The light cruiser HMS Falmouth belonged to the four-ship Weymouth class and was used in the First World War to hunt for German merchant ships.
Launching and design:
The ships of the Weymouth class presented one of the subcategories of the Town class. It was the second ship type of the Town class and differed from the first type by the number of main armament, which was set from two to eight 15.2-cm single guns. In addition, the ships received two 53.3-inch torpedo tubes.
The launch of the HMS Falmouth took place on September 20, 1910, the commissioning in September 1911.
History of HMS Falmouth:
After commissioning and testing, the ship was assigned to the 5th Cruiser Squadron in the Atlantic and performed some maneuvers and exercises with the other ships.
Use in the war:
Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, HMS Falmouth managed to sink four German merchant ships, which had been on their way to the German Empire at that time.
End of August 1914, the transfer was made in the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet to secure there the thrust into the German Bay. It came on 28 August 1914 for naval combat at Helgoland, the Falmouth neither gave a shot nor received a hit.
As on December 16, 1914 German battlecruisers shelled the British port cities Hartlepool and Scarborough, the ship was among the pursuers. Due to a bad news transmission, however, the contact with the German ships was lost early and the persecution had to be stopped.
On January 24, 1915, the naval battle took place on the Dogger Bank. In this battle, the Falmouth also participated, but as in the naval battle at Helgoland, the ship gave no shot, in return, but also received no hit.
During the Battle of the Skagerrak from May 31 to June 1, 1916, the HMS Falmouth was the flagship of the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron and cleared up before the Grand Fleet, where the German ships were. At 19:30, the ship Torpedos began to shoot at the German battlecruisers, later it came to battles with the German light cruisers. During the fight, the Falmouth got a hit.
On August 19, 1916, the HMS Falmouth accompanied several British battlecruisers who were pursued by two German Zeppelins. The ship was ordered to turn off and force the zeppelins to twist or destroy. So it came that the ship after some time alone behind the fleet was.
The German submarine U-66 then fired two torpedoes that hit the ship from the side. On its own, it could still be turned towards the coast and maintained at a slower speed course. When the ship was close enough to the coast, the accompanying light cruiser HMS Chester left the Falmouth, in the direction of which were already tugs on the way. After the ship was towed by the tugs, the Falmouth received two more torpedo hits from the German submarine U-63 during the day.
After the hits, the ship slowly began to sink, so that both the tugs and approaching destroyers could take over the crew. Only 11 crew members were killed in the hits.
Wm Beardmore & Co., Dalmuir
September 20, 1910
20 August 1916 sunk after several torpedo hits
Max. 5,4 meters
Max. 5.800 tons
12 Yarrow boiler
4 sets of Parsons turbines
22.000 ihp (PSi)
8 x 152 mm L / 50 Mk.XI guns
4 x 47-mm 3 pounder guns
4 x machine guns
2 x 53,3-cm torpedo tubes under water
from 1915 additionally:
1 x 76mm air defense gun
Armor deck 19-52 mm
You can find the right literature here:
British Battleships of World War One
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.
The British Battleship: 1906-1946
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.
British Battlecruisers 1905-1920
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.
British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914–16 (Duel)
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.