Gem Class

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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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