Calliope class light cruisers

The last two cruisers of the 1913 British naval construction programme were modified versions of the Caroline class cruisers, built with geared turbines. This gave Calliope an extra knot of speed, and Champion half a knot, and allowed them to reach these speeds with much more efficiency and at lower engine speeds than earlier direct drive ships.

They formed part of the wider “C” class of cruisers, most of which were constructed or completed during the First World War. They were otherwise similar to their half-sisters of the Caroline class, other than carrying thicker belt armour and two less torpedo tubes. During the construction process two more 4in guns were added, but as with the Caroline class ships these were replaced by one 6in gun during the war.

During the war Calliope serviced as flagship of the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, taking part in the battle of Jutland, as did the Champion, leader of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla from 1915 to 191. Both ships remained in service during the 1920 and before being sold off in the early 1930s.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

Calliope 29.5kts
Champion 29kts

Armour – deck


 - belt


 - conning tower





Two 6in Mk XII guns
Eight 4in quick firing Mk IV guns
One 13pdr anti-aircraft gun
Four 3pdr guns
Two 21in above-water torpedo tubes

Crew complement






Ships in class

HMS Calliope
HMS Champion

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 October 2007), Calliope class light cruisers ,

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