Monmouth Class Armoured Cruisers

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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hms monmouth Monmouth Class, often known as the Counties.  The only British armoured cruisers with three funnels.  They were smaller without a heavy main gun, reduced protection but similar speed to the larger and more expensive previous British armoured cruisers.  Like the Drake class they were fitted with new propellers soon into their service which significantly improved speed.

HMS Monmouth
Built London and Glasgow, Glasgow, laid down August 1899, completed December 1903.

HMS Bedford
Built Fairfield, Govan, laid down February 1900, completed November 1903.

HMS Donegal
Built Fairfield, Govan, laid down February 1901, completed November 1903.

HMS Berwick
Built Beardmore, Dalmuir, laid down April 1901, completed December 1903.

HMS Kent
Built Portsmouth Dockyard, laid down February 1900, completed October 1903.

HMS Cumberland
Built London and Glasgow, Glasgow, laid down February 1901, completed December 1904.

HMS Cornwall
Built Pembroke Dockyard, laid down March 1901, completed December 1904.

HMS Essex
Built Pembroke Dockyard, laid down January 1900, completed March 1904.

HMS Suffolk
Built Portsmouth Dockyard, laid down March 1901, completed May 1904.

HMS Lancaster
Built Armstrong, Elswick, laid down March 1901, completed April 1904.

Average cost 775,000.

Size:
Length 440 feet pp 463 feet 6 inches overall, beam 66 feet, draught 25 feet, displacement 9,800 tons load.

Propulsion:
2 shaft triple expansion engines, 22,000 ihp, 23 knots

Trials:
Monmouth 22,189 ihp = 22.6 knots
Donegal 22,154 ihp = 23.7 knots
Berwick 22,680 ihp = 23.7 knots
Kent 22,249 ihp = 21.7 knots
Cumberland 22,784 ihp = 23.7 knots
Cornwall 22,694 ihp = 23.6 knots
Essex 22,219 ihp = 22.8 knots
Suffolk 22,645 ihp = 23.7 knots
Lancaster 22,881 ihp = 24.0 knots

Armour:
4-2in belt, 5in barbettes, 5in turret faces, 2-0.5in decks

Armament:
14 x 6in Mk VII (2 x 2, 10 x 1), 10 x 12pounder (10 x 1), 3 x 3pounder (3 x 1), 2 x 18in TT

Comments:
Owing to increased cruiser production by foreign powers, especially France, this class was designed as a cheaper design that could be produced in greater numbers for trade protection..  Crew 678.

World War 1 Service:
Monmouth

5th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic.
South Atlantic to hunt for Admiral Graf Spee.
1 November 1914 sunk at the Battle of Coronel.

Bedford
21 August 1910 Ran aground and wrecked in the China Sea.

Donegal
3rd Cruiser Squadron Sierra Leone.
January 1915 6th Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
November 1915 Archangel.
May 1916 2nd Cruiser Squadron.
September 1916 9th Cruiser Squadron.
September 1917 West Indies and North America Station.
June 1918 Put into reserve.
1920 Sold for scrap.

Berwick
West Indies and North America Station.
6 August 1914 Pursued SMS Karlsruhe.
10 September 1914 Captured German merchant ship Spreewald.
Rest of war patrol and escort duties.
1920 Sold for scrap.

Kent
September 1914 On being re-commissioned sent to South Atlantic.
8 December 1914 Took part in the Battle of the Falkland Islands sinking SMS Nurnberg.
14 March 1915 along with HMS Glasgow found and sank SMS Dresden at Mas a Fuera.
March 1915 China Station.
1916 Cape Station.
June 1918 English channel convoy escort.
July 1918 China Station.
1920 sold for scrap.

Cumberland
5th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic
September 1914 Cameroons, captured 10 German merchant ships.
January 1915 6th Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
1915 West Indies and North America Station.
1921 Sold for scrap.

Cornwall
5th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic.
6 August 1914 Captured the German merchant ship Syra.
South Atlantic to hunt for Admiral Graf Spee.
8 December 1914 Took part in the Battle of the Falkland Islands sinking SMS Leipzig.
January 1915 East Africa including operations against SMS Konigsberg.
1915 Dardanelles.
January 1916 China Station.
1917 West Indies and North America Station.
1920 Sold for scrap.

Essex
4th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic.
10 August 1914 Captured a German merchant ship.
7 September 1914 Captured a German merchant ship.
May 1916 Captured a German merchant ship.
1916 Destroyer Depot ship.
1921 Sold for scrap.

Suffolk
4th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic as flagship.
6 August 1914 Pursued SMS Karlsruhe.
8 August 1914 Captured a German merchant ship.
West Indies and North America Station.
August 1917 China Station as flagship.
1920 Sold for scrap.

Lancaster
4th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic.
1915  7th Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet.
April 1916 Pacific.
1920 Sold for scrap.

HMS Cornwall.  The class had two twin 6 inch electrically powered turrets but these were a disappointment in service and considered cramped although they appear to have worked adequately in combat. hms cornwall

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