HMS Phaeton

HMS Phaeton was an Arethusa class light cruiser that saw service with the Grand Fleet, at the Dardanelles and at the battle of Jutland. She was commissioned into the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron in February 1915, but the next month she was transferred to the Dardanelles, escorting fourteen aircraft from Gibraltar. On 21 March she was used by General Hamilton to examine the coastline of the Dardanelles, prior to the Gallipoli landings.

By August 1915 she was back in England, taking part in the hunt for the German minelayer Meteor. She joined the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, remaining with that squadron until March 1918.

On 4 May 1916, during the raid on Tondern, Phaeton (with Galatea), shot down the Zeppelin L 7. She was present at the battle of Jutland, taking part in the first clash of the battle, with the German cruiser Elbing.

In August 1917 the Phaeton was modified to carry 74 mines, laying 358 mines in five trips. In the same year she was given twin 3in anti-aircraft guns. During the same period she was modified to carry a kite balloon, as part of Admiral Beatty’s efforts to improve the fleet’s scouting ability. Finally, in 1918 the rear 4in guns were replaced by a single 6in gun.

In October 1917 Phaeton was one of the cruisers deployed in an attempt to find the German fleet then attacking one of the Scandinavian convoys. In March 1917 she joined the 7th Light Cruiser Squadron, still wit the Grand Fleet, remaining there until 1919. After the war she spent one year with the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron at Harwich (1919-1920), before entering the reserve.

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



21 October 1914


February 1915

Sold for break up



J. E. Cameron

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 October 2007), HMS Phaeton ,

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