Light cruiser HMS Glasgow

The light cruiser HMS Glasgow belonged to the Bristol class, which was built as the first subcategory of the Town class and should mainly take over the protection of the British trade routes.


Launching and design:

The five-ship Bristol class was the first sub-category of the Town-class ships, whose construction began in 1909.

With a maximum displacement of 5.300 tons, the ships were among the lightest in the class. The armament with two 15,2-cm and ten 10,2-cm guns was overall quite weak, with the 10,2 -inch guns were mounted in casemates side and thus were no longer operational in medium and heavy swell.

The launching of the HMS Glasgow took place on September 23, 1909, the commissioning in September 1910.



HMS Glasgow




History of HMS Glasgow:

After commissioning and testing, the ship was first assigned to the 2nd Battle Squadron of Home Fleet.

1911 was then the change to the South America Station, from where the ship arrived in 1913 and several ports in North America.




Use in the war:

Shortly after the First World War had broken out, HMS Glasgow was able to raise the German steamer Santa Catherina on the way from New York to Santos on 14 August 1914 and bring it to the British coal station in Abrolhos Rock. There, however, the laden coal ignited itself and to protect the harbor, the Glasgow submerged the steamer without the coal could be unloaded before.

Subsequently, the HMS Glasgow Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock was subordinated, who was looking for the coming from the Caribbean small cruiser SMS Dresden. In search of the German ship, arrived on September 28 in Punta Arenas next to the Glasgow also the armored cruiser HMS Good Hope, HMS Monmouth and the auxiliary cruiser HMS Otranto. As it became apparent that the SMS Dresden would probably unite with the small cruiser SMS Leipzig and the German East Asia Squadron, Cradock initially wanted to wait for the arrival of the liner HMS Canopus and sailed his ships on the Falkland Islands. After identifying the approximate location of the SMS Leipzig based on the German radio traffic, the HMS Glasgow ran on 31 October Coronel. The German utility Göttingen there sparked after its departure to the East Asia squadron, the position of Glasgow, so that the squadron drove in his direction.

On November 1, 1914 opened the two German big cruiser SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau on the previously arrived British armored cruiser HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth the fire and could sink this. Meanwhile, SMS Leipzig and SMS Dresden shot down HMS Glasgow, which received several hits. When SMS Scharnhorst aimed at the Glasgow, Captain John Luce decided to leave the battle and save himself for the distant HMS Canopus. On November 6, the two ships met and drove together in the direction of the Falkland Islands. However, when the drive system of the Canopus failed, the Glasgow went on alone and reached on November 11, 1914, the British squadron.

On December 7, the squadron reached the Falkland Islands, where now the new battlecruisers HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible were present. On December 8, two ships of the German East Asia Squadron appeared. The HMS Glasgow was able to leave the port as the second ship and take up the pursuit of German ships. Since the British ships were faster than the Germans, Admiral Graf Spee realized that he could not escape the British. He dismissed the three small cruisers. The SMS Leipzig was then followed by HMS Kent, HMS Cornwall and HMS Glasgow. During the battle with the German ship Glasgow received two hits that damaged one of the steam boiler and in which two crew members died. After all, only the SMS Dresden escaped from the battle.

The search for the small cruiser HMS Glasgow and HMS Kent were commissioned. On March 14, 1915, the ship finally discovered in Chilean Cumberland Bay. The British ships immediately opened the fire, illegally disregarding the neutrality of Chile and its coastal areas. Since a renewed escape for the German small cruiser was no longer possible, let the captain sink the ship itself and intern the survivors to Chile.

After the SMS Dresden had sunk, the HMS Glasgow was withdrawn into the Mediterranean. In February and September 1916, the ship was also involved in the unsuccessful search for the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Möve in the Atlantic.

From 1917 the ship was assigned to the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron and with the surveillance of the exit of the Adriatic Sea.





After the First World War, the HMS Glasgow served until 1922 still as a school and training ship for heaters.

Then it was decommissioned, sold and scrapped in 1927.




Ship data:


HMS Glasgow


Great Britain

Ship Type:  

Light cruiser




Fairfield, Govan




September 23, 1909


September 1910


Scrapped in 1927


138,1 meters


14,3 meters


4,7 meters


Max. 5.300 tons


411 - 480 men


12 Yarrow steam boilers

4 Parsons steam turbines


22.000 PSw

Maximum speed:  

25 kn




2 x 15,2 cm L/50 BL Mk XI guns

10 x 10,2 cm L/50 BL Mk VIII guns

4 x 4,7 cm L/50 QF guns

4 x .303 machine guns

2 x torpedo tubes 45,7 cm

1 x 3 inch anti-aircraft guns


Deck 50 mm

Slopes 20 mm

Command tower 100 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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