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THE ANATOMX OF THE BRITISH BATTLE CRUISER
AND BRITISH NAVAL POLICY, 1904-1920
By Marc Drolet, History Department,
McGill University, Montreal
Submitted: November,1993
A Thesls submltted ta the Faculty of Graduate Studies and
Research in partial fuI filment of the of the
of M.A. in the field of History
(c) Marc Drolet, November, 1993
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{ ~ ~ f ~ ~ l l P ~ prrt0
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ABSTRACT
The Battle Crulser was the resul t of the n ~ v a l arms race and
the reallsatlon that England's undisputed mastery of the seas was
over. The Shlp v'as the next loglcal step in the evolutlon oi th'
Crul ser. Hl stonans have genera lly consldered thi s type of warsillp
as an expenslve mistake. Whlle i t was not as successful as 1 ts
creators mlght have hoped, neither was it the disaster claimed by
many of ItS critlCS. Once the British chose to bUlld these ShlpS
not only did they have no choice but to keep building more of them,
but they al so had to bui Id larger, more powerful and expenSI ve
Battle Cruisers in order to maintal.n the lead in the arms race wi th
Germ,any.
RESUME
Le Croiseur de Bataille a t cre cause d' \.me course
d'armements concernants les vaisseaux de gurre, et dussi cause
du dclin de l'Influence de la flotte BritannIque. Ce vaisseau
marquaI t la pI'ochaine tape dans l'volution du Croiseur. Plus lelHS
historlens ont crit que la cration de ce type de vaisseau talt
un erreur de la part de l'Angleterre. En fait, le Croiseur de
Batallie n'a pas t la hauteur des esprences de ses crateurs,
sans toutefois tre le dsastre que plusieurs dtracteurs on
l'accus d'tre. Ds que l'Angleterre a ChOISi de construire ce
vaisseau, elle a t force de continuer btir des Croiseurs de
Batai Ile encore plus grand, ce qui augmentai t le cot pour
maIntenIr leur avance sur la flotte de l'Allemagne.
___ ... ___ ____ .... '" ___ .. ____ -.. ___ .. _..::1: ... __._.:_= ___ _ ..,._-; ...
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Acknowledgements
The author would personally like to thank Professor
Robert Vogel for hlS invaluable in the writing of
thlS thesj s. He would also like te thank Professor Hereward
SenIor, Mrs. Mary Mcdaid, the McGill History Departrnent, and
the staff of the McLennan-Redpath Library, particularly the
Interl ibrary Loans Department 1 for their considerable he.lp and
patience.
a
Table of Contents:
- 1 NTRODUCT l ON
Page 1
-CHAPTER 1: THE ROAD TO INVINCIBLE
Page 9
-CHAPTER 2: SISTERS AND RIVALS
Page 43
-CHAPTER 3: THE BATTLE CRUISERS AT WAR
Page 71
-CHAPTER 4: THE WARTIME BATTLE CRUISERS
Page 97
-CONCLUSION
Page 111
-ENDNOTES
Page 115
-BIBLIOGRAPHY
Page 122
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Introduction
Very few warships have created as much controversy as the
Battie CruIser. It was first designed ln Enqiand to be the uitimate
Cruiser, capable of destroying any potential raider and
scoutlng fOL the maIn fleet. Just as the Dreadnoughts were the new
ShlPS-of-the-Ll.ne, the Bri tish Battle Cruisers were to be the
modern equ 1 va] ents of the wooden Frigates. Historians, however,
have had few good things to wri te abcut these ships. The final
verdlct has been while the Britlsh the all-big-
gun Battleshlps, proved themselves a success, the British Battle
CrUlsers, the all-big-gun Armnured Cruisers, were a failure. They
were extremel y expensi ve warships that proved capable of g1 ving ont
much punlshment, but unable to take as weIl dS they gave.
The conventlonal arguments against the Battie Cruiser have
been agalnst Its designs and in the confusion as to what its ro1e
was supposed to be. Most historians who have written about this
ShlP, such as Oscar Parkes, Anthony Preston, V.E. Tarrant, Ruddock
F. Mackay, N.J.M. Campbell, and Peter Smith, have argued that the
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designs gave the ships too li ttle protection against heavy gunfire-:-
Arthur J. Marder, possibly strongest supporter of both the
SattI e Cnn ser and the Fi suer Revolution in the Royal Navy, stated
that the maIn problems wlth these ships had more to do with
inadequate magazine than with its armQur scheme, but
even he was forced ta admit the British Battie Cruisers were
too thlnly pratected ta be used in battle against other large gun

oppanents. The deslgns for these ships emphasised glving them a
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large armament on a light: hull, which wnuld enable them ta achieve
a fast speed. As a result, protection was sacrificed.
The raIe of the Battle Cruiser has also come under nllh Il
crl tlci sm. 'rhei r primary t as)ts were to act ab scouts ta [' the Illdl Il
.f leet and to hunt down commerce raiders, but they were not supposed
ta lie ln the ffialn hne of battle alongslde the more hcavl ly
Battleships. As such, l t was not necessary for thern to
have heavy protection, sinee they would not, theoretl cal) y, COIlll'
under heavy gunfire. Along the way lt was forgotten that dlthough
their firepower ''las almost as powerful dS a Dreadnought, their
protection was not nearly as Many Admira} S vlelNcd these
ships as Fast Battleships, and as the war would saon show, when
placed under the aegis of a brave AdmiraI, who did not recognize
their wealmesses, thesc ships could prove fatally vulnerable. Thus
came the cri t icisms against bui Iding ships that cost almost as mueh
ta build (and in sorne cas 's, W'3re more expenslve to build) ilS
Dreadnoughts, but could not absorb the same degree of punishment.
Few hlstorians have chosen to go beyond the prevlous
criticisms of the Battle Cruiser. The arguments am cerlainly
val id, but they don 1 t tell the who] e story. For example, John
Tetsuro Sumida has wri tten extensi v01y on the FIsher Revolution in
,-he Royal Navy during thlS period, and has looked at the Battie
Cruiser question from a less conventional point of view. He brlngs
in the question of economlCS and political 1actors wlth regards ta
the buildlng of the Battle Cruiser and the DREADNOUGHT. Among his
arguments, he has stated that It was the Battle Cruisers, and
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not the Dreadnoughts, which were central ta Fisher's Shlpbuilding
policy. During the so-called "Dreadnought Revolution', the fast,
llghtly armoured Battle Cruiser was much closer ta hlS vision of
the perfect warshlp than the slower, more heavlly armoured
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Dreadnoughts, dS shall be shawn further along.
ResponSlbi Il ty for the conceptIon and the designs of these
ships rested with Flrst Sea Lord Sir John Fisher, who conceived of
bath the Dreadnought and the Battie CruIser. During his two tenures
as BntaIn's Flrst Sea Lord he strove hard to create the perfect
warshlp, one that had the greatest amount of fi repower and was al so
the fastest Sll1p afloat. In essence, they were the products of an
arms race, WhlCh perpetuated the need ta bUlld warshlps that were
supellor ta those of other navies. Thi s was a new concept, and
clearly the product of the age of steam and steel. Up until the
mlddle of the 19th Century, the technological advances in
shi pbulldlng were sa small that they had very 1 i ttle effect O!l the
development of sea power. Once steel and steam ShipS were
lnt roduced, there evolved a race ta have a numerical advantage of
ShI ps that w e n ~ f aster, had more hi tting power, and could absorb
more punl shment.
The buildIng of the Dreadnought and Battle CruIser was a large
advanc('! .ln the eVl Lution of the Battleshlp and Arrnoured Cruiser,
but Wl th regards ta the arms race, they were a1so the next Iogicai
step. Th] s was comparable in sorne ways to the deveIoprnent of the
Dest royer, winch started out as the Torpedo Boat. The threat of the
Torpedo Boat resul ted in the creation of Torpedo Boat Destroyers,
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ ~
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which evolved into the larger Destroyers. For the Battleships, It
was sirnply a matter of continually buildlng ships that were more
powerful and could wi thstand greater punlshment in the 1 i ne of
battle. When It was built, H.M.S DREP.DNOUGHT was Indeed the most
powerful on thp seas, but it was merely a contlnuat1on
of the earlier policy of the arms race.
The Battle Cruiser's evolution was only slightly dl.fferent.
Originally, Armoured CrUIsers were supposed to hunt down potentil
commerce raIders. They followed the same pattern of the other
vessels. This resulted in the creation of ShlpS that were almost as
large as Battleships, but which were faster but less heavlly
protected and armed. Wlth the creatIon of the BattIe CrUlser,
Fisher decided that the next step of the Armoured CrUIser was to
give them an armament that was only Sllghtly Inferior to the
DREADNOUGHT. This was a very large step for such a vessel, but tram
the perspective of an arms race, it was also the logical one. And
just as the Armoured Cruiser had crossed lnto the Battlestnp' s
domain wlth regards to size and armament, the next evolution of the
Battleshlp would be to make it as fast as a Cruiser, winch would
lead to the creation of Fast BattleshIps. Thus, the result of the
arms race would transform the Armoured CrUI sers into sh i ps ttld t
were as powerful as Battleships, and Battleships into ships as fast
as Cruisers. It is small wonder that these ships were 50
controversial.
There were man y against the bUIldIng of the
DREADNOUGHT. These included contemporary critics such as AdmiraIs
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SIr CyprIan BrIdge and Sir Reginald Custance, AdmiraI of the Fleet
Sir Gerald Noel, and even Sir William White, a former Director of
Naval Construction, and Alfred Thayer Mahan, the author cf THE
INFLUENCE OF SEA POWER UPON HISTORY. Among their arguments was that
it put aIl other nations on an equal footing with England with
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regards to these vessels. The same could be said of the Battle
CrUlser; It was designed ta be the ultimate Armoured Cruiser, and
i ts creatIon also made England' s huge n.!mber of regular Armoured
Cruisers obsolete.
The maIn argument that has since been used agalnst Fisher's
crItlcs, partIcularly by Marder, was that the all-big-gun
BattleshIp was already on the way. The United States had
made plans for the two SOUTH CAROLINA-class Battleships, armed wi th
eight 305mm (12-inch) guns, even before those of the DREADNOUGHT.
The Japanese had also started building the AKI and SATSUMA, and
although they had only four and twelve 254mm (ID-inch) guns

(ratlng them as Semi-Dreadnoughts), they were originally designed
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for twelve 305mm guns. The only r8ason for the change in armament
was because of Its cast, which Japan could not attord due to its
war wlth Russia. Nevertheless, It did show that the all-big-gun
BattleshIp was coming, and that even had the Brltish decided
against building the DREADNOUGHT, its Pre-Dreadnoughts would still
have become obsolete. The only difference was that Fisher decided
to take the lead in this race rather than be forced to catch up.
Untll the creatIon of the INVINCIBLES, MOSt nations armed
thelr Armoured Cruisers with medium calibre weapons ranging from
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193mm (7.6-inch) to 254mm guns. There were two exceptions: the
Ital ian REGINA ELENA-class and the Japanese TSUKUBA-class Armoured

Cruisers, both of which had two and four 305mm guns respectively.
Ii: is uncertain whether or not Fisher bel ieved other nations wou] d
follow with other large-gunned Armoured Cruisers, but as in the
case of the DREADNOUGHT, he was determined to take the lead. He
wanted a ship that would not only be more powerful than
contemporary Armoured Cruisers, but which would guarantee thei r
destruction. The decision to give them a uniform armament of large
guns ralsed Many eyebrows, but the Iogic seemed to be that sinee
these ships would not engage more heavily armoured opponents (i.e.
Battleshlps) 1 the dangers of placing large guns on a lighter,
faster hull seemed negligible. This was the theary, but it was
another matter in practice.
Then there is the question of econamics: Was it ta
build ships that were almost as powerfui as Battleships, and yet
could not fight in the line of battle? The essential role of the
Battle Cruiser was hunt commerce raiders, aet as scouts for the
main fleet, and aiso to act as a fast division of the battle fleet.
While the Dreadnoughts had but one specifie dut y, the Battle
Cruisers were supposed to perform vrious tasks. It seemed ta make
sense to build one class of ship that could perform various duties
rather than building several different classes of ShlpS, and Fisher
would go even further when he tried to merge both the Battle
Cruiser and Dreadnought into one class of ship. But as will be
shawn, again what worked in theory did not apply in practice .


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The strongest argument in support of these ships came
following the Battle of the Falklands, when two British Battle
CrUIsers virtually annihilated two German Armoured Cruisers, while
receiving only minor damages in return. This was seen as the
JustificatIon of their raIe as the ideal ships to hunt down
commerce raiders. It is true that they proved more than capable of
meetIng this threat, but it was unfortunate that the main danger to
Britain's commercIal shipping would come not from surface raiders,
but from the U-Boats. After the Falklands, the threat of German
surface raiders virtually ended, and was replaced by that of the
Submarine, which the Battle Cruiser could do little against.
As for the questIon of actIng as the scout for the main fleet,
again what was thought of ln theory did not work out in practice.
Bath sides used their Battle r.ruisers as a sort of bait te lure out
each other's forces, but the true scout would prove ta be the fast
and inexpensive Light Cruiser. Bath Hipper and Beatty used screens
of Light Cruisers, and it was these ships which made the initial
contacts at bath Dogger Bank and Jutland.
The concept of using Armoured Cruisers as a fast division of
the maIn fleet was also not new ta the British; the Japanese and
Russians both used their Armoured Cruisers in their main battle
lines during the Russo-Japanese War. As Jutland would show, bath
Beatty and Hood found it tao tempting not ta use their ships as
Fast Battleshlps, and the Battle Cruisers right in the thick of the
battle. They unwisely forgot that their armour protection was not
suitable against other large gun ships, and as a result both



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AdmiraIs paid an unfortunate priee .
The primary purpase of this paper lS not ta attempt a
technicai description of these ShlpS
conventlonai arguments against them.
or to simply restate the
These wi Il of course be
addressed, but will alsa look at them fram a different perspective,
and try ta shed new light on the question of the Battle CruIser .



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Chapter 1: THE ROAD TO INVINCIBLE
The Battie Cruisers were the resuit of the application of new
technologIes to old ideas, but they also came into being at a time
when Britaln's naval supremacy was in its twilight. Fisher's
reforms of the Navy made it more efficient and more powerful
than any other existing fleet, but the days of Pax Britannica were
clearly over. One could argue that the f1eet buil t during the
Fisher Revolution was in a way the swan song of Eng1and's naval
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supremacy, but that lS an a=gument outside the scope of this
The Battle Cruisers were designed ta be the 20th Century's
version of the Frigates of the era of sail ing ships. They were
intended to hunt down privateers and commerce raiders, and also to
be the eyes of the main fleet by acting as fast scouts. Along with
the creation of the Dreadnought-class BattIeships, they were among
the most controversial of the major reforms brought about in the
Royal Navy durlng Fisher's first tenure as First Sea Lord. However,
unlike the Dreadnoughts, which have regarded as his greatest
success, the BattIe Cruisers have been considered as his greatest
fallure. Many historians, such as Parkes, Preston; and Smith agree
that thelr armour protection proved somewhat inadequate when they
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faced other capital ships (Dreadnoughts and Cruisers).-As a
result, the Battle Cruiser has been much maligned as a useless and
expensive type of ship.
The fleet that Fisher created was built on the premise that
the main raIe of the Navy was to seek out a large-scale battle
against an enemy battle fleet. If the British had the advantage in



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both quality and quantity of large warships, victory would
certainly be guaranteed. Naval strategy at thlS time seemed ta
depend on materiai superiority above aIl eIse, WhlCh meant that ln
order to ensure vlctory, England had to have the tead ln the naval
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arms race, and this led to the Dreadnoughts and Battie Cruisers.
Just as the Dreadnoughts represented the new Shlps-ot-the-
Line, the Battle Cruisers were ln the same manner to act as the n ~ w
Frigates. However, there was a fundamental dlfference between the
two types of vesseis WhlCh Fisher created. The concept of the Ship-
of-the-Line was for a ship that would be used primarily ln major
fleet engagements against other Ships-of-the-Llne. They were to be
armed with the most powerful guns avallable and be given sufflClE'nt
protection that would enable them ta withstand considerable
punishrllent. The one drawback of hea.vy armament and protection was
that these ships would be relatjvely slow. In Nelson's tlme, for
battles such as the Nile, Cape St. Vincent, and Trafalgar, large
Ships-of-the-Line were the main warships used for combat, but these
large engagements were only one facet of the dutles that the Navy
had to perform. Whi le they were perfectly sui ted for combat o.gainst
other Ships-of-the-Llne, they were completely Inadequate against
smaller and much faster commerce raiders. Jt 1s oiten forgotten
that after Trafalgar France focused her naval war agalnst England' s
maritime trade by building fast prlvateers instead of trying ta
rebui Id her shattered battie f leet. Against these vessaIs, the
Ships-of-the- Line were totally unsui table. The commerce ra iders
were ships which relied primarily on speed ta bath get close to
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their prey and to get away from larger and more powerful pursuers .

There were several smaller classes of ships to do this task, such
as SloopG, Corvettes, and Brigs, but the largest of the non-line-
of-battle Sh1pS were the Frigates.
While Ships-of-the-Line emphasized firepower, Frigates tended
to emphasize speed. It lS true that the Sloops and Brigs were
taster than Frigates, but these ships usually carry fewer
provIsions, and their range tended to be limited. Most Frigates
were capable of operat1ng on the high seas for longer periods,
which made them more useful as fast predators and scouts.
The firepower of the wooden Battleshlps was often three times
that of the standard Frigate, which meant that along with their
weak protection, they were totally ill-suited for fleet
engagements. Ships rated as Frigates ranged from having twenty-four

to forty-fcj'lr guns, and sorne of the heavier Frigates were almost
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equal to the smaller Ships-of-the-Line. It was these larger French
and Americdn Frlgates which tended to cause the most trouble for
the British, who in turn had to build more of these vessels. In
sorne ways, the need to match these ships resulted in an arms race
that was not disslmilar to the one at the beginning of the next
century. Since other nations had these ships, Britain had ta have
tts own as weIl.
It was this combination of speed and endurance that made the
Frigates invaluable as scouts for the main fleet, which allowed
them to dart around and reconnaitre for the battle fleet, and to be
used as commerce raiders .

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The introduction of steam and ships signalled the
end of era of sai 1 ing warships. The technological advancements
of the llst half of the 19th Century brought the navies of the
world aIl the way from Nelso:n's day to the eve of the DREADNOUGHT.
For the Battleships, the steel Ship-of-the-Line, i t was
reiatively easy to adapt the concept of the Ship-of-the-Line to the
new technologies available; aIl that was needed far them was to
have a heavy armament and sufficient protection that would a110w
them to lie in the 1ine of battie. However, Cruisers, which
acted as the new steel Frirates, were another matter. The
development of theEe ships would lead to the creation of veEsels
that, even before the first Battie Cruiser was constructed, would
rival Battleships in size.
The bi l'th of the modern Armoured Cruiser for the Bri ti Navy
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c,ame with the construction of H.M.S. SHANNON in the 1870's. The
AdmiraIt y decided that aIl vertically armoured ships wauld be
rated as Battleships, Armoured Cruisers, and Coast-Defence Ships.
The differences between the Battleships and Cruisurs at this time
were to be the sarne as those of the earli.:!r Ships-of-the-
Line and Frigates, in which the former had the greater firepower
and protection while the latter had the greater speed. This was
supposed ta be true for the steel ships, but from the beginnlng it
did not work out this way. The 'best way t.o show this Is ta compare
the SHANNON with a contemporary Battleship of the period, H.M.S.
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TEMERAIRE. The TEMERAIRE' s dis.placement was 8540 tons, whi ch waa
50% more than the SHANNON (5670 tons), which did fi.t the theory
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that the Battleship should be 1arger than the Cruiser. The
TEMERAIRE's main armament consisted of four 280mm (lI-inch) and
four 254mm guns as opposed to the SHANNON's two 254mm and seven
230rnm C9-inch) guns, which again fits the theory that the
Battleship should have a h ~ a v i e r main armament than an Armoured
Cruiser. And finally, the TEMERAIRE had superior protection over
the SHANNON, which enabled the former to wi thstand much more
punishment than the latter, thus enabling her to remain in the line
of battle. But the SHANNON was found lacking in the one area where
she was supposed to have the advantage: speed. Her machinery
enabled her to reach a design speed of 12.25 knots, whi1e the
TEMERAIRE' s allowed her to do 14.65 knots. Both vessels were
launched in 1873, and were completed wi thin a few days of each
other in 1877. The cost of the SHANNON came to L302, 707, whi le the
TEMERAIRE's was L489,822, which made her 60% more expensive than
the Cruiser. However, the TEMERAIRE proved itse1f superior over the
SHANNON in every category, wllich meant that al though she was
cheaper to build, she was inadequate to both remain in the line of
batt1e and to chase fast commerce raiders, which made her
usefulness quite limited. Thus, England's first attempt at the
Armoured Cruiser was c1early not a major success.
From the SHANNON came two offsprings, H.M.S. NORTHAMPTON and
H.M.S. NELSON, which were laid down in 1874 and comp1eted in 1878
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and 1881 respectively, at a cost of about L410,OOO. These were in
every way superior to the SHANNON; they were 1arger, had a more
powerful main armament, more protection, and th.-:ir machinery gave
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them a deFlgn speed of 14 knots. However, the same criticisms which
applled ta the SHANNON also applied to them: they were too weak to
be part of the line of battle and too slow to chase down fast.
unarmored commerce raIders, which again made them qUI te llspless for
the prlce that was paid to bUlld them.
The next class of Armoured CruIsers to be built ln England
were H.M.S. IMPERIEUSE and H.M.S. WARSPITE, which were large enougll

to be considered as light Battieships. Their dlsplacements were
over 8500 tons, they carried an armament of four 234mm (9.2-ineh)
guns, the first British warships to mount these weapons, and ten
152mm (6-lnch) breech-loading guns, a maIn belt of 254mm, and were
capable of making 16.1 knots, which was d marked improvement over
the previous ShlpS. They were also tL last British warshlps to be
deslgne with square rig, as sorne in the Admilalty still belteved
that the use of sails was an efficient way of saving coaI, thuB
extending thelr range. The IMPERIEUSE was completed in 1886 (the
WARSPITE was fini shed two years later) at a cost of around
L540,000, which was only LI 00,000 less than the ADMI RAL-cl aSb
Battleships bUllt in the 1880's.
These Cruisers were not very weIl recei ved; One Adml rd 1
referred to them as,
"Amongst the most complete failures of modern ships; tJadly
deslgned; badly carried out, and absolutely dangerous." ~
It is true that once again the speed difference between theso
ShlpS and co.temporary Battleships was either non-exIstent or in
the Bdttleship's favour. As a result, they were rerated as
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Protected Cruisers and sent to Britain's foreign stations, where
their shortcomings would cause no embarrassment.
The seven ORLANDO-class Cruisers were the last set of Armoured
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CrUlseLS England was to build before the end of the century. They
were also the last set of Cruisers laid down during Slr Nathaniel
Barnaby's tenure as D.N.C. (Director of Naval Construction). what
was MOSt remarkable about these ships was that they were much
smaller instead of larger than the previous class. They had a
displacement of 5COO tons, but their armament was the same as the
IMPERIEUSE, with the exception of having two fewer 234mm guns, and
they were designed to do 17 knots, wh;ch was a minute increase in
speed. Rated as Bel ted Cruisers, their armour scheme was much
lighter tha the IMPERIEUSE and WARSPITE, and they were, like the
earlier ShlpS, also regarded as failures.
AlI that Britain achieved in building these early Armoured
Cruisers WS to create ships that were smal1er, slower, and 1ess
powerfui than the Battleships of that era. While they were more
PQwerful than the unarm0red raiders they were designed to hunt,
they were not fast enough to catch them. The real problem lay with
this lack of speed. While there were marked improvements in gunnery
and protection, the progress in engine machinery had not evolved as
quick1y, and until such improvements were made, Cruisers simply
could not perform their primary 'Frigate' tasks.
The 1890 ' s was a decade in which Cruisers were rated in
categories of first, second, or thlrd-class Cruisers, depending on
their size. Since none of these ships had any vertical armour to



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of, they cannot be regarded as Armoured Cruisers. Sti Il, sorne
of the CrUIsers bUIlt were large even by B:lttleshlp standards;
H.M.S. TERRIBLE and H.M.S. laid down ln 1894, had
displacements of 14345 tons, making them only Sllghtly smaller thUl
Il
the MAJESTIC-class Batt1eships. The BattleshIps agaln had the
advantages of more protectIon and greater firepower, but the specd
difference was finally and very notlceably ln the Crulser's favour:
while the MAJESTICS' rnachlnery al10wed them to do about 17 knots,
the two Cruisers' could do 22 knots. This gave the CrUIsers the
necessary speed they needed ln order to be able to scout for the
fleet and be able to retreat from mOTe powerfu] Battleships, which
could no longer catch up to thern.
The rebirth of the true Armoured CrUIser in England came about
near the end of the century, following a breakthrough ln the rneans
of givlng ships gredter protection from shellflre without
drastically increasing thei r weight. The breakthrough was the
introduction of Krupp steel in 1894, which increased the hardness
11
of steel plates to a significant degrep-. Within a short perlod of
time, aIl of the major naval powers began ta adopt the use of Krupp
steel for building warships. Because of thlS, it was now posslble
ta build CrUlsers that could be given adequate armour protection,
and as a result, Britain ended its Armoured CrUIser holiday ln 1897
with the construction of the six CRESSY-class CrUIsers, which WJl]
be described below.
Al though the tish AdmIraI ty did have sorne concern about the
passage of the German Navy Laws in 1898, which led to the creation



