fighting ships of the world



SENTINEL scout cruisers (1905)

Sentinel 1905

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Sentinel (ex-Inchkeith) N73, N92 298 Vickers, Barrow 8/6/1903 19/4/1904 4/1905 sold for BU 1/1923
Skirmisher D55, P55, N95 302 Vickers, Barrow 29/7/1903 7/2/1905 7/1905 sold for BU 3/1920


Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

109.7 pp 116.1 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



2 4-cyl. VTE, 12 Vickers-Express boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 410

Endurance, nm(kts) 3000(10)
Armour, mm

deck: 38 - 16, CT: 76


10 x 1 -76/50 12pdr 18cwt QF Mk I, 8 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 - 450 TT (beam aw)



Ship project history: Eight cruisers were intended to work in company with destroyers as scouts, to lead torpedo attacks and to back up their flotillas when attacked by enemy destroyers. The Admiralty provided a broad specification for the ships and left the detailed design to the builders, a common practice when ordering torpedo craft but unusual with cruisers. The Admiralty requirement was for a 25kt ship, with a 38mm protective deck or equivalent side armour, shallow draught for operating in inshore waters, and an armament of 10 76mm, 8 47mm and 2 TT. They were ordered in four pairs which, as might be expected, resulted in four sub-classes that varied substantially in form, machinery and structure. Only one builder, Fairfield, followed traditional small cruiser style in providing a poop as well as a forecastle, but all abandoned the bulwarks amidships which had become a common feature of Victorian cruisers. The Armstrong pair differed from all the others in having four instead of three funnels and a clipper bow, while the Vickers ships had shorter funnels than the other ships. The Fairfield pair employed side armour abreast the machinery compartments with a protective deck at the ends, while Cammell provided side armour abreast the engine rooms only with a protective deck over the remainder of the ship, an expedient intended to protect the engine cylinders. The remaining ships were fitted in the usual manner with a full length protective deck. The 12pdr QF guns were mounted 3 abreast on the forecastle and aft and two on each side amidships, but this armament was heavily criticised for being too light.

Ship protection: 51mm belt protected only machinery, main deck with 16mm flat was connected with its lower edge by 38mm slopes.

Modernizations: 1905-1906, both: - 8 x 1 - 47/40; + 2 x 1 - 76/50 12pdr 18cwt QF Mk I, 6 x 1 - 57/40 6pdr Hotchkiss Mk I

1912, both: - 12 x 1 - 76/50, 6 x 1 - 57/40; + 9 x 1 - 102/40 QF Mk IV

by 1918, Sentinel: + 1 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I, 1 x 1 - 57/40 6dr Hotchkiss Mk I, 1 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I

by 1918, Skirmisher: + 1 X 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I, 1 x 1 - 57/40 6pdr Hotchkiss Mk I

Naval service: Sentinel served as TS from 7/1920.


Sentinel 1905

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.


Ivan Gogin, 2008-09