Monday, 7 August 2017

British protected cruiser HMS Argonaut 1896-1921



Laid down by Fairfield, Govan, Scotland on 23 November 1896, launched on 24 January 1898, completed on 19 April 1900, converted into a hospital ship in 1915, accommodation ship since 1918 and sold to Ward, Milford Haven, United Kingdom to be broken up on 18 May 1920 and arrived there to undergo her final fate on 4 September 1921.

Part of the Diadem-class protected cruisers consisting of the Diadem, Amphitrite, Andromeda, Argonaut, Ariadne, Europa, Niobe and Spartiate, preceded by the Powerful-class and succeeded by the Cressy-class. Designed by Director of Naval Construction at the Admiralty (1885-1902) Sir William White (2 February 1845 Plymouth, England-27 February 1913 London, England) and in fact a simplified Powerful-class design with a reduced speed, horsepower, thickness of the protective deck and lighter armed. Their main task was protecting the merchant shipping and for this purpose the Diadem-class had to be strong enough to deal with all existing foreign cruisers.

General technical class specifications. Displacement 11.000 tons and as dimensions 132,6-140,97 (over all) x 21,0 x 7,7708,38 metres or 462.6-453 x 69 x 25.6-27.6 feet. Crew numbered 677 men. Armament consisted of 16x1-15,2cm/6” quick firing guns, 14x1-7,6mm/12pd quick firing guns, 3x1-4,7cm/3pd quick firing guns, 8 Maxim machineguns and 2-45cm/18” submerged torpedo tubes. The Harvey Nickel steel (except for the decks) armour consisted of casemates and gun shields with a thickness of 11cm/4.5”, hoists protected by 5,1cm/2”,  the conning tube 5,1cm/2” (aft)-15cm/6” (tube fore)-30cm/12” (fore and further more 4cm/2,5”-10,2cm/4” thick decks Machinery consisted of triple expansion steam engines and Belleville water tube boilers. Range with a speed of 19 miles and a coal bunker capacity of 1.900 tons was 2.000 nautical miles.