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Great Britain's Kent class cruisers

Photos

HMS Berwick at Scapa Flow on October 28, 1941:
HMS Berwick at Scapa Flow on October 28, 1941
©IWM, A-6168
HMS Berwick at Scapa Flow on October 28, 1941:
HMS Berwick at Scapa Flow on October 28, 1941
©IWM, A-6169
One of HMS Berwick's 4" guns on May 4, 1943:
One of HMS Berwick's 4" guns on May 4, 1943
©IWM, A-16318
HMS Berwick at Hamoaze:
HMS Berwick at Hamoaze
©IWM, FL-1905
HMS Cornwall after being attacked by the Japanese off Ceylon on April 5, 1942:
HMS Cornwall after being attacked by the Japanese off Ceylon on April 5, 1942
©IWM, HU-2759
HMS Cornwall:
HMS Cornwall
©IWM, FL-8535
HMS Cornwall:
HMS Cornwall
©IWM, Q-65709
HMS Cumberland at Hval Fjord, Iceland on November 22, 1941:
HMS Cumberland at Hval Fjord, Iceland on November 22, 1941
©IWM, A-6612
HMS Cumberland's Supermarine Walrus on December 4, 1942:
HMS Cumberland's Supermarine Walrus on December 4, 1942
©IWM, A-13054
HMS Cumberland at Grand Harbor, Malta:
HMS Cumberland at Grand Harbor, Malta
©IWM, A-31120
HMS Kent's crew playing deck hockey on October 22, 1941:
HMS Kent's crew playing deck hockey on October 22, 1941
©IWM, A-7606
HMS Kent at Scapa Flow on October 28, 1941:
HMS Kent at Scapa Flow on October 28, 1941
©IWM, A-6164
HMS Kent at Scapa Flow on November 3, 1941:
HMS Kent at Scapa Flow on November 3, 1941
©IWM, A-6381
HMS Kent in 1941:
HMS Kent in 1941
©IWM, A-2561
HMS Suffolk at Scapa Flow in 1940:
HMS Suffolk at Scapa Flow in 1940
©IWM, HU-49670
HMS Suffolk on Arctic Patrol in June 1941:
HMS Suffolk on Arctic Patrol in June 1941
©IWM, A-4168
HMS Suffolk's Supermarine Walrus in 1941:
HMS Suffolk's Supermarine Walrus in 1941
©IWM, A-4219

Design

The design of the Kent class was to fall within Naval Treaty limitations. Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt was the designer.

Aircraft

There was a catapult for the aircraft behind the funnels.

Armament

  Shell Weight Elevation Range
8" BL Mk VIII
8" L/50 Mk VIII
256 lb 70° 30,650 yards

Ships

 

HMS Berwick

  • Manufacturer: Fairfield
  • September 15, 1924: Laid down.
  • March 30, 1926: Launched.
  • July 12, 1927, February 2, 1928, February 15, 1928: Completed.
  • 1927 - 1936: China Station.
  • 1932: Catapult added.
  • 1934: Added two 0.5" quad mount guns.
  • 1936: Mediterranean.
  • August 1937 - November 1938: Refit. Armor added. 4" single mounts replaced by twin mounts. 2 pdr eight barrel mounts replaced 2 pdr quad mounts.
  • 1938 - 1939: Member of 8th Cruiser Squadron at America and West Indies Station.
  • 1939 - 1945: Home Fleet.
  • September 1939: Convoy escort.
  • March 1940: Captured German blockade runners Wolfsburg and Uruguay in the Denmark Straits.
  • April 1940: Norwegian campaign.
  • November 7, 1940: Joined Force H in Gibraltar.
  • December 25, 1940: Escorted convoy WS5a.
  • December 1940 - June 1941: Repairs.
  • 1941: Five 20 mm guns added.
  • 1942 - 1945: Operated in Arctic theater.
  • 1942: Aircraft equipment and 0.5" machine guns removed.
  • 1943: Seven 20 mm single mounts replaced by twin mounts.
  • 1944 - 1945: Escorted carriers for raids on Norway.

