HMS Hawke (1891)

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HMS Hawke.jpg
HMS Hawke
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Hawke
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 17 June 1889
Launched: 11 March 1891
Fate: Sunk by U 9, 15 October 1914
General characteristics
Class & type: Edgar-class protected cruiser
Displacement: 7,770 long tons (7,890 t)
Length: 387 ft (118.0 m)
Beam: 60 ft (18.3 m)
Draught: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Installed power: 12,000 ihp (8,900 kW)
Propulsion: 2 × steam engines
2 × shafts
Speed: 20 kn (23 mph; 37 km/h)
Range: 10,000 nmi (11,510 mi; 18,520 km) at 10 kn (11.5 mph; 18.5 km/h)
Complement: 544
Armament: 2 × BL 9.2 in (234 mm) Mk VI guns, 10 × QF 6 in (152 mm) guns, 12 × 6 pdr (2.7 kg) guns

HMS Hawke, launched in 1891, was the sixth British warship to be named Hawke. She was an Edgar-class protected cruiser.


In 1897-1898, Hawke — under the command of Captain Sir Richard Poore — was in action in the Mediterranean in the operations which led to the pacification of Crete and the appointment of Prince George of Greece as High Commissioner under the suzerainty of the Sultan of Turkey. At one point, she was used as a troopship, taking on a Greek military force in Platania Bay and transporting them back to Greece.

In August 1901 Hawke was paid off at Chatham and placed in the Fleet Reserve.[1] In February 1902 she was ordered to be prepared to convey relief crews to the Cape of Good Hope Station.[2]

Collision with the Olympic[edit]

Drawings documenting the damage to the Olympic (left) and the Hawke (right) following their collision

On 20 September 1911, Hawke, under command of Commander W.F. Blunt, collided in the Solent with the White Star liner RMS Olympic. In the course of the collision, Hawke lost her prow. (This was replaced by a straight bow). The subsequent trial pronounced Hawke to be free from any blame. During the trial, a theory was advanced that the large amount of water displaced by the Olympic had generated a suction that had drawn Hawke off course. The decision of the first court to try the case provoked a series of legal appeals.


Early in the First World War, Hawke, commanded by Capt.Hugh P.E.T. Williams, was engaged in various operations in the North Sea. On 15 October 1914 Hawke, sailing with her sister ship Theseus, was torpedoed by German submarine U-9. The submarine's first torpedo missed Theseus but hit Hawke, igniting a magazine and causing a tremendous explosion which ripped much of the ship apart. Hawke sank in a few minutes, sending her captain, 26 officers and 497 men to their deaths. 70 crew members survived.


  1. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence" The Times (London). Friday, 23 August 1901. (36541), p. 4.
  2. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence" The Times (London). Thursday, 6 February 1902. (36684), p. 10.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°47′05″N 00°11′50″E / 57.78472°N 0.19722°E / 57.78472; 0.19722