Bristol Class (1910) CC

The five ships of the Bristol Class (1910) were the Light Cruisers similar to 3rd Class Protected Cruisers. Part of the 1908 Construction Programme.

The Royal Navy began a new system of cruiser classification in 1911. Ships over 6,000 tons were classed as Cruisers, those less than 6,000 tons classed as Light Cruisers.

The Class was built in response to the German Navy constructing a number of 3rd class cruisers armed with 10 x 4.1in guns. So the original proposal for all 4in gun main armament was changed to add 2 x 6in guns. The use of a mixed armament was as usual a mistake. In practice at fighting ranges it was impossible to distinguish a 4in shell splash from a 6in shell splash, which was needed to allow proper range correction for each battery.

Another problem was that the freeboard amidships was too low. This stopped the waist guns from being used in a seaway.

They evolved through the Weymouth Class (1911) into the very successful Chatham (1912), and Birmingham (1914), and Birkenhead (1915) Classes.  All the ships in these classes were named after British Towns, and are sometimes collectively known as Towns or Town Classes. Together with the Arethusa (1914) and early 'C' Classes were heavily involved in fighting in the North Sea during WW1.  

The Bristol's spent most of their war service on overseas stations. All were scrapped soon after WW1 ended.


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This page last edited - 11 February, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.