In terms of the development of cruisers, especially in the Royal Navy, the First World War had an enormous impact. At the start of the war, the Royal Navy had more than 100 cruisers in service. The Germans had about 40 by comparison. However, many of these cruisers were now 10 or more years old, with 78 having been built prior to 1904. Clearly, there was a need for more modern cruisers to be quickly designed, laid down and to be ready for service.In terms of actual engagements between the British and the German cruiser fleets, it wasn’t long before battle commenced.