HMS Birmingham 1914-1931

The Ship

Sold for Scrap 1931

Built Elswick, laid down June 1912, completed February 1914.

Length 430 feet pp 457 feet overall, beam 50 feet, draught 16 feet, displacement 5,440 tons normal 6,040 tons deep.

4 shaft Parsons turbines, 25,000 shp, 25.5kts

2in belt, 1.5-0.5in decks

9 x 6in 45cal Mk XII (9 x 1), 4 x 3 pounder (4 x 1), 2 x 21in TT

Crew 480.

World War 1 Service:

1 Light Cruiser Squadron The Grand Fleet.
August 1914 Sank two German merchant ships.
9 August 1914 Rammed and sank the German submarine U 15.
28 August 1914 The Battle of Heligoland Bight.
24 January 1915 took part in The Battle of Dogger Bank.
February 1915 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron.
31 May-1 June 1916 The Battle of Jutland.
1931 Sold for scrap.

The British 5,400 ton light cruiser HMS Birmingham was responsible for sinking the first German submarine of the First World War. Commanded by Captain Arthur Duff HMS Birmingham - of 'Chatham' class - knocked out both the periscope and conning tower of German U-15 on 9 August 1914 with a salvo of six shots from the light cruiser's guns east of the Orkneys while the submarine was attempting to move in for an attack.

Having done so Duff issued instructions that the cruiser be directed at the U-boat at full speed.

Turning HMS Birmingham's helm the cruiser was brought around in order that her bows faced the crippled submarine.

Thus Duff rammed the German submarine at 25 mph (40 kph), which quickly rolled over and sank, killing its crew of 23.

HMS Birmingham subsequently took part at both the The Battle of Heligoland Bight and The Battle of Jutland.

My Postcards

Not postally used.
Postcard series: H.B. Aldersgate St.
Series number: 104
Postcard artist: H Parlett


Postally used 14 Nov 1914.


Postally used 7 Oct 1914. The sender talks about this being the boat that sank the German submarine U15.
Postcard series: Gale & Polden Ltd


Not postally used.
Postcard series: Tuck's, Photogravure - Our Navy
Series number: XII
Postcard number: 4311


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