Light cruiser HMS Undaunted

The light cruiser HMS Undaunted belonged to the Arethusa class and should, after the Town Class ships, again form a single class of light cruisers for the Royal Navy.


Launching and design:

After the light cruisers of the Boadicea, Blonde and Active class and the various variants of the Town class, the Royal Navy made the attempt to build again a uniform class of light cruisers. This proposal was passed on to the British Committee, which in September 1912 approved the proposal and ordered the construction of eight ships.

In the Arethusa class, a purely driven by oil propulsion system was installed, with the turbine plant to which the destroyer of the Royal Navy oriented, as they had already had experience with these facilities and these had proven themselves.

In the armor, the designers took over the already existing in the ships of the Town class data, as this was the strongest of the recent light cruisers.

The biggest shortcoming of the ships, however, was the armament. This was not unified but mixed again, which already led to problems in previous light cruisers. Thus, two individual 152 mm Mk.XII guns were mounted at the bow and stern, with only the gun at the bow on a protective shield. In addition there were six 102 mm Mk.V guns and one Ordnance QF 3 pounder Vickers gun, which should serve for the fight against aircraft.

The launch of the HMS Undaunted took place on April 28, 1914, the commissioning in August 1914.



HMS Undaunted




Use in the war:

After the commissioning and the test drives, the HMS Undaunted replaced the sister ship HMS Arethusa in the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla as Flottillenführer, which was heavily damaged during the first naval battle at Helgoland on August 28, 1914.

During a patrol trip along with the destroyers HMS Lennox, HMS Legion, HMS Loyal and HMS Lance, the torpedo boats of the German 7th torpedo boat semi-flotilla south of England were sighted on 17 October 1914. The German ships were to lay mines on the coast of England to affect the local shipping traffic. Since the British ships were clearly superior to the German ships both in speed and in firepower, the battle lasted only a short time and all 4 torpedo boats were sunk.

On January 24, 1915, the HMS Undaunted was one of the ships that should secure the three seaplane HMS Engadine, HMS Riviera and HMS Empress in the aircraft attack on the Zeppelin halls at Cuxhaven.

After the battle on the Dogger Bank on January 24, 1915, where the HMS Undaunted did not intervene, the ship was transferred to the Irish Sea to hunt German submarines and to secure convoys from Canada. In April 1915, it came to a collision with the destroyer HMS Landrail, the Undaunted was severely damaged and only in August was operational.

On March 24, 1916 was another attack on German airship halls, this time Hoyer should be attacked, but accidentally flew the aircraft to Tondern. While the planes were looking for the halls, the German torpedo boat SMS G-194 came between the British squadron. The HMS Cleopatra discovered the German ship and rammed it, which broke it in two and sank. However, the Cleopatra came before the bow of Undaunted, which collided with the ship and was badly damaged. Due to the incoming water, the Undaunted could only travel at six knots and needed four days to return to the UK.

In April 1917, the HMS Undaunted was rebuilt as a minelayer, but the ship received equipment for a total of 70 sea mines. After the reconstruction, the ship was assigned to the 10th Destroyer Flotilla.

On 5 June 1917, the ship's last use was at war, as British ships attacked the German base Ostende.





First, the HMS Undaunted was assigned to the reserve in April 1919. In 1921, the ship had to be made ready again to relocate British troops to the Mediterranean, as the diplomatic tensions there intensified.

After use and out of service, the ship was on April 9, 1923 sold to the company John Cashmore Ltd and scrapped in Newport.




Ship data:


HMS Undaunted


Great Britain

Ship Type:  

Light cruiser




Fairfield, Govan




April 28, 1914


August 1914


Sold on April 9, 1923 and scrapped in Newport


132,98 meters


11,9 meters


Max. 4,12 meters


Max. 4.400 tons


318 men


8 Yarrow Boiler

4 Brown Curtis turbines


40.000 ihp (PSi)

Maximum speed:  

28,5 kn




2 x 15,2 cm Mk.XII guns

6 x 10,2 cm Mk.V guns

1 x 10,2 cm air defence gun

2 x 2 pound guns

2 x 53,3 cm torpedo tubes


Conning tower 152 mm

Belt armor 25-60 mm

Deck 25 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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