Minotaur class armoured cruisers

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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hms minotaur Minotaur Class.  The last class of 'conventional' British armoured cruiser before construction was switched to battlecruisers.  Originally the class had very short funnels but these were raised around 1909-1910.  They were the only British cruisers with twin 9.2 inch gun turrets.

HMS Minotaur
Built Devonport Dockyard, laid down February 1905, completed April 1908, cost 1,410,356.

HMS Defence
Built Pembroke Dockyard, laid down January 1905, completed February 1909, cost 1,362,970.

HMS Shannon
Built Chatham Dockyard, laid down January 1905, completed October 1908, cost 1,415,535.

Size:
Length 490 feet pp 519 feet overall, beam 74 feet 6 inches, draught 26 feet, displacement 14,600 tons load.

Propulsion:
2 shaft triple expansion engines, 27,000 ihp, 23 knots

Trials:
Defence 27,853 ihp = 23 knots
Shannon 28,128 ihp = 22.41 knots

Armour:
6-3in belt, 7-3in barbettes, 8in turret faces, 1.5-0.5in decks

Armament:
4 x 9.2in Mk XI (2 x 2), 10 x 7.5in Mk II (10 x 1), 16 x 12ponder (16 x 1), 5 x 18in TT

Comments:
Enlarged and heavier armed than previous ships but not as highly regarded as the Warrior class as it was felt that they were over gunned and the extra displacement would have been better used on improving protection.  the upper belt of previous classes was not fitted as it was felt that with no casemated guns it was not necessary.  HMS Shannon had a slightly different hull form with 1 foot more beam and 1 foot less draught and was slightly slower.  Crew 755.

World War 1 Service:
Minotaur 

China station at start of war.
August 1914 Captured and sank German merchant ship Elsbeth
6 August 1914 bombarded German wireless station at Yap.
November 1914 Escorted Australian troop convoys.
December 1914 Flagship Cape Station.
January 1915 refit then joined 2nd Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
31 May 1916 present at the Battle of Jutland.
1920 Sold for scrap.

Defence
1st Cruiser Squadron Mediterranean Fleet.
August 1914 involved in hunt for SMS Goeben and Breslau.
November 1914 sent to South Atlantic in hunt for Admiral Graf Spee.
January 1915 1st Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
31 May 1916 Sunk at the Battle of Jutland.

Shannon
2nd Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
November 1914 refit at Cromarty.
31 May 1916 present at the Battle of Jutland.
November 1916 Murmansk.
1917-18 Atlantic convoy escort.
1922 Sold for scrap.

HMS Minotaur, along with Defence were stationed on the China Station pre war where they faced the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.  As the British ships had a heavier secondary armament the officers of both sides came to a gentleman's agreement that if it came to a fight the British ships would not use one of their 7.5 inch guns to make it a fair fight. hms minotaur

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