HMS Falmouth

HMS Falmouth was a Weymouth Class light cruiser that took part in the battle of Jutland, before being sunk by U-boats in August 1916. Unlike the other three ships of her class she spent her entire career in home waters, first with the 2nd Battle Squadron (1911-1913), then with the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron (1913-1914).

HMS Falmouth from the left
HMS Falmouth from the left

In August 1914 she joined the 5th Cruiser Squadron. During the first month of the blockage of German she sank four German ships – the Fasolt, Ochtum, Borkum and Hude (with warning and only after allowing their crews to abandon ship). In December 1914 she became the flagship of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron.

In February 1915 she was transferred to the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron at Rosyth. She was present with this squadron at the battle of Jutland, where she was hit by one German shell but survived. After the battle she became the flagship of the squadron.

The Falmouth was sunk during a relatively unknown naval operation of 19 August 1916. Six weeks after the battle of Jutland the German fleet made another sortie into the North Sea. The Grand Fleet responded by sailing south, but after the Nottingham was sunk by a U-boat, Admiral Jellicoe ordered the fleet to turn around to avoid a possible concentration of submarines. During the return journey the Falmouth was hit by a torpedo from U 66. She survived this first blow and was taken under tow, but off Flamborough Head was hit by another torpedo from U 52, sinking on the next day. This abortive expedition convinced Jellicoe that the Grand Fleet must not be risked south of the Farne Islands without a strong shield of destroyers.

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



20 September 1910


September 1911

Sunk by U-boats

19 August 1916

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 September 2007), HMS Falmouth ,

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