Rule Brittania! To maintain naval supremacy in 1889, Britain decreed that the Royal Navy’s establishment should be equal to the combined naval strength of any two other countries. Competing against Russian Peresviet battleships, Britain embarked on the construction of faster battleships, resulting in the Duncan-class.

HMS Russell was launched on 19 February 1901 at the shipyard of Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company Ltd, England, and was the first out of six ships built. Prior to World War I, she served in the Mediterranean, Home and Atlantic Fleet. At the outbreak of the First World War, HMS Russell, together with her surviving sister ships, was assigned to the Grand Fleet. A year later, the Grand Fleet moved to the Gallipoli Peninsula to reinforce the British Squadron deployed there. After the conclusion of the Gallipoli campaign, HMS Russell remained in the eastern Mediterranean.

In April 1916, HMS Russell was to return to Malta in order to resupply and undergo minor dockyard repairs. However, the German minelaying submarine U-73 arrived off the coast of Malta on 25 April and began laying mines outside the entrance to the Grand Harbour. On 27 April 1916, a fateful day for the battleship, HMS Russell was approaching Malta when she struck a mine on her port side and sunk. The battleship rests upside down on the seabed and is a war grave for fallen servicemen.

HMS Russell

War Grave, Unexploded Ordinance, Delicate and Protected Marine Flora, Dive Site

Open to Divers through Registered Dive Centres and Clubs

Maximum Depth: 110 metres


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