Armored cruiser HMS Minotaur

The Armored cruiser HMS Minotaur belonged to the same class of ships, which consisted of three ships and were the last built Armored cruiser in Britain.


Launching and design:

The minotaur-class ships came out of the Warrior class. However, only four instead of six 234 -mm guns were installed, but by a better setup in two twin towers, the smaller number could be compensated, as the guns could fire both to port and to starboard.

Furthermore, the armament was reinforced with 12 76-mm rapid fire and 10 191 -mm, especially against destroyers and torpedo boats.

In return, the ships were less armored than their predecessors. The armored deck was provided with a weaker armor and the upper armored belt was completely omitted because of the lack of casemates.

The three ships of the Minotaur class were the last for the Royal Navy built battleship, as this class was replaced by the new battlecruisers of the Invincible class.

The launch of the HMS Minotaur took place on June 6, 1906, the commissioning on April 1, 1908.



HMS Minotaur


HMS Minotaur


HMS Minotaur


HMS Minotaur




History of the HMS Minotaur:

After the commissioning and test drives, the ship was assigned together with the sister ship HMS Shannon, the HMS Defense followed a little later as the third and last ship in the class, the 5th cruiser squadron.

In April 1909, the change was made in the 1st Cruiser Squadron before the ship was assigned 1910 China Station.

In the fall of 1911, when the Chinese revolution took place, the HMS Minotaur was used with other British ships to prevent attacks on Europeans and possibly take in injured and refugees.

On July 26, 1914, the HMS Minotaur arrived after a final round trip in the area in Weihawei, where also the HMS Hampshire, HMS Yarmouth and five destroyers drove.




Use in the war:

When the First World War broke out, the British ships were instructed to call Hong Kong to stock up on their supplies. Already in advance, the HMS Triumph, HMS Newcastle, the French cruiser Dupleix and other ships have left Hong Kong to search for German warships.

Together with the HMS Triumph and the HMS Newcastle the HMS Minotaur was to search and sink the German small cruiser SMS Emden. It was destroyed on the island of Yap a German radio station, as the commander there suspected a collection point of German ships. However, after these could not be found, the Minotaur returned to Hong Kong on 17 August.

In the next few weeks British ships controlled the shores of China, Java, Sumatra and Indonesia for German ships.

With the beginning of the transport of Australian and New Zealand soldiers to Egypt, the HMS Minotaur was classified as the lead ship of the convoy. During the escort the association received the message that the SMS Emden Cocos Islands was spotted. The HMAS Sydney then left the association, surprised the German ship and could sink it in the ensuing battle. After the sinking, the Sydney took the lead and the Minotaur was relocated to Simonstown in South Africa to support the search for the German East Asian squadron.

On December 7, 1914 should be secured with the South African squadron first a troop transport to German Southwest Africa. On December 8, the squadron received the message that was destroyed after the battle in the Falkland Islands, the German squadron and no support was needed. On December 10, the HMS Minotaur was ordered back to Britain.

In Britain, the ship was the flagship of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in the Grand Fleet. With this squadron, the ship also took part in the Battle of the Skagerrak from 31 May to 1 June 1916, scoring or received no hit.

Until the end of the war no further missions took place during which it came to an enemy contact.





After the war, the HMS Minotaur was decommissioned, sold to Ward on May 12, 1920 and scrapped in Milford Haven.




Ship data:


HMS Minotaur


Great Britain

Ship Type:  

Armored cruiser




Marinewerft Devonport, Plymouth




June 6, 1906


April 1, 1908


Sold on May 12, 1920 and scrapped in Milford Haven


158,3 meters


22,7 meters


7,9 meters


Max. 14.600 tons


802 men


24 Yarrow water-tube boilers

2 marine triple expansion steam engines


27.000 ihp (PSi)

Maximum speed:  

23 kn




4 x 234 mm Mk.XI guns in double turrets

10 x 191 mm Mk.V guns

16 x 76 mm guns

5 x 457 cm torpedo tubes under water


Belted tank 76-152 mm

Deck 38-52 mm

Armored partition 51-151 mm

Towers 110-203 mm

Command tower 254 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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