The British Squadron

Commanded by Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock, the Fourth Cruiser Squadron which engaged the German squadron off Coronel comprised of two old armoured cruisers, one light cruiser and an armed merchantman.

The crews of both armoured cruisers were principally reservists, who having been recalled to active service in July 1914 and had little or no gunnery practice before the Battle of Coronel.

Included with these ships is HMS Canopus and HMS Defence, the former was part of Cradock's squadron however was not at the battle, due to reported engine problems and a reduced speed, Cradock has assigned her to protect his colliers. HMS Defence was due to join with Cradock's squadron but was re-assigned by the Admiralty without informing Cradock; at the time of the battle Cradock was still expecting her.