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Great Britain's Caledon class cruisers

Photos

HMS Caledon:
HMS Caledon
©IWM, Q-114793

HMS Caledon:
HMS Caledon
©IWM, SP-711
HMS Caledon:
HMS Caledon
©IWM, Q-114794

HMS Caledon at Sheerness:
HMS Caledon at Sheerness
©IWM, FL-5354
HMS Caledon:
HMS Caledon
©IWM, Q-114795
HMS Caledon:
HMS Caledon
©IWM, Q-75615
HMS Calypso:
HMS Calypso
©IWM, Q-75356
HMS Calypso:
HMS Calypso
©IWM, SP-1482
HMS Caradoc bombarding Bolshevik positions in Estonia in December 1918:
HMS Caradoc bombarding Bolshevik positions in Estonia in December 1918
©IWM, Q-19345
HMS Caradoc in December 1918:
HMS Caradoc in December 1918
©IWM, Q-19359
HMS Caradoc at Libau with the Princess Margaret:
HMS Caradoc at Libau with the Princess Margaret
©IWM, Q-19373
HMS Caradoc:
HMS Caradoc
©IWM, SP-2510

Design

The Caledon class were designed to be used in the North Sea and to increase the number of cruisers then in use with the British fleets.1,2

Orders for the Caledon class were placed December 4, 1915.2

Engines

The boiler rooms were located forward.1

Ships

HMS Caledon

  • Manufacturer: Cammell Laird1,2,3,5
  • March 17, 1916: Laid down.1,2,5
  • November 25, 1916: Launched.1,2,3,4,5
  • March 19175, March 6, 19172, June 21, 1917: Completed.1,2,5
  • 1917 - 1919: Flagship of 1st Light Cruiser Squadron.1
  • November 17, 1917: Heligoland Bight action where struck by 12" shell.1
  • 1919 - 1926: Member of Home and Atlantic Fleets with 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron.1
  • September 1922: Mediterranean duty.1
  • January 1923: Baltic duty.1
  • 1924 - 1926: Two 36" and a 24" searchlight removed.2
  • August 17, 1926 - September 5, 1927: Refit.1 Joined 3rd Cruiser Squadron in Mediterranean after completion.1
  • July 31, 1931: Put into reserve.1
  • 1939: Reactivated and joined 7th Cruiser Squadron.1 Member of Home Fleet.3
  • August 1939: At Scapa Flow.1
  • September 1939 - Summer 1940: Member of Northern Patrol.1
  • 1940: Member of Mediterranean Fleet.3
  • 1940 - 1941: In Red Sea.3
  • Summer 1940: Joined 3rd Cruiser Squadron at Alexandria.1
  • August 1940: In Red Sea.1 Covered Berbera evacuation.1
  • August - October 1941: Refit at Colombo.1 Joined Easter Fleet when completed.1
  • 1942: In Indian Ocean.1 In East Indies and member of Eastern Fleet.3
  • 1942 - 19433,4, September 14, 1942 - December 7, 1943: Made into an anti-aircraft cruiser at Chatham.1,3,4 All guns and torpedo tubes removed.1 Three 4" twin mounts, two Hazemeyer Bofors twin mounts, and six 20 mm twin mounts added.1
  • 1944 - 1945: In Mediterranean.3
  • April 1944: Two 20 mm guns added.1
  • August 1944: Supported Operation Dragoon, invasion of Southern France.1
  • September - October 1944: Six 40 mm Bofors Mk III added.1
  • 1945: Put in reserve.3
  • April 1945: Disarmed.1

HMS Calypso

  • Manufacturer: Hawthorne Leslie1,2,3,5
  • February 7, 1916: Laid down.1,2,5
  • January 24, 1917: Launched.1,2,3,4,5
  • June 21, 1917: Completed.1,2,5
  • 1917 - 1919: Member of 6th Light Cruiser Squadron with Grand Fleet.1
  • November 17, 1917: Heavily damaged at Heligoland Bight.1
  • 1918 - 1919: In Baltic.1
  • March 1919: Joined 3rd Cruiser Squadron in Mediterranean.1
  • 1924 - 1926: Two 36" and a 24" searchlight removed.2
  • 1932: Returned to Britain and went into reserve.1
  • 1939: Member of Home Fleet.3
  • September 1939: Member of 7th Cruiser Squadron with the Northern Patrol.1
  • September 24, 1939: Captured German blockade runner Minden.1
  • November 22, 1939: Captured German blockade runner Konsul Hendrik Fisser.1
  • 1940: Moved to Eastern Mediterranean.1 Member of Mediterranean Fleet.3
  • June 12, 1940: Sunk by Italian sub Bagnolini near Crete.1,3,4

