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Royal Navy third class cruisers of the Topaze or Gem Class. Ships in the class were HMS Amethyst, HMS Diamond, HMS Sapphire and HMS Topaze

Largest of the Royal navy 3rd Class Cruisers. the Gem Class cruisers were ordered as part of the 1902 /1903 naval programme. and two under the 1903 /  1904 programme.  there were to be another 4 ships of the class but these were cancelled before being laid down. 

HMS Amethyst built at Armstrong at Elswick and laid down on the 7th January 1903, launched 5th November 1903 and completed 17th March 1905. At the outbreak of World War One HMS Amethyst was with the Harwich Force and destroyer Command as command ship. She was relieved of this duty by HMS Arethusa . For the rest of 1914  HMS Amethyst served with the 1st Light Cruiser squadron of the grand fleet and in 1915 went to the Mediterranean serving in the Dardanelle's. and after goignt o South America station in 1916 for two years. After the war she was sold and scrapped in October 1920

HMS Diamond built at Laird's at Birkenhead and laid down on the 24th March 1903, launched 6th January 1904 and completed January 1905.  during 1911 and 1912 served with the 3rd Flotilla as Senior officers ship. In 1914 joined the 5th Battle squadron and in 1915 joined the newly reformed 5th battle squadron of the Grand Fleet. In 1918 transferred to the Mediterranean being used as a CMB carrier  carrying  six CMB's in davits. after the war was sold to scrap in May 1921

HMS Sapphire built at Palmer, at Jarrow and laid down on the 30th March 1903, launched 17th March 1904 and completed  7th February 1905.

HMS Topaze built at Laird's at Birkenhead  and laid down on the 14th August 1902, launched 23rd July 1903 and completed November 1904

Displacement: 3000 tons.  Speed: 21.75 Knots.  Crew 296.  Armament: Twelve 4 -inch Guns,  Eight 3 pdr guns and Four machine Guns   Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

HMS Amethyst 5th November 1903 Sold for scrap on 1st October 1920.
HMS Diamond 6th January 1904 Sold for scrap on 9th May 1921.
HMS Sapphire 17th March 1904 Sold for scrap on 9th May 1921.
HMS Topaze 23rd July 1903 Sold for scrap on 22nd September 1921.
HMS Sapphire

Displacement: 3000 tons.  Speed: 21.75 Knots.  Crew 296.  Armament: Twelve 4 -inch Guns,  Eight 3 pdr guns and Four machine Guns   Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

HMS Sapphire.

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The third class cruiser HMS Sapphire seen at Malta in 1916. This class and in particular the Amethyst was the first to operate turbines.

HMS Sapphire.

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HMS Topaze

Displacement: 3000 tons.  Speed: 21.75 Knots.  Crew 296.  Armament: Twelve 4 -inch Guns,  Eight 3 pdr guns and Four machine Guns   Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

HMS Topaze 

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HMS Topaze.  Photo published 1915. 

HMS Topaze c.1908

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AVIATION PRINTS

Click above to see all of our aviation art index - Eight random half price aviation items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Aviation Art Offers

 The Sopwith Dolphin was a radical departure from previous Sopwith design philosophies, embodying a reverse-stagger on the wings, a water-cooled Hispano-Suiza engine and an unusual, but highly popular positioning of the cockpit which gave the pilot unprecedented views. One exponent of this purposeful looking machine was Canadian Major A D Carter who claimed many of his 31 victories flying the Dolphin. He is shown here sending an Albatross to the ground on 8th May 1918 whilst flying C4017. Carter was himself shot down soon after became a prisoner of war. He was killed in 1919 whilst test flying a Fokker D.VII at Shoreham, Sussex.

Major Albert Carter by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £350.00
 One of the most notable pilots of 3 Squadron was the Frenchman Pierre Clostermann who enjoyed much success flying Spitfires with the Free French 341 <i>Alsace</i> Squadron before moving to 602 and 274 Squadrons RAF.  Once on the strength of 3 Squadron, however, he quickly got to grips with the mighty Hawker Tempest V in which he downed two Focke-Wulf Fw.190D-9s on 20th April 1945, just two of the confirmed 12 aircraft destroyed whilst flying the Tempest, plus 6 shared and two probables.  He is shown here flying Tempest V NV724, bearing the legend <i>Le Grand Charles</i> and the Squadron badge on the tailfin.