/17
of the Hlgh Seas Fleet, the main naval threats at the turn of the
century were still France and Russia. It would not be until the eve
of the bUIlding of the DREADNOUGHT that Germany would be regarded
as Brltaln's main naval rival. The possibllity of conflict with
both France and Russia was of great concern, particularly in the
realm of commerce ralding. Germany had on] y a few Cruisers" and
Ilmlted access to the open seas, while the other two nations, which
together had an ample number of potential commerce raiders and
coallng statIons around the globe, could strike at British
commercial shipping almost anywhere. The French Admiral ty had
returned to the theories of AdmiraI Aube and his . Jeune Ecole'
towards end of the 1890's, which called for an emphasis on the
guerre de course' by building fast Cruisers and Torpedo-Boats that
could strike at Brltain's mercantile fleet and therefore pose a
13
serious threat to her life-line.
Whlle England built Cruisers with very little proteetion at
thlS time, France and Russia managed to gain a head start in the
arms race WI th regards to the construction of fast Armoured
Crusers. The French managed to build the DUPUY DE LeME, BRUIX, and
JEANNE D'ARC-classes, which would have given the existing British
14
first-class Cruisers considerable The French Rear-
AdmiraI Fournier felt that instead of building ships with big guns
and thlck armour, they should instead build ships which had quick-
1.2
firing guns, high speed, and great coal endurance. The French
readopted Adml raI Aube' s views, and by 1898 France had no less than
elght Armoured Cruisers under construction .
----___ _____ s ________ ......... .. 1i4 ...... a ... ... .... ..
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The AdmiraIt y did not waste time in trying to find a solution
to this threat. Much as the threat of the Torpedo-Boat created the
Torpedo-Boat Destroyer, the solution to the Armoured Cruiser threat
was to bUlld the anti-Crulser Cruiser, that is to bUlld ShlpS thdt
were faster, had bet-'.:er protection and more firepower than thp
Cruisers of the rival natIons; in short, it continued to follow the
dictums ot ele arms race by tryIng to bui Id an even bet te r wa l'sh i p.
The building of the SIX ships of the CHESSY-class, laid down
in 1898 and 1899, was an important development of the Armoured
Cruiser. Marder wrote that these ships marked the genesls of the
concept of the line-of-battle Cruiser, which would allow these
ships to participate ln fleet actions as weIl as performing their
li
'Frigate' dutles. They were practically identlcal to the DIADEM-
class Cruisers, but the important difference was that these had an
armour belt, which allowed them to be regarded as true Armoured
Cruisers.
The CRESSYS' dimenslons were 144.3m in length, with a beam of
22.8m, and a maximum draught of 9.2m, along with a displacement of
11
12000 tons. Their armament conslsted of two 234mm and twel ve 152mm
guns. As for protection, they had a main belt of 152mm, and their
machinery enabled them to do 21 knots, which was as fast as the
rival Armoured Cruisers. Their dutles were the same as prevlous
Cruisers, but It was believed that they could be used in fleet
18
actions, WhlCh is what AdmiraI Fournier advocated. Sir WIllIam
Whlte, the D.N.C during thlS period, wrote this in hlS report on
the CRESSY:
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"There seems absolutely no reason, under modern conditions,
why first-class Cruisers should hold aloof i! designed and
constructed sUItably. This has become true largely through
improvements in armour and armarnents in the last few years. If
CruIsers are to be built capable of fighting with Battleships in
fleet actions, they must be glven such protection to buoyancy,
stability, guns, aud crews, as will enable them to come te close
quarters with the enemy without running undue risks. Until the
1 atest improvements in armour were made, the thicknesses a n ~
weights necessary to secure adequate protection, over a sufficient
area and height of broadside, were such as to involve very large
dimensions and COF.t., when associated wi th the high speeds and large
coal supplies necessary in Cruisers. Consequently, it may be said,
wi th confidence, that no existing Cruisers have the necessary
protection to justify their undertaking close action with
Battleships, except it to be the Italian Armoured Cruisers (CARLO
ALBERTO and GARIBALDI are representatives of this type) and a few
vessels slmilarly protected and of later date. "ll
The CRESSYS were followed in 1899 by the construction of the
four DRAKE-class Cruisers (14000 tons) and the nine COUNTY-class
20
Cruisers (9800 tons), laid down in 1900 and 1901. The French and
Russian Navies countered this by building another eight Armoured
Cruisers in this periode The Bri tish had no cholce but to lay down
more Cruisers, and they followed this with the SIX ships of the
.il
DEVONSHIRE-class (10850 tons, laid down in 1902). Following this
came the two ships of the DUKE OF EDINBURGH-class (13500 tons, laid
down in 1903), the four WARRIORS (13550 tons, laid down in 1904),
and finally, the three MINOTAUR-class Cruisers (14600 tons, laid
down in 1905), which were the last Armoured Cruisers to be
22
constructed before the INVINCIBLES were laid down. In a space of
seven years, no less than thirty-four Armoured Cruisers were laid
down in British shipyards, which did give them the numerical
superiority over both France and Russia, who were regarded at thlS
time as the paramount naval threat to England .



/20
Despi te Sir Wi lliam Whl te 1 s views, the di fferences between the
Armoured Cruisers and the Battleships became increaslngly blurred,
and the construction of the INVINCIBLES merely added to the
confusion. These ships had nearly the same firepower, displacement,
and cost almost as much ta bui Id as Battleships, al though they were
not specifi.cally bUll t to 1 ie ln the llne of battle alongside other
Battleships.
The line between the Pre-Dreadnought Battleships and Armoured
Cruisers was almast identical to that of the Dreadnoughts and
Battle Cruisers. One could also compare the DUKE OF EDINBURGH-class
Cruisers with the KING EDWARD VlI-class Battleships, both of WhiCh
were laid down around the same tIme, for proo1 of the amblguity
between the two types of vessels: the displacement of the Cruisers
was 13550 tons, while the Battleship' s was 16350 tons, WhlCh
although this was not as small as the displacement difference
between the DREADNOUGHT and the INVINCIBLE (17900 tons ta the
B.C. 's 17250 tons), it definitely put the CrUIsers in the
Battleship-weight class. In terms of speed, the DUKES had a deSIgn
speed of 23 knots, which was 4.5 knats more than the KING EDWARDS,
whi le the INVINCT ~ . 2 ' s 25 knots gave her an advantage of four knots
23
adVdnatge over tile DREADNOUGHT. In this respect, the Battle Cruiser
was nct breaking any new ground, and was ln fact following a
similar pattern ta the earlier ShlpS.
It is anly ln terms of armament that one can claim a major
difference between the earlier and later ships: the KING EDWARDS
had an armament of four 305mm, four 234mm, and ten 152rnm guns,



/21
while the DURES had six 234nun and ten 152mm guns, which was a
considerable difference; the only difference between the
DREADNOUGHT and the INVINCIBLE was that the latter had two fewer
305nun guns. But i t was another matter in the cost of building these
ships: the average price for the KING EDWARDS came ta Ll,350,OOO,
while that of the DUKES came to LI, 200,000, which was a di fference
of only LISO,OOO; the DREADNOUGHT's cost came ta L1,783,883,
while the average cast of the three INVINCIBLES came to about
LI,650,OOO, which was practically the sarne price difference as
24
between the eariler ships. It can therefore be claimed that the
development from Cruiser to Battle Cruiser was practically
the same as the one from Pre-Dreadnought to Dreadnought-Battleship,
and that the only major difference for the Cruisers was in having
replaced the medium-cal ibre guns wi th a unlform armament of
Battleship-slze guns.
Sir John FIsher became First Sea Lord on Oct. 20th, 1904, one
day before the 99th Anniversary of Trafalgar, and the first
time Since Nelson' s victory Brl taIn' s naval hegemony was being
seriously challenged. When he came to power, France and Russia were
still regarded as the Britain's prlmary naval threat, but he was in
offIce for less than one year when the whole naval situation
changed. France and England signed the Entente COLdiale in April,
1904, WhlCh 1 "lid the foundation for a more friendly atti tude
between the two nations, and the war against Japan had effecti vely
elirninated the Russian Navy as a threat to Britain. As a resu1t,
Gerrnany would soon be recognised as the paramount threat to
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England's naval supremacy.
Fisher 1 S early views of the Armoured Cruiser are somewhat
confusing. While in the Mediterranean he wrote:
"It is a cardinal mistake to assume that Battieships and
Armoured Cruisers have not each of them a distinct message. "25
However, he thp.n went on ta write:
" .. The Armoured CruIser of the fi rst-class is a swi ft
Battleship in disguise. It has been asked that the difference
between a Battleship and an Armoured Cruiser may be def ined. It
might as weIl be asked ta define when a ki tten becomes a cat." 26
This shows that even Fisher was not entirely clear as to the
purpose of these vessels, and his papers aften show Many
contradictlons.
Fisher wrote another report while in the Medi terranean
entitled "Notes on the Imperative Necessity of possesslng Powerful
Fast Armoured Cruisers and their Qualifications", ln WhlCh he
proposed that these warships had ta be faster than aIl other
Cruisers, have a main battery of 254mm guns fore and aft and a
secondary battery of 190mm (7.S-inch) guns, and enough protectIon
ta withstand the impact of 203mm (8-inch) Melinite shells. He
strongly recommended the use of turbine propulsion ln the ships and
27
the use of oil fuel, both of which were radical ideas at that time.
Later, in another paper enti tled "The Design for a 25-knot Armoured
Cruiser'l, he dispensed wi th the 254mm guns and replaced the main
armament WI th four 234mm guns, along wi. th a secondary battery of
twelve 190mm guns. They were to have a displacement of 15000 tons
28
(14000 tons if they used oil fuel). ThIS idea was very close to
what eventually became the MINOTAUR-class Cruisers, WhlCh had only
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two fewer 190mm guns. However, by the time this class was laid
down, Fisher had already decided on another plan for the Armoured
Cruiser.
Speed and long-range firepower were the two driving forces in
Fisher's vision ai the ideal warship. When he was Captain of H.M.S.
INFLEXIBLE, the most powerful warship in the British Fleet st the
time, he wrote ta the C-in-C of the fleet, AdmiraI Seymour, stating
that his Shlp was markedly inferior to the Italian Battleship
DANDOLO:
" 1 t i s di f fi cul t to exaggerate the importance of thi s excess
of speed possessed by the DANDOLO. As the Yankees say, it would
enabIe her to do "just what she darn pleases'. She would have more
than the advantages gi ven in the olden time by possessing the
weather gal'ge, and her guns being of far greater power than ours,
she could remain out of our range and deliberately shell us ... "29
However, as Sumida points out, one of the main f laws in
Fisher's argument was in equating a larger gun calibre with a
30
superiority in long-range hitting. Nevertheless, Fisher continued
to beIieve that British warships had to be faster than their
opponents in order ta force the fleeing enemy to fight.
There is little doubt that Fisher preferred the Armoured
Cruiser over the Battleship. In August, 1904, Mackay notes that he
31
began to have sorne doubts about building more Battleships. Fisher
suggested that fast Torpedo Crafts outdated the "Battlefleet'
principle, and that Battleships had no function that could not be
perfol'med by a fi l'st class Armoured Cruiser. Upon becoming Fi rst
Sea Lord, he toyed wi th the idea of suggesting that Bri tain suspend
its construction of new Battleships, which would be replaced by
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fast Armoured Cruisers. To compensate for their thin armour, they
would fight the enemy head on, which would mean that shells would
hit the ship at an oblique angle, thus in deflection
33
instead of penetration. Fisher then went on to write that while it
would be unwise to stop building Battleships while other nations
were also building them, he believed that the new Battleships would
34
have to be as fast as Armoured Cruisers.
One can see at this point the beginnings of Fisher's plans for
what would be the concept of the Fast Battleship. However,
Selbourne rejected the proposaI. As will be shown later, Fisher
would again try to push this idea to the Committee on Designs, but
35
the only support he wouid receive was from Lord Kelvin.
The men that Fisher chose to form the Committee on Designs in
the development of new warships were revealed in a letter he wrote
to Lord Selbourne, the First Lord of the AdmiraIt y, prior to his
becoming First Sea Lord. This Commi ttee on Designs, which was
formally created on Dec. 22nd, 1904, included Capt. Henry Jackson
(Controller), Capt. John Jellicoe (Director of Naval Ordinance),
Capt. Reginaid Bacon (Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord), Capt.
Charles Madden (Naval AssIstant to the Control 1er), Commander
Wilfred Henderson, W.H. Gard (Chief Constructor of Portsmouth
Dockyard), and Alexander Gracie, whom Fisher regarded as the best
Marine Engineer in the world. It also included Rear-Admiral Prince
Louis of Battenberg (Di rector of Naval Intell igence) 1 Engineer
Rear-Admiral Sir John Durston (Engineer- in-Chief of the Fleet),
Rear-Admiral A.L. Winslow (C.O. Torpedo and Submarine Flotillas),
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/25
Philip Watts (D.N.C.), Prof. J.H. Biles, Sir John Thornycroft, R.E
Froude, and Lord Kelvin. Fisher made himself Chairman of the
Committee, and had Henderson as the Secretary, along with E.H.
36
Mitchell as the Assistant Secretary.
The first meeting of the Committee took place at the AdmiraIt y
on Jan. 3rd, 1905. The Committee proposed the following:
1) Battleships of 15900 tons, capable of making 21 knots.
2) Armoured CrUlsers of 15900 tons, 25.5 knots.
3) Two types of Destroyers:
a) Ocean-going, with a displacement of 600 tons, 33 knots;
b) Coastal service, 250 tons, 26 knots.
37
4) Submarines of 350 tons, 14 knots (on the surface).
ThlS left a huge gap between the Armoured Cruiser and the
Destroyer, which should have been filled by the Light Cruiser.
However, Fisher saw very llttle use fOI these ships in modern
38
warfare. This was clearly short-slghted of him; not only were t h ~ y
useful as scouts, but they also cost considerably less to build
(L350,OOO was the average prlce for a SOUTHAMPTON-class Light
Cruiser, which was armed with eight 152mm guns and capable of
39
doing 2 ~ knots). As a resul t of Fisher' s opposi tion to this class
of ships, England would have far fewer Light Cruisers than i t
needed in 1914.
The Battleship design which probably gave the inspiration for
the DREADNOUGHT came from an article in a 1903 issue of "JANE' S
FIGHTING SHIPS" written by Vittorio Cuniberti, entitled "An Ideal
40
Battleship for the British Navy'. Cuniberti suggested blueprints
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/26
for a 17000-ton Battleship armed with twelve 30Smm guns, twelve
l i.ght 12-pounders, wi th a 305mm main bel t and capable of doing 24
kTJots. The reason for gi ving the ship su eh heavy armour was
presumably beeause he felt that future Battleship actions would
take pl ace ai: point-blank range, sinee most heavy naval guns at
this time could not flre accurately over 1500 yards. However, the
threat of the torpedo and new advanees in naval gunnery made i t
desirable to increase the battle range for such engagements. This
would lead ta a whole controversy about a sui table fi re cont roI
system for British warships later on.
What is less widely known i5 that Cuniberti again probably
gave Fi.sher the inspi ration for the Battle Cruiser. He had eari ier
designed the four Armoured Cruisers of the REGINA ELENA-class,
il
which were laid down between 1901 and 1903. They had a displacement
of about 12861 tons and had a design speed of 21 knots, WhlCh was
standard for Armoured Crui sers at the time. However, thei r armament
was not; they were armed with two 305mm, twelve 203mm, and twenty-
four 76rnm guns. These were in fact the first Cruisers deslgned ta
carry Battleship-size guns, and as Fisher was C-in-C of the
Medi terranean Fleet at this time, i t is most probable that these
ships made qui te an iInpresslon on him. AIso, towards the end of
1904, the Admi raI ty learned that Japan was bui Iding i ts own pal r of
large-gunned Armoured Cruisers, the IKOMA and the TSUKUBA. They had
a displacement of 13750 tons and an armament of four 305mm, twel ve
152mm and twelve 120rnm (4. 7-inch) guns, WhlCh easily placed them in
42
the same league as the contemporary Pre-Dreadnought Battleships .



/27
Their main belt was only 178mm (7-inches) thick, but they could do
21 knots, which was again on a par wi th the average Armoured
Cruiser at the time. The introduction of these ships effectively
outclassed aIl Armoured Cruisers in the Royal Navy. These ships
could in fact be called the first Battle Cruisers. the symbiosis
between the Battleship and the Armoured Cruiser. The AdmiraI ty
decided that the only possible action was to create Armoured
Cruisers that would also carry a heavy armament.
Fisher was therefore not the first one who - rai sed the stakes'
of the Armoured Crulser race, but he was determined not to lag
behind. The argument that appl ied to the DREADNOUGHT would thus
aiso be applled to the new Armoured Cruiser. Sincp. lt looked llke
other nations were planning to bui Id thei r own ali-big-gun
Battleships l the American SOUTH CAROLINAS and Japanese SATSUMA).
England had to ensure that i t constructed i ts version before
everyone else, and also be able to maintaln a numerical superiori ty
in these ships, and this wou1d also prove to be a major factor for
the a11-big-gun Armoured Cruiser.
The question of armament for the new Battleship and Armoured
Cruiser was one of the maln problems facing the Committee. It was
one thil'g ta have a powerful gun, but i t was also necessary for i t
to fire accurately. In 1898, Capt. Percy Scott came up with a
system of "continous aim" gun-Iaying that enabled gunners to lay
their guns wi th precision, which he hoped wou1d increase the
proportion of hits to shots fired by guns at ranges
of 1500 yards or 1ess. In 1899 and 1900. gunnery officers in the
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Medi terranean Fleet carried out firing experiments at ranges of
5000 to 6000 yards, and found that the effect of naval fire could
be accurately estimated when several guns were fired together in a
salvo. A salvo that resulted in splashes that were both short and
long, and right and left of the target suggested that there were
projectlles in between these extremes that were probably scoring
43
hits, and that the gun sights were correctly set. Later, Scott
would propose the system known as directoT firing, which laid and
controlled the entire main armament from one point high up on the
ship. Although an efficient system, not aIl British Battleships and
Battle Cruisers were fitted with 'directors' at the beginning of
the war.
Further tests had shawn that the splashes from the 234mm
shells were practically the same as the 305mm shells, which meant
that there were greatec difficulties in fire control for ships with
mixed armament. The conclusions reached were:
1) Increasing the battle range because of the threat of the 10ng-
range torpedo attack.
2) Long range hitting now being practicable, it might very weIl
determine the result of an action.
3) Salvo-firing was the only known method of control at long
ranges.
4) This necessi tated a uni form heavy armament of eight or more
guns.
5) The heaviest guns made for the most accurate firing with
44
decisive results.
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Fisher pondered whether ta use 254mm guns instead of 305mrn
guns for his new Battleship, as a ship conld carry a greater number
of these guns than they could of 305mm guns. Also, they could
fire much faster and therefore achieve more hits than the larger
gun, but Jackson, Madden, and Bacon were aIl in favour of the use
45
of 305mm guns. Another of the key factors in the decision to use
the 305 guns came from the experlences learned from the Russo-
Japanese War of 1904-05. Capt. William Packenham, the British Naval
Liaison to the Japanese fleet, was aboard Togo's flagship, the
MlKASA, during the major fleet encounters between the Russian and
Japanese fleets. On the engagement which occurred on Aug. 10th,
1904, he noted:
"The 10-inch (254mm) guns of the PERESVIET and POBIEDA were of
45-calibers, and may have also been of greater range than the 12-
inch/40-c.alibre (305mm) guns carried by the (other) Russian
Battleships, but the fire effect of every gun is sa much less than
that of the next larger size, that when 12-inch guns are firing,
shots from 10-inch guns pass unnoticed, while, for aIl the respect
they instill, 8-inch (203mm) or 6-inch (152mm) guns might just as
weIl be peashooter&, and the 12-pr. simply does not count."46
Packenham later stated ln another report to the AdmiraIt y
that:
"The only absolutely "knock-out-blow' in the Aug. 10th action
was delivered by a 12-inch gun firing on the Battleship
TSAREVI TeH. "47
He summed up his reports with a despatch that was received at
the AdmiraIt y on Feb. 28th, 1905:
"Medium arti llery has had i ts day, and the natural process of
evolution demands it should now give place to primary artillery. "48
To FIsher, the conclusion that was reached was that there were
three essentials for doing the maximum amount of damage to enemy
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target$ at long range:
1) Hitting, which is assisted by:
a) Low trajectory (high muzzle velocity- therefore high
calibre guns).
b) Accurate spotting of fire.
2) Damage done by each hit, which depends on:
a) Remaining energy at the range of action.
b) Bursting charge.
3) Rapidity of fire:
a) Rapidity of loading.
b) Number of guns carried
c) Capability of the maximum number of guns being able ta bear
49
on the enemy at any one time wi thout interference Wl th one another.
Points la, 2a, and 2b showed the advantages of the heavier
gun, while points 3a and 3b showed the advantages of the use of a
l ighter gun. In the end, the Commi ttee decided that the heavier gun
was more suitable for the new Battleship, and that its armament
50
would be uniform.
The Armoured Cruiser was another matter. There was no question
about the advantages of a uniform armament, but there ~ a s a
question with respect ta the actual size of the gun. The standard
gun calibre for British Cruisers at this time was the 234mm gun,
which was an excellent weapon. Fisher had written earlier about the
armament of the Armoured Cruiser, clalming that:
"In deal ing wi th Armoured Cruisers speed 18 the one great
essential, a rel iable highest speed is their one great attribute to
attain, ta thlS everything else must be subordinate; having
attained it a certain weight 1s 1eft for guns and armour. Arrnour
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protectlon is fixed to enable them to arrive within sighting
distance of a fleet, the remaining weight can be devoted to guns.
How should this weight be uti l ised'? Should a certain number of 12-
inch (305rnm) guns or a larger number of IO-inch (254mm) or of 9.2-
inch (234rnm) guns be carried'?"
"Naturally the question resolves itself into one of what class
of vessel she wi Il norrnally be expected to fight against. The
answer is, of course, a simllar class to herself. In this case 9.2-
inch guns are of sufficient size, the advantage of the lO-inch over
the 9. 2-inch is not great enough to warrant the extra weight. rfhe
12-inch is unnecessarily large. "g
l t was not long before Fi sher changed his rnind about putting
12-lnch guns on these ships. The logic behind the use of large-
calibre guns on Battleships seemed to apply equally to the Armoured
Cruiser. Wi th the building of the four REGINA ELENAS by Italy and
the two TSUKUBAS by Japan, i t seemed to the Commi ttee that the
future of the Armoured Cruiser was indeed to give it large guns.
The role of this ship had certainly evolved in a short space
of time, and Parkes describes that its duties were now to include:
1) Reconnaissance in force.
2) Support for smaller scouting Cruisers
3) Hunting down enemy marauding Cruisers
4) Pursulng a retreating enemy Battle Fleet and possibly bringing
it to bay by concentrating on stragglers.
5) The abi l i ty to rapidly concentrate and/or attempt enveloping
52
movements during a fleet action.
To perform such tasks would seem to require a type of ship
that was somewhat more powerful than even a MINOTAUR-class Cruiser.
To give the new Cruisers 234mm guns was therefore not acceptable;
l ike the new Battleship, they would aise have a uni form armament of
305mm guns .



