Protected cruiser HMS Hawke

The protected cruiser HMS Hawke belonged to the Edgar class, whose construction was decided by a total of nine ships in the naval construction program of 1889.


Launching and design:

With the naval program of 1889, also known as the Naval Defense Act 1889, measures were adopted to enlarge the Royal Navy. The British Navy should be at least twice as large as the next two naval forces together.

For this project, however, was dispensed with the construction of battleships, as they were more expensive and the construction time was longer than the protected cruisers. Thus, in addition to the Edgar class, the Apollo class, the Pearl class, the Royal Sovereign and the Centurion class decided.

The Edgar-class ships came out of the Blake class, but were a bit smaller. As the main armament, two 234 mm L/31,5 Mk.VI cannons were selected, one each at the bow and stern of the ship. In addition, ten 152 mm L/40 rapid-fire guns and 12 6-pounder Hotchkiss L/40 fast-fire guns were mounted.

The launch of the HMS Hawke took place on March 11, 1891, the commissioning in the course of 1892.



HMS Hawke




History of HMS Hawke:

Shortly after the commissioning of the ship on August 16 and September 26, 1892 each had an accident in which the ship was repaired and the transfer to the Royal Navy was delayed.

After on 23 June 1893, the battleship HMS Victoria had fallen during a maneuver, the Hawke was sent as a replacement in July 1893 in the Mediterranean.

During the Turkish-Greek War and the occupation of Crete on 15 February 1897 by Greek troops, the major European powers, especially Great Britain, France and Russia began to intervene. After the Ottoman troops beat the Greek troops, diplomatic negotiations began on the status of Crete. The HMS Hawke participated by the shipment of Greek troops from the island back to Greece.

After the negotiations on the independent special of Crete had been completed, the HMS Hawke was ordered back to Britain and served until 1904 the Channel Fleet.

After an overhaul in late 1904 to early 1905, the ship was used in the coming years as a training ship of the 4th cruiser squadron and the exchange of crews overseas.




Use in the war:

When the First World War broke out, eight of the nine Edgar-class ships were assigned to the 10th cruiser squadron and took over security duties in the North Sea.





On October 15, 1914, the HMS Hawke was torpedoed by the German submarine U-9 and sank within minutes.

527 crew members died in the attack, 65 could be saved.




Ship data:


HMS Hawke


Great Britain

Ship Type:  

Protected cruiser




Chatham Dockyard




March 11, 1891


During the year 1892


Sunk on 15 October 1914 by the German submarine U-9


118,18 meters


18,3 meters


7,3 meters


Max. 7.350 tons


544 men


2 expansion machines


12.000 PS

Maximum speed:  

20 kn




2 x 234-mm cannon

10 x 152 mm cannon

12 x 6-pounder gun

2 x 381-mm torpedo tube








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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