HMS Euryalus (1901)

HMS Euryalus was a Cressy-class
Cressy class cruiser
The Cressy class cruiser was a class of six armoured cruisers launched between December 1899 and May 1901, for the Royal Navy.-Service:...

 armoured cruiser in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. Though the class was already obsolete by the outbreak of the First World War, the Euryalus and her sisters Aboukir, Bacchante, Hogue and Cressy were assigned to patrol the Broad Fourteens
Broad Fourteens
thumb|200px|right|The Broad Fourteens on a map by Delisle The Broad Fourteens is an area of the southern North Sea that is fairly consistently fourteen fathoms deep...

 of the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

, in support of a force of destroyers and submarines based at Harwich which blocked the Eastern end of the English Channel from German warships attempting to attack supply route between England and France. During this period, Euryalus was the flagship of Seventh Cruiser Squadron, under Rear Admiral Arthur Christian.

The Live Bait Squadron

The Cressy-class vessels had rapidly become obsolete due to the great advances in naval architecture in the years leading up to the First World War. At the outbreak of the war, these ships were mostly staffed by reserve sailors. The Euryalus was one of four units that made up Rear Admiral Henry H Campbell's Seventh Cruiser Squadron. Owing to the obsolescence of these ships, the squadron was nicknamed the Live Bait Squadron.

At 6 am on 20 September, Euryalus had returned to port because of low coal stocks. Rear Admiral Christian had been unable to transfer to another ship because of the rough sea, and consequently command was passed to John Drummond, captain of Aboukir, as the senior officer remaining with the squadron.

At around 6 am on 22 September the three cruisers Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue were steaming at 10 knots (19.6 km/h) in line ahead and they were spotted by the U-9
Unterseeboot 9 (1910)
SM U-9 was a German Type U 9 U-boat. She was one of 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy , and engaged in commerce war during World War I. Her construction was ordered on 15 July 1908 and her keel was laid down by Kaiserliche Werft in Danzig...

, commanded by Lt. Otto Weddigen
Otto Weddigen
Otto Eduard Weddigen was a German U-boat commander during World War I.-Biography and career:He was born in Herford and started his military career in the Kaiserliche Marine in 1901...

. Although they were not zigzagging, all of the ships had lookouts posted to search for periscopes and one gun on each side of each ship was manned.

Weddigen ordered his submarine to submerge and closed the range to the unsuspecting British ships. At close range, he fired a single torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

 at the Aboukir. The torpedo broke the back of the Aboukir and she sank within 20 minutes with the loss of 527 men.

The captains of the Cressy and Hogue thought the Aboukir had struck a floating mine
Naval mine
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, an enemy vessel...

 and came forward to assist her. They stood by and began to pick up survivors. At this point, Weddigen fired two torpedoes into the Hogue, mortally wounding that ship. As the Hogue sank, the captain of the Cressy realised that the squadron was being attacked by a submarine, and tried to flee. However, Weddigen fired two more torpedoes into the Cressy, and sank her as well.


She later served in the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign, assisting the landings at Cape Helles
Landing at Cape Helles
The landing at Cape Helles was part of the amphibious invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula by British and French forces on April 25, 1915 during the First World War. Helles, at the foot of the peninsula, was the main landing area. With the support of the guns of the Royal Navy, a British division...

. The 1st Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers
Lancashire Fusiliers
The Lancashire Fusiliers was a British infantry regiment that was amalgamated with other Fusilier regiments in 1968 to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.- Formation and early history:...

 were embarked in Euryalus and the battleship HMS Implacable
HMS Implacable (1899)
HMS Implacable was a Formidable-class battleship of the British Royal Navy, the second ship of the name.-Technical Description:HMS Implacable was laid down at Devonport Dockyard on 13 July 1898 and launched on 11 March 1899 in a very incomplete state to clear the building way for construction of...

 which took up positions off the beach. The troops transferred to 32 cutters at around 4 am. Euryalus closed in on the beach at around 5 am whilst Implacable moved off to land troops and provide covering fire at X beach, and opened fire on the defences. Euryalus served as the Headquarters for the landing.

Euryalus continued in service, and was used as a minelayer for part of 1918. She was eventually sold after the conclusion of the war on 1 July 1920, and was broken up in Germany.
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