Warrior-class armoured cruiser, HMS Cochrane (19, 41, N.10) (1916)

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Warrior-class armoured cruiser, HMS Cochrane (19, 41, N.10)


Design History:

The four armoured cruisers ordered for the 1903–1904 Naval Programme had originally been intended to be direct repeats of the preceding Duke of Edinburgh class, but complaints from the fleet about the low placement of the secondary armament on the earlier ships of this type, prompted a change of design. The reason for this was due to the location of the guns, they could not be used effectively in any situation other than a dead calm sea, causing the issue to be reviewed by the Board of Admiralty in late 1903 to early 1904. Based on their findings regarding the Duke of Edinburgh class, the Warrior class was expected to be lighter, which would allow them lee way to use for changing the secondary armament to something more suitible. Suggertions were taken from Officers of the fleet, and this cumilated in a secondary armament of four 7.5-inch (191 mm) guns being chosen that were to be mounted in single turrets raised to the upper deck. Unfortunately this choice came after the ships had already been laid down, midway through construction resulting in the change costing a total of £250,000 ( £21,223,820.05 when adjusted for inflation) for all four ships to be modified to this specification after the Admiralty approved the change on 30 March 1904.

Because of this change the Warrior class ships ended up being lighter as built, as though initially projected to displace 13,550 long tons (13,770 t), they ended up displacing between 13,200–13,350 long tons (13,410–13,560 t) at normal load and 14,500 long tons (14,700 t) (fully loaded) after the change of armament. The ships had a uniform overall length of 505 feet 6 inches (154.1 m) and a length between perpendiculars of 480 ft (146.3 m). The beam of the ships was 73 feet 6 inches (22.4 m) and a deep draught of 26 feet 6 inches (8.1 m) forward and 27 feet 6 inches (8.4 m) aft. This allowed the ships to complement 770 officers and enlisted men. The changes of design created a much steadier gun platform in comparison to her predecessors, with a metacentric height of 2.75 feet (0.8m), resulting in the ships being amongst some of the most accurate shooting ships in the fleet during the 1907 and 1909 fleet reviews, earning them the reputation of being some of the best cruisers ever built by the british.

The cruisers were powered by two 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one shaft, and able to procuers a total of 23,500 indicated horsepower (17,520 kW) giving the ships of this class a maximum speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph). These engines were powered by steam from 19 yarrow boilers and an additional six cylindrical boilers carrying a working pressure of 225 psi (1,551 kPa; 16 kgf/cm2). To fuel this propulsion system, the ships carried a maximum of the ships carried a maximum of 2,050 long tons (2,080 t) of coal and an additional 600 long tons (610 t) of fuel oil that was sprayed on the coal to increase its burn rate, which was a common practise at the time and was a shared trait of most royal navy ships at the time. This load allowed the ships to steam for 7,960 nautical miles (14,740 km; 9,160 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).

These repectable characteristics were supplimented by the Warrior Classes main armament, which consited of six 45-calibre BL 9.2-inch Mk X guns (234mm) mounted in single-gun turrets. The

guns were laid out in two centreline turrets, fore and aft of the superstructure, and four wing mounted turrets disposed in the corners near the funnels. The centreline turrets could traverse a total of 285° while the wing turrets were limited to 120° on the broadside due to muzzle blast, which could injure the crew manning the secondaries and 47mm guns. These turrets all had a gun elevation of −5° to +15°, and could sling a 380 pounds (172.4 kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,778 ft/s (847 m/s) up to a range of 15,500 yards (14,200 m) at maximum elevation. The rate of fire of these guns was around three rounds a minute, and each ship carried 100 rounds for each 9.2 inch gun.

Theis armament was complimented by four 50-calibre BL 7.5-inch Mk II guns aranged in four turrets amidship, 2 either side. These guns could only traverse about 110° on the broadside, due to their location on the ship, and they had an elevation of −7.5° to +15° that gave them a range of 14,238 yards (13,019 m) at maximum elevation. These guns had a rate of fire of about 4 rounds a minute, and just like with the primary cannons, each gun was provided with 100 rounds. The final guns on board were 26 vickers quick firing (QF) 3-pounder guns fitted for defence against torpedo boat attack, which where mounted with ten on turret roofs and eight each on the forward and aft superstructures. These guns had a range of 7,550 yards (6,900 m) at an elevation of +20°, and each gun was equipt with 250 rounds of ammunition. In addition to this collection of cannons, the Warrior class was also equipt with three submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes, with 20 torpedos carried on board. On of these torpedo tubes was mounted in the stern, with the other two mounted in the ships beam in fixed angles.

In terms of armour, the Warrior-class ships had a 6-inch (152 mm) waterline armour belt of Krupp cemented armour that covered 260 feet (79.2 m) of the hull amidships. This armour stretched from the side of the ship, up to the upper deck, to a height of 14 feet 6 inches (4.42 m) above the waterline and reached 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 m) below it. This armour lessened betwixt the central citadel and the bow, where the armour belt was 4 inches (102 mm) thick and it extended to the stern with a thickness of 3 inches (76 mm). In addition 6 six inch bulkheads transversed the ship to protect teh citadel from raking fire. The armour on the turret faces were 7.5 inches thick with 5.5-inch (140 mm) sides and a 2-inch (51 mm) roof. The more modernized secondary gun turrets had an armour of between 6–8-inch (152–203 mm) thick and the same roof thickness as the other turrets. The barbettes and ammunition hoists were protected by six inches of armour, although the armour was thinned to three inches between the armour belt. The lower deck armour was only .75 inches (19 mm) except for a patch of 1.5-inch (38 mm) armour over the steering gear and another 2 inches (51 mm) thick over the engine cylinders. The thickest armour on the ship was teh conning tower, which was equipt with 10 inches (254 mm) of protective armour.

