Close copies of the Diadem
Six large battlecrackers were ordered in 1898, taking over the design of the previous Diadems, but with significant protection, superior power to safeguard the speed and armament of the Powerful. The progress came from the adoption of Krupp lateral armor plates, which was stronger because it was thinner and lighter.
The ammunition wells and bunkers were also armored and the internal formwork reinforced. The heavy turrets had the advantage of being hydraulic and steerable at any angle (including the rise) while allowing reloading.
Cressy class diagrams Brasseys 1906
These ships had a silhouette and a size corresponding to that of the Diadem and yet the hull was fuller and they accused 1000 tons more, in favor of stability, while having a stern profile better, in favor of maneuverability. They were also good walkers, surpassing their expected speed on paper.
On the other hand, their ASM protection was ineffective, as evidenced by the spectacular loss of three of the ships of this class, torpedoed by a single U-Boote in September 1914.
Breech-loading 9.2 inches turret of the Cressy, right elevation
(To come – This article is a starter)
The Cressy in service
On their entry into service, they were broken down between different assignments: the Hogue and Sutlej in sleeve, the Aboukir and Bacchante in Gibraltar, Cressy in Hong Kong, Euryalus in Australia. The latter entered service in 1904 due to numerous machinery accidents.
They then gradually returned to the Home Fleet and were there at the beginning of the war. The HMS Aboukir was in reserve and was sent with a crew of reservists in the patrol of the South of the North Sea, the famous Force C, known as the “14 powerful”.
She was torpedoed by the U9 on September 4, 1914 and sank with almost all its crew. HMS Bacchante served on the Humber River in 1914 but was transferred as a Force C flagship. He saw fire at the first Battle of Heligoland Bay, and escorted convoys to Gibraltar.
He was sent to defend the Suez Canal, and found himself in the Dardanelles in 1915. In 1916 he was back in the North Atlantic. He struck the Achilles in the Irish Sea in 1917, then returned to Gibraltar as a flagship. It was then placed in reserve in Chatham and demolished in 1920.
HMS Cressy served pre-war service in both North America and the East Indies, and was part of Force C at the beginning of the war. He was torpedoed by the U9 the same day as the Aboukir, trying to fish his crew and himself lost 560 men in his wreck.
HMS Euryalus was part of Force C and then escorted convoys to Gibraltar. He then performed in front of Suez, Smyrna and the Dardanelles. He permitted the support of the Arab revolt in the Red Sea, and served in the East Indies. He ended his career in Hong Kong, and returned after the war to the metropolis for a demolition.
HMS Hogue served in Force C, and had the opportunity to fight in the Battle of Heligoland Bay. He towed the heavily damaged HMS Arethusa to the port. He suffered the same fate as Cressy and Aboukir being torpedoed by the U9. Finally HMS Sutlej passed from 1914 to 9th squadron cruisers in Ireland, from 1915 to 1916.
She was sent to Santa Cruz, then returned to the Home Fleet within the 9th squadron. It was put in reserve in Rosyth from 1917 and put on sale for demolition in 1919
The Cressy class on wikipedia
Specs Conway’s all the world fighting ships 1921-1947.
|Dimensions||160,3 x 25,6 x 8,3 m|
|Displacement||28 000 t, 32 300 T FL|
|Propulsion||4 shaft Parsons turbines, 18 Babcock et Wilcox boilers, 23 000 hp.|
|Speed||20.75 knots (41 km/h)|
|Range||6,680 nautical miles (12,370 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)|
|Armament||4 x 254 mm (5×2), 16 x 152mm, 3 x 457mm TTs (sub).|
|Armor||Belt 250, Battery 130, Barbettes 230, turrets 280, CT 280mm, decks 100 mm.|
Author’s profile of the Canada in 1914.