HMS Birkenhead (1915)

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HMS Birkenhead (1915).jpg
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Town-class light cruiser
Name: HMS Birkenhead
Builder: Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, England
Laid down: 21 March 1914
Launched: 18 January 1915
Commissioned: May 1915
Fate: Sold for scrapping 26 October 1921
General characteristics
Displacement: 5,235 tons
Length: 446 ft (135.9 m) Overall
Beam: 50 ft (15.2 m)
Draught: 15.5 ft (4.7 m)
Propulsion: Parsons compound re-action turbines
Quadruple propellers
Twelve Yarrow boilers
25,000 hp
Speed: 25.5 knots (47.2 km/h)
Range: carried 1070 tons coal and 352 tons fuel oil (max)
Complement: 452
Armament: 10 × BL 5.5 inch Mark I (140 mm) /50 guns on mountings CP Mk.I
one 3 inch (76 mm) guns
21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
Armour: 2 inch belt
1.5 inch deck
4 inch conning tower
For other ships of the same name, see HMS Birkenhead.

HMS Birkenhead was one of two Town class light cruisers originally ordered for the Greek Navy in 1914. She was to be named Antinavarchos Kountouriotis after Vice Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis. The order was placed with Cammell Laird and production continued for the Greek account after the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. In 1915, however, the two cruisers were purchased by the British government, and entered service with the Royal Navy.

Design[edit]

The two Greek ships differed from standard British practice in several ways: the main armament consisted of the new 5.5 inch (140mm) Coventry Ordnance Works gun. This weapon was significantly lighter than the standard 6 inch gun and fired an 85 lb shell rather than the 100 lb shell of the 6 inch weapon. It therefore had a higher rate of fire with little loss in hitting power.

Service[edit]

Like her sister, HMS Chester, Birkenhead was assigned to the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. On 31 May to 1 June 1916, they both took part in the Battle of Jutland. She survived the battle, and the war and was sold for scrapping on 26 October 1921 to Cashmore, of Newport.

References[edit]