Tribute to Flt Lt Pierre Clostermann by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 Designed by the great Ernst Heinkel, the diminutive D.1 was an essential stop-gap that provided the Austro-Hungarian pilots with a front line fighter until they were able to re-equip with Albatros scouts in the Summer of 1917. This little aircraft performed well and was generally held in high regard by its pilots, although it did have some shortcomings, namely that forward vision was extremely limited and the Schwarzloses gun was completely concealed in the overwing pod that made it inaccessible in the air. Most unusual of all was its interplane strut arrangement, designed to reduce drag, which gave it the nicknames Starstrutter or Spider. These examples are shown passing above the German cruiser Derfflinger. 

Brandenburg D.1 by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
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Historic RNAS bombing raid on the German Zepperlin base at Cuxhaven, on Christmas day 1914.

Christmas Surprise by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £33.00

 Pushing the concept of the Spitfire almost to the limit, the sleek F Mk212 represented the ultimate in fighter design at the end of the Second World War. Powered by the mighty Griffon 61 engine driving a five blade propeller, its armament consisted of four 20mm British Hispano Cannon, two in each wing. This example is LA200 (DL-E) of 91 Sqn in 1945.

Spitfire F Mk21 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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One of the most advanced aircraft of World War II, the AR234 with its twin turbojets could carry out its high altitude reconnaissance or bombing duties at speed which made interception by Allied aircraft virtually impossible.
Luftwaffe Arado 234 B-2 by Barry Price.
Half Price! - £30.00
 In the evening of 18th of July 1941, Alex Thom took off in his No.87 Sqn Hurricane to intercept an enemy aircraft, spotted off the Scilly Isles.  Attacking the enemy Heinkel He111 at an altitude of 1000 feet, his windscreen became covered in oil from the damaged machine.  His wingman F/O Roscoe then also made an attack on the Heinkel, and it descended to sea level, eventually crash landing on the surface.  Thom circled the downed aircraft as the crew hastily took to their dinghy before the Heinkel sank.

Down and Out by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £280.00
 Lieutenant Robert C Wattenburger shows off the unique lines of the Vought F.4U Corsair 124723 (NP-8) of VC-3 during a low-level fly-by of USS Valley Forge in May, 1952.

Valley Forge Fly-By by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £600.00

 

NAVAL PRINTS

Click above to see all of our naval art index - Eight random half price naval items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

Originally constructed as a Home Fleet Repair Ship, HMS Cyclops was later converted into a submarine depot ship and enjoyed a long career, both in the Mediterranean and in home waters.  Here she prepares to receive HMS Sceptre.  Another S-class submarine is already tethered alongside.

HMS Cyclops Prepares to Receive HMS Sceptre by Ivan Berryman (P)
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DHM1449. Tirpitz Passing Through Kiel Canal by Ivan Berryman.

Tirpitz Passing Through Kiel Canal by Ivan Berryman
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 Completed in 1916, the Resolution was one of the finest capital ships in the Royal Navy, serving in many theatres with her sister ships, Royal Sovereign, Royal Oak, Ramillies and Revenge, she is shown here in 1936.

HMS Resolution by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 The greatest naval battle of the First World War took place on the 31st of May and the 1st of June 1916, near the Danish province of Jutland.  It was the first and only sea battle between the British and German fleets, and certainly proved to be the clash of the Titans that the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, had long planned.  Decisive victory was claimed by both sides, but, desperately fought though it was, the outcome was indecisive.  The Royal Navy suffered higher losses in both men and ships, but the German fleet never ventured out of harbour to seek battle again.  During the daylight fighting HMS Barham, under Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas, lead the 5th Battle Squadron (Valiant, Warspite and Malaya) and is seen here at 4.50pm exchanging with Hippers battle-cruisers to the south.

HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders.
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 HMS Prince of Wales enters Valetta harbour, Malta.

Enter the Prince by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
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 The mighty Tirpitz demonstrates the effectiveness of her splinter camouflage, surrounded by her net defences at Kaafjord in the Winter of 1943-44.

Tirpitz in Kaafjord by Ivan Berryman.
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Swordfish of 825 Sqn led by Lt-Cdr Esmonde begin their heroic attack on the battlescruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they make their way up the English Channel from Brest during Operation Cerberus on 12th February 1942.  Although all the aircraft were lost and no significant damage was done to the German fleet, all the pilots were decorated for their bravery and Lt-Cdr Esmonde received the first Fleet Air Arm VC to be awarded, albeit posthumously.  The painting depicts the first wave of Swordfish attacking the Scharnhorst with Gneisenau taking avoiding action in the distance.  A German torpedo boat has turned to confront the attacking aircraft.