/32
It 1s important to note that Fisher at first dld not claim
that the new Cruisers would 1 ie in the maIn llne of battl e clIH.1
fight alongslde and against other Battleshlps. Howevcr, while the
Bri tlsh were makIng plans for their new Armoured CIlll ser, the
concept of puttlng Armoured CrUIsers ln the I1n8 ot battle was put
to the test at the Battle of TsushIma. In thlS engagement, AdmIraI
Togo included two Armoured ln his maIn batt Il" Ilne, and
had another squadron of these ships act as a type ot fast dlVISlon.
The 1dea of uSlng the Battle CrUIsers ta act as a tast dlvlslon of
the Battie Fleet was already considered by the BrItish dS a role
for them, but not their InclusIon ln the Ilne of battle Itself.
Togo' s lncluslon of these ShlpS was probably the r esul t ot hl S
to strengthen his battle 11ne, due to the 10ss of two Rattleshlps
which were sunk earlier ln the war. Nevertheless, It must also be
noted that he would not have put them ln unless he fell that they
were strong enough ta flght alongslde the Battlestllps. Tl11s WlS a
temptation that would be repeated wlth the Battle CrUIsers.
Flsher's ideas concerning the Battle Cnllser as a Fast
Battleship were confirmed ln the first addendum to the Committee's
first progress report, in WhlCh he stated:
"The
existing;
Armoured Cruisers are not comparable wi th
theyare, in reallty, Fast Bdttleshlps."5J.
anythlng
While these ShlpS definitely had an armament that was on the
scale of a Battleship, as well as an advantage ln speed, they
clearly did not have the protectIon of a Battleshlp. It would seern
that Fisher was ahead of himself in pronouncing these ships as the



/33
final evolution of the Armoured Cruiser into the Fast Battleship.
But one thing that would be shown as time went on was that Fisher
would begln to consider heavy armour as being more harmful than
helpful to these ShlpS. He would later build ships which were very
fast and had a very powerful armament, but which would have
practically no protection.
The fi rst designs for the new Armoured Crul.ser, which was
named H.M.S UNAPPROACHABLE, WhlCh were labelled as designs "A",
54
"B", and "CH. They were drawn by the constructor, J.H. Narbeth.
Armoured Cruiser "A" had a general length of 177m, a beam of 25.2m,
and a mean draught ot 8.7m, with a total displacement of 17000
tons. In order to reach the aIl-important design speed of 25 knots,
it was necessary to sacrifice armour weight for machinery, but it
was already expected that these ships would retain the armour
scheme of previous Armoured Cruisers such as the MINOTAURS. This
model was designed ta carry the standard reciprocating engines that
were common throughout the Navy at this time. The key to this
design was in the arrangement of the main armament, which had the
two rear turrets placed one on top of the other, whereas the two in
the front were placed directly alongside each other. This would
allow the ship to fire four guns directly forward and aft, and be
able to fire a broadside of SIX guns. It was reasoned at this time
that firing directly forward and aft was as important as being able
ta fire a large broadside, and this was especially true for these
ShlPS; they were more llkely ta be chasing after weaker Cruisers or
running away from a larger Battleship, which did not make the value
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of the broadsi de to these ships as important as i t was for the
Battleship, although it was ironie that they would wind up havlng
a broadside that "las for a whi le more powerful than any other
Battleship on the globe, except the DREADNOUGHT.
Design "B" had the same displacement and dimensions, but had
both front and rear turrets placed alongside each other, which
meant that the ship could fire a broadside of only four guns.
Design "c" was a smaller version than the other two, wi th a
displacement of 15600 tons, a length of 170.Sm, beam of 24.9m, and
a draught of a.Sm. Most noticeable is the tact that it was designed
to carry only SIX guns, instead of the eight of the two previous
designs. The two forward turrets were again placed alongside each
other, while the remaining turret was placed aft. However, the
Comml ttee rejected the forward abreast turrets on aIl three
designs, and it was decided that an ideal armament arrangement that
allowed good concentration abeam and axially was impossible, and as
a result aIl three designs were regarded as unsuitable.
The next two designs, "0" and "E", that were proposed to the
Committee were quite different from the three previous designs in
55
thelr armament schemes. The dimensions for "0" were the same as "A"
and "B", but the armament was as fl111ows: one turret bath in front
and aft of the ShlP, and two turrets abreast of each other
amidships, which would enable the ship ta fire four guns both
forward and rear, as weIl as a broadslde of six. Design "E" was the
same as this, but with one slight modification in the armament
arrangement. It was decided that instead of placing the two
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amidship turrets alongside each other, they would be placed
diagonally so as to ailow each turret to train on the opposite beam
within an arc of 30-degrees if one was disabled. There was sorne
debate as to whether a Middle 1 ine turret arrangement might be more
practicaI, as this would allow aIl eight guns to fire broadside,
but this was turned down for the simple fact that it would limit
the chase fire to only two guns.
The Committee finally agreed on Design "E" as the model for
the new Arn;oured Cruiser, but addi tional changes were made to this.
It was given a longer forecastle, two tripod masts, shelter decks
for the smaller guns, and a projecting bow that was similar to that
of the new Battleship. However, the MoSt noteworthy difference was
in regards ta the ship's machinery. Fisher once again decided ta
take a gamble by adoptlng the new turbine systew developed by
56
Charles Parsons instead of standard reciprocating engines. Fisher
had been in favour of the use of turbines as ear1y as 1902, which
he described in his report on the new Armoured Cruiser. Parsons
introduced the steam turbine in 1897, when half of the Royal Navy
was assembled at Spithead to celebrate Oueen Victoria's Diamond
Jubilee. It was during this review that a tiny vessel named
TURBINIA darted around the fleet at an astonishing speed of 34.5
knots, faster than any other vessel in the f1eet. The AdmiraIt y was
sui tably impressed, and agreed to have a set of turbines installed
on the Destroyers H.M.S. VIPER and H.M.S COBRA. These ships were
given the design speed of 31 knots, but the turbines allowed these
57
ships 34.3 and 36.6 knots A few more turbine
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experiments on Destroyers followed, and finally the Admiralty
decided to test turbines on a larger ship, and the Cruiser AMETHYST
was chosen for this.
The concept of Parson's turbine system quickly caught Fisher's
imagination, as weIl as that of Watts and Durston. Bacon wrote:
"Fisher knew that no fleet then at sea in the world culd be
reiied on to steam for eight hours at full speed without one or
more of the ships breaking down. One of his greatest preoccupations
in the Mediterranean had been to work up the effective speed of his
fleet; he had succeeded (in obtaining) a speed of 14 knots, but
(could not yet get any) higher. He knew that thlS was due ta the
defects Inherent in reciprocating machinery."58
AlI three men were intrigued by the apparent simplici ty of
turbines, as compared to the reciprocators, and also by the fact
that the installation would save 1000 tons in weight. However,
other mernbers of the Committee were less convinced, and urged for
more tests on the suitability of this system of propulsion. On Jan.
16th, 1905, tests were conducted between the turbine-engined
Destroyer H.M.S EDEN and the reciprocating-engined Destroyer H.M.S
WAVENEY, and a second set of tests were conducted later between the
59
EDEN and the DERWENT. These tests showed that the turbines had the
advantage of reduced weight, an of vibrations (which made
for a steadier gun platform), a lower centre of gravIt y for
machinery, and economized in terrns of personnel needed. This
ailowed the Committee to recommend that turbInes be installed in
the new Battleships and Armoured Cruisers.
The Committee on Designs sat for the last time on Feb. 22nd,
1905. The general design that they proposed for the new Battleship
and Armoured Cruiser was approved by the Board of AdmIraIt y on
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March l7th, 1905, and the final detailed design for the Armoured
60
Cruiser was approved by the Board on Ju1y 7th, 1905.
In the Cornrnittee's final report, the new Armoured Cruisers
would have a displacement of 16750 tons, a length of 177m, a
beam of 25.9m, and a draught of 8.5m. When actually completed.
the dimensions for these ships wouId measure 173.8m{pp)/185.9m(oa),
a beam of 25.7m, and their fore and aft draughts would be 8.3m and
8.7m respactively. They were officially listed at 17250 tons, but
their actuaI normal dlsplacements were as follows: the INVINCIBLE's
was 17330 tons (deep Ioad: 19940 tons); the INFLEXIBLE was listed
as 17290 tons (deep Ioad: 19975 tons), and the INDOMITABLE's was
61
given as 17410 tons (deep load: 20125 tons).
The machinery was divided into two engine rooms, with High-
Pressure turbines pIaced both ahead and astern on the wing shafts,
while another pair of Low-Pressure turbines were aIse fitted ahead
and astern on the inner shafts, which aIso had a separate Cruising
turbine. The first of these Battle Cruisers were also fitted with
thirty-one boiIers which were fitted in four boiler rooms, which
proved more economicaI than the MINOTAUR's twenty-three boi1ers in
five rocms. Altogether, this wouId enabIe the ships to generate
41000 8HP, which was greater than any other warship afloat by a
large margin, and would allow the ship to reach the speed of 25
knots.
The armour scheme was similar to the MINOTAUR-class Cruisers;
178mm for the turrets and redoubts; 152mm for the belt amidships
which tapered off to 102mm (4-inches) forward, which would be



/38
terminated just abaft of the redoubt in arder ta install a 152mm
bulkhead ta be worked across the ship at that pOint; 254mm for the
fore canning tower and 152mm for the after canning tawer; the
protective deck amidshlpS would be 38mm (1.5-inches) thlck on the
fIat and 51mm (2-inches) on the slapes, which wauld be Sllghtly
increased abaft af the armoured bulkhead. The deck protection was
very thin, and offered little protection against plunging fire. Jt
would prove ta be a major weakness ln every Britlsh Battle Cruiser.
The Battle Cruisers were also deslgned to carry a maximum of
3000 tons of coai and an additional 725 tons of 011, WhlCh would
enable them ta travel 5500 sea mi les at economical speeds, lnd
about 4250 miles at 18 knots. As for crew complement, they requi red
784 men, but this wouid saon rise ta more than one thousand during
the First World War.
In terms of armament the ships were to be armed wlth eight
305mm/45 cal. Mark X guns, which cauld be elevated 13.5-degrees and
could fire an 850-lbs shell over 16350 yards, and be able ta flre
a broadside of 51DO-lbs. Also, they were fitted with sixteen 4-inch
quick-firing guns, of WhlCh two were placed on top of each tUlret,
as weIl as three l02mm anti-aircraft guns, one 76mm gun, seven
rnachine-guns, and five subrnerged 457mm (18-inch) torpedo tubes.
Even before the DREADNOUGHT was laid down, Fisher continued ta
push his idea of the Fast Battleship befare the Admlralty. What he
proposed was that instead of having the two new types of vessels,
the Navy should instead adopt the use of one type of Armoured Ship,
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62
which he dubbed as the 'Fusion-ship'. He had written to Balfour
earlier on about this general idea:
"Pith of a Cruiser- She 1s a Battleship in disguise!!! She is
the coming Battleship. Why? Because of speed! That's ,,,hy really
only one Battleship. Now elaborating a new design.-Get rid of
distinction of Battleship and Armoured Cruisers. Simply Armoured
Ships! "63
Fisher argued at the meeting on Nov. 16th, 1905, of the Navy
Estimates Committee that the designs of the new Armoured Cruisers
made them superior to aIl other existing Battleships, and concluded
the meeting by stating:
"It is, indeed, so clear that if the Armoured Cruiser and the
Battleship could be combined in a single type, a tremendous
advantage would be placed in the hands of our AdmiraIs that the
matter demands most serious consideration .... "
"Battle Squadrons 50 composed would possess a flexibili ty
hi therto undreamt of. That such a combination can scarcely be
discarded as a purely visionary and preposterous compromise is
shown by the Italian designs of Cuniberti ... "64
On Dec. 2nd, Fisher arranged a meeting with the other Sea
Lords and the Directors of Naval Intelligence, Ordnance, and
Construction, in what turned out to be a second Committee on
Designs. He informed them that a Parliamentary Paper was about to
be issued which said:
"The terms 'Battleship' and 'Cruiser' had been discarded, and
the term 'Armoured Vessel' was substituted in place of both. The
aim was to have only one type. The Armoured Cruiser design of this
year had rather less armour and armament but greater speed than the
Battleship design, but practically the new Armoured Cruiser was a
Battleship. It was desired to bring about a fusion of the two
designs by next year; it seemed possible for this to be done, and
it would be a great assistance if the Committee would look into the
matter. "65
The C o m m i t t e ~ made its report in January, 1906; it was
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66
decided not to pursue the 'Fusion-ships' for the tirne being. The
elimination of Russia as a major naval power following Tsushima and
the signing of the Entente Cordiale between France and England in
1904 would leave the British with only one naval threat to worry
about, that of Germany. It was argued that the cost of building
Fuslon-ships', as compared to a Dreadnought, would result in the
reduction in the number of capital ships bui 1 t wi th no increase in
67
firepower to make up the difference.
Lord Cawdor, Selbourne's replacement as First Lord, agreed
that four armoured ships would be built from the 1905 Estimates,
and that three of these would be the new INVINCIBLE-class, which
shows that Fisher at least got his way in this respect. lt was
believed that these ships would more than adequately meet the
existing Cruiser threat from Germany, and that it would then be
possible to focus on building a numerical superiority in current
68
Dreadnought-Battleships.
By October, 1906, it was decided that aIl post-DREADNOUGHT
Battleships and Armoured Cruisers would henceforth be categorised
as Capi tal Ships. It can be claimed that this decision was a
mistake, and that it misled the general public about the weaknesses
of the Armoured Cruisers. However, the differences between the two
types of vessels were such that now the Armoured Cruiser had
evol ved to the pOint where i t did indeed ri val the Batt 1esh! p.
Previous Armoured Crui sers were pract ically as large as
BattleHhips, and now their firepower was almost as powerful. Fisher
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agreed, and wTote:
"For the sake of simp! ici ty we necd only consi.der the . capi tal
ships' bui lding and in contemplation (the very phrase indicates the
new era. as we can no longer draw a hard and fast line between
Battleships and Armoured Cruisers). It is on the capital ship that
the command of the sea depends ... The INVINCIBLES are, as a matter
of fact, perfectly fit to be in the line of battle wi th the
battlefleet, and could more correctly be described as Battleships
which, thanks to their speed, can drive anything afloat off the
seas. "69
From this point onwards, the notion that Fisher did not intend
for these ships to fight in the main battle line can be discarded.
His logic that the speed and guns of these ships would enable them
ta fight in fleet engagements was somewhat dubious. Filson Young's
opinion of the supposed advantage in speed was this:
"We never really caught up wi th the German Battle Cruisers
when they were running away from us at full speed. It takes a long
tirne, and a huge distance has to be covered, if a ship going at
high speed i5 to be overtaken by a slightly faster one of which she
has the start. In the case of a ship steaming at 24 knots, having
a 20-mile start of a ship steaminq at 26 knots, it would take just
five hours and 130 knots would have to be covered in a stern chase,
before the twenty mi les were reduced to ten- the beginning of
effective gunnery range. And the North Sea did not, in fact, prove
big enough for the faster ships to secure ther theoretical
advantage."70
As would be during the time when he ordered the
construction of his wartime Battie Cruisers, this attitude towards
the advantages in speed was an error which Fisher never recognized.
Neverthe1ess, it does prove that it was the Battle Cruiser, and not
the Dreadnought, that was Fisher's idea of the perfect warship.
The evolution from the waaden Frigate to the Battie Cruiser
was clearIY not a smooth one. Nevertheless, the evolution ta the
Battle Cruiser did follow the logic of the arms race. The to
build ships that were faster, had more hitting power. and could



/42
withstand more punishrnent was the quintessence of this logic. This
was a pattern that was aiso foilowed by the Battleshlp and the
Destroyer. However, the Cruiser's evolution was such that now It
could easily rival a Battleship in size and firepower.
Fisher was correct in h13 belief that the all-big-gun warship
was on its way. He couid have chosen to wait and see what the other
powers came up with, and simply try to match and improve on their
designs, but feit that if such a revolutlon was to take place,
England had ta be at the forefront and bui l d up a numerical
superiority of such vesseis. The constructlon of the DREADNOUGHT
and the INVINCIBLES did indeed glve Britain a head start in a new
round of the arms race. Fisher kept comlng up wlth larger, faster,
and more powerfui warshlps, continuously seeking to build the ldeal
warship that wouid guarantee England's naval supremacy. However,
this is where the logic of the arms race falls apart; the perfect
warship that Fisher sought was an illusIon. The advantages of such
vessels couid be maintained only until other navies built thelr own
versions. Nevertheless, the construction of the Dreadnoughts and
Battie Cruisers ushered in a new phase of the arms race, which
England was determined to lead.
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Chapter 2: Sisters and RivaIs
The construction of the DREADNOUGHT and the INVINCIBLES caused
a considerable uproar in England. Although the main criticisms of
Fisher's reforms were directed at his plans for the distribution of
the fleet and on the Selbourne Scheme of officer training, there
was much grumbling about the new warships. There were many critics
of the new ships, which included Sir Gerald
Noel and Sir Frederick Richards, Admira.'s Sir Cyprian Bridge and
Reginald Custance, former D.N.C. Sir William White, Lord Charles
Beresford, and the author of THE INFLUENCE OF SEA POWER UPON
l
HISTORY, Alfred Thayer Mahan. The most important criticisms of the
ships were the sacrifice of protection for speed and gun power; the
removal of the secondary 6-inch guns (which was mentioned in
l
Parliament by Lord Brassey); and, specifically against the
DREADNOUGHT, the construction of this ship made Sri tain' s existing
fleet of Battleships obsolete. They felt that this would allow
other nations to challenge England's lead in Battleships by putting
1
everyone an even footing with them.
Lord Beresford disliked the tendency to blur the distinction
between the Battleship and the Armoured Cruiser, and also felt that
the Dreadnoughts should not have been built because they would not
1.
fit into Britain's existing drydocks. AdmiraI Richards wrote:
"The whole Sri tish Fleet was ... morally scrapped and labelled
obsolete at the moment when it was at the zenith of its efficiency
and equal not to two but practically to aIl the other navies of the
world
In Parllament, the criticisms came not only from Naval experts
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such as Lord Brassey but also from the radical wtng of the LIberal
party, such as David Lloyd George, who viewed the DREADNOUGH'r d:;

"a piece uf wanton and profligate ( ,tentatIon". Accordlng to
Marder, thlS was a feelIng shared by many ln the rddlcal wlng of
the Liberal Party, who fel t that the creat Ion of Dreadnoughts wOlll d
lead to an IntensIficatIon of the arms race wrth WhlCh
would mean an increase ln naval expenditures dnd a dectease ln
7
funds available for SOCl 1 serVlces.
FIsher generally tried to Ignore the opInions of the
politiclans, and also brushed aSlde the critlclsms raised III
Mal1an 1 S artIcle "Reflections, Historlc and Other, Suggested by thp
Battie of the Japan Sea". He claimed that Mahan had no specidl
fi
competence as an on tactics or modern constructIon.
However, Flsher could not dismiss other naval opponents RD easlly.
For example, SIr William Whlte's article "The Cult of the Monsler
Warshlp" suggested that the creation of these ShlpS was tantamount
to puttlng aIl of Brltain's naval eggs into one or two vast,
costly, majestlc, but vulnerable baskets He felt that it would
have been better to have a larger number of smaller vessels, Sl nef>
the loss of one of these ships would resul t ln a smaller frdct l onrlI
!t
decrease in the fleet's strength.
Fisher must have known that the introduction of the all-big-
gun warships would effectlvely mdke Britain's existing Battle Fleet
obsolete. Bacon, however, wrote that it was the advent of long-
range shooting, and not the DREADNOUGHT (or the INVINCIBLES) that
10
made ail eXlsting ships obsolete. Marder further argues that



/45
previously, i t was wiser for Bri tain to let nation create
a new type of warshlp, but that covered a period when England's
speed ln shipbullding was without rIvaIs. By the turn of the
century, the constructIon tlme for Germany's Battieships was just
over three years, which was the sarne as the British construction
11
rate. The lnevitablilty of the all-big-gun warship therefore made
It ImperatIve for England to build ItS all-big-gun ships first and
ta maintain a numerlcal superiorlty.
Lord Cawdor had announced that only four armoured ships were
ta be built ln the 1905-06 Estlmates, which was three fewer than
12
had been by Selbourne thrp.c earlier. It has already
been stated that out of the four, one would become the DREADNOUGHT,
while the other three would become the new INVINCIBLE-class
Armoured CruIsers. There wasn't much secrecy about the fact that
the DREADNOUGHT would be an ail-big-gun Battleshlp. In May, 1905,
the journal ENGINEERING gave a reasonably accurate description of
li
the proposed Battleshlp. The so-called Armoured Cruisers were
another matter. On July 17th, a week after the final designs of the
ShipS were approved by the Board, Fisher gave strict instructions
14
that nothing be leaked about their desIgn. When Lord Ctwdor
announced the bUIldIng of these ships, he had simply referred to
them as Armoured Cruisers, and many assumed that these would be
another varlet y of MINOTAURS. The reason for secrecy had to do
mostly with thelr armament. The CruIsers' particulars were indeed
kept secret; ln the 1906 edition of JANE'S FIGHTING SHIPS, they
correctly described the CruIsers' main armament as being of a
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uniform calibre, but lncorrectly stated that It would consist of
~
either eight or ten 234mm guns.
In December, 1905, shortly after the DREADNOUGHT was laId
down, the Conservative government under Prime Minister Arthur
Balfour reslgned and was replaced by the LIberal CdbLnet under SIr
Henry Campbell-Bannerman. Cawdor was replaced as First Lord by Laid
Tweedmouth. Fisher's reforms might have been severely C!lrtJlled,
but he was fortunate to have retalned the confIdence of the new
government, clalmlng that hlS reforms would ln the long run be more
~
economical. As a result, his reforms proceeded.
Another important factor was that Balfour and the OpposItIon
front bench aiso contlnued to support Fisher's plans. Rhodrl
WillIams wrote that had Balfour and hiS supporters chosen ta
repudiate the naval reforms, F i s h ~ r ' s power with the government dnc}
his ability to convince them ta defy hiS crltlCS would have been
TI
greatly weakened.
The LiberaIs had a dlfferent outtook on defence spendIng, and
one of its electlon promIses ln 1906 was to make cuts ln the
defence budget. Cawdor had envisaged that four large ShlpS be bu] It
annually, but in May, 1906, Chancellor of the Exchequer Herbert
Asquith demanded that one big ship be dropped out of the 1906-07
Estimates. Later, on July l2th, 1906, in Vlew of the Hague
Conference and the possibllity of arms lImItatIons, the AdmIraIt y
agreed to ask for only two large ShipS ln the 1907-08 Estlmates,
but the government consented to build a third ship If there was no
18
arms agreement. Despite the fallure of the Second Hague Conference
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in June, 1907, only eight new Dreadnoughts would be authorised in
the naval estImates for the next three years, and only one of these
would be a Battle Crui ser (H. M. 5 INDEFATIGABLE). Mackay noted that
Fisher was in agreement with the reduction of the estimates,
claiming that:
"Our present margin of superiori ty over Germany (our only
possible foe) is so great as to render it absurd in the extreme to
tal k of anythIng endangering our naval supremacy, even if we
stopped aU shipbuj lding al together. "li
This was in sharp contrast with his earlier Vlews, and this
siding wi th the LiberaIs causF!d much agi tation from Tories who
began to crIticise hlS reforms. However, despite his misgivings
about the bUllding reductions, Bal four continued to voice his
support of Fisher, and wi thout the support of the front bench, the
20
back-benchers were faced with an impasse.
The contracts to build the INVINCIBLE, INFLEXIBLE, and
INDOMITABLE, were glven to Elswick, Clydebank, and Firfield,
.li
respectively. Their construction schedu1e is as fo1lows:
H.M.S. INFLEXIBLE had her kee1 laId down on Feb. 6th, 1906, was
launched on June 26th the f0110wing year, and completed on Oct.
20th, 1908 (hers was the longest construction time of the three
ships), at a cost of Ll,677,515; H.M.S. INDOMITABLE was laid down
on March lst, 1906, launched on March 16th, 1907, and completed
on June 25, 1908, wi th her cost coming at LI, 662,337; and finally,
H.M.S. INVINCIBLE was laid down on April 2nd, 1906, launched on the
following Apri l 13th, and completed before the other two ships on
22
March 20th, 1908, at a cost of L1,635,739. Fisher intended these
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ships to be completed within thirty months, and with the exception
of the INFLEXIBLE, which took two extra months to complete, the
ships were completed ahead of schedule. They cost Sllghtly less to
build than the DREADNOUGHT (by about LIOO,OOO), which did raise
sorne questions about building ships which, though not as powerful
as a Battleship, cost nedrly as much. However, when one compares
the priee difference between the INVINCIBLES and the MINO'I'AUHS,
which was only slightly more than L200, 000, there is no doubt that
the INVINCIBLES can indeed be regarded as a bargain.
In terms of ship design few eould disagree that they were very
beautiful. One man remarked that these ships caught the publIC' S
imagination much more than the DFEADNOUGHT. With their speed and
impressi ve armament, they were seen as the ocean' s greyhounds,
capable of catehing anything wi th thei r speed and destroyi ng them
23
with their mighty guns. But this was achieved at a prIce, and that
price was in protection. BRASSEY'S NAVAL ANNUAL stated that:
"Vessels of this enormous S1ze and cast are unsuitable for
man y of the duties of cruisers; but an even stronger objectIon
to the repeti tian of the type i5 that an admi raI havlng INVINCIBLES
in his fleet will be certain ta put them in the 1ine of battle,
where their comparatively light protection would be a disadvantage
and thei r high speed of no value." 24
Admi raI Kerr, who fel t as strongly on the subject of the
Cruisers' armour scheme, wrote:
"When the INVINCIBLE was completlng on the Tyne, Sir PhIlip
Watts came ta see me. Among other questions discussed l pointed out
that the range at which l considered future actIons would be
fought, or anyhow commenced, would be at least 15000 yards, and a
5hell descending from that range wou1d go over the armoured
barbette, penetrate the deck, and strike and burst against the
armoured tube, going straight down to the magazIne, Which would
result in an explosion that would destroy the ship. Sir Philip
(Watts) replied that he knew the danger, but hlS orders were to



/49
protect the vessel from a projecti le fi red at a range of 9000
yards and was not allowed sufficient weight to put on further
armour. "25
Most of FIsher' s crI tICS felt that to construct a ShlP which
was larger than the DREADNOUGHT in size, yet 1 ighter in overall
displ acement, was slmply an invi tation for catastrophe. This
feeling seemed to have been justified ln their minds by the Jutland
disaster. Here lS a comparison of the weight ratios between the
older Armoured CruIser MINOTAUR, the new Arrnoured Cruiser
26
INDOMITABLE, and the new Battleship DREADNOUGHT:
Ship( tons/percentage): MINOTAUR INDOMITABLE DREADNOUGHT
Equipment: 595/4.1% 660/3.8% 650/3.6%
2065/14.1% 2440/14.1% 3100/17.3%
Machinery: 2530/17.3% 3390/19.7% 2050/11.5%
Coa1: 1000/6.9% 1000/5.8% 900/5.0%
Armour: 2790/19.1% 3460/20.1% 5000/27.9%
Hull: 5520/37.8% 6200/35.9% 6100/34.1%
Board Margin: 100/0.7% 100/0.6% 100/0.6%
Total (tons) : 14600 17250 17900
The comparisons between the MINOTAUR and the INDOMITABLE are
clearly in the Battle Cruiser 's favour. In this respect, the
INVINCIBLES did indeed prove to be superior over every other
Crulser. But it is the comparisons with the DREADNOUGHT that is of
most interest. As is shown, the displacement difference is on1y
that of a few hundred tons, but there is a significant difference
as to where the welght went. The DREADNOUGHT had two more 1 arge
guns than the Battle Cruisers, which exp1ains the discrepancy in



;50
the displacement of the armament on both ships. However, the real
difference revoives around the ShlpS' machinery and armour. Roughly
speaking, bath ships had nearly 40% of thei r total weight ln thel r
armour and machinery, but the INVINCIBLES devoted approximately 20%
ta bath of these, while for the DREADNOUGHT It was about 28% for
armour and only 12% for machinery. Thus it i8 clear that [or the
Cruisers, armour had to be sacrificed ia arder ta get the advantage
in speed.
The three INVINCIBLES were at this time the most powerful
Cruisers, and next ta the DREADNOUGHT the most powerful warshlps
aflaat, easily capable of annihllating any CrUIser from the world 1 S
other navies. But the Admirait y declded not to bUlld any more
of these ships, as 1 t was believed that these three vessels were
more than adequate ta deal wi th the current German CrUIser threat.
It was not untii the 1908-09 Estimates that the Admirait y decided
to build another Battie Cruiser, while another seven Dreadnoughts
had already been laId down. Fisher tried ta have an improved
INVINCIBLE added to the 1907-08 programme, claimlng that i t would
be faster and more powerful than the Dreadnoughts currently being
built, and also less expensive, but thlS was reJected by the
27
Admi raI ty. Jell icae even urged that the Armoured Crui sers that wece
to be laid down under the 1908-09 estlmates be armed with 234rnm
guns instead of 305mm-weapons, which shows that support for these
28
ships was not as strong as Fi sher might have haped.
This wait and see attl tude about building more INVINCIBLES
probably depended on two factors: First, whether other nations,
-