During the war HMS Cochrane underwent several modifications, The first of which was a single Hotchkiss QF 6-pounder anti-aircraft gun mounted on a high-angle Mark Ic mounting placed on the quarterdeck in 1915. This mounting gave the gun a maximum depression of 8° and a maximum elevation of 60°, giving the gun a maximum range of 10,000 ft (3,000 m) though its effective range was only 1,200 yards (1,100m). This gun was then replaced by a QF 3 inch 20 cwt guns on a high-angle Mark II mount in 1916, which had a maximum drepression of 10° and a maximum elevation of 90°. This gun fired a 12.5-pound (5.7 kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,500 ft/s (760 m/s) with a rof of 14 rounds per minute, at an effective ceiling of 23,500 ft (7,200 m). This aa armament was suplimented with a pair of Vickers QF 3 pounder on HA Mark III mountings which were installed amid ship in 1915-16. These guns could elevate to +80° and depress to -5° and had a rate of fire of 25 rounds per minute, giving a decent bite at their effective range of 2,000 yards (1800 m). From here the secondary guns began to diminish from HMS Cochrane’s inventory, starting with the guns on top of the ‘A’ and ‘Y’ turrets which were removed in late 1916. The aft most 3-pounders were then removed from the superstructure was removed during 1917, as well as the guns on top of the forward 9.2 inch wing turrets. This dipped the number of 3-pounder guns to 3-pounders, excluding the AA guns. It is belived that some of these guns were landed at Murmansk, when she was based there. It was known that she had atleast 17 of these guns when she was lost in 1919. HMS Cochrane’s foremast was also converted to a tripod mast during this time, in order to support teh weight of a fire-control director, though the unit was not fitted until august of 1918.

Service history:

Cochrane was laid down on 24th of March 1904 and launched on 28th of May 1905 at Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering, Govan, Scotland. The ships initial nucleus crew for sea trials was formed on the 18th of febuary 1907, and she joined the nore division of the home fleet on the 6th of march 1907 to the cost of £1,193,121 ( £100,212,784.77 when adjusted for inflation). After being brought into full comission, she entered service in the 5th cruiser squadron. On the 1st of april 1909, she was reassigned to the 2nd cruiser squadron, where she remained until september of 1917. During this time she escorted the royal yacht Medina, during the Delhi durban. Two days before the oubreak of the war, Cochrane and her sister ship Achilles, along with three other armoured cruisers made steam to reinforce the shetland islands, when on august 2nd they were assigned to the grand fleet, a post they would retain for the majority of the first world war. During this period of north sea patrols, she would be involved in the battle of jutland, In a squadron composed of the armoured cruisers Minotaur, Shannon and Hampshire, under the command of rear-admiral Herbert Heath. The ship along like the others in my previous suggestions remained unengaged throughout the entire battle, and did not fire their guns atall in the face of the enemy. After this little sortie, Cochrane was transfered to teh north america and west indies station in november of 1917 to preform convoy escort. This would not last long though, and in early 1918, she was based in Murmansk between march and september of that year to take part in the allied intervention in the russian civil war. During this service period she ferried soviet troops to Pechenga on the 3rd of may to forestall an attempt by white finns to seize the town. The ship would later be recalled to Britain where she would meet her ultimate fate, when on the 14th of november she found herself stranded in the mersey estuary, well under control of a pilot. Attempts to raise her failed drastically, and she later broke in two becoming a total loss, resulting in the wreck being broken up in situ during by june of 1919 to remove a possible shipping hazard.



Class and type: Warrior-class armoured cruiser

Displacement: 13,550 long tons (13,770 t) (normal)
14,500 long tons (14,700 t) (deep load)

Length: 505 ft 4 in (154.0 m)

Beam: 73 ft 6 in (22.4 m)

Draught: 27 ft 6 in (8.4 m) (maximum)

Installed power: 23,650 ihp (17,640 kW)
19 Yarrow water-tube boilers and 6 cylindrical boilers

Propulsion: 2 shafts, 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines

Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)

Range: 7,960 nmi (14,740 km; 9,160 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)

Complement: 712

6 × 1 - BL 9.2-inch (234 mm) Mk X guns

4 × 1 - BL 7.5-inch (191 mm) Mk II or Mk V guns
26 × 1 - Vickers QF 3-pounder (47 mm) guns

1 x 1QF 3 inch 20 cwt gun

2 x Vickers QF 3 pounder guns
3 × 1 - submerged 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes

Armour: Belt: 3–6 in (76–152 mm)
Decks: 0.75–1.5 in (19–38 mm)
Barbettes: 3–6 in (76–152 mm)
Turrets: 4.5–7.5 in (110–190 mm)
Conning tower: 10 in (250 mm)
Bulkheads: 2–6 in (51–152 mm)

Historical Pictures:

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HMS Natal | Cruiser Funnel Markings


  • Warrior class armoured cruisers (1905) - naval encyclopedia
  • HMS Natal | Cruiser Funnel Markings (cruiser funnel markings, making it easy to id Cochrane in photos, where the funnel markings are present)
  • Campbell, John (1998). Jutland: An Analysis of the Fighting. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 1-55821-759-2.
  • Chesneau, Roger; Kolesnik, Eugene M., eds. (1979). Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.