HMS Cornwall

  • Manufacturer: Devonport Dock Yard
  • October 9, 1924: Laid down.
  • March 11, 1926: Launched.
  • December 6, 1927, May 5, 1928: Completed.
  • 1927 - 1936: China Station.
  • 1930 - 1931: Catapult added.
  • 1934: Added two 0.5" quad mount guns.
  • July 1936 - December 1937: Refit. Armor added. 4" single mounts replaced by twin mounts. 2 pdr eight barrel mounts replaced 2 pdr quad mounts.
  • 1938: Member of 2nd Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1939: East Indies. Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron at China Station.
  • 1940 - 1941: South Atlantic.
  • August 1940: Dakar.
  • 1941 - 1942: East Indies.
  • May 8, 1941: Sand German raider Pinquin off Seychelles.
  • December 1941 - 1942: Escorted convoys across Indian Ocean.
  • 1942: Eastern Fleet. Member of Fast Division of Eastern Fleet based in Colombo, Ceylon.
  • April 5, 1942: Sunk in 12 minutes by nine bomb hits by Japanese carrier aircraft southwest of Maldive Islands.

HMS Cumberland

  • Manufacturer: Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow
  • October 18, 1924: Laid down.
  • March 16, 1926: Launched.
  • December 8, 1927, January 1928, January 23, 1928: Completed.
  • 1927 - 1935: China Station.
  • 1931 - 1932: Aircraft catapult added.
  • February 1935 - July 1936: Refit. Armor, catapult, large hanger, and a 4" gun added. Aft 4" single mounts replaced by twin mounts. Torpedo tubes removed. Quarterdeck cut down to save weight.
  • 1936 - 1938: China Station.
  • 1939: Member of 2nd Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1939 - 1941: South Atlantic.
  • September 1939: Member of South Atlantic division.
  • October 1939: Member of Force G hunting for KMS Admiral Graf Spee.
  • December 5, 1939: With HMS Ajax intercepted blockade runner Ussukuma.
  • June 1940: Escorted Middle East bound troop convoys.
  • July 1940: Hunted for German armored merchant cruiser Thor.
  • September 16, 1940: Sank Vichy ammunition ship Poitiers.
  • 1941, 1941 - 1944: Home Fleet.
  • 1941: Five 20 mm guns added.
  • 1942 - 1944: Arctic convoy duties.
  • February 1943: All 0.5" machine guns and a 20 mm gun replaced by five 20 mm twin mounts.
  • 1944 - 1945, March 1944: Eastern Fleet.
  • 1945: East Indies.

HMS Kent

  • Manufacturer: Chatham Dock Yard
  • November 15, 1924: Laid down.
  • March 16, 1926: Launched.
  • June 22, 1928, June 25, 1928: Completed.
  • 1928 - 1939: Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron at China Station.
  • 1932 - 1933: Two 4" guns added. Catapult added.
  • 1934: Added two 0.5" quad mount guns.
  • 1937 - July 1938: Refit. Armor added.
  • 1939 - 1940, September 1939: East Indies.
  • 1940 - 1944: Home Fleet.
  • 1940: Escorted troop convoys through Indian Ocean.
  • June 1940: Member 3rd Cruiser Division in Mediterranean.
  • August 1940: Bombardment of Bardia.
  • September 1940: Bombardment of Benghazi.
  • September 17 - 18, 1940: Hit by Italian aircraft torpedo.
  • September 1940 - September 1941: Repairs.
  • 1941: Six 20 mm guns added.
  • 1942 - 1944: Member of Home Fleet doing Arctic convoy duties.
  • 1942: Aircraft equipment removed. 0.5" quad mounts replaced by six 20 mm guns.
  • 1943: Six 20 mm single mounts replaced by three twin mounts.
  • 1944: Supported carrier raids on Norway.
  • 1945, January 1945: Reserve.

