HMS Minerva (1895)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Minerva.
HMS Minerva (1895).jpg
Minerva at anchor shortly after her completion
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Minerva
Namesake: Minerva
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 4 December 1893
Launched: 23 September 1895
Completed: 4 February 1897
Fate: Sold for scrap, 5 October 1920
General characteristics
Class and type: Eclipse-class protected cruiser
Displacement: 5,600 long tons (5,690 t)
Length: 350 ft (106.7 m)
Beam: 53 ft 6 in (16.3 m)
Draught: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
Installed power: 9,600 ihp (7,200 kW)
8 cylindrical boilers
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 Inverted triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h; 21.3 mph)
Complement: 450
Armament: As built:
5 × QF 6-inch (152 mm) guns
6 × QF 4.7-inch (120 mm) guns
6 × 3-pounder QF guns
3 × 18-inch torpedo tubes
After 1905:
11 × six-inch QF guns
9 × 12-pounder QF guns
7 × 3-pounder QF guns
3 × 18-inch torpedo tubes
Armour: Gun shields: 3 in (76 mm)
Engine hatch: 6 in (152 mm)
Decks: 1.5–3 in (38–76 mm)
Conning tower: 6 in (152 mm)

HMS Minerva was an Eclipse-class protected cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1890s.

Construction and operational history[edit]

The ship was laid down at Chatham Dockyard, Kent, on December 4, 1893, and was floated out on September 23, 1895.[1]


HMS Minerva served in the Channel Squadron after her launch. Captain Charles Home Cochran was appointed in command on 25 September 1900, and she again served in the Channel Squadron from March 1901,[2] including as guard ship at Cowes in early 1902.[citation needed] She was used in the Spring 1902 for a series of trials to compare her cylindrical boilers with the Belleville boilers of HMS Hyacinth, with the performance of the boilers being compared at various powers in tests in the English Channel, followed by long sea runs to the Mediterranean Sea and back. While the Belleville water-tube boilers of Hyacinth proved to be more efficient than Minerva‍ '​s cylindrical boilers, and lighter, but on the long runs to and from the Mediterranean, Hyacinth‍ '​s boilers proved prone to leaks, and suffered a burst boiler tube.[3] The results of these and similar trials led to the use of Belleville boilers in new construction to be stopped.[4]

The ship was present at the relief operations in Sicily after the great earthquake and tsunami in the Strait of Messina, 28 December 1908. The crew qualified for the Medal of Merit for Participation in the Relief of the Earthquake in Calabria and Sicily, instituted by the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III.[5]

Minerva transferred from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom in 1912, taking part in the rescue attempts when the submarine HMS B2 was sunk in a collision in October 1912.[6]

First World War[edit]

On the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, Minerva was part of the 11th Cruiser Squadron based in Ireland, but was detached to join the 5th Cruiser Squadron in September, with the responsibility of intercepting enemy merchant shipping trying to return to Germany or Austria. During these operations it captured and scuttled the Austrian merchant ship Bathori.[6][7]

Minerva escorted a troop convoy from Britain to Egypt in November 1914, and formed part of the Allied naval forces supporting the Gallipoli Campaign. When the Turkish torpedo-boat Demirhisar attempted to attack Allied troop ships near Chios on 16 April 1915, Minerva, together with the destroyers Jed, Kennet and Wear, forced Demirhisar to run aground, where the Turkish torpedo boat was later destroyed.[7][6][8] Minerva supported the landing at Cape Helles in April and at Suvla Bay in August.[7]

Minerva was deployed to the China Station in 1916, and then to the Indian Ocean and Red Sea in 1917, then remaining off East Africa until the end of the war. She returned to Queenstown, Ireland in 1920, and was sold for scrapping on 5 October 1920.[9]


  1. ^ The Times (London), Tuesday, September 24, 1895, p. 8
  2. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence" The Times (London). Thursday, 22 March 1901. (36409), p. 11.
  3. ^ Brassey 1902, pp. 165–173.
  4. ^ Brown 2003, p. 165.
  5. ^ "Awards granted for service after the Messina Earthquake 1908". North East Medals. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Gardiner and Gray 1985, p. 15.
  7. ^ a b c Rickard, J. "HMS Minerva". 11 November 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  8. ^ Gardiner and Gray 1985, p. 392.
  9. ^ Gardiner and Gray 1985, pp. 14–15.


  • Brassey, T. A. The Naval Annual 1902. Portsmouth, UK: J Griffin and Co, 1902.
  • Brown, D. K. Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860–1905. . London: Caxton Editions, 2003. ISBN 1-84067-529-2.
  • Chesneau, Roger and Eugene M. Kolesnik. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway's Maritime Press, 1979. ISBN 0-85177-133-5.
  • Gardiner, Robert and Randal Gray, (eds). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1985. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
  • Hythe, Viscount. The Naval Annual 1912. Portsmouth, UK: J Griffin, 1912.
  • McBride, Keith (2012). "The Cruiser Family Talbot". In John Jordan. Warship 2012. London: Conway. pp. 136–41. ISBN 978-1-84486-156-9. 
  • Moore, John. Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I. London:Studio, 1990. ISBN 1 85170 378 0.