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Great Britain's Flag

Great Britain's E class cruisers

Photos

HMS Emerald in 1931:
HMS Emerald in 1931
©IWM, A-6462
HMS Emerald:
HMS Emerald
©IWM, Q-45940
HMS Emerald at Portsmouth:
HMS Emerald at Portsmouth
©IWM, FL-5381
HMS Enterprise:
HMS Enterprise
©IWM, FL-5389

Design

The E class cruisers were to go up against German cruisers that were believed to be under construction in 1917. The E class were to have high speed and carry 6" guns.

Three E class cruisers were ordered in March 1918. The end of World War I caused one to be cancelled. The remaining two were slow to completion due to labor shortages.

Aircraft

There was one catapult behind the aft funnel.

Armament

  Shell Weight Elevation Range
6"
6" Mk XXII
6" L/45 BL Mk XII
  40°  

Engines

There were two boilers in each engine room that powered a shaft.

Ships

 

HMS Emerald

  • Manufacturer: Armstrong, completed at Chatham Dock Yard
  • September 23, 1918: Laid down.
  • May 19, 1920: Launched.
  • January 14, 1926, January 15, 1926: Launched.
  • 1926 - July 15, 1933: Member 4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies.
  • July 15, 1933 - August 31, 1934, 1934 - 1936, 1934: Refit. Catapult added behind aft funnel. Funnel height increased by 5'.
  • August 31, 1934 - September 1937: East Indies.
  • September 1937 - September 1939: Reserve.
  • 1939 - 1940: Atlantic escort.
  • September 1939: Member of 12th Cruiser Squadron doing Northern Patrol duties.
  • October 1939 - August 1940: Halifax. Escorted convoys. Carried £58 million in gold to Canada.
  • 1940: Home Fleet.
  • 1940 - 1941: East Indies.
  • 1941 - 1942: Eight torpedo tubes removed.
  • 1941: Indian Ocean. Escorted troopships to Middle East.
  • December 1941: Eastern Fleet.
  • 1942 - 1944: Eastern Fleet.
  • March 1942: Flagship of Fast Group.
  • August 1942 - April 1943, August 1942 - April 6, 1943: Refit. One 6", two 2 pdr, and all/four 0.5" machine guns removed. Six 20 mm twin mounts and two 2 pdr quad mounts added.
  • Late 1942: One 2pdr quad pompom added.
  • April 1943: Member of 4th Cruiser Squadron, Eastern Fleet.
  • 1944: Home Fleet.
  • March 31 - April 5, 1944, April 1944, 1944: Six 20 mm added. Catapult removed.
  • June 1944: Member of Force K off Gold Beach during Normandy invasion.
  • 1945, January 1945: Reserve.

HMS Enterprise

  • Manufacturer: Clydebank, John Brown, completed at Devonport Dock Yard
  • June 28, 1918: Laid down.
  • December 23, 1919: Launched.
  • March 31, 1926, April 7, 1926: Completed.
  • 1926 - 1934: East Indies.
  • 1934 - 1936, July 4, 1934 - January 1936, 1936: Refit. Catapult added behind aft funnel. Funnel height increased by 5'.
  • January 1936 - 1937: East Indies.
  • 1939 - 1940: Atlantic escort.
  • September 1939 - 1940: Member of Halifax Escort Force escorting convoys.
  • 1940: Home Fleet.
  • 1940: One 2 pdr quad pompom added.
  • April - May 1940: Norwegian campaign. Supported troops around Narvik.
  • April 19, 1940: Missed by torpedo attack from U65.
  • June 1940: Member of Force H.
  • July 1940: Mers el Kebir.
  • 1940 - 1941: South Atlantic.
  • December 1940: Hunted for German armed merchant cruiser Thor in south Atlantic.
  • 1941 - 1942: Eight torpedo tubes removed.
  • 1941 - 1942: East Indies.
  • 1941, March 11 - 18, 1941: Refit at Colombo. Two 6" guns removed. One 2 pdr quad mount added.
  • 1942 - 1943: Eastern Fleet.
  • 1942: East Indies and Australia. Escorted troop convoys.
  • December 1942 - October 1943, December 25, 1942 - October 31, 1943: Refit. One/two 2 pdr and one/four 20 mm gun removed. Two 6", one 2 pdr quad mount, and six 20 mm guns added.
  • 1943: One 2 pdr quad pompom added.
  • 1943 - 1944: Home Fleet.
  • October 1943: Home Fleet. Intercept German blockade runners returning to France.
  • December 28, 1943: Sank two torpedo boats and a destroyer in Bay of Biscay with HMS Glasgow.
  • 1944, February 1944, February 3 - 29, 1944: Four 20 mm guns added. Catapult removed.
  • June 1944: Member of Force A off Utah Beach during Normandy invasion.
  • 1945, January 5, 1945: Reserve.

HMS Euphrates

  • Manufacturer: Fairfield
  • November 26, 1918: Cancelled.

Specifications

  E class
Crew 450, 572
Displacement 7,550 tons
Displacement - Loaded 9,000 tons, 9,562 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 570'
173.7 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 535'
163 m
Length - Water Line  
Beam 54' 6"
16.61 m
Draft / Height 16' 3", 16' 6", 16' 9", 18' 6"
4.95 m
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed 32 knots, 33 knots
Range at 15 knots 8,000 nautical miles
Range at 20 knots 3,850 nautical miles
Range at 32 knots 1,350 nautical miles
Armament 6" L/50: 7
6" L/45 BL Mk XII: 7
6" BL Mk XII: 7
Anti-Aircraft 4": 3, 5
4" Mk V: 3
4" QF Mk V: 3
2 pdr: 2, 3
2 pdr Mk II: 2
Torpedo Tubes 21": 4 mounts with 3 tubes each
21": 4 mounts with 4 tubes each
Torpedo Tubes - 1928 - 1929, 1929 21": 4 mounts with 4 tubes each
Aircraft 1
Armor  
Belt - Aft 2"
Belt - Forward 1.5", 1.5" - 2.5"
Belt - Machinery 2", 3"
Belt - Magazines 2.25"
Belt - Main 3"
Control Tower  
Deck 1"
Deck - Lower 1"
Deck - Upper 1"
Magazine Box 0.5"
Engines  
Boilers Yarrow: 8
Shafts 4
Turbines Brown-Curtis geared
Geared
HP 80,000
Oil 1,600 tons, 1,746 tons
  HMS Emerald
Crew  
Displacement 7,550 tons
Displacement - Loaded 9,106 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam 54' 7"
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament 6": 7
6" L/45 Mk XII: 6
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Torpedo Tubes - Above Water  
Torpedo Tubes - Below Water  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  HMS Enterprise
Crew  
Displacement 7,580 tons
Displacement - Loaded 9,435 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament 6" twin mount: 1
6": 5
6" BL Mk XII twin mount: 1
6" L/45 BL Mk XII twin mount: 1
6" BL Mk XII: 5
6" L/45 BL Mk XII: 5
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes - Above Water  
Torpedo Tubes - Below Water  
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
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