HMS Lowestoft (1913)

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HMS Lowestoft (1913).jpg
Lowestoft in 1917 at Kalloni, Lesbos
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Lowestoft
Namesake: Lowestoft
Ordered: under 1911 Naval Estimates
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 29 July 1912
Launched: 23 April 1913
Commissioned: April 1914
Fate: Sold for scrap, 8 January 1931
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Town-class light cruiser
Displacement: 5,440 long tons (5,527 t)
  • 430 ft (131.1 m) p/p
  • 457 ft (139.3 m) o/a
Beam: 50 ft (15.2 m)
Draught: 16 ft (4.9 m) (mean)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 4 × shafts; 3 × Parsons steam turbines
Speed: 25.5 kn (47.2 km/h; 29.3 mph)
Range: 4,140 nautical miles (7,670 km; 4,760 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 480

HMS Lowestoft was a Town-class light cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the 1910s. She was a member of the Birmingham sub-class of the Town class. She survived World War I and was sold for scrap in 1931.

Design and description[edit]

The Birmingham sub-class were slightly larger and improved versions of the preceding Chatham sub-class.[1] They were 457 feet (139.3 m) long overall, with a beam of 50 feet (15.2 m) and a draught of 16 feet (4.9 m). Displacement was 5,440 long tons (5,530 t) normal[2] and 6,040 long tons (6,140 t) at full load. Twelve Yarrow boilers fed Lowestoft's Parsons steam turbines,[1] driving four propeller shafts, that were rated at 25,000 shaft horsepower (19,000 kW) for a design speed of 25.5 knots (47.2 km/h; 29.3 mph). The ship reached 25.4 knots (47.0 km/h; 29.2 mph) during her sea trials from 23,620 shp (17,610 kW).[3] The boilers used both fuel oil and coal, with 1,165 long tons (1,184 t) of coal and 235 long tons (239 t) tons of oil carried, which gave a range of 4,140 nautical miles (7,670 km; 4,760 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[2]

The primary improvement of the Birminghams over the Chathams was the introduction of lighter, easier to work, BL 6-inch (152 mm) Mk XII guns. The lighter guns allowed the addition of another weapon forward of the superstructure.[4] One of these guns was mounted on the centreline aft of the superstructure and two more were mounted on the forecastle deck abreast the bridge. The remaining four guns positioned amidships, two on each broadside. All these guns were fitted with gun shields.[1] Four Vickers 3-pounder (47 mm) saluting guns were also fitted. The armament was completed by two submerged 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes.[5]

Construction and career[edit]

The ship was laid down on 27 July 1912 by Chatham Royal Dockyard and launched on 28 April 1914. Upon completion in April 1914, Lowestoft was assigned to the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, and in August 1914 she sank a German merchant ship. On 28 August 1914, she participated in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, and on 24 January 1915 Lowestoft took part in the Battle of Dogger Bank. In February 1915, she was reassigned to the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, and in 1916 reassigned again to the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron, operating in the Mediterranean. She survived the war[1] and was sold for scrap on 8 January 1931 to Thos W Ward, of Milford Haven.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Gardiner & Gray, p. 54
  2. ^ a b Friedman, p. 384
  3. ^ Lyon, Part 2, pp. 59–60
  4. ^ Lyon, Part 2, p. 57
  5. ^ Lyon, Part 2, pp. 55–57
  6. ^ Lyon, Part 3, p. 51


  • 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. (1985). 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.

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