HMS Boadicea (1908)
|Career (United Kingdom)|
|Builder:||Pembroke Royal Dockyard|
|Laid down:||1 June 1907|
|Launched:||14 May 1908|
|Out of service:||Hulked, January 1921|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 13 July 1926|
|Class and type:||Boadicea-class scout cruiser|
|Displacement:||3,350 long tons (3,400 t) (normal)|
|Length:||405 ft (123.4 m) (o/a)|
|Beam:||41 ft 6 in (12.6 m)|
|Draught:||14 ft (4.3 m)|
|Installed power:||18,000 shp (13,000 kW)
12 × Yarrow boilers
|Propulsion:||4 × shafts
4 × Parsons steam turbines
|Speed:||25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)|
|Armament:||6 × single BL 4-inch (102 mm) guns
4 × single QF 3-pounder (47 mm (1.9 in)) guns
2 × single 18-inch (45 cm) torpedo tubes
HMS Boadicea was the lead ship of the Boadicea-class scout cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She led the 1st Destroyer Flotilla from completion until 1912. During World War I, she was assigned to battleship squadrons of the Grand Fleet. She was present at, but did not fight in, the Battle of Jutland in mid-1916. The ship was converted into a minelayer at the end of 1917 and made three sorties to lay her mines before the end of the war. Boadicea was paid off after the end of the war and hulked in January 1921 at Dartmouth. She was sold for scrap in 1926.
Design and description
Designed to provide destroyer flotillas with a command ship capable of outclassing enemy destroyers with her six four-inch (102 mm) guns, Boadicea proved too slow in service from the start of her career. Her 25-knot (46 km/h; 29 mph) speed was barely capable of matching the speeds of the River-class destroyers she led in her flotilla in 1909 and proved inadequate to match the speed of later destroyers.
Displacing 3,350 long tons (3,400 t), the ship had an overall length of 405 feet (123.4 m), a beam of 41 feet 6 inches (12.6 m) and a deep draught of 14 feet (4.3 m). She was powered by four Parsons steam turbines, each driving one shaft. The turbines produced a total of 18,000 indicated horsepower (13,000 kW), using steam produced by 12 Yarrow boilers, and gave a maximum speed of 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph). She carried a maximum of 780 long tons (790 t) of coal and 189 long tons (192 t) of fuel oil. Her crew consisted of 317 officers and enlisted men.
Her main armament consisted of six breech-loading (BL) four-inch Mk VII guns. The forward pair of guns were mounted side by side on a platform on the forecastle, the middle pair were amidships, one on each broadside, and the two remaining guns were on the centreline of the quarterdeck, one ahead of the other. The guns fired their 31-pound (14 kg) shells to a range of about 11,400 yards (10,400 m). Her secondary armament was four quick-firing (QF) three-pounder (47 mm (1.9 in)) Vickers Mk I guns and two submerged 18-inch (45 cm) torpedo tubes. During the war, four additional four-inch guns were added amidships to increase her firepower. A QF three-inch 20 cwt[Note 1] anti-aircraft gun was also added. In 1918 it was replaced by a four-inch gun.
As a scout cruiser, the ship was only lightly protected to maximize her speed. She had a curved protective deck that was one inch (25 mm) thick on the slope and .5 inches (13 mm) on the flat. Her conning tower was protected by four inches of armour.
Construction and service
The fourth ship to bear her name, Boadicea was laid down at Pembroke Royal Dockyard, on 1 June 1907 and launched on 14 May 1908. She was completed in June 1909 and became the leader of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla through 1912. On 31 July 1914, she took Vice Admiral John Jellicoe from Wick to Scapa Flow. She was assigned to the Second Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet in Scapa Flow at the start of the war. On 15 December her bridge and several crewmen were lost overboard due to severe weather in the Pentland Firth as the squadron sortied to intercept German ships bombarding ports in Yorkshire. Boadicea had to return to port for repairs.
Boadicea was at the Battle of Jutland but was assigned to a position at the rear of the squadron and did not fire her guns. She actually spotted the German fleet the night after the battle, but her report was not passed to Jellicoe for fear of giving away the position of the Grand Fleet. She was converted into a minelayer in December 1917 and completed three missions in that role, laying 184 mines. She became a hulk in Dartmouth harbour from January 1921, until she was sold for scrap on 13 July 1926 to be broken up at Alloa, Rosyth.
- "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 20 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.
- Gardiner & Gray, p. 50
- Friedman 2009, p. 295
- Friedman 2011, pp. 75–76
- Colledge, p. 43
- Goldrick, p. 21
- Massie, p. 335
- Corbett, Vol. III, pp. 345, 395
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Corbett, Julian (1997). Naval Operations. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents II (reprint of the 1929 second ed.). London and Nashille, Tennessee: Imperial War Museum in association with the Battery Press. ISBN 1-870423-74-7.
- Corbett, Julian (1997). Naval Operations. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents III (reprint of the 1940 second ed.). London and Nashville, Tennessee: Imperial War Museum in association with the Battery Press. ISBN 1-870423-50-X.
- Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-081-8.
- Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War One. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-84832-100-7.
- Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal, eds. (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
- Goldrick, James (1984). The King's Ships Were at Sea: The War in the North Sea August 1914–February 1915. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-334-2.
- Massie, Robert K. (2004). Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-04092-8.