fighting ships of the world



HIGHFLYER protected cruisers (1899-1900)

Hermes 1899

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Hermes   401 Fairfield, Govan 30/4/1897 7/4/1898 5/10/1899 seaplane carrier 1913, sunk 31/10/1914
Highflyer D22, N69, N58, N85 402 Fairfield, Govan 7/6/1897 4/6/1898 7/12/1899 sold for BU 6/1921
Hyacinth   292 London & Glasgow Co, Glasgow 27/1/1897 27/10/1898 3/9/1900 sold for BU 11/1923


Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

106.7 pp 113.4 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



4-cyl VTE, 18 Belleville boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 1100

Endurance, nm(kts) 3300(18)
Armour, mm

Harvey steel; deck: 76 - 38, gun shields: 76, CT: 152, engine hatches: 127


11 x 1 - 152/40 QF Mk I/II, 9 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I, 6 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 - 450 TT (beam, sub)



Ship project history: Repeats of Eclipse class except for the provision of uniform 152mm gun armament and installation of watertube boilers. They were provided under the 1896/97 Programme and employed the same machinery as the Arrogant which gave a 0.5kt improvement in designed speed and a 100t saving in weight compared with the Eclipse. On trials Hermes achieved 20.5kts with 10,224ihp, and the Highflyer 20.1kts with 10,344ihp, but Hyacinth was some time out of dock and only made 19.4kts with 10,536ihp. Subsequently some trouble was experienced with the boilers particularly in Hermes which was refitted with Babcock boilers during 1901-03.

Ship protection: 38mm main deck with 76mm slopes protected machinery.

Modernizations: 1903, Hermes: Belleville boilers were changed to Babcock.

5/1913, Hermes: was converted to seaplane carrier and can carry 3 (really 2) seaplanes. There were fore flying-off and aft landing platforms.

Naval service: Hermes was converted to seaplanes depot ship in April-May 1913 and paid off after tests in December. She was recommissioned again in August 1914 and torpedoed by German submarine U27 31/10/1914 in the Straits of Dover. Highflyer sank German AMC Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse off Rio d`Oro 27/8/1914, paid off early 1921. Hyacinth paid off in August 1919.

Hermes 1899

Ivan Gogin, 2014