Active-class cruiser

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HMS Active underway.jpg
Class overview
Name: Active
Operators: RN Ensign Royal Navy
Preceded by: Blonde class
Succeeded by: Arethusa class
In commission: 1911 - 1921
Completed: Three
Lost: One
General characteristics
Type: scout cruiser
Displacement: 3,440 tons normal
4,000 tons deep load
Length: 385 ft (117.3 m) (p/p)
406 ft (123.7 m) (o/a)
Beam: 41 ft 6 in (12.65 m)
Draught: 15 ft 7 in (4.75 m)
Propulsion: 12 Yarrow boilers
Parsons turbines
Four shafts
18,000 shp (13,423 kW)
Speed: 25 knots (46.3 km/h)
Range: Carried 350 tons coal (780 tons max)
190 tons fuel oil
Complement: 321-325
Armament:

10 × BL 4-inch (101.6 mm) Mk VII guns (10 × 1), (Fearless carried eight)
One 3-inch (76-mm) Anti-aircraft gun
Four x 3-pounder (47-mm) guns (4 × 1)

Two x 18-inch (450-mm) torpedo tubes
Armour: conning tower: 4 inch
deck: 1 inch

The Active class was a class of three scout cruisers of the Royal Navy, built prior to the First World War, and later seeing service in that conflict. The three ships that made up the class were HMS Active, HMS Amphion and HMS Fearless.

Description[edit]

They were the last class of scout cruiser built for the Royal Navy, as their role was increasingly being taken over by the light cruisers, the first of which, the Town class, were beginning to enter service. The Active class was a follow on from the design of the previous Blonde class scouts, with the main visible difference being the 'plough' bow shape. They also retained the limited protection with plating only covering the machinery spaces. They were ordered under the 1911 Naval estimates and built throughout 1910 and 1911, at Pembroke Dockyard, entering service just before the outbreak of the First World War. The last ship to be built, HMS Fearless, underwent modifications before launching, which included the removal of two 4-inch (102 mm) guns and the addition of a 3-inch (76.2 mm) anti-aircraft guns as well as additional search lights.

Service[edit]

All three ships started the war with the Harwich Force, and saw action in a number of engagements, with HMS Amphion becoming the first ship of the Royal Navy lost in the war, when she was sunk by a mine on 6 August 1914. Fearless later became leader of a squadron of the notoriously accident prone K class steam submarines, accidentally ramming and sinking HMS K17 in January 1918.

Already considered obsolete as the war was drawing to a close, the two survivors were sold for scrapping in the early 1920s.

See also[edit]

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