-

--

/51
primari Iy Germany, would bui Id thei r own Battle Cruisers, and
second, how the first INVINCIBLES fared on their speed trials and
gunnery practices. But before proceeding any further, the questlon
of flre control must be addressed, which brings in the whole
Dreyer-Pollen debate, which had an important effect on the
construction of the Battle Cruiser.
Arthur Hungerford Pollen had devised the Argo System, which
was a very reliable fire control system, which used gyroscopically
corrected simul taneous ranges and bearings to plot a target' s
movement. Fisher and Jell icoe were both interested in his system in
September, 1906, and it was agreed ta pay him L6,500 for trial
instruments. He was also promised a further LIOO,OOO award and a
monopoly of manufacture at a royal ty of 25% if the system was
adopted for serVIce use. However, the AdmiraIt y instead chose to
select the cheaper fire-control system developed by Lieutenant
FrederIc C. Dreyer. Jellicoe was replaced by Bacon in the Ordnance
Department, and Bacon was convinced that gun Iaying and sight
setting could be accompl ished by human judgement alone. As a
result, he opposed aIl forms of mechanized fire control. According
ta Sumlda, when Dreyer introduced his cheaper manual plotting
method, Bacon used thi s oppurtuni ty to create the pretext by whi ch
29
the agreement with Pollen could be voided.
The Dreyer system was much cruder, as it could not compensate
for the yaw on instrument observation, nor could it plot quickly
enough. In November, 1907, a test was conducted between the two
systems, which were to be judged by AdmiraI of the Fleet Sir Arthur



/52
Wilson. Despi te the superiori ty of Pollen' s system, Wi Ison chose to
support D r e y e r ' ~ system. Dreyer had been a former subordlnate of
Wilson, and Sumlda writes that WilsoP was probably biased in his
decision to support Dreyer. Pollen later tried to appeal to FIsher
for additional retrials, but Fisher chose to follow the counsel of
Bacon and Wilson and stuck with the Dreyer system, desplte the fact
that Pollents system was more efficient. Sumida ha5 argued that
the advantages that were supposed to have been galned by a uni form
armament of heavy guns were lessened by the adoption of Dreyer's
30
system. The Admiralty's deallngs with Pollen can be described as
quite disreputable, and as the war would show, the selection of
Dreyer's system was indeed qUlte unfortunate.
On the continent, the construction of the Dreadnoughts left
Germany with the dilemma of elther backing off completely ln its
attempt to rival the Bri tlsh fleet, or paying the enormous costs to
enlarge the Kiel Canal, WhlCh would be necessary for warships of
this size. In the end, i t was decided to accept the new challenge,
and the Germans paid huge sums to enlarge the canal. Germany fi rst
responded to the DREADNOUGHT in 1906 by laylng down the first of
their four NASSAU-class Battleshlps, but deClded to only lay down
one Armoured Cruiser in reply to the INVINCIBLES. This was to be
S.M.S BLUCHER. AdmiraI von Tirpitz had opposed the construction of
ships to counter Bri taln' s INVINCIBLES, which he regarded prlmarily
.li.
as scouting ships. Nevertheless, she was ordered to be constructed
along with the NASSAU's, and was laid down ln 1907.
The BLUCHER's tragic career started even before she was laid
e

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/53
down. Fisher had gone to great lengths ta ensure the secrecy about
the INVINCIBLES, especially in regards of their armament. As stated
previously, rnany correctly assumed that i t wauld be of uniform
cal ibre, but no one was able to guess just what Fisher had in mind.
The specul atlon that the INVINCIBLES would be arrned wi th 234mm
guns was encouraged when the Bri tish - leaked' information that
seemed to confirm this, which the Germans readily believed. The
BLUCHER was given a primary armament of twelve 210mm (8.2-inch)
guns, which was four more than their last class of Armoured
Cruisers, the SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU, and al though her machinery
(34000 SHP) was supposed ta enable her ta do 24.5 knots, her
32
average speed wauld faii closer ta 23 knots. When the INVINCIBLES
were reveaied ta the world wi th thei r 305mm guns and 25 knat speed,
the Germans qUlckly realised that their new expensive Armaured
Cruiser was not a match against the British ships in terms of
firepower, and would prove tao slow to be able ta outrun them. The
BLUCHER would prove ta be exactly the type of warship which the
INVINCIBLES were created ta fight. It was too Iate ta change the
armament scheme on the BLUCHER, and she was finished as was
originally deslgned. The total cost of the BLUCHER came ta 28.5
mlllion Gold Marks, which was 50% more than the previaus Armaured
33
Cruisers SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU.
The German AdmiraIt y decided ta make another attempt ta try
and counter the British ships. They announced that their 1907-08
program wauld inciude an all-big-gun Armoured Cruiser comparable to
the INVINCIBLES. The first of these ShlpS constructed was S.M.S .



/54
VON DER TANN, which became Germany's first true Battle Cruiser.
This i s a clear example of the so-ealled logie of the arms race.
Germany dld not need to build a vessel to eounter the INVINCIBLES;
her only motivation in building ships of thlS type was because
another power had them. The only purpose of the German Battie
Cruisers was to fight the Bri tish Battle Cruisers.
There i8 very little doubt that the VON DER TANN was a lOuch
better fightl.ng ship than the INVINCIBLE. 'I-he key to this WlS that
she had considerably more armour protection than the Bri tish
rivaIs, and was also designed with greater internaI subdivision,
making her almost unsinkable. This wauld be true of most German
warships, which were designed to wi thstand extreme punlshment, 'lS
wauld be shawn in the war.
The VON DER TANN was laid down on March 25th, 1908, and was
11
finally completed in September, 1910, at a cast af 36.5 rnilllon GM.
Her normal displacement was 19064 tons, and she had a length of
184.6m a beam of 28.6m, and a draught of 8.1m. The ship's
armament consisted of eight 280mm guns, each capable of fl ri ng a
666-pound shell (as opposed ta the INVINCIBLE' s 850-pound shells
from its 305mm guns), but unlike the INVINCIBLES, they could be
fired broadside. The ship a1so carried ten 150mm and sixteen 88mm
guns, which provided her wi th a much heavier secandary battery thdn
her British counterparts. As for her machinery. her engines were
capable (during her trials) of generating 42000 SHP, WhlCh enabled
the ship to reach a top speed of 24.8 knots.
It was on the subject of armour protection where British and
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/55
German opinion differed most. While Fisher' s main belief may have
been that speed equailed protection, the Germans fel t otherwise.
They were of the opinion that whi le speed was important, nothing
could better protect a ship than armour plat ing. The VON DER TANN' s
main bel t was 254mm thi ck, nearly four inches more than for the
INVINCIBLES, and hel" turrets also had a maximum protection of
230mm, which was also greater than i ts Bri tish counterpart. The
distribution is as follows: 6004 tons to her hull (31.5%), 2604
tons to the armament (13. 7%), 3034 tons to machinery (15.9%), and
35
5693 tons to armour protection (29.8%). When these figures are
compared wi th INDOMITABLE, i t shows that the British devoted a
somewhat higher weight percentage towrds the huI 1, armament, and
machlnery than did the Germans, but far less for the armour;
INDOMITABLE allotted only 20% of her displacement towards armour,
whi le the VON DER TANN' s was just under 30%, wi th a 2200 ton wei :-"ht
difference in the German ship' s favour. Thus, the combination 01.
greater armour protection and internaI subdivislon made this a
significantly better warship than its British cousins.
For Brl tain' s 1908-09 program, i t was announced that only two
new capltal ShlPS would be ordered, one of which would be the
INDEFATIGABLE. Germany, however, countered wlth four of her own.
Among these would be the second generatlon of what Fisher
officially referred to as Battle Cruisers (in a letter ta Watts in
September, 1908), al though they were only off icially called Battle
36
Cruisers in 1912.
The first of Germany' s second generation Battle Cruisers were



/56
S.M.S. MOLTKE and S.M.S GOEBEN. The MOLTKE was ordered as part of
the 1908-09 program, whi le the GOEBEN was ordered for the followlng
year. As good as the VON DER TANN was, these ships were an even
better class of warships ln almost every respect, and far superior
to even Britain's second generation Battle Cruisers, the threp.
INDEFATIGABLES. They had a normal displacement of 22616 tons, had
two additional 280mm guns, better armour protectIon, and thelr
engines 52000 SHP were capable of giving these ships a top speed of
37
25.5 knots. If there was a flaw, it was their slow building rate;
MOLTKE was laid down two months before the INDEFATIGABLE, but only
fully commissioned in March, 1912, a full year after the British
Shlp.
The AdmiraI ty had decided for i ts 1908-09 program to build one
Dreadnought and a pair of standard 234mm gun Armoured Cruisers,
as weIl as five Light Cruisers, the first to be built durlng
38
Fisher's tenure as First Sea Lord. The government wanted the
estimates further reduced, and the AdmiraI ty was forced to drop one
of the Armoured Cruisers. However, the reports of Germany bui lding
its own Battle Cruisers fcrced the British to reevaluate their
plans. It was decided on March 31st, 1908, to build an improved
INVINCIBLE, and Fl.;her had Watts come up with the plans once again.
Although this new ship was at first referred to as the SANSPAREIL,
39
it would eventually become the INDEFATIGABLE. It looked at this
point as if Fisher wouid have his dream of building the one-
type all-purpose Fast Battleship come closer to fruition. He
explalned ln a letter ta Watts that this new warshlp would be
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/57
superior to the current Dreadnoughts, while the increase in the
cost would be barely noticeable, as he explained:
"1 f we go to work the same way as we did wi th the DREADNOUGHT
we shall succeed because (it iS) so obviously silly to refuse an
increase of 25 per cent of power in the SANSPAREIL (as it was still
named), with only an increase of 4 per cent in cost and 5 per cent
in displacement .... If you remember, the opposition succumbed at
once against DREADNOUGHT when it was seen that such an increase of
power resulted from so small an increase in expense and
displacement."40
The design for what became H.M.S. was approved
.li
by the Board of AdmiraIt y on Nov. 20th, 1908. It was chosen when
it was learned that the expected German Battle Cruisers would not
be any larger than these. But now it was the Germans who beat the
British at their own game; Jellicoe, who was then Third Sea Lord
and Controller, learned in fact that not only was this incorrect,
but that the new German ships would be considerably larger than the
British Battle Cruisers, and he recommended to the Board that they
scrap the designs for INDEFATIGABLE for something that could match
42
the German ships.
H.M.S. INDEFATIGABLE was indeed the cheapest capital ship
43
bui 1 t by any country during the 20th Century, costing LI, 536,769.
The Australian and New Zealand Governments aise announced,
following the approval of the design of the INDEFATIGABLE, that
they would each contribute one warship of this class under the
Commonweal th Defence Programme, and would pay for the whole cost of
construction. This resulted in the construction of an addltional
pair of INDEFATIGABLES, which were given the names of the two
respective Dominions. H.M.S. NEW ZEALAND was immediately placed



/58
under the command of the Royal Navy, whereas the Australians placed
H.M.S AUSTRALIA under their own conunand, but would in the event of
9_1.
war grant England the right of disposaI of this ship.
In wri ting to Viscount Esher 1 Fisher described the new warship
as:
" ... A new INDOMITABLE that will make your mouth water when you
see l t! (and the Germans gnash thei r teeth!) Il
However, such was not the case. In many respects, the ttuee
INDEFATIGABLES were still jnferior to the VON DER TANN, let alone
the MOLTKES. German designers could pride themselves in the
improvements they made when they constructed thei r second class of
Battle Cruisers, while the British opted for mere cosmetic changes.
The period of the INVINCIBLES' comp] ('te mastery ovel' aIl other
Armoured Cruisers was now at an end. Whi le more than adequate
against the medium-s.1ze guns cf regular Crulsers, tne Bat t 1
Cruisers' armour scheme was totally inadequate against the 280mm
guns of the German ships.
H.M.S INDEFATIGABLE was built by John Brown, and laid down on
1909 (AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND were laid down the
46
following June), and was completed by April, 1911. The first
noticeable difference between these ships and the INVINCIBLES was
that they could train aIl eight of their guns the enemy.
This was accompl1shed by separi\ting "pli and "Q" turrets. Their
normal displacewent was 18750 tons for the INDEFATIGABLE and 18800
tons for the other two shl.ps, and thei r deep load displacement Wd9
listed at 21240 tons. Overall, this was only fifteen hundred tons
more than previous ships. However, most of this weight difference
il EU ras $




/59
came from the Increased length of their hull; their exact
dimensions I,.Jere 182m(pp)/193.4m(oa) in length, with a beam of
26.2m, and a and aft draught of about 8.2m and 8.9m
respectlvely. In this respect, the main difference between these
ships and the INVINCIBLES was that they were about twenty-five feet
longer.
When the figures are broken down, these ships devoted less in
terms of welght percentage towards armament, machinery, and armour
than did the INVINCIBLES. The INDEFATIGABLE 1 S armour scheme was
essentially the same as the INVINCIBLE, with a main belt of 152mm,
178mm for turrets, 254rnm for canning tower, and 25mm ta 64mm for
the decks. The armament also consister'f of the same
305nun/45cal. Mark XIII guns of the INVINCIBLES, which had a maximum
range of 19000 yards, as well as sixteen 102mm and four 3-pounder
secondary guns. As already stated, the main difference here was
that she could train a11 of her main guns towards a target when
fi ring broadside, whi le the INVINCIBLES could oni y manage six of
thelrs. As for machinery, she had four-shaft Parsons turbines and
thlrty-two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, and was designed for 43000
SHP (44000 for the other two). She also had a fuel capaci ty of 3170
tons of coal and 840 tons of ai l, and her crew complement was
1 i sted as 800, although this would rise during the war.
Durlng her first trials, she managed to produce 44596 SHP,
which gave her a speed of 24.44 knots, which was deemed
unsatlsfactory. Fltted with new propellers, she later managed 55140
SHP, which enabled her to reach a top speed of 26.89 knots. Rer
------ ---- -----


'
;60
overall deSIgn speed was rated at 25 knots. and she could onl y
surpass this on rare occaSIons. Nevertheless, the NEW ZEALAND was
able to generate 65000 SHP at Dogger Bank.
Agaln, 1 t must be sald that tr.ese ships were not as successfu l
as FIsher thought they would be. Whereas the MOL'I'KES werC'
signl ficant Improvements from the VON DER TANN, the INDEFATIGARLES,
wi th the exception of belng able to flre aU eight guns 1 Il
broadsldes, were not much better than the INVINCIBLES. They were
generally considered ta be inferior to the VON DER TANN, which says
nothing about how they rated alongside the MOLTKES!
By the Summer of 1909, it was realised that Germany had laid
down or ordered no fewer than nine Battleships and Batt le
and another four capital ships were ordered that year. Britain had
twel ve capi tal ships, and was planning for four more in i ts ] 909-10
Estimates. However, McKenna, who replaced Tweedmouth dS
First Lord, announced that the Navy would ask SIX capItal ShipS
that year instead of four, and another tweI ve over the next two
years. Many LiberaIs opposed to this Idea, including DaVId Lloyd
George and Winston Churchi Il. Fortunately, a compromise was
reached, in which it was agreed to lay down four capital ShlpS in
47
1909, and another four were to be added by April lst, 1910. One of
the resul ts of this programme was the construction of the fl rst of
the so-called 'Big Cats', H.M.S. LION. Thls ship, along wlth her
two sisters, PRINCESS ROYAL and QUEEN MAHY. was regarded as the
CrUI ser verSlon of the ORION-c lass Battleships. They represented a
major leap forward from the previous class of Battle CrUIsers .
................ a.as ....... Z2 .... ..... ............... .... .... & ... 5.d.;a. ... .. ..
e

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Whi le the INVINCIBLES and INDEFATIGABLES had only slightly less of
a displacement than their Dreadnought counterparts, the LION's
would outweigh the flrst of these 'Super Dreadnought' by more than
4000 tons: Fisher jubllantly wrote of these ships in 1909:
"Do you know that the ships that we have just laid down are as
far beyond the Dreadnought as the Dreadnought was beyond aIl before
her! And they will say agaln, 'D--n that blackguard! Again a new
era of Dreadnoughts!' But imagine the German 'wake up' when these
new ships by and by burst on them! 70000 horsepower!!! and guns
that will gut them!!!"48
This last point had to do with the Navy's declsion to switch
from 12-1nch to the new 13.5-inch guns as the main armament for the
new capi tal ShlpS. Fisher had the idea of swi tching to this type of
gun as early as 1908, as is shown ln the diary of Capt. Edmund J.W.
Slade, the Oirector of Naval Intelligence at this time:
"Sir J. has now got the 13.5-inch gun on the brain- Bacon is
at the bottom of i t ... "49
Accordlng to Slade, Fisher wanted to create the new 343mm
(13.5-lnch) gun ships for the express purpose of forcing the
Germans to spend more money outside of their ordinary Naval
50
Estimate. However, the superiority of this weapon would depend on
an adequate fire control system, and only the QUEEN MARY was
51
partially fitted with Pollen's fire control system. The result was
that shortly before her destruction at Jutland, her shooting proved
to be the best in the whole Battle Cruiser fleet.
There were consIderable problems with the design and
constructIon of the LIONS. By comparison, the conversion from 305mm
to 343mrn guns for the Battleships was considerably easier;



/67
the tonnage difference between the 305mm H.M.S. NEPTUNE and the
343mm H.M.S ORION was no more than 2500 tons. Slade wrote
that he had dlscussed this new Battle Cruiser with bath Bacon and
Watts, and l t was agreed that she was ta be 500 tons more than the
Battleship ST VINCENT (19560 tons), thuJ putting her at around
20000 tons, and would be able to fire aIl eight guns on one
52
broadside, and would cost about L2,OOO,OOO to bUlld.
One month after this, on March l8th, 1908, a secret memorandum
was written to Fisher (by either Bacon or Dreyer), which stated
that:
"The substitution of l3.5-inch for will involve an
extra displacernent of no more than 2000 tons. It ls considered saie
to estimate that a 13.5-inch DREADNOUGHT-type of ship will throw
into an enemy 50 per cent more weight of shell in a given time, on
any bearing, than the DREADNOUGHT. Thus, by a 10 per cent increase
of displacement, we secure a 50 per cent increase of weight of
shell thrown in .... "
"General1y, it rnay be said that the advantages of long range,
ease of fire control, and the rest of the arguments advanced in
favour of a single type armament nearly aIl apply with equal
force to rnaking the type of gun the heaviest possible wi thi n thf'.
practical 1 irni ts of tonnage of a battleship. "53
Slade recommended that the developrnent of the 343rnrn gun be
postponed until, as he put it,
" .... We can collect information & data from what the
DREADNOUGHT & her sisters can do. "54
Nevertheless, the 343mm gun was to be mounted on both the
ORION-class Battleships and the LIONS.
The LION and PRINCESS ROYAL were bath ordered as part of the
1909 programme, while the third Shlp of this class, the QUEEN MARY,
was ordered for the 1910 programme (along with NEW ZEALANO and
- --- -- ------




/63
5 ~
AUSTRALIA). The LION, built by Devonport, was laid down on Nov.
29th, 1909, and completed in May, 1912; PRINCESS ROYAL was
constructed by Vlckers, laId down on MJy 2nd, 1910, and completed
ln Nov. 1912; and QUEEN MARY, built by Palmers, was laid down on
March 6th, 1911, and completed in Sept. 1913. Curiouslyenough, It
took aIl three ShlpS exactly thirty months to be constructed.
The specifics for the ships are as follows: their dimensions
were 216.4m/229.5m, though the QUEEN MARY's was listed as
23.7m(oa), x 29m (29.2m for QUEEN MARY) x 9.5m, with a normal
displacement of 26270 tons (27000 tons for QUEEN MARY), and their
deep load dlsplacement was close to 30000 tons. Their armament
consisted of elght 343mm/45cal Mark V guns, which could he elevated
up to twenty degrees, and could fire a l250-lb shell over 24000
yards. They also carried sixteen 102mm guns and four 3-pounders, as
weIl as two submerged torpedo tubes. The armour for bath the main
belt and turrets ranged from 102mm to 230mm, 254mm for the conning
tower, and 25mm to 64mm for the decks. They were given four-shaft
Parsons turbines and forty-two Yarrow boilers, which produced an
unprecedented 70000 SHP for the ships, enabling them ta reach 27
knots, although the PRINCESS ROYAL was able to attain a speed of
28.54 knots at her trials. Their fuel capaci ty consisted of a
maXImum of 3500 tons of coal (3700 tons for QUEEN MARY) and 1135
tons of 011 (1130 for QUEEN MARY), and their ~ r e w complement was
Ilsted as 997 men.
These ShlpS were not without their faults. They were given
armour protectlon only against 280mm gunfire, and only in lirni ted



;64
areas. The turret arrangement was also seen dS a mistake. The 'Navy
had decided for 1 ts new desIgns that the turrets would be ln an
all-centrellne disposition, and this was trlcd on both the LIONS
and the ORLONS. 'rhey both had superimposed turrets forward, but
only the Sattleshlps had superimposed turrets a f ~ . The AdmIraIt y
Inslsted on slghtlng hoods at the forward end of the turret, which
caused unbearable blast effect on the personnel in the lower
;;6
turret, thus limiting them to broadsidL arcs. But Instead of
deletlng the mIdshIpS turret, it was decided to drop the after
superlmposed turret. This led to a cumbersome arrangement of
magazine and shellroom between two groups of boilers, and also
~ I
restricted the turret arcs to 120 degrees on elther beam. Parkes'
explanatlon was that the posi tian of "Q" turret enabled a dl visi on
of ~ h e boiler rooms, and sa made for safety where a transverse
bulkhead between them mlght be struck by a torpedo, leadlng to
extenSl ve flooding. However, even he considered this an unnecessary
.?8
precaution if it was intended as such. Nevertheless, they were Li
definite improvement on both the INVINCIBLES and INDEFATIGABLES.
The LION-class was the last class of Battle CruIsers ta be
constructed durlng Fisher's first tenure as First Sea Lord, and he
was partlcularly proud of them as the ul tirnate expressions of speed
and flrepower ln a warship.
The last Battle Cruiser to be laId down by the BrItish before
the war wasH.M.S. TIGER. She was intended to be the fourth Shlp of
the LION-class, with a closer resemblance to the QUEEN MARY, but in
fact became a warship that was far better than any other British
..... -
; ... a ._; il!l'pal "Ii J;; fa ,"fM? i Si ,U"" gai! J$Z 2 j 14f
l
l



/65
Battle CrUIser. In January. 1911, the Japanese government ordered
the constructIon of four Battie Cruisers. of which the prototype
would be designed and constructed in England by Vickers while the
other three ShlpS would be bui! t in Japan. Th1s ship, the KONGO,
was laId down on Jan. 17th, 1911, and was launched on May 18th,
59
1912, one month before the TIGER was laid down. She had a normal
displacement of 27500 tons, carried a main armament of eight 14-
Inch guns, a10ng with a secondary armament of sixteen 6-inch guns
and eight torpedo tubes. Her main beit was no more than eight
inches, but her averall armaur protection was better laid out than
the BrItish ships. HHr engines' 64000 SHP allowed her to reach, 27.5
knots. And finally. the turret arrangement changed the posi tion of
the "Q" turret. This change allowed the turret ta .I.ncrease i ts arc
of bearing ta 60-degrees before the beam and 90-degrees abaft i t on
either s1de. Parkes has claimed that the TIGER's design was
strong1y influenced by the KONGO, but CONWAY's disputes this; it
clalms that the detaiis of the TIGER were settled before the
KONGO's desIgn was complete, and believes it more Iikely that
Vickers' chIef desIgner was given details of the new ship's
60
layout, so that he could incorporate them in the Japanese design-.-
Regardless, there was no doubt in the AdmiraI ty' s minds that this
was a superlor ship ta the LIONS.
The origInal sketch desIgn for H.M.S. TIGER was approved by
the Admlralty on Aug. 18th, 1911, and the final drawings in
61
December. She was Intended ta be the Battie Cruiser equivalent of
the IRON DUKE-class 'Super Dreadnought' for the 1911 program. She




/66
was lald own on June 20th, 1912, by John Brown & Co., and
eventually completcd in October, 1914, the sarne month that Fisher
returned as the Fi rst Sea Lord. Her cost of L2, 593, 100 dWd l"fed
62
even the LION's. Her dlmensions were 216.4m(pp)j230.8m(oa) x 29.7m
x 9.3m, I ~ i t h a normal displacement of 28430 tons (her wartime
deep load dlsplacement was 32800 tons), making her roughly 2000
tons heavier than the LION. She retained the same 343mm main
guns, but these were arranged in the same manner as the KONGO. This
lnnovatlon allowed aIl her boiler rooms to be grouped amidships,
whieh allowed a space of about 24. 6m between gun muzzles anl1 "X"
turret which, to quote Parkes, was considered sufflcient to dllow
63
the guns to be fired dead astern when required. Also, it provlded
sufflcient room to prevent bath turrets from being knocked out by
one lucky hit. She was ta be the only British Battle Cruiser to
mount a heavy secondary armament of twelve 152mm guns (four fewec
than the KONGO), sinee the later wartime Battle Cruisers would
return ta using the lighter 102mm guns.
The TIGER was the first British capital ship ta be fltted with
Brown Curtis turbInes instead of Parsons, and was fltted wilh
thlrty-nlne Babcock and Wilcox large tube boilers, which enablect
her ta generate 85000 SHP, with an overload limit of 108000 SHP.
This allowed her to boast her speed from 28 knats ta 30 knots, but
at her trials, at 104635 SHP she could only reach 29.07 knots. She
carried a maximum coal and ail capaclty of 3320 tons for the former
and 3480 tons for the latter. As for armour protection, her belt
ranged from 76mm ta 230mm, 230mm for the turrets, 254mm for the
LW"-



