Armoured Cruisers

World War 1 Naval Combat

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HMS Endymion HMS Endymion like most of the Edgar class started the war as part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron which was tasked with enforcing the northern blockade on Germany.  Unfortunately these old cruisers were not well suited to the task as they had insufficient sea-keeping and endurance and in 1915 they were replaced by Armed Merchant Cruisers. The class then took on many secondary roles, several serving in the Dardanelles.


Edgar Class Protected Cruiser
HMS Edgar, Crescent, Endymion, Gibraltar, Grafton, Hawke, Royal Arthur, St George, Theseus Laid down 1889-1890, completed 1893-1896.

Diadem Class Protected Cruiser
HMS Diadem, Amphitrite, Andromeda, Argonaut, Ariadne, Europa, Niobe, Spartiate Laid down 1895-1897, completed 1898-1903.

Cressy Class Armoured Cruiser
HMS Cressy, Aboukir, Bacchante, Hogue, Sutlej, Euryalus Laid down 1898-1899, completed 1901-1904.

Drake Class Armoured Cruiser
HMS Drake, Good Hope, King Alfred, Leviathan Laid down 1899, completed 1902-1903.

Monmouth Class Armoured Cruiser
HMS Monmouth, Bedford, Donegal, Berwick, Kent, Cumberland, Cornwall, Essex, Suffolk, Lancaster Laid down 1899-1901, completed 1903-1904.

Devonshire Class Armoured Cruiser
HMS Devonshire, Antrim, Argyll, Carnarvon, Hampshire, Roxburgh Laid down 1902, completed 1905.

Duke of Edinburgh Class Armoured Cruiser
HMS Duke of Edinburgh, Black Prince Laid down 1903, completed 1906.

Warrior Class Armoured Cruiser
HMS Warrior, Cochrane, Natal, Achilles Laid down 1903-1904, completed 1906-1907.

Minotaur Class Armoured Cruiser
HMS Minotaur, Defence, Shannon Laid down 1905, completed 1908-1909.

HMS Shannon painted in dazzle camouflage.  The Royal Navy tried several schemes to camouflage ships including false bow waves, various colours and animal like stripes or spots.  Dazzle schemes, introduced in 1917, worked on the principle that the strongly contrasting irregular patterns used made it hard for an attacking submarine to accurately gauge a ships course and speed, thus making targeting hard. HMS Shannon


Kaiserin Augusta Class Protected Cruiser
SMS Kaiserin Augusta Laid down 1890, completed 1892.

Victoria Luise Class Protected Cruiser
SMS Victoria Luise, Hertha, Freya, Vineta, Hansa Laid down 1895-1898, completed 1898-1900.

Fürst Bismarck Class Armoured Cruiser
SMS Furst Bismarck Laid down 1896, completed 1900.

Prinz Heinrich Class Armoured Cruiser
SMS Prinz Heinrich Laid down 1898, completed 1902.

Prinz Adalbert Class Armoured Cruiser
SMS Prinz Adalbert, Friedrich Carl Laid down 1900-1901, completed 1903-1904.

Roon Class Armoured Cruiser
SMS Roon, Yorck Laid down 1902-1903, completed 1905-1906.

Scharnhorst Class Armoured Cruiser
SMS Scharnhorst, Gneisenau Laid down 1904-1905, completed 1907-1908.

Blücher Class Armoured Cruiser
SMS Blucher Laid down 1907, completed 1909.

German armoured cruisers SMS Yorck pre-war with other German warships in the background.  She was one of the many armoured cruisers sunk during the war with many of the rest relegated to secondary tasks by the end, the type being superseded by the battlecruiser.

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