Duke of Edinburgh Class Cruiser (1904)

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The two armoured cruisers of the Duke of Edinburgh Class were completed in 1906.

Overview of 2 vessels
Citations for this data available on individual ship pages
Name Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
Black Prince Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Blackwall 3 Jun, 1903 8 Nov, 1904 17 Mar, 1906 Sunk 31 May, 1916
Duke of Edinburgh Pembroke Royal Dockyard 11 Feb, 1903 14 Jun, 1904 20 Jan, 1906 Sold 12 Apr, 1920


In September 1914, the ships were allowed four additional pairs of Pattern 343 Service Binoculars.[1]


In July 1914, the ships' captains were asked to describe the materials and costs required to enlarge the upper bridge.[2]


In early 1913, new pattern G. 329 trainer's telescopes of 2.5 power and 20 degree field were issued to these and many other capital ships, to replace the 5/12, 5/15 and 5/21 variable power G.S. telescopes that had previously been in use.[3]

During the war, along with those of other older ships, the ten 6-inch guns casemated on the main deck proved of little use in practical sea states. It was decided to remove them, plate their ports over and move eight of them to the upper deck, with three each side between the 9.2-in turrets, and one each side on the forecastle. Low freeboard gave them marginal value even in the new locations.[4]

Main Battery

The six 9.2-in guns were Mark X, mounted in Mark V S single mountings.[5]

The centre line turrets were designated fore and aft, those to starboard "A" and "X" and those to port "B" and "Y".[6]

Secondary Battery

The original ten 6-in guns were Mark VII, probably mounted on P. III or P. IV mountings.[7] They were numbered 1-5 on port and starboard[8]

Later, and seemingly before Jutland, two were removed and all remaining guns relocated to the upper deck. Even in the new positions, the low freeboard of these ships gave the guns limited value.

In February, 1913, these mountings, along with many other 4-in and 6-in mountings in various capital ships and cruisers were to have illumination added for their training index racers.[9]


The ships had three submerged 18-in torpedo tubes:[10]

  • two on broadside forward, depressed three degrees and bearing abeam; axis of tube was 8 foot 3 inches below load water line and 1 feet 6 inches above deck.
  • one at the stern, undepressed and with the axis of tube was 3 feet 10 inches below load water line and 1 foot 6 inches above the deck

In 1909, as heater torpedo supplies were still growing, these ships were to receive two 18-in Fiume Mark III** H. Torpedoes each.[11]

In 1913, it was approved, as part of a general reallocation of 18-in torpedoes, to replace the torpedoes on Minotaur class (except Shannon), Duke of Edinburgh and Bristol classes with Fiume Mark III** torpedoes.[12]

In early 1914, the ships had two Torpedo Director Pattern 2006s and were to have them exchanged for -A models which supported gyro angling.[13]

Fire Control


Evershed Bearing Indicators

It is unlikely that this equipment was ever provided.[Inference]


In 1916, it was approved that the ships of this class should be retrofitted with directors as time, resources and opportunity permitted,[14] but these plans were slow to execute. This intention was reiterated in 1917.[15] Duke of Edinburgh received one in October 1918, but Black Prince was likely lost before her equipment was ever ordered.[16][Inference]

Duke of Edinburgh's Elevation Receivers for her 9.2-in battery were 4-in Triple Type with mechanical tilt correctors, Pattern H. 13. They could indicate elevations up to 15 degrees. The Small Type Training Receivers were pattern number 20 in the fore turret and A1 and B1, whereas the after turret, A2 and B2 had pattern number 21.[17]

Gunnery Control

Transmitting Stations

It seems from frequent mention of a fore T.S. that these ships had transmitting stations fore and aft.

Dreyer Table

These ships never received Dreyer tables.[18]

Fire Control Instruments

By 1909, both ships were equipped with Vickers, Son and Maxim instruments for range, deflection and orders and with Barr and Stroud rate instruments as follows:[19]

  • Vickers range transmitters: 10
  • Vickers deflection transmitters: 10
  • Vickers combined range and deflection receivers: 33
  • Vickers C.O.S.: 5
  • Vickers Check fire switches: 10
  • Barr and Stroud rate transmitters: 4
  • Barr and Stroud rate receivers: 8
  • Siemens turret fire gongs: 12 with 6 keys
  • Vickers fire gongs: 10 with 4 keys
  • Captain's Cease Fire Bells: 16 (16 in Duke of Edinburgh) with 1 key (supplier not stated)

As in the Minotaur class, bearing instruments were installed in or by 1915. The receivers in the four 9.2-in broadside guns and the 6-in officers' positions are operated in by transmitters in the TS for their side or by their respective master transmitters in the foretop. The two centre-line turrets are connected to a transmitter in the T.S. or to one of the master transmitters. The 6-in guns are worked om transmitters in the O.O.Q. position on that side.[20] The overall bill of fare ran to:

  • 2 special "master" bearing transmitters, Graham's type (in foretop, P&S)
  • 6 Barr and Stroud bearing transmitters:
    • 2 in the O.O.Q.'s position, P & S
    • 2 in the foretop, P & S
    • 2 in the T.S., P & S
  • 23 Barr and Stroud bearing receivers:
    • 10 for the 6-in guns (1 each)
    • 6 for the 9.2-in guns (1 per turret)
    • 2 in the O.O.Q.'s position, P & S
    • 1 repeat in the fore T.S.
    • 2 repeats in the foretop
  • Three C.O.S. (one in fore T.S., and two in foretop)

These ships lacked Target Visible and Gun Ready signals.[21]

See Also


  1. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 331 of 8 Sep, 1914.
  2. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 85 of 3 July, 1914.
  3. Admiralty Weekly Orders. 28 Feb, 1913. The National Archives. ADM 182/4.
  4. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 4, Part 36. p. 9.
  5. The Sight Manual, 1916. p. 110.
  6. Manual of Gunnery in H.M. Fleet (Volume I), 1907, p. 2.
  7. The Sight Manual, 1916. p. 111.
  8. Manual of Gunnery in H.M. Fleet (Volume I), 1907, p. 2.
  9. Admiralty Weekly Orders. The National Archives. ADM 182/4. 21 Feb, 1913 entries. pp. 3-4.
  10. Torpedo Manual, Vol. III, 1909. p. 265.
  11. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1909. p. 14.
  12. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. p. 8.
  13. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 1019 of 17 Apr, 1914.
  14. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 175.
  15. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 229.
  16. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 15.
  17. The Director Firing Handbook. pp. 145, 146.
  18. Handbook of Captain F. C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, 1918. p. 3.
  19. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1909. pp. 56, 60.
  20. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1915. p. 219. I am not fully sure I grasp this description.
  21. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 11.


Duke of Edinburgh Class Armoured Cruiser
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