/67
cann1ng tower, and 25mm ta 76mm for the decks. She had nearly 1000
tans mare allocated to her armour than the LION, which represented
64
25.99" of her total weight (as compared ta the LION 1 s 24.2%).
Altogether, she devoted 7390 tons in armour, WhlCh was near!y 4000
tons more than in the tirst INVINCIBLE. Finally, her crew
complement was llsted as 1121 men. Though she was not quite in the
German Sh1pS' league ln terms of percentage of weight devoted to
armour, this ship was indeed the finest Battle Cruiser built by
England until the arrIvaI of H.M.S HOOD in 1920.
Just before the TIGER was laid down, the Admiralty agreed in
the Summer of 1912 to the construction of what in fact becam2 the
first Fast Battleships, the QUEEN ELIZABETH-class. Fisher, who had
ret 1 red but sti Il carried some influence at the Admira! ty, tried ta
push for the construction of a Battle Cruiser armed with eight ta
ten 38lmm (15-inch) guns, that was capable of doing 30 knots, and
65
cost under L2,000,000. The Admiralty, on ledrning of the
Introduction of the 356rnm (14-inch) gun in the Japanese and
American fleets, and of the rumour that Germany was also going to
adopt a larger gun calibre, decided ta adopt an even larger weapon
than the 343mm gun. He continued ta stress the impprtance of speed
over armour, stating to Churchill, who was now the First Lord:
"There MUST be the 15- inch gun... There MUST be sacri fi ce of
armour. ... There must be further VERY GREAT INCREASE OF SPEED . your
speed must vastly exceed your possible 8nemy! "66
However, Churchill reached a compromise in which the QUEEN
EL l ZABE'rHS wOllld be armed WI th eight 381mm guns and fourteen 152nun
gllns, and these ships would also be the first British warships
a
-
" " ~ " " - - - - " " - - - - - " - " ' "



/69
to use cnly oil fuel instead of a mixture of oil and coal. ThlS
helped them to generate 75000 SHP and be able to ste(1iii at 24 knots,
which was a three knot advantage over most Dr.eadnoughts and nearly
equal te the INVINCIBLES. The cost of these ShipS came to
fJ..7
L2,685,799, WhlCh was only Sllghtly more than the TIGEH. However,
there lS no doubt that thi.s was a most formidable class, which
would prove to be the finest capital ShipS durlng the F1rst World
War. FIsher, however, was not impressed, and wrote back to
Churchill on Dec. 6th, 1911, that the first desideratum of aIl,
1\ 15 speed! Your fools donlt see it- They are always running
about to see where they can put on a 1ittle more armour! to make it
safe! You donlt go into Battle ta be safe! No, you go lnto BattLe
to hl t the other fellow in the eyes fi rst so that he can 1 t see you!
Yes! you hit h1m first, you hit him ha rd and you keep on hittlng.
That's safetyl You donlt get hit back! WeIl! that's the improved
13.5-inch gun! dissociated from dominating speed, that gun 1s
futIle. Why? Because you want ta fight when you like, where you
llke, and how you like! and that on1y cornes from speed- Big Speed-
30 knots- you don't care a d--n then whether your bottoms dirty or
a compartment' s bashed in wi th a torpedo making you draw more water
because you have a big margin of speed over your Noah' s Ark
Dreadnoughts of 21 knots. "68
Fisher continued to dream about a sh1p armed wlth 406mm (16-
inch) guns and steaming at 30 knots, which was given the name of
69
H.M.S INCOMPARABLE. But the Admirait y later shifted completely away
from both Fast Battleships and Battle Cruisers ln the 1913-14 and
1914-15 programmes by introducing the slower but much more heavily
armoured ROYAL SOVEREIGN-class Battleshlps, which were intendcd to
Ile ln the battle line, not act as a fast diVIsion. It was feli
that the advantages gained in greater speed cost too much in terms
of protectIon, and their building cost was deemed too high for
thelr Inab111ty to fight against other Battleships. As a result,
" .. ':).=' .



/69
SIr Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt, the D.N.C., and others chose to
bUlld the slower, more heavily armed and armoured Battleships,
which appeared to mark the end of Fisher's dream pf the fast,
70
ultra-powerful Battie CrUIser.
Thus. from the Iaylng down of the INVINCIBLES in 1906 to the
begInnlng of the war, Britain managed tJ amass a f1eet of ten
Battle CruIsers, while Germany had on1y half as many ready for
combat ln 1914 (not Including the BLUCHER). They did, however,
manage to lay down four more Battle Cruisers before the war
started, which were the SEYDLITZ (24594 tons, ten 280mm guns, 305mm
main belt, and her machinery's 63000 SHP gave her a design
speed of 26.5 knots) and the three DERFFLINGERS, which included the
LUTZOW and HINDENBURG (26181 tons, eight 305mm guns, 305mm main
beIt, and a design speed of 26.5 knots), aIl of which proved
71
formidable warshlps.
There is one additional difference between the German and
Bri tish ships that must be addressed. While the British Battie
CrUIsers were designed for use ln every ocean, the Germans designed
their ShlpS primarily to operate in the North Sea. There was never
any intent Ion on the part of the German AdmiraI ty ta let thei r
Battle Cruisers aperate in the Atlantic and disrupt British
shlpplng, as they were ta do in the Second World War. When the war
dld start, Germany had only one Battie Cruiser, the GOEBEN,
operating outside the North Sea, and she essentiaIIy ran straight
for ConstantInople rather than risk getting back home.
Nevertheless, thlS does show that Gprmany built her ShlpS for no
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better reason than because the British had them .
These ships, originally described as large Armoured Cruisers,
were later described as Dreadnought Cruisers, and by 1912, the name
Battle Cruiser was permanently fixed ta them. Sorne have claimed
that giving them this name caused sorne AdmiraIs ta rate these ships
as belng able ta stand up to Battleshlps. The first Battle
Cruisers, the INVINCIBLES, were originally intended ta be superior
ta every other type of Armoured Cruiser, which they succeeded in
being. Fisher' s decision to take the lead in the development of
Dreadnoughts and Battle Cruisers gave England an advantage when war
did break out in 1914, although it was not as large a lead as they
might have been haped. But the logic of the arms race was quite
apparent with regards to the Battle Cruisers; Britain bUllt hers
first, so Germany decided it had to have its versions as weIl, but
theirs would be even better warshlps. Britain cauntered with the
INDEFATIGABLES and LIONS, which were bel ieved to be better than the
German Battie Cruisers, who then countered with the SEYDLITZ and
DERFFLINGERS, and so forth. Fisher's decislan ta take the lead in
the arms race praved to be the right one, but the advantages
afforded by the DREADNOUGHT and the INVINCIBLES lasted only until
Germany came out wi th i ts versions of these ships, which meant that
England had ta continue ta improve on these ships and build more of
them.
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Chapter 3: The Battle Cruiser at War
The First World War has been considered something as a
disappointment for the Royal Navy. It was widely believed that
England's powerful Grand Fleet would defeat the German High Se as
Fleet in the anticipated Trafalgar of the North Sea, while also
using i ts ships to blockade Germany' sports. Fisher also Il ade plans
for the Royal Navy to conduct amphibious operations a10ng the
German coastlines on the North Sea and the Baltic. And finally, to
me(!t the threat of commerce raIders, Bri tain would use i ts Battle
Cruisers to sweep the seas of this danger to its shipping. The
decisive fleet battIe, the blockade, amphibious operations, and the
elimination of commerce raiders were key functions of the Royal
Navy in its history. Yet the Royal Navy was somewhat unprepared to
fight this war. The German Fleet did not come out right away to
meet the Grand Fleet, and when they did meet, the resul ts would
prove disappointing for both sides. The idea of amphibious
operations on Germany's coasts fortunately never came to be, and
Britain also dropped the conventional close blockade, due to the
threat of Torpedo-Boats, Submarines, and mines, and replaced it
with a distant blockade of Germany. Lastly, while the Battle
Cruisers proved successful against surface raiders, the main threat
against Britain's shipping would come instead from the German U-
Boats. WhIle it is clear that the material side of the Royal Navy
did improve considerably thanks to Fisher's reforms, i.t is also
clear that it did not progress very far in terms of strategy. Its
only real advantage was the fact that the German Navy was even less



/72
.1
prepared for war.
The Flrst World War has often been regarded as the war of. the
Dreadnoughts, but the fact was that the Battle Cruisel's were
engaged ln no fewer than flve battles, whlle the Dreadnoughts of
the Britlsh and German fleets only met for one engagement. Only
once durlng the course of the war were the Battle Cruisers ta
perform thei r prlmary task, ta hunt down and destroy potent la L
commerce raiders. Although they succeeded in this task, agaln the
real threat ta England' s commercial shipping during the war p.coved
ta he thp Submarines.
In thelr raIe as scouts for the fleet, lt is true that bott\
nations used their Battle Cruisers as the advance guard fOI the
main fleets, but even these had advance screens of L1ght CrUIsers,
which ln fact acted as the true scouts of the fleet. One roJe that
was ,added for these ShlPS that was never envisaged by FIsher was
shore bomhardment. The British sent one of their Battle Cruisers
for such a purpose in the Dardanelles campaign, while the Germans
llsed thei r ships ta attack the Bri tish coast. Beatty even advocated
this prior ta the war, as wi 11 be shawn below. Another development
of the war was ta use these ships to lure each other's opposing
forces ta thelr respectlve main fleets. In short, they wero the
balt to set up a trap, albeit very expensive bait.
The dlspos1tlon of the Battle Cruisers at the start of the war
was as follows: the lst Battle CrUlser Squadron, under the command
of Rear-Admirai SIr David Beatty, consisting of the flagshlp LION,
PRINCESS ROYAL, QUEEN MARY, and NEW ZEALAND, along wi th eight oider
..,... .. :'!.!f __ ;211@",iin, __ .,it!l!am;;::_II!I.
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Armoured Cruisers, was placed with the Grand Fleet in home waters;
the 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron, which consisted of the INFLEXIBLE,
INDEFATIGABLE, and INDOMITABLE, along with four Armoured Cruisers,
was based ln the Mediterranean; the AUSTRALIA was based in her own
home waters; and lastly, the INVINCIBLE was undergoing a refit to
her turret power system, which had been converted earller from the
standard hydraulic ta an experimental eiectricai system, but this
had proven unsatisfactory, and the ship went back ta the hydraulic
~
system. Germany had only three operationai Battie Cruisers in home
waters at the start of the war, these being the VON DER TANN,
MOLTKE, and SEYDLITZ(flagshIp), and along with the BLUCHER, these
ShlpS were formed into the First Scouting Group, under the command
of Rear-Admi raI Franz Von Hipper, who would be Beatty' s main
opponent during the war. The fourth Battie Cruiser, the GOEBEN, was
in the Medi terranean, and al though her serVIces were lost to
Germany for the remainder of the war, she would cause considerable
trouble for the Allies throughout the conflict.
David Beatty's fame rests almost entirely on hlS having been
commander of the British Battle Cruiser force throughout most of
the war. He took command of this force on March Ist, 1913, and
fIrmly believed that the role of these shlps to be purely
offensive. On April 5th, 1913, he issued his "Functions of a Battle
Cruisler Squadron ", in which he wrote that their primary tasks would
be:
A. Supportlng a rapid reconnaissance by very fast Light Cruisers
(27 or 25 knotters) on the enemy coast, at a high speed and
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sweeping a large area of hostile craft WhlCh sweep or
reconnaissance could only be interrupted by a strong force of enemy
Battleships.
B. Supportlng a blockading force of of Armoured Cruisers.
C. Forming the support between an Armoured CruIser force and the
Battle Fleet when cruising.
D. Forming the supports to a Cruiser force watchlng an enemy's
Battle Fleet at sea.
E. And Final Function: Forming the first dIvisIon of a Battle Fleet
1
in a general action.
Thus he made it qUlte clear early on how he intended to use
hlS squadron. But Beatty was also weIl aware of the dangers from
Torpedo Boats, and issued another memorandum ln WhlCh he stated
that the ideal defence against such a vessel was the Light CruIser,
and advised strongly that Light CrUIsers and Destroyers should
4
accompany the Battie Cruiser Squadron. This shows that Fisher's
earlier attItude ta the smaller Cruisers ha indeed been
shortsighted.
It 1s widely regarded that the Battle of the Falklands (Dec.
8th, 1914) was the occasion WhlCh supposedly vindicated Flsher's
VIsion of the Battle Cruiser, but this was actually achieved
earlier on. Ironically, it was the escape of the GOEBEN which
achieved thlS. This episode is one of the most painfui ln the Royal
N a v y ' ~ history, because of the fateful consequences It had wlth
regards ta the strengthening of Germany's ties ta the Ottoman
Empire, which resulted in its entrance ta the war on the Central
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/75
~
Powers' side later in 1914 .
The first clash of Battle Cruisers nearly occurred in the
Medlterranean when on August 4th, 1914, the GOEBEN encountered the
INDEFATIGABLE and INDOMITABLE on her way to Messina. Hm,'1ever,
Britain was not yet at war with Germany, and she was able to evade
the BrItIsh Battle CrUlsers while she made her run for
Constantlnople. There i5 no need to recount the whole episode of
the GOEBEN and Light Cruiser BRESLAU' s escape from the
Medlterranean squadron, but it is necessary to mention the court
martial of Rear Admlral Ernest C.T. Troubridge, who commanded the
lst Cruiser Squadron and who had the best chance of bringlng the
GOEBEN to battle. It had been hls intention to engage the German
shlps, but he was somewhat influenced by Capt. Fawcett Wray,
commander of the squadron flagship H.M.S. DEFENCE, who felt that
even though the GOEBEN was but one Battle Cruiser, she nevertheless
represented a superior force to the four Armoured Cruisers of
Troubrldge's squadron. The Admlralty had sent earlier instructions
to AdmIraI SIr Archlbald Mllne, the C-in-C of the Mediterranean
Fleet, on July 30th, 1914, a few days before war was declared,
wtllch stated the followlng:
" .... Your fl rst task should be to aid the French in the
transportatlon of thelr Afrlcan Army by coverlng, and if
possIble, brlnging to action Indlvidual fast German ships,
partlcularly GOEBEN, who may interfere with that transportation ....
Do not at thlS stage be brought to action agalnst superior forces,
except ln comblnatlon with the French, as part of a general
battle. "6
It was thlS definltion of what exactly counted as a superlor
force that became the bone of contention .
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On the night of Aug. 7th. 1914, Troubridge's squadron was
patrolling off the island of Cephalonia, south of Cortu, when word
came in that the GOEBEN was approaching towards hl s genera l
position. He ordered hlS squadron, WhlCh conslsted of H.M.S.
DEFENCE, H.M.S. WARRIOR, H.M.S. DUKE OF EDINBURGH, and H.M.S BLACK
PRINCE, to intercept the GOEBEN. l t was estimated that he could
have met her around 6:00 a.m. the followlng day. However, CdPt-.
Wray's opinion was that the GOEBEN's 280mm guns could easl1y
out range the 234mm and 190mm guns that the British Cruisers
carried, and that the German ShlP'S superlor speed over the BrItIsh
ships could enable her to remain outside the maximum fi nng
of the Bntish guns. In hlS mlnd, thlS combination of sllpenor
speed and long range firepower represented a superior force, WhlCh
they were ordered not ta engage. Troubridge accepted thlS advlce,
and broke off the attempt ta intercept the GOEBEN at around 4 :00
a.m. ThIS brought about severe criticism by the AdmIraIt y, who
ordered Troubridge back ta England ta face a Court of Enqulry.
The case agalnst Troubndge essentlally rested on whether or
not the GOEBEN could be regarded as a supen or force. TIH?
representatlve for the defence, Leslle Scott, argued that Whl} e the
GOEBEN' 5 guns had a range of up to 25000 yards, the fu rthps t
British guns could reach was 16200 yards, and that on a cledr rtay
such as Aug. 8th, the GOEBEN could have Ilsed her supenor speed ilnd
gun-range to maximum advantage. Scott turned the argument agalnst
Milne's dISpositIon of hlS three Battle CruIsers, the INFLEXIBLE,
INDOMITABLE, and INDEFATIGABLE, WhlCh he stated were the proper
-- --------



/77
wilrshl[lS far watchlng the GOEBEN.
By Nov. 9th, the court we.ighed the factol's and came ta the
conrlu::-non that at that paI:tJcular tlme, the circumstances
warranted that GOEBEN be consldered as a superlor force, and thus
,j('qultted 'rrouhridge. Adnnralty was not pleased by this
vprdH.:t. FIsher, who had replaced Prince Louu:; of Battenberg as
Flrst Sel Lord ,l few weeks found that the iauit lay wlth
MIlne',:) diSposItIon of hlS BattlH CruIsers, whlle the rest of the
Admira] ty ("hose to place the blame squarely upon Troubridge's
Yet It 1.S somewhdt ] ronlC that the Battie Cru1.scr should
havE' f 1. T'st v l n<1 lCc-1tcd l Tl a courtroom rath8r than i Il combat.
Fisher hdd boasted for years that these ShlPS were superlor to aIl
other Armoule Cnnsers, and the Court ot Enqlllry agreed,
acqul ttlng Troubo.dHe. Ho\tlever 1 considenng the Impact Uns ShlP
hdd because of her escape, 1t 15 smaii wonder why sa many British
Adml ra) s h t: dlsgusted by 'l'roubrldge \ s act and t.he findlngs Dt the
court maltiai.
The BattIe> Crulser's flIS"t actual test as l warshlp accurrec1
7
on Aug. 28lh, 1914, c'lt the Battle of Heligoland l31ght. The plan for
thiS engagement was Inl t ldted hy CommodorE' Roger Keyes, head of the
Sllbmarlne Sel'v\co, and Commodore Regln\ld Tyrwhltt, who commanded
the Hclrwlch Force. They up Wl th a plan to ambush the German
Dpstroypr Patrols off Hell<]olclnd, under the pretext t hat this would
st-'rvp ,lb d df.."'tence agrllnst Ell1elayers lnd U-BOilt!". The plan was
'lppr'av('d hy the Actnll raI ty Ull Puq 24th, <lnd would lI1clude two Llght
Cnllsers and two flotlllc1S from the HdfWich force, along
- &... __ scat rMiX
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/78
with eight Submarines from Keyes' commando As a precaution, the
Adml raI ty al sa ordered Rear-Admi raI Si r Archibald Moore' s two
Battle Cruisers, the INVINCIBLE and NEW ZEALAND, which were at the
Humber at the tlme, to assist Tyrwhitt to the northwestward. When
the INVINCIBLE had completed her refit, Beatty had expected her to
be added to his command, but was disappolnted ta learn that she and
the NEW ZEALAND were to be added to CrUIser Force K.
Beatty was ordered by Jellicoe on the morning of the 27th to
take hlS lst Battle CrUIser Squadcon, along with Goodenough's lst
Light CrUlser Squadron, to jOln Moore's Squadron and support the
operatIon. However, due to an error in staff work, Tyrwhltt and
Keyes never got word of thlS, which contributed greatly to ensuing
confusion. 1 t was saon :.1ade apparent that Tyrwhi tt' s force had
encountered much heavier OppOSl tion than had been antIcipated, and
Tyrwhitt sent out an urgent appeal fer asslstance, clalmlng that he
was very hard pressed. Beatty declded to send Goodenough's squadron
in to support Tyrwhitt's battered force. Beatty correctly reallsed
that the plan had gone awry, and that Goodenough's force ffilght not
be strong enough to save Tyrwhl tt. However, if he moved hlS own
ShipS into the Bight, he would be exposing them to the very real
dangers of mines and Submarlnes. The fact that the WdS
very poor a1so added to his dilemma, Slnce there was also the
danger of being flred upon by friendly unIts or by belng surpnsed
by German capItal ShlpS. Capt. ErnIe Chatfleld, Beatty'n
Flag-Captaln on board the LION, what happened:
"The Bight was not a pleasant spot lnto which to take great
ships; It was unknown whether mInes had been laId there,



/79
Submannes sure ta be on patrol, and ta move Into this JB s)
near to thE' great German base at Wi Ihelmshaven was ri sky.
VlSlblllty was low and la be surprlsed bl' a superior force of
capltdJ ShlpS was not unllkely. 'rhey would have hdd plenty of time
to leav harbour Slnce Tyrwhltt's presence had flrst been known."
"Beatty was not long ln maklng up lus .mnd. He said to me,
What do l'ou thlnk we should do? 1 aught to go and support
Tyrwh l t t, but If J lose one ot these valuable ShlpS the country
WIll never forglve me. '"
"Unburdened \tH th respons i bi Il ty, and eager for exei tement, l
salc1, Surely we must go.' lt was a11 he needed ...
Bealty turned hIS E.S.E., and wlth their arrIvaI the
bdttle was practlcally over. Moore's ShlpS, belng somewhat slower,
took prdctlrally no part ln the engagement, and the laurels went
prLmar11y ta Beatty's BIg Cats. It must be noted that Moore aisa
fI ve CRESSY-class Arrnouted Cnll sers in hl s forcA, but the.3(l
vesseis weIl pst thelr prlme, and 1t was declded not ta
Include them ln the battle. The Battle Cruisers deslroyed ln short
ol.der the Light CruIsers AHIADNE and KOLH, as weIl aH damaglng
three other CrUlSf!rS, whlle the lighter ShlpS (llspatched the Llght
CrUIser MAINZ. By early afternoon, Beatty ordered a general
wlthdrdwal, WhlCh ended the battle.
Beatty had used hlS ghlpS almost exactly llke a cdvalry ot the
seas, dnd then' lS no doubt thdt wlthout his IntE'rvention
Tyrwhltt's force would lla
v
(\ heen defeated. But as he lter put lt,
"The ends )ust-lfied the means, but if l had lost d
C nu sel' 1 shonl ci have been hanged, drawn and quartered. Yet 1 t Wc1S
necessary to 1-un the nsk to .::;ave two of our Llght and a
large force of Destroyers WhlCh otherwlse would most certalnly have
l t . \1 ')
Beattl's (11d prnve to be rlght, but he WlS also
qlllt.P correct that had he lost one of hls ships, he would have had
llluch t 0 fOl, wtllctl expl ains why he dHl not want to stay any



/BO
longer in the Blght once the German Itght forces were drlvpn oft .
The Battle Cruiser' s moment of tn umph, dS weIl ,lS Fl 8h('I" S
moment of vindicatlon, came at the Battle of the Falklands. This
was the battle for WhlCh they were speclflcalLy created, and the
prophecy that they coul d catch any Armoured Cul ser and ntll tnl d t t'
JQ
it was fuifiiied by thlS engagement,
The vlctory was all the more sweet in the pub]}("s lI\1nd Wllll
the knowledge that they had avenged an e<1rl1(\{" at COfO[\f> 1
that was almost as spectacul ar as the one they had In1 Il ct on 111('
Germans. Both sides won dgalnst foes that wc n' ('onSldcldl>ly
inferior; at Coronel, Adml raI Von Spee' s Squadroll W(lS 1 y
stronger than Craddock' s, \..rhlle at the Fal klands l t WiiS Von Sppp
who found hlffisel t hopeless ocids agalrlst Bdll 1 (l
Cruisers. The Br] tlsh vir.tory effectlvely ollm1 fldtpd t hp G('rUldrl
naval presence outSlde of the North Soa and the of pOWt' 1 j III
surface raiders that could threaten Br l t i sh sh l pp. wh 1 ch mo,H1 t
that one of the pnmary dut les ot these sh t had llc(!n ('omp 1 (1 pd
wi thin a few weeks after outbrcdk of th WdT.
Flsher's reactlon ta the Caronel dlsaster was 10 dotach
Battie CrUlsers from the Grand Fleet t 0 go ot f ilnd hunt- down Von
Spee's force. Winston Churchill, the Flrst Lord nL the
suggested to Fisher on thn 4t-h that they send H,itl le (fi
305rrun shJp) and the Armollrecl Cruiser DEFENCE to do thi<" but (.Hl hl'
Instead to send lwo. '['hese wauld b(l the INVINCIBLE ,Hld UIC'
INFLEXIBLE, and as a contlnqcncy plan he also ordered the
m"
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detachment of the PRINCESS ROYAL from Beatty' s force ta go the West
Indies ta watch the Panama Canal for Spee. This was certainly
audacious of his part, for at this time Hipper had used his Battle
Cruisers to bomba rd Yarmouth on Nov. 3rd, and the Navy was still in
shock from the loss of the Armoured CrUIsers HOGUE, CRESSY and
ABOUKIR ta the Submarine U-9 in September, and of the mining of the
Dreadnought AUDACIOUS on Oct. 27th. To detach the three Battle
Cruisers following these events left Bri tain wi th a slim numerical
superlority in capital ships, but Fisher stood firm in his
decisIon.The actual hunting force consisted of the two Battle
Cruisers, four Armoured Cruisers (DEFENCE, CARNARVON, KENT, and
CORNWALL) , two L Ight Crul sers (BRISTOL and GLASGOW, the latter
having survi ved the Coronel di sas ter ) and the Armed Merchant
Cruiser MACEDONIA, under the command of Vice-AdmiraI Sir Doveton
Sturdee. Against this force Von Spee had the two Armoured CrUIsers
SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU, as weIl as the Light Cruisers LEIPZIG,
NURNBERG, and DRESDEN.
The supenorl ty of Sturdee' s force over Von Spee' s could have
but one outcome. The broadslde of the INVINCIBLE alone was heavier
than that of the entire German squadron (5100 lbs. vs. 4442 lbs.).
For most of the battle, the British ships used thelr speed to stay
out of the range of Spee's 2l0mm guns, but their long-range gunnery
was so poor that they scored the majority of their hits when they
were wIthln the range of the German guns. In sorne ways, the battle
dispelled Flsher's belief that supenority in speed would enable
them to Slnk thelr foes wlthout ever corning within
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their effective firing range. The speed advantage was only useful
if they were able to fire accurate1y at extreme range, WhlCh they
cou1d not.
A1though it is not certain, it is estimated that both German
Armoured Cruisers suffered about fort y 305mm shel1 hi ts. 'l'he
INVINCIBLE bore the brunt of the German fire, taklng a total of
twenty-two 210mm and 150mm hits, which caused moderate damage,
whlle the INFLEXIBLE suffered only three hl ts. The INVINCIBLE fi red
513 305mm she1ls, while INFLEXIBLE fired 661, which shows clearly
Il
that their shootlng was not very good. Part of this can be excused
by the fact that nelther ShlPS had operating directors, and the
burning of oi 1 fuel on the INVINCIBLE wi th her coal durlllg the
chase created a dense black smoke which hampered bath her own
gunners and the INFLEXIBLE's as weIl.
The success of the Battle CrUIsers at the Falklands wal:i
seen as the vindicatlon of Fisher's policies, but It also led to
hlS greatest foUy, WhlCh was the deciSlon to bUlld hlS wartlmo
Battle Cruisers. This pushed the whole concept of large guns on <.l
11ght frame tao far. These ShipS were part of the maJor bUlld Ing
programme he announced earller on Nov. 3rd for the Royal Navy,
which would amount to a total of 612 ShlpS, of Whl ch f] ve wou Id be
his light Battle Cruisers. Their main features were to have huge
guns, faster speed than any of the precedlng Battle CrUIsers, and
a very llght draught that would allow them ta operate ]n the Baltic
for hlS so-called carnpalgn of opening a new front on
11.
Germany's Baltlc coast .
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/83
Hipper had earlier managed to get permission on Oct. 29th to
take his Battle Cruisers on a raid on the English coast, which
would act as a diversion for mining operations for his llghter
13
forces. ThIS was at a time when Jellicoe had concentrated aIl major
naval unI ts in the north, which left the entire Engl ish coast
practically undefended. Hlpper' s force included the SEYDLITZ,
MOLTKE, VON DER TANN, and BLUCHER, along with four Light Cruisers,
whlle the bulk of the Hlgh Se as Fleet remained around Heligoland
Bight. Ingenohl was not enthusiastic with this plan, and feared
very much that the Battle CruIsers would expose themselves.
Nevertheless, Hipper went off on the afternoon of Nov. 2nd. The
force came Into contact with a group of British Destroyers, which
were abl e to thwart Hlpper' s operation. He turned hi s force around
after having fired a few scattered shots at Yarmouth, none of which
actually hit the town. However, the raid did serve as a lesson for
further operations.
Ingenohl decided to attempt another raId on the BrItish coast
on Nov. 16th, partly because of the information that INVINCIBLE and
INFLEXIBLE were not ln home waters. This raId was later rescheduled
for Dec. l6th, and Its alm was ta bombard the towns of Scarborough,
11
Hartlepool, and Whltby. Hipper's force consisted agaln of the
SCYDLITZ, VON DER TANN, MOLTKE, BLUCHER, and the new DERFFLINGER,
along with four Llght Cruisers and two Torpedo Boat flotillas. The
Bri tIsh, having decoded the German radio SIgnaIs (thanks ta the use
of the German Navy' s codes and posi tlon grId charts for both
Hellgoland Blght and the North Sea that were salvaged from the
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wreck of the Light Cruiser MAGDEBURG in August), decided to send
Beatty's force out of Rosyth, along with Tyrwhitt's force from the
south and the six Dreadnoughts of the 2nd Battle Squadron that were
based in Cromarty, to ambush and destroy Hipper's force. But what
the Bn tish did not know was that Ingenohl deClded ta take the
entire High Se as Fleet to act as a back up for Hipper. Although
Hipper did bombard the Engl i sh coastal towns, nei ther side was ab 1 e
ta engage the other, and both sides were left disappointed.
The first actual meeting between the ri val Battle Cruiser
forces occurred on Jan. 24th, 1915, at the Battie of Dogger Bank,
which was essentially a dress rehearsal for Jutland. It was the
first duel between the rival Battle CruIser cornmanders, and one
15
that would agaln Ieave both commanders highly frustrated .
On Jan. 23rd, the BritIsh were able ta decode G e ~ m a n radio
signaIs that Hipper was going ta take out a force of four Battie
Cruisers, the SEYDLITZ, DERFFLINGER, MOLTKE, and BLUCHER, along
wi th SIX Llght Cruisers and twenty-two Destroyers to scout the
Dogger Bank. They were able ta place Hipper at a spot thi rty ml les
north of the Bank at 7:00 a.m. for the folIowlng marnlng, and plans
were made to intercept hlm. Beatty would take five of hls Battle
Cruisers, the LION, PRINCESS ROYAL, NEW ZEALAND, INDOMITABLE, and
the newly-completed TIGER, along with four Llght CruIsers, and
would be further asslsted by another three Light CrUIsers and
thirty-five Destroyers from Harwich.
Beatty sighted the German Battle CruIsers at 7:50 a.m., and
Hipper, realIslng that he might be seriously outnumbered, wlsely
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opted to salI back to port. However, he had ta maintain a speed of
23 knots because of the BLUCHER, whose slower speed threatened
disaster for hlS entire force. The action started shortly before
9:00 a.m., when the LION fired at a range of 22000 yards at the
BLUCHER, which was unprecedented before this battle.
The BrItIsh shooting on thlS day was again quite poor, but the
LION managed to draw first blood shortly before 10:00 a.m.,
obtaInlng a hit on the SEYDLITZ which would prove to be a blessing
in dIsgulse for the Germans. This was the third hit on her that
mornlng, WhlCh struck her at a range of 17000 yards. The shell
struck the quarterdeck and burst in holing the 230mm barbette
armour of the sternmost turret. The shell was kept out, but armour
fragments entered, piercing the ring bulkhead, WhlCh ignlted the
280mm main and fore charges in the gunhouse and those of the lower
hOlsts and handlng room, as weIl as sorne in the magazine which alsa
caught fire. The charges from the handing roam ignited and flash
passed into the superflring turret, WhlCh led ta the destruction of
sixty-two maIn and fore charges, WhlCh equalled about six tons of
propellant. It is quite certain that the ship would have blown up
were it not for the bravery of three who managed to flood
the magazIne, prevented the explosion of the 280mm shells
from the Intense heat. The flooding caused the shlp's draught aft
to rlse to about 11.3m, while the steering compartments had to he
abandoned for half an hour trom fumes. The hit on the SEYDLITZ
would be repeated in exact same way on four British Battle Cruisers
at Jutland, but unfortunately for them only the LION woulJ be



J6
saved .
jH6
Desplte thlS hlt, the SEYDLITZ was stIll operatlol1cl1, .md .111
thr ee German Bdt t le Crul sers began to SCOf'e lu ts on the. LION, wh tell
was saon put out of actlon. However, Hipper WdB dble ta pxtTH:ti'
hlmsel f from a most desperate SI tuation thanks lo a signa t tH rot on
the prt of the BrltIsh, who mlstakenly led thelr fo[cl's towdrr\:,
the ct'lppled BLUCHER \nstead of the othet GL'lll\dfl H,ll t 10 Cl\11Rf'1!L
Althollgh he lost the unfortunate BI.UCHER, 1I1pp12r 's tOtce llvpd ln
flght another clay. Beatty WlS cheered tor Uns vl("tory, but lin knpw
that he had lost a golden OppOltUIllty to deal wlth IhPPl'l.
Many wel'e learned from th i s pngagement., bu t l t. WdH thn
Germans who would profit the most. rrhe ne,lI'-deslruct:lon of lllt'
SEYDLJ'rZ due ta tnnet exploslon caused thf'm to 1lI0dlfy aIl 01 lhl'II'
Battle CrUl sers by ceduclng the amounts of rCddy < .... 11lI11Il 1 t IOU ,\l\d
propellant charges, as weIl as adding extril bulkheddf; lnd
l "
ln order to prevent the spreddl ng of the f1 ash t 0 t'h(' IIIdqd:,f, 1111.'. 'J'lu'
BrItIsh would have ta walt for Jutland for ,1 tlu:,t-h,H)rl dC(OUllt 01
the danger thlS posed tn thell Battlc Cruisers. They wei (' more
occupied by the ffiissed oppor. t url! ty to desl'roy Hl pper t hdn t hY W(![(>
ln aSSeSf,Jng the damdge to stllpS.
'l'here was also cons1cterable grllmbllflg about Br l t i!-jh
shootlng WhlCh, apart frolO th<.-> luts on the BLUCHER, obLllnnd ouly
SIX hltS on Hlpper's other SlllpS. 'l'he InstaJldllon oi <11r<!cIUf
fIrlng (createrl hy Admlral Scott) dnc! Ti:\[)(j(-' tu rlii
Battie CrUIsers WdS speeded up, but l t was c1p.cLCled ta use UJ(..!
Dreyer. fI re> control tdbles 1 nstead OVfH the super ior Argo Clock



/87
invented by Pollen. Only the QUEEN MARY was fltted with both a
Mark IV Ar-go Clock and Mark II Dreyer 'rable, and as a resul t her
f lrlPg proved somewhat better than the other Bri tish Battle
] 8
C .1sers.
As for the damage from the sixteen hi ts that the LION had
ved, l t appedred to most that her armour was not strong enough
to Wl thstand the German shells. Her 127mm (5-lnch) and 152mm arrnour
plate WdS repeatedly penetrated by 280mm shells, whlle the 230mm
iUffiour ltdd also been piercE'd by the DERFFLINGER 1 s 305mm shells.
However, there was no way for them ta know about the weakness of
thelr magazIne protectIon, and no Improvements were made in th18
area.
Dogger Bank proved ta be Ingenohl ' s downfall, and also ended
the 'Tlp and Run' raiels by the German Battle Cruisers. It was not
untll the spring of 1916 that the German f leet attempted
major
The next il1vol vlng the Battle Cruiser was in
Dardanelles operations. H.t<1.S INFLEXIBLE went III and bombarded the
Turklsh forts on Feb. 19th lnd Feb. 25th, 1915, and returned on
Mareh 18th. In thlS last dssdult, CampbE'll wrote that her flr1ng
proved the rnost ef fecti ve. hut she suffered consi.dcrabl e damage
f rom she11 f 1 and fram a mine explosIon, and as il resul t was
fOlced to 11mp away at 12 knots. She would prave to he the only
Btltlsh HattIE' CrUlser ln the war ta suffer damage trom an
unde l'Not er weapon. Campbe 11 further wrote that having used a Batt le
CIUlS('! for thlS tYPt' was a ffii1jor mlstake. and on0 for
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li
which she was clearly not designed. However, 1 t must be remembered
that in war many types of weapons systems are often called upon to
do things which they are not des1gned to do, and the use of tlle'
INFLEXIBLE in this role as weIl as the bombardment of the Bll t1 s1l
coast by the German Battle Crul.sers deflnltely fall into thlf;
category.
Jutland. The ward itself lS almost synonymous wlth the doom 01
the Battle Cruisers. It was the only encounter between thp
respect1ve battle f!eets a Germany and Great Brltaln, but from
this pOInt onwards the att1 tude towards the Battie CrUl ser woul d bp
forever altered, and Flsher's clalffi that speed equaJled protection
would prove ta be folly.
The battle was dlvlded into three phases: the f1rst phsP
being the Battle CruIser skirnnsh between H1pper and 8edtty; tlw
second phase, WhlCh pl tted the Grand Fl eet agalnst the H l<Jh Seas
Fleet; and the thIrd phase, WhlCh was nIght sklrmlshes bc-twet'n th('
20
f1eets. Beatty's force consisted of SIX Battle CrUIsers (LION,
PRINCESS ROYAL, QUEEN MARY, TIGER, NEW ZEALAND, and INDEFI\TIGABLE),
a10ng Wl th the 5th Battle Squadron, WhlCh had four of thf' QUEEN
ELIZABETH-class BattleshIps, as weIl as fourteen LIght Crulsers,
twenty-seven Destroyers, and one Seaplane CarrIer. JeJ licoe's fleet
contalned twenty-four Dreadnoughts, three 8attle CrUIsers (Hood's
3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron, WhICh had the three INVTNCIBLES),
elght Armoured CrUIsers, twelve Llght CrUIsers, ami f l
Destroyers. As for the Germans, thelr organlzatlon was as folluws:
Hlpper's force held the Flrst and Second Scoutlng Groups, WhlCh had



the flve Battle Cruisers (LUTZOW, DERFFl.INGER, SEYDL l 1'7., MOLTKE,
and VON DER TANN) and {ive Llght Cn.llsers, \\llnle SI'.t:;
F leet came out Wl th SI xteen Dreadnought and SIX Pr-e-Ih t
Battlesh1.ps, as \'Vell as SlX Llght Cnnser:s, dIld both sllies h,Hi .1
total of SIX and one-ha] f Destroyer flot 1 ll<l8. Al togethcl, th 1 S
gave the BrItIsh a thrQe tu two numerlcl advantage OVPf" tht' C1'11l1<.1tl
fleet, but thlS was mltlgated by clrcumstanct=>s WhH:h (JdVP th",
Germans several opportunl ties ta hurt the Rrt t i sh sil 1 ps.
The Batt.le Cnnsers \oJere to be used as c1 sen'en and lookemt
for the maIn fleet. Theil' maIn functions ln d 9pner,11 lle('l dct Ion
were ta destroy the enemyls Battle Cruisers; support J.lqht
Cruisers, poor to engaging the enerny HattIe CnllSe[S, lU pUSllll\U
home thei r reconnaissance of the enemy' s min n f 1 f no t'lIellly
fleet was present, or if the enemy fleet was thf'y Wt'H!
ta act as a fast di VI si on of the f leet and ta at tack lhp ViUl nf lhf_'
enemy (If lt was possIble ta attaln a sufflClently commandlnu
POSItIOn); and finally, if no enemy Battie Cn.lJ seTS WPfU present.
they could dnve al! enemy light vesseis and glve ttlP lniUn ttal_'l
the ldvantage of the full informa tIan as tot_he f J eet ,
whIle denYlng the enemy' s fleet all knowledge of the Bl-itu;;h /Ilaln
?-1
fleet (unless obtained by ai reraft ). It wi Il b(' l nteres t lrlU t 0 sC'P
how successfui the BrItish HattIe Crulsers were ln these tasks.
The fIrst phase was essentially a rematch betwef.'n Hipper and
Beatty. Agaln, l t was the advanced /01 ght Cru} (EU!! Ne; ,md
GALATEA) WhlCh spottel ei1ch other, and each reported to the i T
respecti ve commanders. kept the QlJEEN ELI ZABETHS in the r



/90
of hl s f l eet, and engaged Hl pper' s force wi thout having wal ted for
thesc StllpS to J0111 wlth tas Batt1e Cruisers. Beatty \<'as cr1ticlsed
tor thlS, but he must have feit that 111S SlX ships were more than
a match for Hipper' s fi ve, and ttlat If he had wai ted for the 5th
battl e Squadron to catch up, Hlpper might have been able ta escape
yet agaln. But he pald a t.crnble price for Uns; shortly after the
Hattie CUllsers were engaged, the VON DER rANN managed to score
tn ts on the INDEFATIGABLE' s turrets at a range of about 15500 ta
22
16000 yards. The German shells penetraled the I3rltlsh armour,
caused il flash wh 1 ch detonat ed the cordj te, and th LS caused her
magazIne ta E'xplode. ThIS was shortly followed by the destructIon
of the QUEEN MARY, WhlCh was fired upon by the SEYDLITZ and
DERFFLINGER at about 14000 to 15000 yards, WhlCh was again caused
23
by a magazIne explOSIon. Beatty's LION also nearly met the salUe
tate when a shell pierced her "Q" turret, which caused a flash that
nearly detonated the magazIne. She was only bare]y saved when her
magazIne was ordered flooded, and one cannot help but notice that
her predicament WdS practically identlcal ta the that of SEYDLITZ
~ 1
at Dogger Bank. Overall, Hipper' s handllng of hlS force at lhlS
point was nothJllg less than brilllant, as he not only sank two
Bntlsh capl .. al ShlpS (in the face of a superior force), but
succeedecl ln lunng Beatty straight lnto Scheer's hands. Hipper
sl1cceeded ln hlS asslgned raIe, but had to wait to see lf Scheer
woulcl be able to fully exp](>lt thi.s.
Much has been WI Itten about th's first phase of the battle, on
how the Germon shoot ing was m'lch superior ta the Bri tish, and how
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inadequate the Bri t i sh armour on the Battle Cruisers was, but that
is only part of the story. The German fire was more accurate, but
it must be noted that at thlS stage the Bntish ships were cledrly
out1ined against the sun, whi1e the German ShlpS were often covered
in the mist, which meant that they had a much easi el' task of
spotting the Brltish ShipS than the Britlsh ShlpS had in spottlng
thern. Later in the battle, it would be noted that the German finng
became considerably less accurate, while the British shootlng
seerned to improve as the batt1e progressed. But the only BritIsh
Battle Cruiser to have fired effectlvely ln thlS flrst phase was
the QUE EN MARY, whi ch was the fi rst Bri tish ship to score hl ts on
the Germans. The Germans themselves claimed that her firing had
been the rnost accu rate of Beatty' s Battle CrUIsers. As al ready
mentioned, she was the only British ship in thlS force to have been
fi tted wi th bath an Argo Clock and a Dreyer Table. One can at best
only speculate on what mlght have happened in the opemng phase if
the BrItish had fitted Poiien's Argo Clocks to their ShlpS.
Just as Hipper was luring Beatty in Scheer's arms,
Goodenough' s 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron sighted the Hlgh Seas
Fleet, and Beatty was informed ln time to escape annIhilation. HIS
dut y now was to 1ure the entire German force into Jelllcoe's arrns,
and to do so he had ta ensure that Hipper had ta be prevented from
sighting the Grand Fleet. The . Run to the North' phase of the
battle was Beatty's flnest moment of the battle, as hIS force
completely p r e v e n t e ~ the First Scouting Group from spotting
Jellicoe. JelllcoB had sent Hood's 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron in
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advance to support Beatty, and their arrivaI on the battle scene
forced back the Light Cruisers of the Second Scouting Group, and
prevented their being able to sight the Grand Fleet. Although the
INVINCIBLE, Hood's flagship, was soon destroyed (again due ta a
magazIne explOSIOn), the High Seas Fleet sailed right into
Jellicoe's arms. From that point onwards, Scheer's task was to get
back home. HIS ships suffered much damage, but returned relatively
intact, while the Bri tish were cursing that they had not been given
enough daylight that would have enabled them to destroy the High
Seas Fleet. Scheer survived, and greater casualties than
he h3 suffered, but this would prove ta be his only chance to
avert total defeat, and he lost. ASlde from a few sorties, the High
Seas Fleet never ddred to challenge England's control of the North
Sea, WhlCh in was tantamount to conceding victory to the
Royal Navy.
Because the BrItish had noc won a second Trafalgar, many in
England were qutck to point the finger of blame. Jellicoe could
have been accused of having been tao cautious, and Beatty couid
have been accused of having been somewhat reckless, but most of the
immediate blame was heaped at the Battie Cruisers. Beatty' s most
famous line during the battle was when he said to Chat field, "There
seems ta be somethlng wrong wi th our bloody ships today, " which has
25
been incorporated into the Jutland folklore. Jellicoe hirnself later
stated:
"The facts which contribute:d to the Bri tish lasses
first, indifferent armour protection of our Battle Cruisers,
particularly as regards turret armour and deck plating, and,
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second, the disadvantage under which our vessels laboured III
regaras to the light."26
As a result, the Battle CruIsers were regarded as deathtraps.
Those who ciaimed that the British Battle CruIsers were too
thinly arrnoured felt vindicated by the results of th1S battle. Thp
German Battle Cruisers, WhlCh had been given more were able
to withstand much greater punishment, whereas the Brl tlsh stllp8
proved incapable of sustaining the same degree of damage. ThIS 18
one of the more popular myths of the battle, but the truth l S
entirely different. The tacts were that the British were plagued by
inadequate shells and magaZIne protection rather than thlTl armour.
Parkes noted that the BrItish 305mm shells were penetrating 254mm
armour on the German ships at about 17500 yards (19000 yards for
the 343mm shel1s), while the maximum range that the German sheJls
27.
were penetrating 234mm armour was recorded as 14600 yards. The
tault lies with the tact that the BritIsh werp fitted wlth
a lyddite burster, which proved tao senSItIve. The result was
that the shells ei ther detonated prematurely or broke up on lmpact,
which meant that the explOSIve force of the shells were expended
mostly outside the armour, thereby negating much of their damage
28
potential. ThIS gave the appearance that the German armour was
capable of withstanding considerable damage. Had the BrItish been
given more effective shells, the battle might have been a clear
victory for them.
As for the magazine, tests on the LION showed that her cordi te
charges were extremely unstable. It had been assurned that the
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charges would merely burn rather than flash off when they were
ignited. They used a vasellne-based solvent to stabilize tl'Ie
propellant, while the Germans used solventless cordite, which was
much more stable, and they placed the charges ln metal covers (the
29
Brltlsh placed theirs in silk bags). The failure of the British-
style cordIte would prove to be the main cause of the destruction
of the three Battle CrUIsers and the Arrnoured Cruiser DEFENCE at
Jutland. Thi s style of cordIte was also responsible for the
destructIon of the Battleships BULWARK and VANGUARD, the Japanese
TSUKUBA and KAWACHI, and the Italian BENEDETTO BRIN and LEONARDO DA
.JQ
VINeT.
Beatty 1 S overa.ll performance at the battle needs some further
analysis. It is true that he should have waited for the 5th Battle
Squadron to jOln his ShipS befor! engaging Hipper, which would have
gi ven hirn a huge advantage over his opponent, and that he only
narrowly avolded Scheer 1 s trap thanks to Goodenough 1 s
reconnaissance, which gave hlm time ta turn away. He has also beea
accused of not having kept Jell icoe weIl informed of the posi tion
of hlS ShipS and the German ShIpS, which often left hlS Commander-
in-Chief ln the dark. But despi te having been outski rmished by
Hipper, he succeeded in bringing the whole High Seas Fleet to
Jell icoe, and bath he and Hoad prevented the German scout ing forces
from informing Scheer of the trap int which he was heading.
For hlS part, SIr Horace Hood showed considerable bravery in
the handl ing of his squadron, but the range he engaged the German
ShIpS, WhlCh varied between 8500 to 11000 yards, was too close for
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/95
these ships. When the visiblilty changed, the German ShlPS wen:l
able to see the INVINCIBLE clearly, and she was shortly destroyed
when a shell i gni ted the propellant in "Q" turret, which caused her
magazine ta explade. Like the Armoured CruIser DEFENCE, which blew
Up shot"tly before, the armour of these ships was clearly not
11
adequate when engaged at shorter ranges. UnI ike the other two
Battie CrUIsers, \tlhich were destroyed at longer ranges, the 108S of
both the INVINCIBLE and DEFENCE was the result of having placed
thern where they should not have been. Al though both Beatty and Hood
fai led in thei r main task to destroy Hipper, they did succeed in
preventing the Gerrnans from detectlng Jellicoe's arrIvaI.
Hipper's performance at the battle as been cansidered as
almcst flawless. He had faced a superlOr force, destrayed two
Battle Cruisers, and succeeded in luring Beatty towards Scheer.
Later, in arder ta prevent a total defeat, he was a r d e r E ~ d ta take
hiR Battie Cruisers and lead them into what was in effect a SUlcide
charge at the British fleet, in arder to cover Scheer's retreat.
His ShlpS were badly pummelled, but he suceeeded in enabl ing
Scheer's fleet to get away, and wound up loslng only one Battie
Cruiser, his flagship LUTZOW. The only part Hipper can claim
failure was his inability ta inforrn Scheer of Jellicae's approach,
and once Jellicoe was in the battle, thoughts of victory were
qui ckly replaced wi th thoughts of escape. Beatty had succeeded 1 n
luring both Hipper and Scheer towards .JellIcoe as he had been led
by Hipper towards Scheer. The only reason why the Germans did not
have ta paya higher priee was due to the approach of darkness, the



