Diadem Class (1898) CC

The Diadem Class (1898) were a class of eight, 1st Class, Protected Cruisers. Built in two groups, each of four ships. The first group were part of the 1895 construction programme and the second group, the 1896 programme.

They were designed as smaller, more economical versions of the Powerful Class (1897). The reduction in size was achieved by accepting a slower speed, thinner protective deck, and a uniform main armament of 6in guns.

The second group had more powerful machinery which gave an additional ˝kt in speed.

They were sound ships and a basis for future developments. However they received criticism for their slowness and lack of heavy main guns.

The development of lighter armour which allowed the creation of the Armoured Cruiser, meant they were obsolescent by the time they were completed. Spending much of their time in reserve, they were of little real use to the Navy during their service life.

Four served on active duty during the first few months of WW1, but only Ariadne and Amphitrite saw sea service as minelayers after 1915. 

Europa ended her service as Flagship at Mudros 1915-19.


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This page last edited - 25 June, 2012.

Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.