HMS Blanche

HMS Blanche was a Blonde class scout cruiser, originally designed to operate with destroyer flotillas. She began her service career with the First Destroyer Flotilla (1911-1912), but was not really fast enough for this role – by 1912 the majority of destroyers could make 27kts.

HMS Blanche from the right
HMS Blanche from the right

In August 1914 she joined the Grand Fleet, and was attached to the Third Battle Squadron at Rosyth. In December 1914 she was away from the squadron, and was allocated to the force despatched to deal with the German fleet that bombarded the Yorkshire Coast (16 December). She was really too light for the North Sea in winter, and was forced to turn back after she was disabled by heavy seas off the east coast of Scotland.

In February 1916 the Blanche was one of three ships dispatched to guard the Norwegian coast during the hunt for the German raider Greif, although did not come into contact with the German ship before she was sunk.

During the battle of Jutland she was attached to the Fourth Battle Squadron, but didn’t play a significant role in the battle – as the battle fleet approaching the fighting the four attached light cruisers were sent to the rear to keep them out of danger.

In March 1917 the Blanche was converted to a minelayer (as was her sister ship). In this role she carried out sixteen missions, laying 1,238 mines. Of the two Blonde class ships, the Blanche had by far the more active career.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – deck


 - conning tower





Ten 4in 50 calibre Mk VIII guns
Four 3pdr guns
Two 21in deck mounted torpedo tubes, port and starboard

Crew complement



25 November 1909


November 1910

Sold for break up



R. Hyde (1915)
J.M. Casement (1916)

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 September 2007), HMS Blanche ,

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