PREPARING FOR BLOCKADE 1885—1914 — NAVAL CONTINGENCY FOR ECONOMIC WARFARE
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HMS Crescent was the flagship of Rear Admiral Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair, CB, MVO, commanding the 10th Cruiser Squadron, the 'Northern Patrol'. whose task was to prevent the passage of enemy warships and merchant shipping between Iceland and the north of Scotland, and to intercept contraband on board neutrals.
This extract from an official account of the events of 11 November 1914 described how the sea conditions west of Shetland forced the Squadron to heave-to. HMS Edgar was also damaged, besides losing a seaman overboard. De Chair gave an extended and more graphic description of this event in a posthumous memoir.
Crescent was a protected cruiser, completed at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1893, with her 'sister' ship. Royal Arthur Crescent displaced 7.700 tons: she was 387 feet long, with a beam of 60 2/3 feet, and she had three-cylinder, triple-expansion engines which developed 12.000 horse power and 19 1/2 knots. She was aimed with one 9.2-inch, and twelve б-inch 21ms with others of smaller calibre, and two 18-inch torpedo tubes.
Her complement was 520-550 officers and men. The other members of the 10th CS. the eponymous Edgar. Endytnion. Grafton and Theseus, were of similar vintage and design, but with two 9.2-inch and ten 6-inch guns. One, Hawke, was torpedoed and sunk in the North Sea by U-9 on 15 October with the loss of 560 lives...
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