and 3 inch plate aft.
• 1 inch armour on the upper deck,  13/4 inch armour on the main deck and 2 inch armour on the lower deck.
• Main armament:  6 x 9.2 inch guns with one each on the quarterdeck, forecastle and at each corner of the midships citadel.  All the 9.2 inch guns were in 6 inch armoured barbettes.
• Secondary armament:  4x 7.5 inch guns in armoured barbettes – two guns on each side.
• Broadside was therefore, 4x9.2 inch guns and 2 x 7.5 inch guns.
• Ammunition fed to the main and secondary guns by hydraulic and hand hoists.
• Other weapons: 24 x 3 pounder QF guns and 5 x .303 maxim guns.
• Two beam 14 inch torpedo tubes and one stern torpedo tube with 20 torpedoes carried.

The ship was regarded as an important engineering development and an editorial in the Engineering Magazine  of October 1905 (Vol. 80) said:

“The Natal marks a transition stage in cruisers due to her 7.5 inch guns.  They have greater penetrative power over 6 inch guns and thus longer range.  The Natal develops 835,000 foot tons of muzzle power per minute against 829,000 foot tons in other ships. She can fire 48 rounds per minute as opposed to only 24 in the Duke of Edinburgh class.”

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