Royal Navy Cruiser Deployment, 1914-1918

Contributed by Bill Maccormick (

British Cruiser Deployment in 1914

1st C.S. Mediterranean (soon to join Grand Fleet). Defence (F), Black Prince, Duke of Edinburgh, Warrior and light cruisers Chatham, Dublin, Gloucester, Weymouth and later Amethyst.

2nd C.S. Grand Fleet Shannon (F), Achilles, Cochrane, Natal.

3rd C.S. Grand Fleet Antrim (F), Argyll, Devonshire, Roxburgh.

4th C.S. N. America and W. Indies Suffolk (F), Lancaster, Essex, Berwick, Bristol, (supported by two French cruisers and later joined by Melbourne and Sydney from Australia).

5th C.S. Mid Atlantic Carnarvon (F), Cornwall, Cumberland, Monmouth.

6th C.S. (intended for Grand Fleet but ships mostly on detached duties) Drake, King Alfred, Good Hope, Leviathan,

7th C.S. Southern area of North Sea (soon to be dispersed). Bacchante (F), Aboukir, Euryalus, Hogue, Cressy.

8th C.S. (not formed).

9th C.S. (Mid Atlantic based on Gibraltar) Europa (F), Amphitrite, Argonaut, Vindictive, Highflyer, Challenger.

10th C.S. Northern Patrol (soon replaced by 21 Armed Merchant Cruisers). Crescent (F), Edgar, Endymion, Theseus, Hawke, Grafton, Royal Arthur .

11th C.S. West of Ireland Coast Patrol Juno (F), Doris, Isis, Minerva, Venus and later Sutlej

12th C.S. Western Channel Patrol Charybdis (F), Eclipse, Diana, Talbot (supported by French squadron of eight cruisers and one light cruiser).

China Squadron Minotaur (F), Hampshire, Newcastle, Yarmouth.

East Indies Squadron Fox, Dartmouth, Weymouth

Cape of Good Hope Squadron Hyacinth (F), Astraea, Pegasus.

Australian Fleet Melbourne, Sydney, Encounter, Pioneer.

New Zealand Division Psyche, Pyramus, Philomel.

Royal Canadian Navy Niobe (joined 4th C.S.). Rainbow (Pacific Patrol).

S.E. Coast of South America Glasgow.

Note: Many overseas squadrons were soon supplemented by Armed Merchant Cruisers.

Light Cruisers note: At the outbreak of war only four modern light cruisers were available to form the 1st L.C.S. with the Grand Fleet. With the rounding up of German raiders and the advent of new ships, the situation changed rapidly, so that by early 1915 there were three squadrons, the 1st being at Rosyth:

1st L.C.S. Galatea (F), Caroline, Cordelia, Inconstant.

2nd L.C.S. (ex 1st L.C.S.). Southampton (F), Birmingham, Lowestoft, Nottingham.

3rd L.C.S. (ex 2nd L.C.S.). Falmouth (F), Gloucester, Liverpool, Yarmouth.
Continuing the 1914 position we find:-

Attached to Grand Fleet Battle Squadrons (and Fleet Flagship): Bellona, Boadicea, Blanche, Blonde, (and Sappho).

Attached to Channel Fleet Battle Squadrons (pre-Dreadnoughts): Diamond, Topaze, Sapphire, Proserpine, Brilliant, Sirius.

Minelayer Squadron. Andromache, Apollo, Iphigenia, Intrepid, Latona, Naiad, Thetis.

Attached to Destroyer Flotillas (brackets signify additions in the first few months). (Commodore (T), Harwich. Arethusa, Penelope).
1st Flot. Fearless.
2nd Flot. Active, (Galatea).
3rd Flot. Amphion (Undaunted).
4th Flot. (Caroline).
5th Flot. (Med.) none.
6th Flot. Adventure, Attentive, Foresight.
7th Flot. Skirmisher.
8th Flot. Pathfinder, Sentinel.
9th Flot. Forward, Patrol.
(10th Flot. Aurora).

British Cruiser Deployment in 1918

2nd C.S. Grand Fleet (the only 1914 heavy cruiser squadron still in being). Minotaur (F), Achilles, Shannon (Cochrane detached to White Sea).

1st L.C.S. Grand Fleet (Battle Cruiser Force). Caledon (F), Galatea, Royalist, Phaeton, Inconstant,

2nd L.C.S. Grand Fleet (Battle Cruiser Force). Birmingham (F), Dublin, Melbourne, Sydney, Yarmouth.

3rd L.C.S. Grand Fleet (Battle Cruiser Force). Birkenhead (F), Chester, Chatham, Southampton.

4th L.C.S. Grand Fleet. Calliope (F), Cambrian, Caroline, Comus, Constance, Cordelia.

5th L.C.S. Harwich. Curacoa (F), Concord, Canterbury, Centaur, Cleopatra, Conquest Coventry, Curlew, Danae, Dragon, Dauntless, Diamond.

6th L.C.S. Grand Fleet (Battle Cruiser Force). Cardiff(F), Calypso, Caradoc, Cassandra, Ceres.

7th L.C.S. Grand Fleet. Carysfort (F), Aurora, Penelope, Undaunted.

8th L.C.S. Adriatic. Lowestoft (F), Dartmouth, Glasgow, Gloucester, Weymouth.

Attached to Grand Fleet Battle Squadrons: Bellona, Blanche, Blonde, Boadicea.

Attached to Flotillas. Castor (Commodore D ( = destroyers)). Champion (13th Destroyer Flot).

Fearless (12th Submarine Flot.- fast ' K ' class vessels).

Aegean Squadron. Endymion, Theseus, Liverpool, Forward, Sentinel, Skirmisher.

N. America and W. Indies Squadron (successor to the 4th C.S.). Antrim, Berwick, Carnarvon, Cornwall, Cumberland, Devonshire, Donegal, Duke of Edinburgh, Highflyer, Isis, King Alfred, Leviathan, Roxburgh.

E. Indies. Euryalus, Diana, Doris, Juno, Venus.

Red Sea. Grafton, Fox, Proserpine, Sapphire, Topaze

Australian Fleet. Brisbane, Encounter, Philomel, Pioneer, Psyche.

China. Suffolk, Kent.

Pacific. Lancaster (F.)

S.E. Coast of America. Newcastle, Bristol, Amethyst.

Cape of Good Hope. Hyacinth (F), Talbot. E. Coast of Africa. Minerva, Challenger. W. Coast of Africa. Astraea (also Bacchante (F) at Sierra Leone).

Canadian Patrol. Rainbow.

Gibraltar. Edgar, Active, Adventure, (Attentive detached to White Sea).

Queenstown. Patrol.

1st Mining Squadron. Amphitrite (with ships of other categories).

The remaining old cruisers had been reduced to Harbour Service or Depot Ships. Comparison between the 1914 and 1918 lists shows how completely the old cruisers had been displaced by modern light cruisers.

 Return to WWI The Maritime War

 Return to WWI Archive main page.

Last Updated: 10 February, 1999.