World War One HMS M.33 to be opened to the public

A British Royal Navy ship used during the World War One Gallipoli campaign is to be opened to the public.

HMS M.33 was the only Royal Navy ship to survive the Gallipoli mission and will be the only World War One ship to be opened to the public.

HMS M.33 will be moored in Hampshire and will open in August on the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.

The ship has had to undergo an almost £2 million refurbishment in order to make it fit for public viewing.

The ship has been renovated as part of a project with the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth. HMS M.33 will be moored next to HMS Victory and the Mary Rose.

Even though over 100,000 soldiers were killed during the battle at Gallipoli, HMS M.33 was thought to be lucky since it had no casualties aboard at all. Today the ship is the last that took part in Gallipoli.

HMS M.33 was originally constructed in seven weeks and was part of a dash to get as many war ships built as possible at the start of World War One. She has an almost 600 tonne metal hull along with two 6in guns. She had a crew of around 70 men and took to the seas for around three years during the war.

HMS M.33 could reach a speed of nine knots and was designed with a shallow draft so that her crew could get as near to shorelines as possible. That meant she could get close enough to land to provide fire support using her guns.

The Gallipoli campaign was undertaken by Britain, ANZAC and France and opened up a southern front to World War One. The Allies sought to gain hold of the Turkish coastal area so that the sea route along the Aegean Sea could be secured, the Daily Echo reports.

The ship’s original metal build has been retained and original features have been kept in place as much as possible. The renovation has taken around five months and the entire ship has been lacquered with protective wax so that she stays preserved.

Visitors will be able to get a good insight into what it was like for the crew to live on the ship.

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Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE