HMS Birmingham (1913)

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HMS Birmingham (1913).jpg
Birmingham in 1916
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Birmingham
Namesake: Birmingham
Ordered: under 1911 Naval Estimates
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick[1]
Yard number: 851
Laid down: 10 June 1912
Launched: 7 May 1913
Completed: 30 January 1914
Commissioned: February 1914
Fate: Sold for scrapping February 1931
General characteristics
Class and type: Town-class light cruiser
Displacement: 5,440 long tons (5,530 t)
Length: 457 ft (139.3 m) o/a
Beam: 50 ft (15.2 m)
Draught: 15 ft 9 in (4.80 m)
Installed power: 25,000 shp (18,642.5 kW)
Propulsion:
Speed: 25.5 kn (29.3 mph; 47.2 km/h)
Range: 4,680 nmi (5,390 mi; 8,670 km) at 10 kn (11.5 mph; 18.5 km/h)1
Capacity:
  • Coal: 1,165 short tons (1,057 t) (maximum)
  • Fuel oil: 235 short tons (213.188 t)
Complement: 433
Armament:
Armour:
  • Belt: 3 in (76 mm) tapering to 1.5 in (38 mm) fore and 1.75 in (44 mm) aft
  • Deck: 0.75–1.5 in (19–38 mm) over vital spaces, 0.4 in (10 mm) elsewhere
  • Gun Shields: 4 in (102 mm)
  • Conning Tower: 4 in (102 mm)

HMS Birmingham was lead ship of the Birmingham group of three ships of the Town-class of light cruisers built by the Royal Navy. Her sister ships were Lowestoft and Nottingham. The three ships were virtually identical to the third group of Town-class ships, but with an additional 6 in (150 mm) gun worked in on the forecastle.

History[edit]

Birmingham, a two-screw ship, was built at Elswick, launched on 7 May 1913 and completed on 30 January 1914. She joined the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet in 1914, visiting Kiel in June that year.

On 9 August 1914, she spotted the U-15, whose engines had failed as she lay stopped on the surface in heavy fog, off Fair Isle. The crew of Birmingham could hear hammering from inside the boat from attempted repairs, and so fired on her but missed. As the U-boat began to dive, she rammed her, cutting her in two. U-15 went down with all hands, the first U-boat loss to an enemy warship.[1] Birmingham also sank two German merchant ships that year and took part in the Battle of Heligoland on 28 August, and the Battle of Dogger Bank in January 1915.

In February, she joined the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, attacking a u-boat on 18 June 1915 without success.

Birmingham under fire at the Battle of Jutland

She also took part in the Battle of Jutland as a member of the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, during which she sustained damage caused by splintering during the night of the battle.

After the First World War, she was flagship to the 6th Light Cruiser Squadron in 1919-1920, after which she was transferred to the Nore from 1920-1922. Considered (with two other two shaft 'Towns') for conversion to a minelayer, but the idea was not pursued. She was recommissioned in November 1923 to the Africa Station with the 6th Light Cruiser Squadron as Flagship, relieving Lowestoft. She then continued to serve in foreign stations until being sold in 1931. She arrived at the yards of Thos W Ward, of Pembroke Dock on 12 March that year to be broken up.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "HMS Birmingham (1913)". www.tynebuiltships.co.uk. Retrieved 5 Apr 2017. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Brown, David K. (2010). The Grand Fleet: Warship Design and Development 1906–1922. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-085-7. 
  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. 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. Naval Operations to the Battle of the Falklands. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents. I (2nd, reprint of the 1938 ed.). London and Nashville, Tennessee: Imperial War Museum and Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-256-X. 
  • 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. 
  • Friedman, Norman (2010). British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-59114-078-8. 
  • 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. 
  • Lyon, David (1977). "The First Town Class 1908–31: Part 1". Warship. London: Conway Maritime Press. 1 (1): 48–58. ISBN 0-85177-132-7. 
  • Lyon, David (1977). "The First Town Class 1908–31: Part 2". Warship. London: Conway Maritime Press. 1 (2): 54–61. ISBN 0-85177-132-7. 
  • Lyon, David (1977). "The First Town Class 1908–31: Part 3". Warship. London: Conway Maritime Press. 1 (3): 46–51. ISBN 0-85177-132-7. 
  • Newbolt, Henry (1996). Naval Operations. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents. V (reprint of the 1931 ed.). Nashville, Tennessee: Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-255-1. 

External links[edit]