Drake-class cruiser

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HMS Good Hope.jpg
Class overview
Name: Drake
Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: Cressy class
Succeeded by: Monmouth class
In commission: 1902–1920
Completed: 4
Lost: 2
Scrapped: 2
General characteristics
Type: Armoured cruiser
Displacement: 14,150 long tons (14,380 t) (normal)
Length: 533 ft 6 in (162.6 m) (o/a)
Beam: 71 ft 4 in (21.7 m)
Draught: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Installed power: 30,000 ihp (22,000 kW)
43 Belleville boilers
Propulsion: 2 × shafts
2 × 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Complement: 900

The Drake class was a four-ship class of armoured cruisers built around 1900 for the Royal Navy.


Left elevation and deck plan as depicted in Jane's Fighting Ships 1914

The class were enlarged versions of the Cressy class.


The ships served in the First World War with only two surviving it. Good Hope was sunk at the Battle of Coronel in 1914 and Drake was torpedoed in 1917. Drake was also used to ferry Russian bullion (gold) in October 1914 from Archangels. The gold (equivalent of 39 million $) was security for western loans. The transfer took place at high seas, 30 miles off the coast in the dead of night.(Translated quote form "Krig og penger" by Eivind Thon, published by Aschehoug & Co, Oslo, 1942)

Building programme[edit]

The following table gives the build details and purchase cost of the members of the Drake class. Standard British practice at that time was for these costs to exclude armament and stores. The compilers of The Naval Annual revised costs quoted for British ships between the 1905 and 1906 editions. The reasons for the differences are unclear.

Ship Builder Engine
Date of Cost according to
Laid Down Launch Completion (BNA 1905)[1] (BNA 1906)[2]
Drake Pembroke Dockyard Humphrys 24 Apr 1899 5 Mar 1901 13 Jan 1902 £1,050,625 £1,002,977
Good Hope
Fairfield, Govan Fairfield 11 Sep 1899 21 Feb 1901 8 Nov 1902 £1,023,629 £990,759
King Alfred Vickers, Barrow Vickers 11 Aug 1899 28 Oct 1901 22 Dec 1903 £1,013,772 £978,125
Leviathan J Brown Clydebank J Brown 30 Nov 1899 3 Jul 1901 16 Jun 1903 £1,043,097 £1,012,959


  1. ^ "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 12 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.


  1. ^ Brassey's Naval Annual 1905, pp. 234–243
  2. ^ Brassey's Naval Annual 1906, pp. 208–215


External links[edit]