/96
InterlOrity of the Britlsh shells, a'nd the rernarkable toughness of
stllpS, WhlCh were c,apable of getting back to port tespite
the senous ponnding they took.
In the BatUe CrUlsercl fulfllled thel!" role of balt
perfectly ln thlS battle, hut cOLlld Uns have been handled by
small!r and less expenslve warshIps? Scheel' have consldered
d fleet of Llght Cruisers as worth chasing aftet-? Probahly not. The
Bat t le Crul sers (;.md the QUEEN ELI ZABETHS) \'lTere l ndeed targets
worthy enough to chase, and proved successfui ln having brought the
mdIn fleets Into contact. But the overall prformaJlce of the
Sri tlsh Battle Cruisers during the war was a mixture of success and
fal1ure. HelIgoland Blght and the Falklands showed theH vi rtues,
whi] e Dogger Bank and Jutland showed thei r defects. But the role of
the scout was shown ta have been handled more effect lI!eIy by the
Llght Cnu ser. As for the threat of contlIlerce r-aiders, again despi te
the fact that they were successfully used at the FaIkldnds, the
need for vesse l s of this type was made unnecessary once 1 t was
real i sed t-hat the maIn threat ta England' s shippIng was the
SuiJmarine. Overa Il, i t would seem that the war shawed that the
concept of an allblg-gun Armoured Cruiser \Vas d mlstake, and nat
real] y needed by the Brl tlsh, but thl.s is lrrelevant v/hen pl Jced in
context of the arms race. Once il was decided ta make the next leap
trom the Armoured Crui ser ta the Battle Cruiser, a11 that rnattered
was to mal.I\taln the lead, regardless of whether Engli:lnd truly
nC'eded thE'ffi or not.
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/97
Chapter 4: The Wartime Battle
Fisher's return as the F1rst Sea Lord on Oct. 30th, 1914,
along with the victory at the Falklands ln December, resulted 111.
the bUIldIng of more Battle CruIsers for the En t Ish Ndvy. 'l'tlf:\
construction of these wartlme Hattl e elUI sers WOU] d resu l t 1 n the
creation of ShlpS that had Ilttle or no value as flghtlI1g SlllpS,
but would al so lead ta the bUl] ding of the most powerful warsh 1 P ) Tl
the world, H.M.S. HOOD. The first ShlpS, for WhlCh WdS
directly responsible, would push the concept of placlng J cHge guns
on a very light hulls to the extreme. In hls ffilnd they werp tlle
ul tlmate comblnatlon of fl repower and speed, WIll ch he foi l L 1 1
believed was aIl that counted in capital ships. Whatever CTlLLC1SIIlS
there were about hlS earller Battle Cruisers, there 18 no doubt
that the development of the RENOWN, REPULSE, COURAGEOUS, GLOR r OUS,
and FURIOUS was a serlOUS mlstake. But after these came the HOOn,
which proved to be the a major Improvement.
Shortly after the Fal k lands vi ctory, FIsher met: Wl th
D'Eyncourt to talk about convertlng two of the recently lald down
ROYAL SOVEREIGN-class Battlesh1ps lnto Battle CrUlsers, WhlCh he
1
wanted as part of his so-called "bclltlC Pro]ect'. The reason why
work on these ships was suspended was because 1 t was fel t: that thny
could not be completed ln tlme to take part ] n the war (sinee both
2
sldes belleved that i t would be a short war). But af cer the
Falklands, Fisher went ta D'Eyncourt to come up wlth a new design
for these ships. He fI rst wanted these ShlpS to mount four 381mm
guns, but shortly afterwards changed hlS plans for what he called
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J
the RHADAMANTHUS to having six 381mm guns. By Dec. 2lst,
D'Eyncourt and FIsher came to an agreement on the desIgn of this
class of Shlp, WhlCh would become the RENOWN and REPULSE. The
essence for t ~ e s ~ ShlpS was to be able ta do 32 knots, mount six
381mm guns, and have an armour scheme comparable to the
INDEFATIGABLES. Churchill, however, was somewhat sceptlcal about
these ShlpS:
"Ta put the value of a flrst-class battleship into a vessel
which cannat stand the pounding of an actIon is false pol1cy. It is
far better ta spend the extra money and have what you really want.
The Battle Cruiser, in other words, shou1d be superseded by the
fast batt leshlp .... in SpI te of her cast. ".1
Ta this Fisher replied:
"1 fear that you have mlssed my point about the 32-knot
RHADAMANTHUS! (So quick1y b u ~ l t and cheap!) The only vessel that
can . catch', not 'keep up wi th' - she han ta catch r ! ! ! ! - the German
Battle Cruiser LUTZOW, of 28 knots, is the English TIGER, of 29
knots. (She can be counted on for 30, l' m told!) Anyhow, a few
months out of dock (even a few more tons of coal) makes a
superlorlty lnto an inferiority of speed in the list you gave me!
There's no 'ccmmanding persanality' in that list! ONE 'Greyhound'
amongst that lot of hares wi th the characteristics of the
RHADAMANTHUS would knock themall out! The bIg 5 knots of the
RHADAMANTHUS 1 S wanted 'here and now' (as the SaI vation .Army poster
says!) We have got ta have 3 RHADAMANTHI! "2
Others ln the CabInet and the AdmiraIt y were also l:;ceptlcal
about bUIlding more of these ShIpS, but JellIcoe went along with
Fisher's idea, and as a result ChurChIll gave his approval by Dec.
6
27th. Both ClmrchIll and JellIcoe preferred that these ships mount
eight heavy guns instead of six and suggested a return to the use
of 343mm guns. FIsher was opposed ta this; he would not hear of
mounting twa additlona1 381mm guns, which he felt would result in
7
10ss of speed and an increase in draught, displacement, and cost .



The RENOWN and REPULSE were bath laid dOWII on .Jan. L91
'
J,
H
and consrructed by Fal rf leld Co. and :J. Brown lllld CO. l"PS(lP('\ \ VP 1 y.
FIsher had wanted these ShlpS ta be completed wllllln f l
months, but the REPULSE was on Aug. l8th, 191h, dnd
RENOWN was f lnlshed a month latcr. Neverthelt:'ss, thlS WI\S tlll
amaZl.ng dchievement for SfllpS of thf'tr 51Z(', they WPIP tilt'
longest slups yet deslgned, bel ng nearl y n 1 Il(-'!t-y t (-,pt lol\Her t heUI
the TJGER. The dlmensions for the:::ie shlI)S wprl'
260.3m(oa) x 29.5m x 8.2m(fore)j8.5m(nft) . 'l'he l t' no 1 IlId J
dlsplacement was 26500 tons (30835 tons deeplond) WdS 2000 tOut,
less th"i'Cl the previons class, and Hns was mostly ( 1 he of
armour; the TIGER devoted 7390 tons towar"ds wtnl<\ tilt'
RENOWNS had only 4770 tons. :Ln arder to reach the desjgned Il.
knats, they were given a belt that was no more thdn IS2mm lhlCk,
whtch brought them down to the ] evel of the l NDEFA'r {(jABLEr..;. tll Y
of their dl spI acement Wl s devoted ta machine ry, wtll ch hdd two
Brown-Curtls turln nes drl vlng four screws, <.md utl for t y- t WI)
Babcock and Wilcox 011 bollers, making t.hesp t 11(' fI rst Bat" t 1 ('
CrUlsers that dl.dn't use coai. Thelr II\dctllnery rf-'<lched dll
unparalleled 120000 SHP, WhlCh the stnps tu do thn 12 knol
spe2d that was sa important ta Flsher.
In terms of a.crnament, apart trom the SIX 38lrnm/42cal Mar K l
guns, WhlCh were maunted in three turrets (two i.n t ront and olle
aft), the ShI p had seventeen 102mm guns. wtll ch was by
FIsher. Flfteen of these guns were mounted ln tnple turrets, wtllch
provcd ta be unsuccessful. The ShlpS also had lwo 76rnm A.A. qunu,



/100
four 3-pounders, dnd two turpedo tubes .
Havlng placed such a heavy armament on such cl light hull
proved tu be d ITllstake. After her flrst flring trial, the RENOWN
was so stralned that she hid ta go back ta the dockyat-ds. She and
the REPULSE were under snch constant repal r after they were
cnrnmlssloned ttlat the two sll1ps were nlcknamE.'d REPAIR arld REFIT.
Thf-! cost- ta bUlld these ShlpS was considerable; the RENOWN's camp
1.0 L2, 962,578, wlul e the REPULSE' s came to L2, 627,401. RENOWN would
undergo three major refl ts ln her career (the REPULSE underwent
'3
two), WhlCh Increased the priee on these ships conslderably.
The folly ln having built these ShipS Iles mostly with Flsher,
but the CabInet and the AdmiraI ty must share il. meaf-'iure of the
blarne. He had wanted ShlpS ta have a llght dr.auHhi.., which was
Sllghtly more than 8.2m for the two ships, to be able to bEl usect
tOI hl s Bal t l C venture. Regardless of the tae1:1cal ment of
Flsher' S plan, h ( ~ would have been better served by havlng ulstead
bllllt MonItors, whlch cost cl mere fractIon of what it cost to build
these Shlpti. The two ships would gain sorne redemptJon by thelr
postwar conv2J"slons, wlnch transformed them Into much better
waIshlps. But whatever fallure these ships may have represented, It
was qUlckly er:llpsed by the other ShlpS that Flsher deslgned.
The COURAGEOUS-elass shi.ps were never officlally regarded as
Battle Crulsers 1 but will nevertheless be Included ln this essay.
'l'hese w e n ~ the so-called . Large Llght Cruisers' 1 which is an
,lceuldte descl"l.ptlon of what they were. These would prave to be
f<:.nlures on a grand seale. They were essentially large guns plaeed
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on Llght CrUIser hulls, WhlCh is as much of a contradIctIon as on0
could posslbly get, but they were supposed ta be the core ShlpS for
the Baltic campaign he was preparing. Fisher knew that the CabInet
would be unwilling to sanct Ion the construct ion of more capl ta 1
ShipS at thlS tIme, but got around this by declarlng thc'lt thL-'SP
would ln fact be large Llght CrUIsers, dnd rnanaged ta get approva 1
10
for their constructIon ln January, 1915.
Because of the shallow Ddnlsh waters, FIsher wanted ships that
had a very small draught, but which still had ta carry guns
and do at least 33 knots. Churchi Il dld seern interested 1 n open l ng
another front that would relleve the pressure on RussIa, but Mackdy
pOInts out that FIsher was never actually commltted ta the Baltlc
project, and slmply used 1 t as the off l cial excuse to bu l l ct thcse
l1
ShlpS. Hi s Interest ln ships Wl th a shailow draught was most 1 i J Y
12
because It would enable the ShlpS ta steam faster. Regarctless of
what hlS reasons were for buildIng them, 1 t must be sald that
ships are a testimony ta Fisher
1
s ab1l1ty ta get almost anythlng hp
wanted ln terms of ShlpS design.
Fisher flrst broached the idea of these ShlpS with Churchill
on Jan. 25th, 1915, when he wrote:
1I0ur North Sea expenences clearly Ind1cate that a CrUIser of
32 knots speed and 22.5 feet draught of water, carrylng four 1')-
inch guns, associated wlth groups of 4-lnch guns on for
deallng with Destroyers, would as completely knocJt Ollt ,:)11 the
German Light CrUIsers as the INVINCIBLE knoc:ked oul thf-;!
SCHARNHORST. It would be a repetltlon of the old argument tbat tho
big gun and hlgh speed, besides givlng you certaIn vlctory. dVOld
having any killed or wounded. But chlefly 15 thlS type of vessel
imperatl vely dernanded for the Bal tIC, where she can go through the
international hlghway of the Sound owing ta her shallow draught."



--------------_.-----
/102
FIsher wanted these sJ'llpS constructed wlthin a year. HIS
tlminq for the proposdl of these ShlpS could Ilot have been better.
Desplte the offIcIal praise for the engagement, the Admirait y was
not totally pleased wlth the Battie of Dogger Bank. FIsher Iater
Informeel PrIme Mlnister ASqUIth that thiS engagement showed that
14
England needed a large numeIlcai superlorlty of BattJe Cruisers. Dy
the 8nd of Febrllary, the deslgns for the flrst two ShlPS of thlS
class, the COURAGEOUS and GLORIOUS, were cornpleted by D'Eyncourt.
On March 5th, FIsher demanded the construction of four more
"Large Llght CrUIsers' of the COURAGEOUS-type. The maln dlfference
between these and the eariler ships was that they would carry two
4 ~ 7 m m (18-lnch) gllns Instead of four 381mm guns, a10ng wlth sorne
15
chdnges to the secondary armament. The fact that he got approval
for even one of these, WhlCh became H.M.S. FURIOUS, a]ong with the
COURAGEOUS and GLORIOUS, clearly shows how much influence Fisher
had. He more often than not got his way by threatenlng to resign,
and bath the AdmIraIt y and Cabinet were loath ta let him go.
This was essentially admitting that FIsher was indispensable.
H.M.S. COURAGEOUS was laid down on March 28th, 1915, while the
~ .
GLORIOUS was started on May lst. Bath were completed January, 1917,
WhlCh was again a remarkable achlevement ln shipbullding. The
FURIOUS was laid down on June 8th, but because of her later
converSIon to a "Semi-Carrier
l
, she was not flnished untll June
26th, 1917. The dlmenslons for the flrst two ships were
241m(pp)/257.8m(oa) x 26.6m x 6.9m(fore)/7.2m(aft), for a deSIgn
dlsplacement of 18600 tons (22690 tons full load). The original
- _._ _ - ___ 1



/103
olmensions for the FURIOUS were supposed ta be 241m(pp)j
x 28.9m x 6.7m(fore)j7.1m(aft), for a legend dlsplacPITIent ot lqlOO
tons, tmt the draught became 6. 4mt tore) / 7. 9m( lit t) dnct t h(!
dlsplacement raised to 19513 tons (22890 tons deep load) when shc
was converted ta a Semi-Carrler'.
AlI three ShlpS were fltted wlth smalt hOllt'f';,
WhlCh were resQtved fOI regut,\r L19ht hut 1t
was deClded ta try these out on larger hull. These the t l lst
capl.tal ships to have smali tube boilers Installen, "nd WE:.'re lilS(l
the first large ShlPS wlth aLl-geared turblnes, havlnq four sh(dtB
for the double h('lical geared tUI'bines. Altogether, tlwy W('f('
capable of generatlng 90000 BHP (whl1e i t took forty-two I,'\rge tulle
bOlIers in the RENOWNS ta glve them 120000 SHP), enahllng them lo
do 32 knots.
The armour on these ShlpS was comparable' to the Brltish Liuht'
Cruisers. The INVINCIBLES had devoted 20% of thelr displrlcement ta
armout:', whlle these ships devoted about 17%. WillCh no! dpPPdI
ta be that great a difference. However, while thelr turrets had (it
sorne pOints 330rnm (13-1nch) of armour platlng, lheir maIn belt <md
bulkheads were at thelr maXlmum only 76mm thick, WhlCh WrtS haIt of
the INVINCIBLES. FI sher wanted speed at the cost of armour, d'Hi
these ShlpS are a testlmany ta his viSIon.
'l'he armament of the hrst two ships were fOUI 3Hlnun quns,
eighteen 102mm guns (again maunted in triple two 76mm
guns, and two submerged torpedo tubes, al though t:wo pal rs of
water tubes were later mounted. The FURIOUS was on ginail y S\lPPOBN}
--------------------------------
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to have two 457mm guns (which could be replaced by four 381mm guns
like the first two ShlpS), but with the addition of a flight deck,
17
she only had one of these massive weapons. Her secondary arament
shlfted from the triple l02mm turrets, and she instead had eleven
140mm guns, aIl of which were single-mounted, as weIl as
two 76mm guns, four 3-pounders, and two (later six) torpedo tubes.
Overall, it was needless to say that as warships, their use was
almost non-existent.
The Second Battle of Heligoland Bight on Nov. 17th, 1917, was
18
the testing ground for these wartlme Battle Cruisers. The
engagement had the REPULSE, which was serving in the lst Battle
Cruiser Squadron, while the COURAGEOUS and GLORIOUS were attached
to the lst Cruiser Squadron (which was aIL but annihilated at
Jutland, which was the main reason these ships were placed ln this
force). The action pitted these ships mainly against light units of
the German fleet, much llke the first battie. However, the results
were qUlte unlike the 1914 battIe; REPULSE and COURAGEOUS were able
to only make one hit with their main guns on the German Light
Cruisers, while the German 150mm shells were able to cause quite a
lot of damage to the COURAGEOUS. In short, these 'Large Light
Cruisers' were not even a match for regular Light Cruisers. It
proved possible to modernize the RENOWNS, but the latter classes
were beyond hope as a capital ship. However, the FURIOUS showed the
way of the fature for these ships, as aIl three would be fully
converted lnto Aircraft CarrIers.
It is unfortunate that these ships wouid prove to be Fisher' s
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/105
last hurrah. Later tLat Spring, he came up with the plans for what
would be the largest and most heavily arrned ship in the world,
li
which was given the tentative name of H.M.S INCOMPARABLE. In May,
Fisher had asked D'Eyncourt about the posslbilltles of building a
ship that was 1000 feet long, with a displacement of 40000 tons,
and be armed wi th six 508mm (20-inch) guns. However, before any
commi tments could be made, Fisher had tended his reslgnatlon as
First Sea Lord after several dIsputes over the Dardanelles
carnpaign. He had threatened to reslgn prevlously, but thIS tlme hIS
bluff was called and hlS resignation was accepted, WhlCh ended his
delusions that he was the be-ail and end-ail of the Royal Navy. HIS
second tenure as First Sea Lord lasted barely UIX months, in WhlCh
time he saw the vindication of hlS belief in the Battle Cruiser
with the victory at the Falklands, but the unfor:unate side was
that because of this victory, he wound up building ships WhlCh were
practically useless.
The last Battle Cruiser to be bUllt by the Royal Navy was ln
fact the fusion of Fisher's concept of the Fast Battleshlp and the
heavily armoured QUEEN ELIZABETHS: H.M.S. HOOD. As a Shlp she was
definitely in a league of her own, being faster, better protected,
and more powerful than any other warship ln the world.
The reason for the construction of the HOOD came when lt was
learned that the Germans had laid down in 1915 four new Battle
Cruisers that were improvements on the DERFFLINGERS, and armed wi th
20
381mm guns. The Admirait y had wanted to construct an experimental
Battleship that was simllar to the QUEEN ELIZABETHS in terms of



/106
SliP, armament, and armour, hut lt was declded that what the Navy
needed were 30-knot Battle Cruisers ta respond ta Germany's

MACKENSEN-class ShlpS. Two designs were submltted on Feb. lst,
WhlCh showed a ShlP armed with Blght 381mm guns, twelve
140mm guns, an 230mm maln beit and 230mm for the barbettes,
of generatlng liOOOO SHP. The flrst deslgn was shawn
havlng large tube bOlIers, WhlCh would enable the Shlp to do 30
knots. This desjgn gave a length of 273.8m(pp)j290.1m(oa), a beam
ot J4.1m, and cl draught of a.5m, for a total dlsplacement ot 39000
tons. The second deSIgn was fltted with smaI1 tube bOlIers, had a
length ot 259m(pp)/275.4rn(oa), the sarne wldth of 34.1m, and a
draught of 8. 2m. for a tota l displacement of 35500 t.ons, which
22
would enable ta do 30.5 knots .
Four more designs were submitted on Feb. 17th, and the only
slmilarltles ln the deSIgns was that they would aIl have twenty-
four Yarrow small tube boilers, twelve 140mm guns, two torpedo
tubes, 1200 tons of fuel (4000 tons maximum) 1 and th.e same 203mm

belt and 230mm barbettes. DeSign #3 had a dlsplacement of 36500
tons, her dImensions were 265.6m{pp)j282m(oa) x 34.1m x a.5m, armed
with elght 381mm guns 1 and would generate 160000 SHP that would
allow her ta do 32 knots. Design #4 was a smaller deSIgn, being
only 232.8m(pp)j248.2m(oa), with the same width and draught of
Design #2, and had a displacement of 32500 tons. Her main armament
was placed at four 457rnm guns, and her machinery was designed ta do
120000 SliP, winch would put her speed at 30 knots. Design #5 was
dlmost .. 111 ImItatlon of DeSIgn #2, wlth the same displacement,



/ t 07
speed, machinery, and was only ten feet short, but her main
armament was six 457mm Instead of eight 381ml1l guns. As tor the 1 ast
desIgn, !ler proportIons were claser ta DesIgn #], and whl1e b e l n ~ l
flve feet shorter ln length, the Shlp had a dH;placement of .1ql)OO
tons, WhiCh was 500 tons more than the flrst design. Ber lIIchllH'ry
and speed were also the same as the flrst design, but hec llllkloment
was not; she was shawn havlng no less than elght 457mm guns, WhlCh
would have enabled her ta fire a broadside whase welght was nearly
double that of the QUEEN ELIZABETHS (about 28800 lbs.).
DeSIgn #3 WdS selected as the mast SUI table deSIgn ior the npw
ShipS. There were two mare verSIons of this deslgn thlt. W(') ,
submitted on March 27th, the flrst which called for an Increase of
two additional torpedo tubes (giving her a tatal of four), and th0
second WhlCh called for an lncrease of four addltionaJ 140mm gut\s
(gIvlng a total of sixteen of these gun5). The Board went with ttH'
second version, and fInal approval for thlS deSIgn was given un
24
AprIl 7th, 1916. Three ShipS were lmmediately ordered: HOOD was to
be bui 1 t by J. Brown, wh! le the contracts for IIOWE and RODNEY were
glven ta Cammell Laird and FairfFdd respectively. The Admjralty
a1so approved the construction of the fourth ship of thlS class,
H.M.S. ANSON, ln July, and gave the contract ta Armstrong. Of the
four ships only HOOD was completed. She was laid down on May 31st,
1916, the day wh en three British Batt1e Cru1sers met with tiery
deaths due to magazine explosions, which was belleved to hava been
brought on by an Inadequate armour scheme. As a result, work was
suspended until they came up with another deSIgn, WhiCh wOllld have
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25
a heavler emphaSlS on protection. The other three ships were ta be
contlnued only after the completion of the HOOD, but once lt was
]n 1917 that work on the MACKENSENS had stopped, the
26
Adrnlralty deClded to cancel these d.;d only build the HOOD.
The AdmiraIt y at flrst only wanted to add an additional 1200
tons towards extra armour, but it was decided that this was stIll
not enough prqtectlon. The First Bea Lord and Control 1er asked
D'Eyncourt for four new designs in July, and he came up wlth ships
.
that were armed wi th from eight ta twelve 381mm guns. On August
8th, 1916, the Board approved on a variation of Design A, which had
a displacement of 37500 tons, which was only 1200 tons more than
the design that was appraved on Apri 1 7th. The armament remained
the same, and the only difference between thlS and the previous
armour scheme was for additional armaur in the turrets. Once this
design was approved, the HOOD was laid dnwn for a second time on
Sept. lst, 1916.
While work on the HOOD was started, D'Eyncourt came up with
addltlonal proposaIs which would transform the ship from Battle

CrUIser to an ultra-hard Fast Battleship. The emphasis was to
1 nCI ease the pnnclple thl ckness of the armour by about 50% (except
for the deck platlng), which would add an additional 3700 tons ta
her dlsplacement, WhlCh became 41200 tOLS. However, her draught
would onl y 1 ncrease by three feet (9. 2m forward and 9. 5m aft),
WhlCh was sti Il two feet less than the QUEEN ELIZABETHS, and her
loss of speed would only .')e about 1 knot. The only change to her
armament was to add two additionai 102mm A.A. guns (giving her a
a *w_.
zr." =
514a= ....



