HMS Topaze

HMS Topaze was a Gem class third class cruiser that served with the 5th Battle Squadron of the Channel Fleet in 1914-15, with the Italians in the Mediterranean in 1915-1917 and in the Red Sea from 1917 until the end of the war.

At the start of the First World War she was the light cruiser attached to the 5th Battle Squadron. She was with that squadron in 31 December when HMS Formidable was torpedoed by U 24. She rushed to the scene, but was only able to rescue 43 men out of the ship's barge before she was ordered away by the captain of the Formidable, once to try and bring a liner to help and then because a submarine was sighted.

In 1915 she was one of the light cruisers sent to join the Italian fleet under the terms of the agreement that brought Italy into the war. She operated in the Adriatic during the period when the Serbian army was retreating to the coast. On 4 December she was attacked unsuccessfully while helping to escort convoys to the Italian base at Valone (Vlorë in Albania). She remained in the Mediterranean until March 1917 when she was sent to the East Indies station, while Japanese ships replaced them in the Mediterranean. At the end of the war she was in Egyptian waters.  

HMS Topaze gallery HMS Topaze gallery

Top Speed (design)

22.5kts (Amethyst)

Top Speed (trials)

23.4kits (Amethyst)

Armour – deck


 - gunshields


 - conning tower



373ft 9in


Twelve 4in quick firing guns
Eight 3pdr quick firing guns
Four machine guns
Two 18in above water torpedo tubes

Crew complement



23 July 1903


November 1904


Commander W. J. B. Law (1914)
Commander Woods

Sold for break up


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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 November 2007), HMS Topaze ,

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy