HMS Dartmouth

HMS Dartmouth was a Weymouth class light cruiser, completed in October 1911. She spent most of the First World War serving in the Adriatic, from a base at Brindisi.

The Dartmouth was subjected to a serious of modifications throughout the war. In common with the rest of her class, she was given a 3in anti-aircraft gun in 1915, sited on a platform between the middle two funnels. In 1917 the surviving members of the class were give a tripod foremast and director fire equipment.

The Dartmouth served in the 3rd Battle Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet from 1912-1913. During 1913 she visited Montenegro and Salonika, before being allocated to the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron for the 1913 naval manoeuvres. In September 1913 she was sent to the East Indies.

At the outbreak of the First World War the Dartmouth was at Bombay. During the first winter of the war she operated in the Indian Ocean, capturing one German ship, the tug Adjutant in October and taking part in the hunt for the Konigsberg. In January 1915 she was officially appointed to the Grand Fleet, but she would never take up that post. Instead she took part in a search for the SMS Karlsruhe in the South Atlantic and the West Indies. This search was entirely in vain, for unknown to the British the Karlsruhe had been destroyed by an internal explosion on 4 November 1914.

In February 1915 the Dartmouth was sent to the Dardanelles. The same month saw the first naval bombardment of the Turkish defences at the entrance to the straits. On 18 March the British and French attempted to force their way through the Dardanelles, suffering heavy losses before abandoning the attempt and the naval strategy was abandoned in favour of what would become the Gallipoli landings.

In May 1915 the Dartmouth was posted to Brindisi, at the southern end of the Adriatic, where she remained until 1919. While based in the Adriatic the Dartmouth was torpedoed by UC 25, a German coastal submarine minelayer (15 May 1917), but reached harbour safely.  

The Dartmouth was the longest lived of her class. From 1919-1921 she served with the 7th Light Cruiser Squadron off South America. She was then placed into the Devonport reserve before being refitted in 1924. In 1927-1928 she served as the Flagship for the Vice Admiral in command of the Reserve Fleet at Portsmouth. She served as an accommodation ship in early 1930, before being paid off in May and sold for scrap in December.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



4,500 nautical miles at 10kts

Armour – deck


 - conning tower





Eight 6in 50 calibre breach loading MK XI
Four 3pdr
Two 21in torpedo tubes (submerged)

Crew complement



14 December 1910


October 1911

Sold for breakup

December 1930

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 September 2007), HMS Dartmouth ,

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