Light cruiser HMS Southampton

The light cruiser HMS Southampton belonged to the Town class, while the subcategory Chatham class, which consisted of three ships for the Royal Navy and three ships for the Australian Navy.


Launching and design:

The three light cruisers of the Chatham class were a subcategory of the Town class. In contrast to the predecessor ships of the Weymouth class, the waterline armor has now been reinforced, but the deck armor has been reduced slightly.

The main armament served eight 6-inch (152 -mm) single guns, which were provided with a shield and now far enough apart that a hit could not set several guns at the same time out of action.

Unlike the sister ships of the class, the Southampton had no Parsons turbines and four screws, but only two screws.

The launch of the HMS Southampton took place on May 16, 1912, the commissioning in February 1913.



HMS Southampton




History of HMS Southampton:

After the commissioning and the test drives the ship was first assigned to the 1st battle squadron of the Home Fleet, in July 1913 the change into the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron took place as flagship.




Use in the war:

Already on August 28, 1914, the HMS Southampton took part in the first naval battle near Helgoland. Due to poor communication between the individual squadrons, there was a mutual shelling of the British ships. A torpedo of the submarine E-6 missed only just the Southampton, in return, the ship also failed to ram and submerge the submarine. In the further course of the battle, however, the ship could not intervene.

When on December 16, 1914 German battlecruisers fired at British coastal cities, the ships of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron ran out to attack the Germans, the battle cruisers of the Grand Fleet should cut off the ships to Germany. The HMS Southampton sighted the small German cruiser SMS Stralsund, however, waited for the HMS Birmingham as reinforcement. The other German cruisers SMS Strasbourg and SMS Graudenz were spotted by the HMS Goodenough, but not reported, so that the leader of the Schlachtkreuzer assumed that only the Stralsund was on the spot and the other German ships were already on the way back. He therefore wanted to deduct only the HMS Goodenough, by a false transfer, however, withdrew the other British cruiser and thus could escape the German ships.

On January 24, 1915, the HMS Southampton participated in the battle on the Doggerbank, but served there for the battlecruisers and battleships only for the artillery observation and attacked even no German ship.

In February 1915, the ship was relocated as a flagship in the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron. With this it participated in the Battle of the Skagerrak from 31 May to 1 June 1916. The HMS Southampton was thereby the first British ship, which sighted the ships of the German high sea fleet and opened the fire first. During the night, the Southampton got into a battle with the German small cruisers SMS Elbing, SMS Rostock, SMS Stuttgart, SMS Frauenlob and SMS Hamburg. Together with the HMS Dublin could first sunk the German torpedo boat S -35, later the Southampton scored a torpedo hit on the SMS Frauenlob and sunk the ship. The Southampton received 18 hits, costing 37 crew members and wounding another 40 wounded. After the battle, the ship entered Rosyth to have the damage repaired. On June 20, the ship was then operational again.

The end of 1917, the transfer was made in the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron with the still some thrusts were carried out in the North Sea.

Due to the Russian Civil War and the British intervention in these, visited the First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Eric Geddes with the HMS Southampton in July 1918, the Russian city of Murmansk to make on-site a picture of the situation.




Use after the war:

After the First World War in 1919, the transfer to the 7th Light Cruiser Squadron, which was used at the South American Station.

1921 HMS Southampton was assigned as the flagship of the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron at the East Indies Station.

In 1924, the ship returned to Britain and was placed in reserve.





1926 was the out of service of HMS Southampton, then the ship was sold and scrapped.




Ship data:


HMS Southampton


Great Britain

Ship Type:  

Light cruiser


(Subcategory Chatham-Class)


John Brown & Company, Clydebank




May 16, 1912


February 1913


Sold and scrapped in July 1926


139,7 meters


14,95 meters


Max. 4,9 meters


Max. 6.000 tons


429–475 men


12 Yarrow steam boilers

2 Brown Curtis steam turbines
on 2 waves


25.000 PSw

Maximum speed:  

25,5 kn




8 x 15,2 cm Mk XI guns

4 x 4,7 cm QF guns

4 x machine guns

2 × torpedo tubes 53,3 cm


Deck 50 - 76 mm

Slopes 20 mm

Command tower 102 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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!






This post is also available in: Deutsch (German) Français (French) Italiano (Italian) 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified)) Русский (Russian) Español (Spanish) العربية (Arabic)

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!