Monmouth-class cruiser

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HMS Monmouth
HMS Monmouth, on postcard
Class overview
Name: Monmouth
Preceded by: Drake class
Succeeded by: Devonshire class
In commission: 1903–1921
Completed: 10
Lost: 2
Scrapped: 8
General characteristics
Displacement: 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) (normal)
Length: 463 ft 6 in (141.3 m) (o/a)
Beam: 66 ft (20.1 m)
Draught: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Installed power: 22,000 ihp (16,000 kW)
31 water-tube boilers
Propulsion: 2 × shafts
2 × 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Complement: 678
Armament:
Armour:

The Monmouth-class was a ten-ship class of 10,000 ton armoured cruisers built around 1901 to 1903 for the Royal Navy and designed specifically for commerce protection. The ships were also referred to as County-class cruisers as they carried the names of British counties.

Design[edit]

Left elevation and deck plan as depicted in Jane's Fighting Ships 1914
Aft port casemate guns on HMS Berwick, illustrating the unfortunate positioning

Expected only to fight light cruisers and armed merchant ships, they were armed with fourteen 6-inch guns at a time when most British armoured cruisers also carried at least a pair of 9.2-inch guns: Four of the guns were mounted in two twin turrets at a good height, the remaining ten were installed in hull-mounted casemates, 5 on each side. The lower casemate guns were just a few feet above water, making them impossible to use in heavy seas. Sir John Fisher commented that "Sir William White designed the County class but forgot the guns."[1] On the other hand, they were relatively fast ships for their time.

Building programme[edit]

The following table gives the build details and purchase cost of the members of the Monmouth class. Standard British practice at that time was for these costs to exclude armament and stores. The compilers of The Naval Annual revised costs quoted for British ships between the 1905 and 1906 editions. The reasons for the differences are unclear.[2]

Ship Builder Engine
Maker
Date of Cost according to
Laid Down Launch Completion (BNA 1905)[3] (BNA 1906)[4]
Monmouth London and Glasgow Shipping Company London & Glasgow
Shipping Company
29 Aug 1899 13 Nov 1901 2 Dec 1903 £709,085 £979,591
Bedford Fairfield, Govan Fairfield 19 Feb 1900 31 Aug 1901 11 Nov 1903 £734,330 £706,020
Essex Pembroke Dockyard J Brown 1 Jan 1900 29 Aug 1901 22 Mar 1903 £770,325 £736,557
Kent Portsmouth Dockyard Hawthorn 12 Feb 1900 6 Mar 1901 1 Oct 1903 £733,940 £700,283
Berwick W. Beardmore
& Company
Humphrys 19 Apr 1901 20 Sep 1902 9 Dec 1903 £776,868 £750,984
Cornwall Pembroke Dockyard Hawthorne 11 Mar 1901 29 Oct 1902 1 Dec 1904 £789,421 £756,274
Cumberland London & Glasgow
Shipping Company, Glasgow
London & Glasgow
Shipping Company
19 Feb 1901 16 Dec 1902 1 Dec 1904 £751,508 £718,168
Donegal Fairfield, Govan Fairfield 14 Feb 1901 4 Sep 1902 5 Nov 1903 £752,964 £715,947
Lancaster Armstrongs, Elswick Hawthorn 4 Mar 1901 22 Mar 1903 5 Apr 1904 £763,084 £732,858
Suffolk Portsmouth Dockyard Humphrys 25 Mar 1901 15 Jan 1903 21 May 1904 £783,054 £722,681

Service[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 12 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ 'Castles of Steel, Robert K. Massie, 2004, Balantine Books, ISBN 0-345-40878-0
  2. ^ The 1906 figure for Monmouth is particularly high. but is as quoted in the original. The 1914 edition also quotes £979,591 as the cost of Monmouth.
  3. ^ Brassey's Naval Annual 1905, p234-243
  4. ^ Brassey's Naval Annual 1906, p208-215

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]