Archer-class torpedo cruiser

The Archer class was a class of eight cruisers of the Royal Navy. Five ships were built at J & G Thomson in Glasgow while three ships were built at the Devonport Dockyard with all ships completed between 1885 and 1886. These ships mainly served in the British Empire's foreign fleets being on various stations throughout the north Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Throughout their careers they were involved in a number of local conflicts including the Anglo-Zanzibar War, First Sino-Japanese War, and the Boxer Rebellion.[3]

HMS Archer circa 1888
Class overview
Name: Archer class
Builders:
Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: Scout class
Succeeded by: Marathon class
Built: 18851886
In commission: 18901906
Completed: 8
Lost: 1
Retired: 7
General characteristics
Type: 3rd class cruiser
Displacement: 1,770 long tons (1,798 t)
Length: 68.6 m (225 ft 1 in)
Beam: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.42 m (14 ft 6 in)
Installed power: 4,500 hp (3,400 kW) at forced draught
Propulsion: 2 cyl HDACE, 4 boiler [1]
Speed: 17.5 knots at forced draught
Range: 7,000 nmi (13,000 km) at 10 knots
Complement: 176
Armament:
Armour:
  • 10 mm (0.39 in) deck
  • 25 mm (0.98 in) gunshield
  • 75 mm (3.0 in) conning tower[2]

Design

Third class cruisers of the Royal Navy, also known as torpedo cruisers, were designed to meet and defeat smaller torpedo boats while also being able to strike larger vessels with their own torpedoes. To this end they filled the role that would be soon taken over by early destroyer designs. The Archer class were enlarged derivatives of the earlier Scout class.

Ships

Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
Archer Thomson 2 March 1885 23 December 1885 11 December 1888 Sold April 1905
Brisk Thomson 2 March 1885 8 April 1886 20 March 1888 Sold May 1906
Cossack Thomson 2 March 1885 2 June 1886 1 January 1889 Sold April 1905
Mohawk Thomson 2 March 1885 6 February 1886 16 December 1890 Sold April 1905
Porpoise Thomson 2 March 1885 7 May 1886 12 February 1888 Sold February 1905
Racoon Devonport 1 February 1886 6 May 1887 July 1888 Sold April 1905
Serpent Devonport 9 November 1885 10 March 1887 March 1888 Wrecked 10 November 1890
Tartar Thompson 2 March 1885 28 October 1886 30 June 1891 Sold April 1906

Fate

On 10 November 1890, HMS Serpent was caught in heavy storm off the northwest coast of Spain. The ship attempted to reach shelter but ran aground near Camariñas on the treacherous Costa da Morte of Galicia. All but three of her crew were killed. The resulting court martial investigating the loss of Serpent concluded that the ship had been lost as a result of a navigation error.[4] The seven other ships of the Archer class would quickly lose their usefulness to the Royal Navy as shipbuilding and design moved at a rapid pace around the turn of the century. All seven ships would be sold for scrap in 1905 and 1906.

Citations

  1. Brown, D.K. (2010) [1997]. Warrior to Dreadnought. Seaforth. p. 165. ISBN 978-1-84832-086-4.
  2. Gogin, I. (8/21/2017) ARCHER torpedo cruisers (1888-1891), http://www.navypedia.org/ships/uk/brit_cr_archer.htm
  3. Clowes pp. 430–431.
  4. "Aniversario del naufragio del "HMS Serpent"". El Ideal Gallego. 8 February 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.

References

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