Drake Class Armoured Cruisers

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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hms drake Drake Class.  Enlarged Cressy class with higher speed and more 6 inch guns although some of them were still mounted too low and so were of limited use in anything except a dead calm.  The amount of structure amidships such as ventilation cowls was reduced in an effort to reduce the target size of the ship.

HMS Drake
Built Pembroke Dockyard, laid down April 1899, completed January 1903.

HMS Good Hope
Built Fairfield, Govan, laid down September 1899, completed November 1902.

HMS King Alfred
Built Vickers, Barrow, laid down August 1899, completed December 1903.

HMS Leviathan
Built John Brown, Clydebank, laid down November 1899, completed June 1903.

Average cost 1,000,000.

Length 500 feet pp 533 feet 6 inches overall, beam 71 feet 4 inches, draught 26 feet, displacement 14,150 tons load.

2 shaft triple expansion engines, 30,000 ihp, 23 knots

Drake 30,849 ihp = 23.05 knots
Good Hope 31,071 ihp = 23.05 knots
King Alfred 30,893 ihp = 23.46 knots
Leviathan 31,203 ihp = 23.23 knots

6-2in belt, 6in barbettes, 6in turret faces, 2.5-1in decks

2 x 9.2in Mk IX (2 x 1), 16 x 6in Mk VII (16 x 1), 3 x 3pounder (3 x 1), 2 x 18in TT

Larger than previous cruisers primarily for higher speeds which made them for several years amongst the fastest ships in the world.  They had a high reputation as steamers and were capable for sustaining high speed for long periods. Crew 900.

World War 1 Service:
6th Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
October 1915 Refit.
1916 North America and West Indies Station mainly as a convoy escort.
2 October 1917 Torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U79 near Rathlin Sound Northern Ireland.

Good Hope
6th Cruiser Squadron.
South Atlantic as Flagship of Rear-Admiral Craddock in hunt for Admiral Graf Spee.
1 November 1914 sunk at the Battle of Coronel.

King Alfred
6th Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
October 1915 9th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic.
1917 North America and West Indies Station mainly as a convoy escort.
11 April 1918 Struck a mine (or possibly a torpedo) at Loch Swilly and was beached and later repaired but never entered active service again.
1920 Sold for scrap.

6th Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
December 1914 5th Cruiser Squadron.
January 1915 6th Cruiser Squadron.
October 1915 North America and West Indies Station as flagship.
1920 Sold for scrap.

HMS Leviathan, the only ship of the class to be in service by the end of the war.  The lower casemates were removed and replaced by single mounts in gun shields amidships on the upper deck.  Early in their lives improved propellers were fitted which increased their top speed slightly.  hms leviathan

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