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HMS Lance (1914)

Destroyer Warship

Naval Warfare / Ships

Laid down in August of 1912 and entering service in August 1914, HMS Lance went on to fire the first British shots of World War 1.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/11/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
HMS Lance of the British Royal Navy fired the first British shots of World War 1 (1914-1918). The destroyer was built to the Laforey-class standard which numbered some twenty-two total warships. Preceded by the Acasta-class (and succeeded in turn by the Admiralty M-class), three of the group were ultimately lost in the fighting though Lance managed to survive the conflict - being broken up sometime later in 1921.

In keeping with the Laforey-class design specifications, HMS Lance displaced between 965 and 1,300 tons depending on load. Overall length reached 269 feet while the beam measured 26.8 feet and the draught was down to 9.5 feet. Propulsion was handled by water-tube boilers feeding Parsons steam turbines developing 24,500 horsepower to 2 x Shafts under stern. This allowed the vessel a headway speed of up to 29 knots in ideal conditions.

Aboard was a complement of seventy-three. Armament centered on 3 x 4" (101.6mm) QF Mk IV main guns backed by 1 x 2-pounder QF "pom-pom" Mk II guns. She also carried 2 x 21" twin-torpedo launchers, giving her all around capabilities.

Ordered on March 29th, 1912 in the arms race preceding The Great War, HMS Lance was awarded to John I. Thornycroft & Company shipbuilders and saw her keel laid down on August 1st, 1912 (whent he ship was to be named HMS Daring). Launched in February of 1914, she was formally commissioned for service in August of 1914 - the start of the fighting of World War 1.

HMS Lance was given a shortened honeymoon due to the beginning of the conflict. As soon as August 4th, 1914, she was assigned to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla (Harwich Force) and conducted patrol sorties across the volatile North Sea. On August 5th, she encountered German minelayers and engaged alongside sister-ship HMS Landrail. The German Konigin Luise was scuttled by her crew in response and twenty-eight surrendered to British forces.

Next up for HMS Lance was the Battle of Heligoland Bight off the Denmark coast. This marked the first major naval engagement of the war and took place on August 28th, 1914. With force supremacy, the battle stood as a British victory. During October of that year, Lance helped to successfully repel a German torpedo boat attack against the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla. In March of 1917, she was assigned to the Sixth Flotilla until July of that year. From October to the end of the year, she made up part of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla.

With the war over in November of 1918, HMS Lance was set in reserve by the end of 191. She was stripped of her usefulness and eventually sold off for scrapping in November of 1921, bringing about a formal end to her sailing career.


Decommissioned, Out-of-Service
73 Personnel
Ship Class [ Laforey-class ]
Ships-in-Class [ 22 ] Ship Names: HMS Llewellyn; HMS Lennox; HMS Loyal; HMS Legion; HMS Laforey; HMS Lawford; HMS Louis; HMS Lydiard; HMS Leonidas; HMS Lucifer; HMS Laertes; HMS Lysander; HMS Lance; HMS Lookout; HMS Laurel; HMS Liberty; HMS Lark; HMS Linnet; HMS Laverock; HMS Landrail; HMS Lochinvar; HMS Lassoo
National flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
- Hunter
- Direct-Attack
269 ft (81.99 m)
Width / Beam:
26.8 ft (8.17 m)
Height / Draught:
9.5 ft (2.90 m)
Displacement (Surface):
1,200 tons
Water-tube boiler units feeding Parsons steam turbines developing 24,500 horsepower driving 2 x Shafts astern.
Speed (Surface):
29 kts (33 mph)
7,386 nm (8,500 miles; 13,679 km)
3 x 4" (102mm) QF Mk IV main guns.
1 x QF 2-pounder Pom-Pom Mk II gun.
4 x 21" torpedo tubes in two twin-tubed mountings.

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