HMS Suffolk

  • Manufacturer: Portsmouth Dock Yard
  • July 30, 1924, September 30, 1924: Laid down.
  • February 16, 1926: Launched.
  • February 7, 1928, May 31, 1928: Completed.
  • 1928 - 1939: China Station.
  • 1931: Catapult added.
  • August 1935 - October 1936: Refit. Armor, catapult, hanger, and a 4" gun added. Torpedo tubes removed. Quarterdeck cut down to save weight.
  • 1939 - 1943: Home Fleet.
  • October 1939: Patrolled in Denmark Straits.
  • April 1940: Norway campaign. Bombarded Stavanger.
  • April 17, 1940: Badly damaged by bombs.
  • April 1940 - February 1941: Repair. Two 4" single mounts replaced by twin mounts. Four 20 mm guns added.
  • February 1941 - 1942: Member of Home Fleet patrolling Arctic.
  • December 1942 - April 1943: Refit. 0.5" machine guns removed. Four 20 mm guns added.
  • 1943: Aircraft and catapult removed. Five 20 mm single mounts replaced by twin mounts.
  • 1943 - 1945, April 1943 - 1945: Eastern Fleet.
  • April 1944: Three 20 mm guns added.

HMAS Australia

HMAS Canberra

Usage

Convoy Escort

On December 25, 1940, the HMS Berwick was escorting convoy WS5a northwest of the Azores. German KMS Admiral Hipper attacked and damaged the HMS Berwick with an 8" shell. She was able to return to Britain for repairs.

Specifications

  Kent class
Crew 679, 685 - 710, 784
Crew - Flagship 710
Displacement 9,750 tons, 9,750 tons - 9,870 tons, 10,000 tons, 10,900 tons
Displacement - Loaded 14,490 tons - 14,910 tons, 14,900 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 630', 630' - 633'
192.02 m, 192.02 m - 192.93 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 590'
179.8 m, 179.83 m
Length - Water Line  
Beam 68' 3", 68' 4", 68' 5", 68' 6"
20.83 m, 20.85 m
Draft / Height 16' 3", 16' 6", 20' 6"
2.24 m, 6.25 m
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed 31.5 knots
Range at 11 - 14 knots 10,400 nautical miles
Range at 12 knots 9,350 nautical miles
Range at 31.5 knots 2,300 nautical miles
Armament 8" twin turrets: 4
8" L/50: 8
8" L/50 Mk VIII twin turrets: 4
8" BL Mk VII twin turrets: 4
8" L/50 BL Mk VIII twin turrets: 4
Anti-Aircraft 4": 8
4" twin mounts: 4
4" QF Mk V: 4
4" L/45 QF Mk V: 4
2 pdr quad mounts: 2
2 pdr pompoms: 4, 16
2 pdr Mk II: 4
0.5" twin quad mount machine gun: 2
Saluting 3 pdr: 4
Torpedo Tubes 21": 2 mounts 4 tubes each
21": 4
Aircraft 1
Armor  
Belt - Machinery 1"
Belt - Main 1", 3" - 5"
Control Tower 3"
Deck 1.5", 4"
Deck - Lower 1.475"
Magazine Box 1" - 4", 1" - 4.375", 3"
Turrets 1", 1.5" - 2", 3" - 4"
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty: 8
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared
Parsons geared
HP 80,000
Oil 3,200 tons, 3,200 tons - 3,400 tons, 3,400 tons, 3,425 tons
  HMS Berwick
Crew  
Displacement 9,480 tons
Displacement - Loaded 13,425 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines Brown-Curtis geared
HP  
Oil  
  HMS Cornwall
Crew  
Displacement 9,445 tons
Displacement - Loaded 13,400 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  HMS Cumberland
Crew  
Displacement 9,470 tons
Displacement - Loaded 13,424 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
Coal  
  HMS Kent
Crew  
Displacement 9,555 tons, 9,850 tons
Displacement - Loaded 13,520 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes 21": 2 mounts with 4 tubes each
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  HMS Suffolk
Crew  
Displacement 9,495 tons, 9,800 tons
Displacement - Loaded 13,450 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
Coal  

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