Armored cruiser HMS Euryalus

The Armored cruiser HMS Euryalus was the last ship of the Cressy class, a class of battleships that were merely built as other major powers reinforced and modernized their naval forces.


Launching and design:

With the Naval Defense Act of 1889, Britain decided to embark on an armaments policy that defined the size of the British naval forces as the other great powers. The British Navy should reach twice the size of the next two naval forces together. However, the naval command put more on battleships and on protected cruiser than on ironclads, since the cruisers were much cheaper and faster to build because of the lack of belt armor.

Since the Naval Defense Act did not have the desired effect and other major powers also began to increase their naval forces, Britain decided at the end of the 19th Century to build again battleship. This should equivalent warships exist against the new cruiser of Russia, France and the German Empire. In addition, the ships of the Powerful and Diadem class already reached dimensions that were almost identical to armored cruisers.

Based on the experience of the Diadem class, the plans for the Cressy class emerged. It was now installed with the armor system of Krupp 152 mm strong belted tank. In return, the armored deck narrowed to save weight.

The main armament served two 233 mm guns of the type Mark X which stood in single towers respectively at the stern and at the bow. In addition, there were twelve 152 mm Mark VII cannons housed in casemates.

The launch of the HMS Euryalus took place on May 20, 1901, the commissioning on January 5, 1904.



HMS Euryalus


Drawing of the Cressy class 1906




History of HMS Euryalus:

After commissioning and test drives the Euryalus was sent on January 22, 1904 as a flagship to Australia to serve in the Australia Station.

By early December 1905, several Australian ports were approached to introduce the new ships. The HMS Powerful then replaced the HMS Euryalus as a flagship, which then returned to the UK.

After an overhaul, the ship was assigned to the North America & West Indies Station and the 4th Cruiser Squadron deployed there. Although this station was dissolved on February 8, 1907, the squadron remained, however, continue to exist.

When on December 28, 1908, a heavy earthquake devastated the Italian city of Messina and the surrounding area, the Euryalus was one of the British ships involved in the rescue operation.

Until the year 1912, the ship remained in the 4th cruiser squadron until it was allocated to the reserve.



HMS Euryalus


HMS Clio and HMS Euryalus in Sydney


Rear view of HMS Euryalus




Use in the war:

When World War I broke out, all ships of the Cressy class, with the exception of the HMS Sutlej, were assigned to the 7th Cruiser Squadron and served to secure the Thames estuary and the eastern canal access.

During the naval battle of Heligoland on August 28, 1914, the cruisers together with the HMS Amethyst formed the remote control, while the British battlecruisers and light cruisers opened the fire on the German ships.

After on September 22, 1914, the three ships HMS Cressy, HMS Hogue and HMS Aboukir were sunk by the German submarine U-9, the two other armored cruiser HMS Euryalus and HMS Bacchante were subordinated to the Western Channel patrol in Gibraltar.

When the building of a submarine base near the Suez Canal was feared by the Ottoman Empire, the HMS Euryalus attacked the area together with the battleships HMS Triumph and HMS Swiftsure as well as the mine finder Smyrna. Since neither the destruction of the Ottoman fortifications succeeded nor the governor of the request for surrender, the ships had to retire on March 15, 1915 to the other British ships in front of the Dardanelles.

Rear-Admiral Wemyss, after being named Commander-in-Chief on Gallipoli, took HMS Euryalus as its flagship and sent in three of the Lancashire Fusiliers, one of the first units to land. At 4:00 am on April 25, 1915, the soldiers began to switch to smaller ships and land. Due to the enemy fire from the beach, six crew members of the ship, who were used as oarsmen of the small boats, died in this enterprise. When the landing had to be stopped at the end of the year, the British troops were again brought by small boats from the beach to the ships, including the Euryalus. With the troops on board, the ship then ran back to the Suez Canal.

On 16 January 1916, Rear Admiral Wemyss was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the East India Station and began against the Ottoman troops in Egypt and Libya, with the HMS blocked Euryalus ports and driveways of Libya. Until September 1917, Wemyss also used the ship for the transport of Arabian Allies' troops and as an office for his staff until he was named First Sea Lord and given command.

Until early 1919, the Euryalus remained as a flagship in the East Indian Station.





After returning to the United Kingdom in early 1919, the HMS Euryalus was decommissioned, sold on 1 July 1920 and scrapped in Germany.




