Armour cruiser HMS Kent

The armour cruiser HMS Kent belonged to the Monmouth class, which consisted of a total of 10 ships, were weakly armed and armored and should only serve the rapid construction of many armored cruisers.


Launching and design:

End of the 20th century, the construction of a successor of the Drake and Cressy class was decided. However, the British Navy Ministry put less emphasis on quality in the new ship class but wanted a large amount of armored cruisers that were quick and inexpensive to build.

The class, which was designed for 10 ships, accordingly had less displacement and was also armored rather lightly, with large-caliber projectiles penetrating the armor without much resistance. The armament was relatively weak with fourteen 6-inch (15,2-cm) guns and would have done little damage to heavily armored ships. Of the 14 guns four were placed in twin towers at the stern and at the bow, the rest were in casemates on the side, where only the upper were used in medium and heavy seas there.

The HMS Kent ran as the third ship in the class from the stack.

The launching of the HMS Kent took place on 6 March 1901, the commissioning on 1 October 1903.



Armour cruiser HMS Kent

Armour cruiser HMS Kent




History of HMS Kent:

After commissioning and the test drives, the ship was initially assigned to the Home Fleet, from 1906 was the transfer to the British China Station.

In 1911, along with the HMS Challenger Protected Cruiser, they traveled across the Pacific Ocean to attend the celebration of Chile's 100th anniversary. On April 5, the two ships arrived in Valparaíso, where they stayed for two weeks.

After the Chinese revolution broke out in the fall of 1911, China Station ships were ordered to monitor the situation, prevent riots against Europeans if possible, and eventually take in refugees.

In 1913, HMS Kent was withdrawn from China Station, returned to Britain, and was assigned to the Reserve Fleet.




Use in the war:

With the outbreak of the First World War, the HMS Kent was reactivated in September 1914 and assigned to the squadron of Rear Admiral Archibald P. Stoddarts in the Atlantic.

The ship was accordingly with the other ships of the squadron on December 8, 1914 in the port of the Falkland Islands as two ships of the German East Asia squadron came within sight. Since the Kent was classified as an alarm ship and did not have to take up like the others still coal, it was the first to record the persecution of German ships. After unlocking the remaining British ships the German commander Admiral Graf von Spee had to realize that he could not save his ships from the British. So he released his cruiser and prepared himself with his two big cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau on the battle. Since Rear Admiral Archibald P. Stoddarts had already guessed this behavior, he promptly drove the HMS Kent, HMS Cornwall and the HMS Glasgow to pursue the small cruiser, while he took care of the remaining ships for the great cruiser of the Germans.

As soon as the German small cruisers separated, the HMS Kent pursued the SMS Nürnberg. After 3 1/2 hours, the ship was overtaken. In the following firefight, the Kent received 38 hits, this killed 8 crew members. Nürnberg was sunk in the evening and 18 survivors were rescued. Following the ship had to return to the Falkland Islands, since the coal stock was almost used up.

On the subsequent search for the escaping small cruiser SMS Dresden, the HMS Kent monitored the Magellanstraße where the German utility Sierra Cordoba passed and was controlled. Since the provider was in neutral waters, this could continue to drive after the control.

On March 7, 1915 SMS Dresden could be spotted by listening to radio messages in the Pacific by HMS Kent again. Because of the higher speed, however, the Dresden escaped again and arrived on March 9, 1915 in the Cumberland Bay of Robinson Crusoe Island.

The British ships HMS Kent and HMS Glasgow were also able to reach the bay on 14 March 1915 and opened, in violation of the neutrality of the Chilean waters, the fire on the German ship. Despite attempts by German adjutant to negotiate, the British ships did not stop the fire, so it was sunk by the crew itself at noon.

After a residency in Great Britain in May 1915 for an overhaul, the ship was transferred in 1916 to the Cape Station in South Africa to perform surveillance tasks there.

In July 1918, the ship relocated to China Station, where it remained until the end of the war.



Hits on HMS Kent by SMS Nürnberg





After World War I, in January 1919, there was a short-term operation in Vladivostok to support the American and Japanese troops fighting the Bolsheviks. Following the ship returned to the UK.

At the beginning of 1920, he was taken out of service, sold in June and scrapped.




Ship data:


HMS Kent


Great Britain

Ship Type:  

Armour cruiser




Portsmouth Dockyard




March 6, 1901


October 1, 1903


Sold and scrapped in June 1920


141,42 meters


20,12 meters


Max. 7,6 meters


Max. 9.800 tons


678 men


31 Belleville water tube boiler

2 four-cylinder
Triple expansion engines


22.000 PSi

Maximum speed:  

23 kn




4 x 6 inch Mk.VII / Mk.VIII guns

10 x 152 mm Mk.VII guns

12 x 76 mm Rapid fire guns

3 x 47 mm guns

2 x 45,7-cm torpedo tubes


Belted tank 50-100 mm

Casemates 50-100 mm

Towers 127 mm

Barbettes 127 mm

Deck 50-170 mm

Command tower 250 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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