HMS Inconstant

HMS Inconstant was an Arethusa class light cruiser that took part in the battle of Jutland during the First World War. She was completed in January 1915, and in the following month joined the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron at Rosyth, remaining there for the rest of the war.

The Inconstant was one of the British ships that took part in the hunt for the German minelayer Meteor on 8-9 August 1915, which ended in success. At Jutland she was part of the scouting force, and survived the battle without taking any hits or suffering any casualties.

In September 1917 she was converted to carry 74 mines, and laid a total of 370 mines in five trips. This did not stop her performing as a normal light cruiser, and she and the rest of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron took part in the Heligoland Bight action of 16-17 November 1917, an attempt to destroy German auxiliaries operating outside the German minefields in the Bight. The action developed into a long chase, in which the 1st LCS was able to open fire on retreating German cruisers, but the Arethusa class did not have the firepower required for long range gunnery. The fleeing German ships were able reach the protection of German battleships, and the British cruisers were forced to retreat.

After the war Inconstant spend a brief period in the Baltic, as Senior Naval Officer’s ship, returning in April 1919 to join the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron of the Harwich Force (to October 1919). She then joined the 1st Submarine Flotilla, before being sold off in 1922.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – deck


 - belt





Two 6in Mk XII guns
Six 4in quick firing Mk IV guns
One 3pdr anti-aircraft gun
Four 21in torpedo tubes above water

Crew complement



6 July 1914


January 1915

Sold for break up



Captain Thesiger

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 October 2007), HMS Inconstant ,

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