HMS Phaeton (1914)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Phaeton.
HMS Phaeton (1914).jpg
The 1st Light Cruiser Squadron and seaplane carriers at sea, during the operation to bomb the German Zeppelin sheds at Tondern, 4 May 1916. Visible, from left, are Cordelia, Inconstant, Phaeton, Engadine, Vindex and Galatea.
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Phaeton
Ordered: Phaethon
Builder: Vickers Limited
Laid down: 12 March 1913
Launched: 21 October 1914
Commissioned: February 1915
Fate: Sold for scrap, 16 January 1923
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Arethusa-class light cruiser
Displacement: 3,512 long tons (3,568 t)
Length: 410 ft (125.0 m) p/p
436 ft (132.9 m) o/a
Beam: 39 ft (11.9 m)
Draught: 15 ft 7 in (4.75 m) (mean, deep load)
Installed power: 40,000 shp (30,000 kW)
8 × Yarrow boilers
Propulsion: 4 × shafts; 4 × steam turbines
Speed: 28.5 kn (52.8 km/h; 32.8 mph)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Complement: 270
Armament: 2 × single BL 6 in (152 mm) Mk XII guns
6 × single QF 4 in (102 mm) Mk V guns
1 × single QF 3-pounder (47 mm (1.9 in)) anti-aircraft gun
4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
Armour: Waterline belt: 1–3 in (25–76 mm)
Deck: 1 in (25 mm)

HMS Phaeton was one of eight Arethusa-class light cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the 1910s. She fought in the First World War, participating in the Battle of Jutland. Following the war, she was scrapped.

Design and description[edit]

The Arethusa-class cruisers were intended to lead destroyer flotillas and defend the fleet against attacks by enemy destroyers. The ships were 456 feet 6 inches (139.1 m) long overall, with a beam of 49 feet 10 inches (15.2 m) and a deep draught of 15 feet 3 inches (4.6 m). Displacement was 5,185 long tons (5,268 t) at normal[1] and 5,795 long tons (5,888 t) at full load. Phaeton was powered by four Parsons steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, which produced a total of 40,000 indicated horsepower (30,000 kW). The turbines used steam generated by eight Yarrow boilers which gave her a speed of about 28.5 knots (52.8 km/h; 32.8 mph).[2] She carried 840 long tons (853 t) tons of fuel oil[1] that gave a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph).[3]

The main armament of the Arethusa-class ships was two BL 6-inch (152 mm) Mk XII guns that were mounted on the centreline fore and aft of the superstructure and six QF 4-inch Mk V guns in waist mountings. They were also fitted with a single QF 3-pounder (47 mm (1.9 in)) anti-aircraft gun and four 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes in two twin mounts.[2]

Construction and career[edit]

The ship was launched on 21 October 1914 at Vickers Limited's shipyard. On being commissioned, she was assigned to the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, and between February and March 1915 was operating in the Dardanelles in support of the Allied landings at Gallipoli. On Phaeton‍ '​s return to home waters, she was assigned to the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet and by mid-April 1915 she was operating out of Scapa Flow. On 4 May 1916 she took part in shooting down the Zeppelin L 7. On 31 May to 1 June 1916 Phaeton took part in the Battle of Jutland. She survived the First World War, and was sold for scrapping on 16 January 1923 to King, of Troon.


  1. ^ a b Friedman 2010, p. 384
  2. ^ a b Gardiner & Gray, p. 55
  3. ^ Pearsall, Part I, p. 210


  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Pearsall, Alan (1984). "Arethusa Class Cruisers, Part I". Warship (London: Conway Maritime Press) VIII: 203–11. ISBN 0-87021-983-9. 
  • Pearsall, Alan (1984). "Arethusa Class Cruisers, Part II". Warship (London: Conway Maritime Press) VIII: 258–65. ISBN 0-87021-983-9. 

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