Attack on the Scharnhorst by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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B151AP.  HMS Durban Escorts the Troopship RMS Queen Mary by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Durban Escorts the Troopship RMS Queen Mary by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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MILITARY PRINTS

Click above to see all of our military art index - Eight random half price military items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

 The Old Guard being asked to surrender at the end of the Battle of Waterloo.
The Last Stand of the Old Guard by Robert Hillingford. (Y)
Half Price! - £20.00
 Last stand of the 24th South Wales Borderers at Isandhlwana during the Zulu War. The battle of Isandhlwana, a Zulu victory over the British forces on 22nd January 1879 about 100km north of Durban. Lord Chelmsford led a column of forces to seek out the Zulu army camped at Isandhlwana, while patrols searched the district. After receiving a report, Chelmsford set forth at half strength, leaving six companies of the 24th Regiment, two guns, some Colonial Volunteers and a native contingent (in all about 1,800 troops) at the camp. Later that morning an advanced post warned of an approaching Zulu army. Shortly after this, thousands of Zulus were found hidden in a ravine by a mounted patrol but as the patrol set off to warn the camp, the Zulus followed. At the orders of the Camp Commander, troops spread out around the perimeter of the camp, but the Zulu army broke through their defences. The native contingent who fled during the attack were hunted down and killed. The remaining troops of the 24th Regiment, 534 soldiers and 21 officers, were killed where they fought. The Zulus left no one alive, taking no prisoners and leaving no wounded or missing. About 300 Africans and 50 Europeans escaped the attack. Consequently, the invasion of Zulu country was delayed while reinforcements arrived from Britain.

Battle of Isandhlwana, 22nd January 1879 by Brian Palmer. (Y)
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 AH-1 Whiskey Cobras of the US marine Corps in Action, Kuwait, February 1991.

Cobra Attack by David Rowlands. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
Lieut. George Cairns of the South Staffordshire Regiment at the Battle of Pagoda Hill, Burma, 13th March 1944, along with the 3rd/6th Gurkha Rifles.
Lieutenant George Cairns VC, at the Battle of Pagoda Hill, Burma 13th March 1944 by David Rowlands (GL)
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 The Grand army crossing the Danube on its advance to the battle of Wagram. 
Napoleon before the Battle of Wagram by Swebach (B)
Half Price! - £33.00
Viewed across the damaged stern of the 80-gun San Nicholas, Nelson drives HMS Captain onto the Spanish vessel in order that she can be boarded and taken as a prize, the British marines and men scrambling up the Captains bowsprit to use it as a bridge. The San Nicholas then fouled the Spanish three decker San Joseph (112), allowing Nelson and his men to take both ships as prizes in a single manoeuvre. A British frigate is moving into a supporting position in the middle distance.

HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent by Ivan Berryman
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Depicting the 4th and13th Light Dragoons during the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Balaclava by John Charlton.
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DHM554.  Sergeant 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry Zouaves 1863 by Jim Lancia.

Sergeant 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry Zouaves 1863 by Jim Lancia.
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SPORT PRINTS

Click above to see all of our sport art index - Eight random half price sport items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

 A celebration of Nigel Mansells success in winning the Formula 1 World Championship and the Indy Car Championship in successive years. A celebration of the magnificent talents of Nigel Mansell. He made his debut in Formula 1 in 1981 and his superb driving technique made an instant impact. He recorded victory after victory coming agonisingly close to being world champion many times before gaining his well deserved Formula 1 title in 1992. The following year he recorded an unprecedented double, gaining the Indy Car championship in 1993. A feat that reserves his name quite rightly in the record books.
Mansell by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £45.00
 Valentino Rossi on his way to a seventh Moto GP World Championship in the 2009 season on his Yamaha, scoring thirteen podium finishes, including six race wins, leaving him 45 points clear of his nearest rival.

Valentino Rossi by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £525.00
 2003 World Superbike Champion, Neil Hodgson with James Toseland in his slipstream.  British World Superbike - June 2003. 
Battle of Britain by Dave Foord.
Half Price! - £130.00
DH007. Steady Johnnie Steady by Erskine Nicol.
Steady Johnnie Steady by Erskine Nicol.
Half Price! - £12.00

 Marlboro McLaren Mercedes MP4/11. 1996.
David Coulthard by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £25.00
B40. Jean Alesi/ Benetton B.196

Jean Alesi/ Benetton B.196 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £40.00
Celebrating Sir Alexs magnificent orchestration of Manchester Uniteds historic treble cup success of 1999.

Sir Alex Ferguson by Darren Baker.
Half Price! - £50.00
 Richard Burns and Robert Reid.  Subaru Impreza WRC 99
Rain or Shine by Michael Thompson
Half Price! - £30.00

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