/lOI)
total of four), and her torpedo armament was increased ta two
submerged and elqht above-water tubes (although four of these were
later removed). Her machlnery would still bp able to do 144000 SHP,
her the greatest power plant afloat, enabllng hel to do JI
knots. But the real dl fference was in her armour; 3000 tons of
armour plating was added to her, WhlCh brought her protectIon
Cruiser to Battleshlp league, and it was also ta try out a
new concept on her. Her mal.n bel t went from 203mm ta 305mm, and the
ne\i' ldea was for this armour to be loped outward from betaw, WhlCh
resulted ln greatly increaslng the armour's r-eslstance, sinee
shells would not be able to hi t wi th normal impact. Ex tr\ drmoUI
was a1so glven ta her barbettes (ralsed fram 230mm ta ]05mm),
conning tower (280mm), turrets (381mm maximum), bu lkheads (bf!tw(ln
102mm ta 127mm), and even the deck armour was raised from 64mm to
76mrn, which was still somewhat thin. When compared wlth the first
Battle Cruiser, the INVINCIBLE, whose armour protectIon was
20% of her displacement, the HOOD's armour now of
28
her total dlsplacement. ThIS design was on Aug. 30th,
1917, and wou1d prove ta be the a most successful one on
D'Eyncourt's part.
H.M.S. HOOD was 1aunched on Aug. 28th, 1918, and wOld be
completed on March 5th, 1920. Her overall cost reached an

astonlshlng L6 t 025,000. Her crew complement was llsted at 1477 men
WhlCh was 500 more than ln the QUEEN ELIZABETHS. There js no doubt
that thlS Sh1p was the most powerful warship of her tlme. Although
Fisher mlght have sneered at her heavy armour scheme, he probably
--

e

e

/110
would have been pleased about her armament and speed. He died only
four months aftf>r the HOOn was completed, and i t is worth
mentionlng that this ship would be the Iast official Battie Cruiser
to be completed by England.
In truth, the HOOD was a Battie Cruiser in name only. Just as
the Armoured Cruisers evolved to the point where they were as large
and almost as powerful as Battleships, she evolved the Battleships
to the point where they were as fast as Cruisers. She was truly a
Fast BattIeshlp. The ships that England proposed to build after
her (the four G3's which would have displaced 48400 tons and armed
wi th nlne 406mm guns, wi th a 356mm main bel t and 32 knot design
speed) could be rated as Fast Battleships, but these were replaced
30
by the slow Battleshlps H.M.S. NELSON and H.M.S RODNEY. There were
ships built by other natlons, such as the German SCARNHORST-class,
the American LEXINGTON-class, the Japanese AMAGI, and the French
DUNKERQUE-class (which were constructed to counter the German
Pocket Battleships, the true up-gunned Armoured Crul.sers) that were
rated as Battle Cruisers, but even sorne of these fit more closely
II
to the description of Fast Battleships. But with the HOOD's
creation, the concept of the fast and lightly armoured Battle
Cruiser died in the Royal Navy.


e
/lI l
Conclusion
The Battle CruIser, like the Dreadnought, was the product of
the arms race. The questIons of whether or not they were good
warshlps, or even If BrltalI1 should have bUllt them ln the first
place seern ta matter less ln thlS context. England deClded thdt It
wouid take the lead ln the arms race, and the Hattle Cruiser was
the logical development ln the evolution of the Armoureti
There 15 no doubt that this ship blurred the dlfferences
the Battleship and the Armoured Crulser, but the evolutlon of
vessels showed that these lines were already quite blurry. In
short, leap from Armoured Cru1ser ta Battle CruIser was not much
greater than the leap from Pre-Dreadnought te O--eadnought.
It could be argued that the creation of the Battle Cruiser ln
England caused more problems than it solved. The crIes that It was
a bad concept were revived on May 25th, 1941, one week before the
silver anniversary of Jutland, when the HQOD's magazine blew up,
destroying thlS mighty Shlp .ln the same way as the oUler three
Battle Cruisers at Jutland. Al though the exact cause of he!
destructIon has never been solved, it 18 clear that her deck armour
was not strong enough ta wlthstand plunging flre, which may have
been the reason that led ta her loss. As such, the Battle Crulser's
reputation again as it did fallowing Jutland (even thaugh
she was ln fact a Fast Battleshlp, and not a Battle Ccuiser).
The epi logue ta thb whole Armoured Crulser-Batt le Crui ser
questIon, as weIl as the fate of the Fast Battlesh1p ln England,
was settled in the WashIngton Naval Treaty of 1922. From this pOlnt

-

ai ".'A'4 II es" "I,,'II,$!) ,"1
,
1
,
/112
onwards, Heavy Cruisers (the new designation for Armoured Cruisers)
were to be limlted to a dlsplacement of 10000 tons, and would carry
1
guns no larger than 203mm. Ships over the 10000 ton limlt were
to be classified as capital ships, and new capital ships were to be
Ilmited to displacernents of 35000 tons. The result of this was the
scrapping of the G3 Battle Crulser design, and building lnstead the
slow Battleshlps NELSON and RODNEY. The 48000-ton design had to be
rnodified to 35000 tons. The armarnent of nine 406mm guns was
ret:=}.ined, WhlCh that armour or speed had to be reduced. Wi th
no hesitation, the speed was sacrificed, and the instal1ed power
was cut from 160000 SHP to 45000 SHP, which would allow them a

speed of only 23 knots. ThlS was not as bad as it seemed, since the
two ships would be two knots faster than the American COLORADO-
class Battleships, and only two knots slower than the Japanese
].
NAGATO-class. However, England would never again build the world's
fastest Battieships (or Battie Cruisers for that matter). In many
ways, H.M.S HOOD marked the end of the Fisher Era.
The Washington was supposed to put an end to the arms
race, but sorne nations found ways around thlS as weIl; sorne tried
to upgun the number of 152mm guns on the Light Crulsers to flfteen
(such as the American BROOKLYN-class) or cheated on displacement to
!
obtaln more armour (the German HIPPER-class). The cycle of the arms
race appeared to start again with the construction of the German
'Pocket Battleships'; the French response to these large-gunned
Cruisers was the building of the DUNKERQUE and STRASBOURG.
The British Battle Cruiser was criticised for having been



/1 \]
expensl ve and too thinly armoured. Nevertheless, lhey were the nf:>xt
loglcal step ln the evolutlon of the hrmoured CruIser deslgIl,
ln thlS respect can be consldeced a success. They werp ranter,
powerfu lly armed, and rnaintalnect the sarne armour ot the
current Armoured Cruisers. Thus was bUllt a Lister, more powerlul
type of warshlp that did not sacrIfIce protectIon, and cost only
Sllghtly more to build than contemporary Armoured Crulsprs. But rlS
tlme went on, it became necessary for the BrItIsh to bUlld larger,
faster, more powerful and more expensive versions of these ShlpS,
WhlCh was the necessary price ta pay for any ntion ln an arms
race.
As has been shown in thls essay, it was the Battle Cruiser,
and not thp. Dreadnought, t
1
lat was central ta Fisher's stnpbulldlllg
pollcles. There lS no doubt that he preferred these fastpr, llghtl Y
armoured ships over the slower and more heavlly armourec1
Battleshlps. Fisher wanted ta bui Id the u! tlmate warshl p that wou 1 ct
give Englard a complete advantage over the other fleets of aIl the
other nations, and tried to build ships that were cdpable ol
performing the dutles of the Shlps-of-the-Llne and the Frigates. He
al so fel t that 1 f he could bui Id one type of ship that cou Id
perform aIl of these tasks, not only would it give the BrItIsh Navy
an edge, but i t would al so be more economj cal. Why bui Id two
different types of ships when they could be merged as one? The
lines between the Armoured Cruiser and the Ddttleshlp were ilteil<Jy
blurryenough, why not slmply build ShlpS that had the best vlrtues
of both? ThIS certainly made sense ln theory, but Fisher was 80
1
1
,
/114
obsessed wi th speed that he was willing to give his ships
practically no protectlon l.n order to achieve an advantage in thlS.
By the time he built the COURAGEOUS-class ships, he had clearly
pu shed thls concept too far.
It has been said that the Dreadnought was inev1table. Was it
so wlth the Battle Cruiser? If England had not built the
INVINCIBLES, would other natlons have built all-big-gun Armoured
Cru1sers? Probably not. Even after England built the INVINCIBLES,
only Germany immediately replied with its own versions, which were
built malnly because Britain had them. The war showed that most of
the functions of the Battle Cruisers could have been handled by
1ess expenslve warships. In essence, it was because of the arms
race, and England's need to take the lead in th1S race, that these
ships came into being. Whatever flaws they had, once the British
chose to build them, there was no turning back.
1
,
,
/115
Endnotes: IntroductIon
1. Oscar Parkes, BRITISH BATTLESHIPS, p.492-493; Anthony Preston,
BATTLESHIPS 1856-1919, p.36; V.E. Tarrant, INVINCIBLE, p.19-22;
Ruddock Mackay, FISHER OF KILVERSTONE, p.325; N.J.M.
Campbell, BATTLE CRUISERS: THE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF
BRITISH AND GERMAN BATTLE CRUISERS IN THE FIRST WORLD WAH EHA,
p. 6-7, and Peter C. Smith, BRITISH BATTLE CRUISERS, p.ll
2. Arthur J. Marder, FROM THE DREADNOUGHT TO SCAPA FLOW, Vol.I,
p. 44-45.
3. Jon Tetsura Sumida, IN DEFFNCE OF NAVAL SUPREMACY, p.38-39,
p.l00, p.115-l38, and the artlcle "BrItIsh CapItal
Shlp Design and Flre Control ln the Dreadnought Era: SIr John
Fisher, Arthur Hungerford Pollen, and the Battle CruIser",
from the JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY, 1979, p.205-230
4. Marder, FDSC, Vol.l, p.p.60-70, and THE ANATOMY OF BRITISH SEJ\
POWER, p.536-537, and Robert K. MassIe, DREADNOUGHT:BRITIAN,
GERMANY, AND THE COMING OF THE GREAT WAR, p.487-489
5. Diagrams and data about these ShIpS are shown in Slegfrled
Breyer's BATTLESHIPS AND BATTLE CRUISERS, 1905-1970
(translated by. Alfred Kurti), p.194-196 and 331-332, and Tony
Gibbons' THE COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BATTLESHIPS AND BATTLE
CRUISERS, p.173, 180-181, 185, and Antony Prestan's
BATTLESHIPS OF WORLD WAR l, p.195 and 237.
6. Preston, p.195, and Breyer, p.331.
Chapter 1:
1. Paul Kennedy, THE RISE AND FALL OF BRITISH NAVAL MASTERY,
p.205-237
2. Parkes, p.492-493; Preston, BATTLESHIPS 1856-1918, p.36; and
Tarrant, p.19-22.
3. DIScussions on naval stategy ln this perlod are shawn 1n
Stephen Rosklll's THE STRATEGY OF SEA POWER; AdmiraI Sir
Herbert Richmond's SEA POWER IN THE MODERN WORLD; Julian
Corbett' s SOME PRINCIPLES OF MARITIME STRATEGY; DREADNOUGHT TO
POLARIS: MliRITIME STRATEGY SINCE MAHAN, edited by A.M.J. Hyatt;
and D.M. Schurman's THE EDUCATION OF A NAVY.
4. James Henderson, THE FRIGATES, p.15-20
5. Parkes, p.234-238.
6. Ibid, p.222-229.
7. Ibid, p.238-243.
8. Ibid, p.307-313.
9. Quotatlon by AdmIraI Sir John Commerell, clted ln Parkes, p.309
lU. S1r William Laird Clowes, THE ROYAL NAVY, p.31
Il. Campbell, p.1-2, and Clowes, p.38
12. Edward L. Attwood, WAR-SHIPS, p.158-160, and Wlillam Hovgaard,
MODERN HISTORY OF WARSHIPS, p.467-468.
,
,
1
/116
13. Marder, ANATOMY, p.274-276
14. Ibid, p.283.
15. Rear-Admiral Fournier's "La Flotte Necessaire", cited in Marder
ANATOMY, p.275, note 2.
16. Marder, ANATOMY, p.285
17. Clowes, p.36, ArchIbald Hurd, THE FLEETS AT WAR, p.76-77, and
Fred T. Jane, THE BRITISH BATTLE FLEET, Vol.2, p.lOl
18. Marder, ANATOMY, p.275, note 2.
19. Cited by Marder, ANATOMY, p.285
20. Hurd, p.75-76, and Jane, Vol.2, p.103-107
21. Hurd, p.74, and Jane, Vol.2, p.l09
22. Hurd, p.72-74, and Parkes, p.44l-450
23. Parkes, p.426, 442, 477, and 492
24. Ibid
25. "Extracts from Confidential Papers: Medi terranean Fleet, 1899-
1902", p.89, cited in Sumida, IONS, p.42
26. Ibid, p.75, cited in Sumida, IONS, 42-43
27. Cited by Parkes, p.486
28. Ibid
29. Fisher to AdmiraI Sir Beauchamp Seymour, Sept. 12th, 1882,
cited in Marder's FEAR GOO AND DREAD NOUGHT, Vol.l, p.llO-lll
30. Sumida, IDNS, p.38-39
31. Mackay, p.322
32. THE PAPERS OF ADMIRAL SIR JOHN FISHER, ed. Lt. Comm. P. K. Kemp,
Vol. 1, p.41-42
33. Ibid, p.87
34. IbId, p.42
35. Sumida, "British Capital Ship Design", p.210
36. Fisher to Earl of Selbourne, Oct. 19th, 1904, cited in Marder,
FGDN, Vo1.l, p.330-332, and the FISHER PAPERS, Vol.l, p.199-200
37. FISHER PAPERS, Vol.l, p.20l
38. Mackay, p.270
39. Hurd, p.83
40. Col. Vittorio Cuniberti, "An Ideal Battleship for the British
Fleet", cited in Jane, Vol.2, p.134-146
41. Preston, p.173
42. IbId, p.191
43. THE POLLEN PAPERS, 1901-1916, ed. Jan Tetsuro Sumida, p.1-2
44. Cited in Parkes, p.466
45. IbId, p.468
46. Packenham to Admirait y, Aug. 11th, 1904, cited in FISHER
PAPERS, Vol.l, p.2l7-2l8
47. Packenham to Admirait y, Feb. 12th, 1905, cited in Marder,
ANATOMY, p.531
48. Packenham to AdmiraIt y, Jan lst, 1905, Ibid, p.53l-532
49. FISHER PAPERS, Vol.l, p.21S
50. Ibid
51. FISHER PAPERS, Vol.1, p.45
52. Parkes, p.489
53. Ibid, p.212
54. Ibid, p.285-289, and Parkes, p.489-490
1
1
/117
55. Ibid, p.288-289, and Parkes, p.490-491
56.
57.
Comm. P.M. Rippon, THE EVOLUTION OF ENGINEERING IN THE ROYAL
NAVY, Vol.l, 1827-1939, p.67-68, and F.P. 1 Vol.I, p.233-243
Ibid
58.
59.
60.
61.
62.
63.
64.
65.
66.
AdmiraI Sir Reginald H. Bacon, THE LIFE OF LORD FISHER OF
KILVERSTONE, p.284
Rippon, p.67-68, and F.P., Vol. l, p.233-243
Sumida, IONS, p.58
Campbell, P.4-l2; Parkes, p.492-496; Breyer, p.115-l17:
Gibbons, p.172; Preston, p.l19-121; and V.E. Tarrant,
INVINCIBLE, p.15-19
Sumida, IONS, p.58-61
Cited in Sumida, IONS, p.58
"Reports of the Navy Estimates Committee", p.14-15, Ibid, p.59
Minutes, "Naval Necessi tles IV", Ibid
"Report of Commi ttee appointed ta consider the Quest i on of the
Provisions of a Parent Vessel for Coastal Destroyers, the
Utilization of Mercantile Cruisers, and the FUSIon Design of
Armoured Vessels", in "Navy Estimates Committee 1906-1907",
Jan. 10th, 1906, which is summarized ln Sumida, IDNS, p.60
67. Ibld
68. Ibid
69. Cited by Mackay, p.325-326
70. Filson Young, WrTH BEATTY IN THE NORTH SEA, p.27-28
Chapter 2:
1. Marder, FDSe, Vol. l, p.60-70, and ANATOMY, p.536-537, and
Massie, p.487-489
2. PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES, lst Session of the 28th Parliament,
March 5th-16th, 1906, p.224
3. Marder, FDSe, Vol.l, p.62-64
4. Mackay, p.338, and Marder, FDSC, Vol.I, p.64
5. Cited in Marder, FDSC, Vol.I, p.56
6. Ibid
7. Marder, FDSC, Vol.I, p.56
8. Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan, "Reflections, Historie and Other,
Suggested by the Battle of the Japan Sea" 1 from PROCEEDINGS
OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL INSTITUTE, Vol.XXXII, June, 1906,
p.447-47l
9 Sir William White, "The Cult of the Modern Warship", from
The 19th CENTURY AND AFTER, Vol. 63, June, 1908, p.903-925
10. Bacon, FISHER, p.260
Il. Marder, ANATOMY, p.538
12. Parkes, p.497; Marder, DREADNOUGHT, Vo!.l, p.126; and Sumida,
IONS, p. 60
13. "Speed of Warships", from ENGINEERING, May 26th, 1905, p.675-
676
14. Ci ted in Sumida, IONS, p. 58
15. FIGHTING SHIPS, 1906, p.57
,
,
1
/118
16. R.H. Williams, "Arthur James Balfour, Sir John Fisher, and the
Politics of Naval Reform, 1904-1910", from HISTORICAL RESEARCH,
Vol. 60, #141, Feb. 1987, p.80-101
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
Ibid
Mackay, p.357-358
Fisher to Tweedmouth, Sept. 26th, 1906, in Marder, FGDN, Vol.2,
p.91
R H. Will i arns , p . 87- 9 0
Campbell, p.4-12; Parkes, p.492-496; Breyer, p.115-117;
Gibbons, p.172; Preston, p.119-121; Tarrant, p.15-19;
Smith, p.8-12; and CONWAY'S ALL THE WORLD'S FIGHTING SHIPS,
1906-1921, p.24-25
22. Ibid
23. Massie, p.490
24. BRASSEY'S NAVAL ANNUAL, cited in Parkes, p.492
25. Cited in Parkes, p.495
26. Campbell, Table 4, p.6
27. "Board Meeting ta Consider the Details of the Armament and
Construction of the two Vessels intended for the 1907-1908
Programme", Ci ted in Sumida, IONS, p.114
28. "Armament of Cruisers: Statement by Rear-Admiral Sir John
Jellicoe, when Direct"r of Naval Ordnance, on the subject of
the Armament of the Cruisers for the 1908-1909 Programme",
Ibid, p.114
29. Sumida, "Bntish Capital Ship Design", p.205-230
30. Ibid
31. Holger H. Herwig, "LUXURY" FLEET, p.45
32. C.!mpbell, Table 2, p.3
33. Herwig, Table 7, p.268
34. Campbell, p.19-2l; Preston, p.68-70; and Breyer, p.269-270
35. Campbell, Table 8, p.20
36. Fisher ta Watts, Sept. 17th, 1908, cited in FGDN, Vol.2,
p.195-196
37. Campbell, p.22-26; Preston, p.72-73; and Breyer, p.27-272
38. Mackay, p.386-387
39. Fisher ta Watts, Sept. 17th, 1908, in r<!arder, FGDN, Vol.2,
p.195-196
40. Ibid
41. Sumida, IDNS, p.162
42. Bacon, THE LIFE OF JOHN RUSHWORTH, EARL JELLICOE, P .161-162
43. Sumida, IDNS, p.359
44. Breyer, p.122-123
45. Fisher ta Esher, Sept. 8th, 1908, FGDN, Vol.2, p.195
46. Campbell, p 13-18; Parkes, p.513-517; Breyer, p.122-124;
Presto;1, p.128-129; Gibbons, p.184-185; Smith, p.15-17; and
CONwAY'S, p.2E-27
47. Massie, p.609-625, and for McKenna's speech ta Parliament on
March 16th, 1909, see the PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES, 4th session
of the 28th Par1iament, March 8th-March 26th, 1909, p.930-995
48. Fisher ta Arnold White, Nov. 13th, 1909, FGDN, Vol. 2, p.277
49. Cited in Sumida, IDNS, p.161
,
1
1
/119
50. Ibid
51. Sumida, "British Capital Ship Design", p. 228-229
52. Sumida, IONS, p.161
53. Cited in Sumida, IONS, p.16l
54. Ibid
55. Campbell, p.27-34; Parkes, p.531-536; Breyer, p.126-128;
Gibbons, p.188-l89; Preston, p.146-l47; Smith, p.24-25; and
CONWAY'S, p.29-31
56. CONWAY'S, p.28
57. Parkes, p.53l-533
58. Ibid, p.533
59. Breyer, p.333-340; Preston, p.197; and Gibbons, p.194
60. CONWAY'S, p.32-33, and Parkes, p.553
61. Parkes, p.553
62. Campbell, p.35-42; Parkes, p.551-557; Breyer, p.134-136;
Gibbons, p.20l; Preston, p.146-l47; Smith, p.30; and
CONWAY'S, p.32-33
63. Parkes, p.554
64. Campbell, Table 13, p.35
65. Fisher ta Jellicoe, Dec. 13th, 1911, FGDN, Vo1.2, p.420,
and Fisher ta Jellicoe, Jan. l6th, 1912, cited in Winston
Churchill, THE WORLD CRISIS, Vol.1, p.146
66. Fisher ta Churchi Il, Apri 1 22nd, 1912, ci ted in Randolph
Churchi 11 's WINSTON CHURCHILL, COMPANION VOLUME 1 l, Part 3,
p.1546
67. Parkes. p.562-578; Breyer, p.139-148; Gibbons, p.206-207;
Preston, p.149-151; and CONWAY'S, p.33-34
68. Randolph Churchlll, COMPANION VOLUME II, Part 2, p.1349
69. Gibbons, p.214
70. Cited in Sumida, IDNS, p.263
71. Campbell, Breyer, p.272-273, and 277-280; Gibbons,
p.194 and 200; and Preston, p.76-77 and 82-83
Chapter 3:
1. Rennedy, p.239-265
2. Tarrant, p. 26-27, and James Goldrick, THE KING' S SHIPS WERE AT
SEA, p.81
3. April 5th, 1913, from the BEATTY PAPERS, ed. B. Mcl. Ranft,
Va!. 1, 1902-1918, p.59-64
4. Beatty ta CinC Home Fleets, June 4th, 1913, Ibid, p.68-72
5. The entire epi:Jode of the GOEBEN's escape and of the subsequent
court martial 18 described fully in E.W.R. Lumby's POLICY AND
OPERATIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, 1912-1914, p.131-422
6. AdmiraIt y to Milne, July 30th, 1914, cited in Lumby, p.146
7. The Heligo1and Bight Battle 1s ful1y covered in Julian
Corbett's NAVAL OPERATIONS, Vol.1, p.99-120; Marder, FDSF,
Vol.2. p.50-54; Goldrick, p.83-117; Stephen Roskill,
ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET EARL BEATTY: THE LAST NAVAL HERO: AN
INTIMATE BIOGRAPHY, p.82-85, and
8. AdmiraI of the Fleet Chatfie.ld, THE NAVY AND DEFENCE, p.124-125

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1
1
1
/120
9.
10.
Beatty to Balfour, June 21, 1916, cited ln FDSF, Vol. 2, p.52
For a full account of the Falklands Battle, see Corbett, Vol. 1,
p.414-436; Marder, FDSF, Vol.2, p.118-l29; and Richard Hough,
THE GREAT WAR AT SEA, p.99-120
ll.
12.
13.
14.
15.
Campbell, p.9
Admlral-of-the-Fleet Lord Fisher, MEMORIES, p.88 and Marder,
FGDN, Vol.3, p.41-44.
Goldrlck, p.159-63
Goldrlck, p.189-226, and Marder, FDSF, Vol.2, p.130-l48
For an account of the Dogger Bank Batt1e, see Corbett, Vol.2,
p.82-102; Goldrlck, p.247-310; Roskill, p.l07-119; Marder,
FDSF, Vol.2, p.156-175; Hough, p.121-143; and for a flrsthand
account, Fiison Young, p.191-265
16. Campbell, p.44
17. Goldrlck, p.287
18. Rosklll, p.167
19. Campbell, p.1l-12
20. For an account of Jutland, see Corbett, Vol.3, p.313-441;
RoskIll, p.149-188; AdmIraI Relhard Scheer, GERMANY'S RIGH SEAS
FLEET IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR, p.133-202; AdmiraI of the
Fleet the Earl Jellicoe, THE GRAND FLEET 1914-1916: ITS
CREATION, DEVELOPMENT & WORK, p.306-392; Marder, FDSF, Vol.3,
p.3-232; and Hough, p.21l-297
21. Extracts from the Grand Fleet Battle Orders in force on the eve
of Jutland, cited in the JELLICOE PAPERS, Vol.1: 1893-1916,
p.249-252, and Marder, FDSF, Vol.3, p.25-26
22. Campbell, p,18
23. Ibld, p.34
24. IbId, p.30-31
25. Chatfield, p.143
26. THE JELLICOE PAPERS, ed. A.Temple Patterson, p.286
27. Parkes, p.640-641
28. IbId
29. IbId, and Rosklll, p.190-191
30. Antony Preston and John Batchelor, BATTLESHIPS 1856-1918, p.55
31. Campbe Il, p. 12
Chapter 4:
1. Marder, FGDN, Vol.3, p.44-47
2. Parkes, p.608
3. MaurIce P. N o r t ~ c o t t , ENSIGN 8: RENOWN AND REPULSE, p.1-2
4. Winston ChurchIll, Vol.1, p.132
5. FIsher to ChurchIll, Dec. 7lst, 1904, and Marder, FGDN, Vol.3,
p.104
6. See FIsher ta Rear-Admirai Frederlck C.T. Tudor, Dec. 27th,
1904, IbId, p.113-114
7. Flsher to Jelllcoe, Jan. 22nd, 1914, IbId, p.143-144
,
1
1
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8. Northcott, p.I-4; Campbell, p.61-64; Parkes, p.608-617;
Breyer, p.155-l59; Preston, p.154-156; Smith, p.36-38; and
CONWAY'S, p.38-39
9. Breyer, p.156, and Smith, p.68-69
la. Mackay, p.485
11. Martln Gllbert, WINSTON S. CHURCHILL, Vol. 3, 1914-1916 -
THE CHALLENGE OF WAR, p.225-227 and Mackay, p.462-464 and
472-473
12. Mackay, p.462-464 and 472-473
13. Fisher ta ChurchIll, Jan. 25th, 1915, FGDN, Vol. 3, p.145
14. JellIcoe ta FIsher, quoted in Fisher to Asqulth, Jan. 28th,
1915, cited in FGDN, Vol.3, p.148
15. Clted ln Sumlda, IDNS, p.293
16. Campbell, p.65-67; Parkes, p.618-624; Breyer, p.160-168;
Gibbons, p.220-221; Preston, p.I57; Smith, p.42-43; and
CONWAY'S, p.39-40
17. Campbell, p.68; Parkes, 618-624; Breyer, p.160-l68; Gibbons,
p.220-221; and Preston, p.158-159
18. Corbett, Vol.5, p.164-l77
19. Gibbons, p.214
20. Campbell, p.58-59; Breyer, p.282-284; Glbbons, p.222; and
Preston, p.88
21. Campbell, p.69, and Breyer, p.168
22. Campbell, p.69, and John Roberts, THE BATTLE CRUISER HOOn,
p.7-l2
23. Roberts, p.7-12
24. Ibid, p.1l
25. Ibid, p.8
26. Breyer, p.168-169
27. Roberts, p.8
28. Parkes, p.646
29. Ibid, p. 644
30. Ibid, p. 651-659
31. For detalls of these ships, see GIbbons, p.232-233, 234-235,
and 246-247
Conclusion:
1. Roskl11, p.310
2. Parkes, p.654-659, and Antony Preston and John Batchelor,
BATTLESHIPS 1919-77, p.6-7
3. Preston and Batche1or, IbId, p.7
4. For details of t h e ~ e ShIpS, see JANE'S FIGHTING SHIPS, 1944-45,
ed. FranCIS E. McMurtrIe, p.223 and p.476
1
,
1
1
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e

e

Reynal & HItchcock, New York, 1934
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Periodlcals
-CONWAY'S ALL THE WORLD'S FIGHTING SHIPS 1906-1921
-ENGINEERING
-HISTORICAL RESEARCH
-JANE'S FIGHTING SHIPS
-JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY
-NAVAL INSTITUTE PRESS
-THE NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVIEW
-THE NINETEENTH CENTURY AND AFTER
-PROCEEDINGS OF 'rHE UNITED STATES NAVAL INSTITUTE
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Articles:
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Suggested by the Battle of the Sea of Japan", from PROCEEDINGS
OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL INSTITUTE, Vo1.XXXII, June, 1906,
p.447-471
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in the Dreadnought Era: Sir John Fisher, Arthur Hungerford Pollen,
and the Battle Cruiser", from the JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY, 1979,
p.205-230
-"Speed of Warships", fram ENGINEERING, May 26th, 1905,
p.675-676
-White, Ensign Donald G., "The Mlsapplicatian of a Weapon System:
The BattIe Cruiser as a Warship Type", from the NAVAL WAR COLLEGE
REVIEW, Vol.22, Number 5, January, 1970, p.42-62
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NINETEENTH CENTURY AND AFTER, Vol.63, June, 1908, p.903-925
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PolltlCS of Naval Reform, 1904-1910, from HISTORICAL RESEARCH,
Vol. 60, #141, Feb. 1987, p.80-99