Jutland survivor HMS Caroline comes to life at the National Museum of the Royal Navy

Wargaming, creators of World of Warships, are honouring the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland with an augmented reality app. Available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, this AR experience recreates the only ship still in existence that fought in the Battle of Jutland, the WW1 cruiser HMS Caroline. The app was designed in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and included into its exhibition.

Ballista Digital, a leading producer of history-based apps for museums, has developed the HMS Caroline AR Experience App. Through this, visitors can see a 3D model of the ship within the Jutland exhibition on their mobile device, as well as find out more about the story of this incredible ship.

“Since HMS Caroline is permanently anchored in Belfast, Northern Ireland, we proposed to recreate the ship virtually, so she could be part of the Portsmouth exhibition,” said Tracy Spaight, Director of Special Projects at Wargaming. “Our artists painstakingly modeled the ship from the original blueprints and photographs. Museum visitors will be able to see the ship appear in the exhibition hall by downloading the app—developed by our partner Ballista Digital—and pointing the camera of their smartphone or tablet at the plinth we constructed. We are delighted to work with the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Ballista Digital to use technology to bring history to life.”


Head of Heritage Development at the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), Nick Hewitt, said, “We are very excited about this app, which will ‘virtually’ bring NMRN’s magnificent ship, the last survivor from the Battle of Jutland, from Belfast to Portsmouth for the battle’s centenary. The app will help bring Caroline’s story to life with a 3D model, and will also give our visitors a great digital souvenir of their visit to the museum.”

The Battle of Jutland was the defining naval battle of the First World War, fought over 36 hours from May 31 to June 1, 1916. It is often considered a German victory due to the number of British lives lost: 6,094 British seamen and 2,551 Germans. However, these figures do not represent the impact upon the British and German fleets. At the end of the battle the British maintained numerical supremacy; only two dreadnoughts were damaged, leaving 23 dreadnoughts and four battlecruisers still able to fight, whilst the Germans had only 10 dreadnoughts.

The exhibition also has on display two guns that saw action at Jutland; a large 105mm deck gun from the German destroyer B98, and a smaller 2-pounder gun from HMS Narborough, usually on display at Orkney Islands Council’s Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum at Lyness. As part of this loan arrangement, the NMRN has carried out extensive conservation work on the guns. The exhibition also showcases ensigns flown by British warships at the Battle of Jutland. The largest flag, from the dreadnought battleship HMS Bellerophon, measures around 2.6m by 5.3m.

To download the HMS Caroline AR Experience App for Android and iOS, visit: