HMS Glorious was the second of the three Courageous-class battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher, they were relatively lightly armed and armoured. Glorious was completed in late 1916 and spent the war patrolling the North Sea. She participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917 and was present when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered a year later.
Glorious was paid off after the war, but was rebuilt as an aircraft carrier during the late 1920s. She could carry 30 per cent more aircraft than her half-sister Furious which had a similar tonnage. After re-commissioning in 1930, she spent most of her career operating in the Mediterranean Sea. After the start of the Second World War, Glorious spent the rest of 1939 unsuccessfully hunting for the commerce-raiding German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee in the Indian Ocean before returning to the Mediterranean. She was recalled home in April 1940 to support operations in Norway. While evacuating British aircraft from Norway in June, the ship was sunk by the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the North Sea with the loss of over 1,200 lives.