Minotaur class Armoured Cruisers (1906)

Minotaur class Armoured Cruisers (1906)

HMS Minotaur, Defence, Shannon (1906)

The last British Armoured cruisers

As the last British armoured cruisers, the three Minotaurs marked an additional milestone towards an overpowering artillery, to the detriment of protection, with tonnage and greater dimensions. The secondary guns were divided into single lateral turrets, but with a width of nearly 23 meters and a “diamond” shape, the range of fire to the front or rear of these parts remained remarkable.

The hull of the Shannon was also 30 cm wider, with a loss of speed (22.5 knots). The armor of the bridges had been singularly revised downwards, but that of the two armored towers and their communication wells was reinforced.

The funnels were a little shorter, which in relation to the height of the steering positions was advantageous, but posed problems to the bridge in downwind. The funnels were raised in 1909 by 4.50 m, while in 1917 the Minotaur and Shannon received tripod poles and a reduced light armament, replaced by a 75 mm AA piece.

For these three ships accepted in service in 1908, their career during the Great War was active: The HMS Defense was based in China in 1912. In 1914, after having served for a long time with the 1st squadron of cruisers, it was in the Mediterranean.

She participated in the hunt for Goeben and Breslau, the German squadron of the Mediterranean, then operated in the Dardanelles. She then rallied to the Falklands, and the squadron of Admiral Cradock. Unfortunately, he was not present in the squadron, assigned to Cape of Good Hope when Sir Charles Cradock had to face Count Spee in November. In 1915, he became the flagship of the 1st cruiser squadron within the Grand Fleet.

On May 31, 1916, he was online during the Battle of Jutland. He was taken from the German battleship Friedrich der Grösse, and a shell exploded in an ammunition well. The burning cordite blew up the cargo hold and the ship with it. There were no survivors.

⚠ Note: This old post is scheduled for rewriting and expansion in 2023.
HMS Minotaur was based in China from 1910 to 1914. He returned to China by bringing in Australian troops. He was then the flagship of the Cape of Good Hope Squadron before joining the Grand Fleet, then a shipyard for a long overhaul. In 1916 he was posted to the 2nd Squadron of Cruisers and participated in the Battle of Jutland.

It was erased from the lists and sold in 1919. HMS Shannon was serving with 2 Cruise Squadron in 1914. He was summarily relocated to Cromaty and then participated in the Battle of Jutland. In November, he was escorting convoys to Murmansk. Then he escorted convoys in the North Atlantic until his retirement in 1920.


The Minotaur class on wikipedia
Specs Conway’s all the world fighting ships 1921-1947.

Warrior class specifications

Dimensions 158,2 x 22,7 x 7,92 m
Displacement 14 100 t, 14 600 T FL
Crew 755
Propulsion 2 shafts 4 cyl. VTE 24 Yarrow boilers, 27 000 cv.
Speed 23 knots (45 km/h)
Range 6,680 nautical miles (12,370 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Armament Armement 4 x 234 (2×2), 10 x 190, 16 x de 76, 5 x 457mm (SM) TTs.
Armor Belt 152, Barbettes 180, turrets 203, blockhaus 254, decks 20 mm.


Author’s profile of the Minotaur class in 1914.

Author: dreadnaughtz

Naval Encyclopedia webmaster. Find more on the "about" page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *