Diadem Class First Class Protected Cruisers

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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hms diadem Diadem Class.  Good sea boats but criticised for their lack of a heavy calibre main armament, bulky unprotected sides, average speed and lack of manoeuvrability despite being considered large ships when completed.   They were the last British First class Protected Cruisers, the Armoured cruiser taking the large cruiser role in future.

HMS Diadem
Built Fairfield, Govan, laid down January 1896, completed July 1898.

HMS Amphitrite
Built Vickers, Barrow, laid down December 1896, completed September 1901.

HMS Andromeda
Built Pembroke Dockyard, laid down December 1895, completed September 1899.

HMS Argonaut
Built Fairfield, Govan, laid down November 1896, completed April 1900.

HMS Ariadne
Built Thompson, Clydebank, laid down October 1896, completed June 1902.

HMS Europa
Built Thompson, Clydebank, laid down January 1896, completed November 1899.

HMS/HMCS Niobe
Built Vickers, Barrow, laid down December 1895, completed December 1898.

HMS Spartiate
Built Pembroke Dockyard, laid down May 1897, completed March 1903.

Average cost 600,000.

Size:
Length 435 feet pp 462 feet 6 inches overall, beam 69 feet, draught 25 feet 6 inches, displacement 11,00 tons load.

Propulsion:
2 shaft triple expansion engines, 16.500/18,000 ihp, 20/20.5 knots

Trials:
Diadem 17,262 ihp = 20.65 knots
Amphitrite 18,229 ihp = 20.78 knots
Argonaut 18,894 ihp = 21.17 knots
Ariadne 19,156 ihp = 21.5 knots
Europa 17,137 ihp = 20.4 knots
Spartiate 18,658 ihp = 21 knots

Armour:
6in gun shields, 4.5-2in decks

Armament:
16 x 6in Mk VII (16 x 1), 14 x 12pounder (14 x 1), 3 x 3pounder (3 x 1), 2 x 18in TT

Comments:
Cut down versions of the large and expensive Powerful class (which didn't see service in world War 1) they lacked a heavy main gun.  Ariadne, Spartiate, Amphitrite and Argonaut had slightly more powerful engines and were fractionally faster. Crew 677.

World War 1 Service:
Diadem
1914 Stokers Training ship.
October 1915 In reserve.
January 1918 Stokers Training ship.
1921 Sold for scrap.

Amphitrite
1914 9th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic.
June 1915 In reserve.
1917 converted to Minelayer.
1917 Nore Command.
1920 Sold for scrap.

Andromeda
Boys training ship Devonport.
1956 Scrapped.

Argonaut
1914 9th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic.
1915 Hospital ship Portsmouth.
1918 Accommodation ship.
1920 Sold for scrap.

Ariadne
1914 Stokers Training ship.
1917 converted to minelayer.
1917 Nore command.
26 July 1917 Torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UC65 off Beachy Head..

Europa
1914 9th Cruiser Squadron Atlantic.
July 1915 Mudros.
1920 Sold for scrap.

Niobe
1910 Sold to Canadian Government.
1914 North America and West Indies Station.
October 1915 Depot ship at Halifax.
6 December 1917 Damaged by ammunition explosion.
1922 sold for scrap.

Spartiate
1914 Stokers Training ship.
June 1915 Re-named Fisgard.
1932 Sold for scrap.

HMS Ariadne, the only ship of the class sunk.  The class after was mostly in reserve at the start of world War 1 but initially brought into operational service but were soon put into subsidiary non combat roles.    hms Ariadne

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