Emperor Class Scout cruisers.


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The Tyrrhenian Admiralty purchased a design for a Scout cruiser equivalent to those the British were building between 1904 and 1910. The Tyrrhenian designers altered the design to suit the equipment then in use by the Tyrrhenian Navy. Four ships were ordered. These were the single largest class of ships ordered at one time by the Tyrrhenian Navy till the destroyer classes of the mid teens (1914-15). Laid down in 1906 to 1907 the ships completed in 1908-09.

The original blueprints showed an armament of ten single 4" guns and two pairs of 18" torpedoes. The Tyrrhenian Navy designers replaced this armament with three single 5.5" (1905 model) guns, four 3.9" single mountings and four sets of twin 18" torpedoes. The 5.5" gun proved to be an excellent weapon and replaced the 6" gun that most other navies used. The Tyrrhenians never used the 6" and kept developing better models of the 5.5" right through to the triple turret mounting in the late 1930's.

Being over 30 years old at the start of the Second World War the three remaining ships of the class had been reduced to static training ships. The single 5.5" had been removed and put into coastal gun emplacements, being replaced aboard ship by 3.9" single AA guns. The old 3.9" were also replaced by 3.9" AA guns so that the ships could act as heavy AA harbour support ships. Two twin 25mm AA guns were added in the late 1930's.

Two of the ships, Queen and Emperor, were sunk in harbour by aircraft raids. The remaining ship, Empress was ceded to France who had the ship scrapped.

Displacement 4,250 tons standard, 5,000 tons full load
Length 405 ft
Breadth 40 ft
Draught 14 ft
Machinery 4 shaft ,turbines, 30,000shp
Speed 27 knots
Range 4000 miles at 10 knots
Armour 2in decks
Armament As Completed 1918

3 x 5.5" (3x1)
4 x 3.9" (4x1)
4 x 37mm AA (4x1)
WW2 (As harbour AA)

5 x 3.9" (5x1)
4 x 25mm (2x2)


Torpedoes 8 x18" (4x2) nil
Complement 310 145
Notes TNS Emperor - sunk by bombs in harbour 1941
TNS Empress - cede to France and scrapped 1946
TNS King - sunk by mines at Dardanelles 1915.
TNS Queen - sunk by bombs in harbour 1942

Twin 25mm ready to be fitted to the three remaining Emperor class ships 1939-40.


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