The protected cruiser HMS Hyacinth belonged to the Highflyer class, which consisted of three ships and was used in Africa in the fight against the German colonies.
Launching and design:
The ships of the Highflyer class were based on the Eclipse class and were almost identical in basic design, but in these cruisers, the armament and propulsion system should be consistent and no longer mixed.
For this purpose eleven 6-inch guns were selected as the main armament and for the drive system water tube boiler, which not only saved weight but also made the ships faster than the Eclipse class.
The launching of the HMS Hyacinth took place on October 27, 1898, the commissioning in September 1900.
History of the HMS Hyacinth:
After commissioning, the ship was initially provided to the parliament under the group boiler committee. This was to test the quality and reliability of the built-in water tube boiler, which caused problems especially in the sister ship HMS Hermes in early 1900.
After the test drives, the HMS Hyacinth 1903 was sent to the East India Station in Bombay to replace her sister ship HMS Highflyer as a flagship there. This activity interrupted the ship during the 4th campaign in Somaliland on April 20, 1904 to depose 500 soldiers at the mouth of the Gulluli, where they fought against the rebels.
With a short laytime at the Devonport shipyard in 1906, the Hyacinth was reused in the East Indies Station after deployment in Somaliland.
In 1913, the transfer to the Cape Station in South Africa took place to replace HMS Hermes as flagship.
Use in the war:
As diplomatic tensions in Europe increased and a war was feared, orders were issued to British squadrons in South Africa to oversee the German small cruiser SMS Königsberg in Dar es Salaam. On July 31, 1914, the German ship left the harbor, but was able to escape by its high speed and several course changes the British squadron.
After some troop carriers were escorted from South Africa to Great Britain in September, the HMS Hyacinth was requested after the lost naval battle at Coronel on November 1, 1914 in support of the fight against the German East Asia squadron. After this was destroyed in the Falkland Islands, the Hyacinth could return to South Africa.
From January 1915, the ship first supported the fight against German troops in German Southwest Africa, then moved it to the Rufiji Delta in East Africa, where the German small cruiser SMS Königsberg entrenched.
When it became known in April 1915 that the German troops were waiting for a supply ship from the German Empire, the HMS Hyacinth was shut down to intercept this ship. On April 14, the freighter Rubens used as a utility could be spotted. During the pursuit of the ship, the Hyacinth suffered a machine damage and had to first turn off, repair the drive system and then start the pursuit again. In the meantime, the Rubens on the coast of Tanzania at the Mansabucht could run as planned. Although the Hyacinth found the utility quite fast and set the ship on fire, the crew had not yet been on board and taken most of the cargo. Attempts to bring British soldiers to the ship, the German troops replied with machine guns.
After the destruction of the SMS Königsberg, the HMS Hyacinth moved again to the Cape station in South Africa and remained there until the end of the war.
After the First World War, the HMS Hyacinth was ordered back to Britain, decommissioned in August 1919, sold on October 11, 1923, and scrapped in Swansea.
London & Glasgow Shipbuilding Company, Glasgow
around £ 300.000
October 27, 1898
Sold on October 11, 1923 and scrapped in Swansea
Max. 5.600 tons
18 Belleville steam boilers
10.000 ihp (PSi)
11 x 152 mm Mk.III guns
9 x 76-mm Marine Gun
6 x 47-mm guns
2 x 45-cm torpedo tubes under water
Armor deck 76 - 127 mm
Command post 152 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.
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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.