Ship data:


HMS Euryalus


Great Britain

Ship Type:  

Armored cruiser








May 20, 1901


January 5, 1904


Sold on 1 July 1920 and scrapped in Germany


143,9 meters


21,9 meters


Max. 7,9 meters


Max. 12.000 tons


760 men


30 Belleville water-tube boilers

2 x 4 cylinder triple expansion machines


21.000 PSi

Maximum speed:  

21 kn




2 x 233 mm L/46 guns

12 x 152 mm L/45 guns

13 x 76 mm L/40 guns

3 x 47 mm L/40 guns

2 x torpedo tubes ∅ 45 cm


Belt armor 150 mm

Decks 25-76 mm

Towers 152 mm

Casemates 127 mm

Conning tower 305 mm






You can find the right literature here:


British Battleships of World War One

British Battleships of World War One Hardcover – November 15, 2012

This new edition of a classic work on British battleships is the most sought after book on the subject. Containing many new photographs from the author's exhaustive collection this superb reference book presents the complete technical history of British capital ship design and construction during the dreadnought era. Beginning with Dreadnought, all of the fifty dreadnoughts, 'super-dreadnoughts' and battlecruisers that served the Royal Navy during this era are described and superbly illustrated with photographs and line drawings.

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The British Battleship: 1906-1946

The British Battleship: 1906-1946 Hardcover – October 15, 2015

Norman Friedman brings a new perspective to an ever-popular subject in The British Battleship: 1906-1946. With a unique ability to frame technologies within the context of politics, economics, and strategy, he offers unique insight into the development of the Royal Navy capital ships. With plans of the important classes commissioned from John Roberts and A D Baker III and a color section featuring the original Admiralty draughts, this book offers something to even the most knowledgeable enthusiast.

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British Battlecruisers 1905-1920

British Battlecruisers 1905-1920 Hardcover – December 15, 2016

The brainchild of Admiral Sir John Fisher, battlecruisers combined heavy guns and high speed in the largest hulls of their era. Conceived as "super-cruisers" whose job it was to hunt down and destroy commerce raiders, their size and gun-power led to their inclusion in the battlefleet as a fast squadron of capital ships. This book traces in detail the development of Fisher's original idea into the first battlecruiser Invincible of 1908, through to the "Splendid Cats" of the Lion class, and culminating in HMS Hood in 1920, the largest warship in the world for the next twenty years. The origins of the unusual "light battlecruisers" of the Courageous type are also covered.

The well-publicized problems of British battlecruisers are examined, including the latest research throwing light on the catastrophic loss of three of the ships at the Battle of Jutland. The developmental history is backed by chapters covering machinery, armament, and armor, with a full listing of important technical data. The comprehensive collection of illustrations includes the author's superb drawings and original Admiralty plans reproduced in full color. This revised and updated edition of the classic work first published in 1997 will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the most charismatic and controversial warships of the dreadnought era.

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British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914–16 (Duel)

British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914–16 (Duel) Paperback – November 19, 2013

Battles at Dogger Bank and Jutland revealed critical firepower, armor, and speed differences in Royal Navy and Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) Battlecruiser designs.

Fast-moving and formidably armed, the battlecruisers of the British and German navies first encountered one another in 1915 at Dogger Bank and in the following year clashed near Jutland in the biggest battleship action of all time. In the decade before World War I Britain and Germany were locked in a naval arms race that saw the advent of first the revolutionary dreadnought, the powerful, fast-moving battleship that rendered earlier designs obsolete, and then an entirely new kind of vessel - the battlecruiser. The brainchild of the visionary British admiral John 'Jacky' Fisher, the battlecruiser was designed to operate at long range in 'flying squadrons', using its superior speed and powerful armament to hunt, outmanoeuvre and destroy any opponent. The penalty paid to reach higher speeds was a relative lack of armour, but Fisher believed that 'speed equals protection'. By 1914 the British had ten battlecruisers in service and they proved their worth when two battlecruisers, Invincible and Inflexible, sank the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off the Falklands in December 1914.

Based on a divergent design philosophy that emphasised protection over firepower, the Germans' battlecruisers numbered six by January 1915, when the rival battlecruisers first clashed at Dogger Bank in the North Sea. By this time the British battlecruisers had been given a new role - to locate the enemy fleet. Five British battlecruisers accompanied by other vessels intercepted and pursued a German force including three battlecruisers; although the battle was a British tactical victory with neither side losing any of its battlecruisers, the differences in the designs of the British and German ships were already apparent. The two sides responded very differently to this first clash; while the Germans improved their ammunition-handling procedures to lessen the risk of disabling explosions, the British drew the opposite lesson and stockpiled ammunition in an effort to improve their rate of fire, rendering their battlecruisers more vulnerable. The British also failed to improve the quality of their ammunition, which had often failed to penetrate the German ships' armour.

These differences were highlighted more starkly during the battle of Jutland in May 1916. Of the nine British battlecruisers committed, three were destroyed, all by their German counterparts. Five German battlecruisers were present, and of these, only one was sunk and the remainder damaged. The limitations of some of the British battlecruisers' fire-control systems, range-finders and ammunition quality were made clear; the Germans not only found the range more quickly, but spread their fire more effectively, and the German battlecruisers' superior protection meant that despite being severely mauled, all but one were able to evade the British fleet at the close of the battle. British communication was poor, with British crews relying on ship-to-ship flag and lamp signals even though wireless communication was available. Even so, both sides claimed victory and the controversy continues to this day.

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