Boadicea-class cruiser

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HMS Boadicea (1908).jpg
Class overview
Operators: RN Ensign Royal Navy
Preceded by: Sentinel class
Succeeded by: Blonde class
In commission: 1909 - 1926
Completed: 2
Retired: 2
General characteristics
Displacement: 3,300 tons normal
3,800 tons deep load
Length: 385 ft (117.3 m) (p/p)
405 ft (123.4 m) (o/a)
Beam: 41 ft (12.5 m)
Draught: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Propulsion: 12 Yarrow boilers
Parsons turbines
Four shafts
18,000 shp (13,000 kW)
Speed: 25 knots (46.3 km/h)
Range: Carried 450 tons coal (855 tons max)
200 tons fuel oil
Complement: 317
Armament:

as built:

Boadicea as modified in 1916:

  • Ten x 4-inch 50cal Mk VII guns (10 × 1)
  • Four x 3-pounder (47-mm) guns (4 × 1)
  • One x 3-inch (76-mm) anti-aircraft gun (later replaced with a 4-inch gun)
  • Two x 18-inch (450-mm) Torpedo Tubes
Armour: conning tower: 4 inch
deck: 1 inch

The Boadicea class was a two ship class of scout cruisers of the Royal Navy, consisting of HMS Bellona and HMS Boadicea. They were the first class to be fitted with turbine machinery, propulsion which became standard for all future cruisers . They were larger and heavier than the commercially designed pairs of the Adventure, Forward, Pathfinder and Sentinel classes yet carried less armour and weaponry. Deck protection was limited to a partial plating over the machinery spaces.

Design[edit]

They were designed to serve with flotillas of destroyers, theoretically offering the ability to scout ahead of the group and engage and destroy enemy destroyers with their heavier weaponry. The ships sported a four inch (102 mm) main armament, two guns in front of the bridge, two port and starboard just behind it and two more on the centre line towards the stern. HMS Boadicea was refitted during 1916 with four more 4-inch (102 mm) guns added to the waist of the ship and a three inch (76 mm) anti aircraft gun to counter the new threats from the air. This was later replaced with a 4 inch A/A gun.

Career[edit]

However elegant the theory, it proved flawed in practice. The cruisers lacked the speed of the destroyers they were supposed to escort. This negated the one great advantage of the destroyers - their relative speed - without increasing their hitting power. HMS Bellona was attached to the 2nd Flotilla from 1909 to 1912 but her top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h) was sluggish compared to the 27 knots (50 km/h) of the Acorn class destroyers she was supposedly scouting for. HMS Boadicea lagged even further behind her Acheron class destroyers, capable of up to 32 knots (59 km/h).

Both ships served during the First World War, fighting in the Battle of Jutland. Both were later converted to minelayers. The class was followed by the two ships of the Blonde class of 1909 to 1911 - which proved to be even slower.

Ships[edit]

  • Bellona - launched on 20 March 1909, converted to minelayer in June 1917 and sold on 9 May 1921.
  • Boadicea - launched on 14 May 1908, converted to minelayer in December 1917, on harbour service from January 1921, and sold on 13 July 1926.

References[edit]