HMS Fearless (1912)

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HMS Fearless (1912).jpg
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Fearless
Builder: Pembroke Dockyard
Laid down: 15 November 1911
Launched: 12 June 1912
Commissioned: October 1913
Fate: Sold for scrapping 8 November 1921
General characteristics
Class and type: Active-class scout cruiser
Displacement: 3,440 tons normal
4,000 tons deep load
Length: 385 ft (117 m) (p/p)
406 ft (124 m) (o/a)
Beam: 41.5 ft (12.6 m)
Draught: 15 ft 7 in (4.75 m)
Propulsion: 12 Yarrow boilers
Parsons turbines
Four shafts
18,000 shp
Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h)
Range: Carried 350 tons coal (780 tons max)
190 tons fuel oil
Complement: 321-325
Armament: 8 x BL 4-inch (101.6 mm) 50cal Mk VII guns (8 x 1)

1 x 3in A/A gun
4 x 3 pounder (4 x 1) guns

2 x 18in Torpedo Tubes
Armour: conning tower: 4 in (100 mm)
deck: 1 in (25 mm)
For other ships of the same name, see HMS Fearless.

HMS Fearless was an Active-class scout cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built at Pembroke Dockyard and launched on 12 June 1912.

On commissioning Fearless was assigned to the Harwich Force with her sisters, and was the leader of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla. She led the flotilla in the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28 August 1914 and at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May - 1 June 1916. Later in 1916 she was made the leader of the 12th submarine flotilla of the Grand Fleet, made up of the notoriously accident prone K-class steam submarines. On 31 January 1918 an incident that sardonically came to be known as the Battle of May Island occurred. A number of Royal Navy warships, including Fearless and her flotilla, were en route to Rosyth to take part in exercises, when due to a combination of mechanical failures and confusion over ship positions in the misty evening, a number of ships collided. Fearless accidentally rammed and sank the submarine HMS K17. She ground to halt, causing the other submarines in the flotilla to turn to avoid her, at which point a number of them were themselves struck by other following ships. In just over an hour, two submarines had been sunk, four others were damaged and Fearless had also sustained considerable damage. Over 100 sailors were killed in the incident.

Fearless was repaired and survived the war, but was considered obsolete and was sold for scrapping on 8 November 1921, eventually being broken up in Germany.