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Naval Warfare

HMS Lance (1914)

Destroyer Warship [ 1914 ]

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 | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Destroyed, Scrapped.


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 the United Kingdom United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore Bombardment
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.

269.0 ft
81.99 m
26.8 ft
8.17 m
9.5 ft
2.90 m

Installed Power: Water-tube boiler units feeding Parsons steam turbines developing 24,500 horsepower driving 2 x Shafts astern.
Surface Speed
29.0 kts
(33.4 mph)
7,386 nm
(8,500 mi | 13,679 km)

kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 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.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a historical warship turreted main gun armament
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)

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