HMS Calliope (1914)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Calliope.
HMS Calliope.jpg
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Calliope
Namesake: Calliope
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 1 January 1914
Launched: 17 December 1914
Commissioned: June 1915
Fate: Sold for scrap 28 August 1931
General characteristics
Class and type: C-class light cruiser
Tons burthen: 3,750 tons (3,810 t)
Length: 446 ft (136 m)
Beam: 41.5 ft (12.6 m)
Draught: 14.5 ft (4.4 m)
Propulsion: Two Parsons turbines
Eight Yarrow boilers
Four propellers
37,500 shp
Speed: 28.5 knots (53 km/h)
Range: carried 405 tons (772 tons maximum) of fuel oil
Complement: 324
Armament: 4 × BL 6-inch (152.4 mm) Mk XII guns

2 × QF 3 inch 20 cwt AA guns
1 × machine gun

2 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes (another 4 added in 1919)
Armour: 4 inches (100 mm) side (amidships)
2.25–1.5 inches (57–38 mm) side (bows)
2.5–2 inches (64–51 mm) side (stern)
1 inch (25 mm) upper decks (amidships)
1 inch (25 mm) deck over rudder

HMS Calliope was a C-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy under construction at the outbreak of the First World War. Both Calliope and her sister ship Champion were based on the earlier cruiser Caroline. They were effectively test ships for the use of geared turbines which resulted in the one less funnel. They also received slightly thicker armour. They led into the first of the Cambrian subclass.


Eight light cruisers were ordered for the Royal Navy in the 1913 budget. The six ships of the Caroline class used conventional direct drive turbine engines but Calliope and Caroline each had a different engine design using geared reduction to match optimum working speeds of turbines and propellers. This followed experimental designs ordered in 1911 using geared high pressure turbines for the destroyers Badger and Beaver and in 1912 using gearing for both high pressure and low pressure turbines in destroyers Leonidas and Lucifer.[1]

Calliope was built at HM Dockyard, Chatham, Kent. She was laid down in January 1914, launched on 17 December 1914, and completed in June 1915.[2]

Calliope had four shafts as used in the Caroline design but unlike the two used in Champion. Gearing increased the efficiency of power transmission to the water so allowed smaller boilers and turbines to be used than otherwise would be the case. Nominal design power for the same target speed was therefore reduced from 40,000 shp in the Caroline class to 37,500 shp. Propeller speed was 480 rpm.[1]

Service history[edit]

During the First World War she was badly damaged by a fuel oil fire while at sea on 19 March 1916, but was repaired in time to be one of the five ships in the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. She received a number of hits just before night-time (notably by the battleships Kaiser and Markgraf), and 10 of her crew were killed as a result of the battle.[3]

Post war[edit]

In March 1919 she was commissioned for service with the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron (LCS) of the North America and West Indies station where she suffered with another engine room fire off the Azores in October 1919.[4] She returned to Devonport for repairs between November 1919 to March 1920 then recommisioned to North America and West Indies station. From October 1921 to May 1924 she was with the Nore reserve when she was commissioned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron Atlantic fleet. Between 1925-26 and 1927-28 she was used for trooping runs but in September 1928 received her last commission, this time with the 3rd CS in the Mediterranean Fleet which ended in January 1930 when she paid off into reserve at Portsmouth Dockyard.

She was sold for scrap in 1934.[5]



  1. ^ a b Brown p.24-25
  2. ^ J Rickard (25 October 2007). "HMS Calliope". History of Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  3. ^ northeast medals - Jutland losses
  4. ^ "HMS Calliope, Light Cruiser". Retrieved 22 Oct 2012. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Calliope Class Light Cruisers". World War 1 Naval Combat. Retrieved 5 June 2012.