HMS Lance


The Ship

Sold for Scrap 1921

HMS Lance was a Laforey-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. In company with HMS Landrail she fired the first British shot of the First World War on 5 August 1914. This action resulted in the sinking of the German minelayer Königin Luise in the North Sea. Both Lance and Landrail were part of the British 2nd Destroyer Flotilla (based at Harwich), which had been deployed at dawn on the first day of the war as part of a squadron of destroyers doing a sweep of the North Sea. As World War One officially started at 2300 GMT on 4 August 1914, this first British shot occurred within twelve hours of the commencement of hostilities.

The target of Lance and Landrail was the converted excursion steamer Königin Luise, which had been pressed into service of the Imperial German Navy as a minelayer. It was whilst she was laying mines that the two Royal Navy Destroyers encountered her. Königin Luise was scuttled when her captain realized that escape was impossible.

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