HMS Caradoc

  • Manufacturer: Scotts1,2,3, Scott S. B. Co.5
  • February 19165, February 21, 1916: Laid down.1,2,5
  • December 23, 1916: Launched.1,2,3,4,5
  • June 19175, June 15, 1917: Completed.1,2,5
  • 1917 - 1919: Member of 6th Light Cruiser Squadron with Grand Fleet.1
  • February 29, 1919 - December 1926: Member of 3rd Cruiser Squadron in Mediterranean.1
  • December 1926: Moved to China.1
  • September 15, 1927: Refit.1
  • October 1928 - February 1930: West Indies.1
  • March 1930: Put into reserve.1
  • July 1930 - 1934: Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron in China.1
  • October 17, 1934 - 1939: Put into reserve.1
  • 1939 - 1942: America and West Indies.1,3
  • October 23, 1939: Captured German blockade runner Emmy Friedrich in Yucatan Channel.1
  • December 11, 1940: Captured German blockade runner Rhein.1
  • October 28, 1941 - February 26, 1942: Refit in New York.1 Two 2 pdr guns and five 20 mm guns added.1
  • 1942 - 1943: Member of Eastern Fleet.1,3
  • 1943 - 1944: In South Atlantic.3
  • June 1943: Refit in Durban.1 Converted into gunnery training ship for South Africa.1
  • 1944 - 1945: Became base ship in Colombo.1,3

HMS Cassandra

  • Manufacturer: Vickers2
  • March 1916: Laid down.2
  • November 25, 1916: Launched.2
  • June 29, 1917: Completed.2
  • December 5, 1918: While fighting the Bolsheviks was sunk by German mine near Oesel island.1,2

 

Usage

After seeing much use in World War I the remaining Caledon class did see service in World War II.2

Specifications

  Caledon class
Crew 3222, 3341, 4003, 400 - 4375
Crew - Flagship 4373
Displacement 4,120 tons2,5, 4,180 tons1,3
Displacement - Loaded 4,950 tons1, 5,150 tons4
Physical Characteristics  
Length 449' 10"1, 450'3,5, 451' 6"2
147.5 m1
Length - Between Perpendiculars 425'2,3,5, 425' 4"1
139.53 m1
Length - Water Line  
Beam 42' 9"1,2,3,5
14.02 m1
Draft / Height 14' 1"2,5, 14' 3"1, 14' 6"3
4.67 m1
Draft / Height - Maximum 16' 3"5
Performance  
Speed 29 knots1,2,3,5
Range at 10 knots 5,900 nautical miles1
Armament 6": 52,3
6" L/50: 55
6" BL Mk XII: 51
Anti-Aircraft 3": 23,5
3" QF Mk I: 21
3 pdr: 22, 45
2 pdr: 21,3
2 pdr pompom: 25
Saluting 3 pdr: 22
Torpedo Tubes 21": 4 each in 2 banks1,3, 2 each in 4 mounts2,5
Armor  
Belt - Aft 1.75"2, 2" - 2.5"3,5
Belt - Forward 1.25" - 2.25"5, 1.25" - 2.75"3, 1.5"2
Belt - Main 3"1,2,3,5
Control Tower 3"1,2, 4" - 6"3, 6"5
Deck 1"1,2,3,5
Engines  
Boilers Yarrow: 61, 85
Shafts 21,3,5
Turbines Geared3
Parsons geared1,5
HP 40,0001,2,3,5
Oil 935 tons1,5, 950 tons2
  HMS Caledon
Crew  
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded - 1943 5,320 tons4
Physical Characteristics  
Length 449' 10"2
Length - Between Perpendiculars 425' 4"2
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft - 1943 4" QF Mk XVI twin mount: 34
40 mm Bofors: 44
20 mm: 154
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  

Sources:

  1. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  2. British Cruisers of World War Two, Alan Raven, John Roberts, 1980
  3. Warships of World War II, H. T. Lenton and J. J. Colledge, 1964
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  5. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site