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Great Britain's Minotaur class cruisers

Photos

HMS Swiftsure:
HMS Swiftsure
©IWM, FL-9095
HMS Swiftsure's radar cabin:
HMS Swiftsure's radar cabin
©IWM, A-24891
HMS Swiftsure's radar cabin:
HMS Swiftsure's radar cabin
©IWM, A-24892
HMS Swiftsure's radar:
HMS Swiftsure's radar
©IWM, A-24893

Design

The Minotaur class was based on the Fiji class with modifications based on experience during World War II. To improve on stability the beam was increased. Instead of an X turret the Minotaur class had a 4" twin mount.

No aircraft equipment was installed.

Ships

 

HMS Bellerophon

  • Class: Minotaur, Tiger
  • 1941 Program.
  • Formerly: Blake, Tiger
  • Manufacturer: Vickers Armstrong at Tyne
  • 1945, March 1946: Cancelled

HMS Blake

  • Class: Minotaur, Tiger
  • 1942 Program.
  • Formerly: Tiger
  • Manufacturer: Fairfield
  • August 17, 1942, 1944: Laid down.
  • December 20, 1945: Launched.
  • March 6, 1951, March 18, 1961: Completed.

HMS Defense, HMS Lion

  • Class: Minotaur, Tiger
  • 1941 Supplementary Program.
  • Manufacturer: Scotts
  • June 24, 1942, 1943: Laid down.
  • September 2, 1944: Launched.
  • July 1946: Suspended.
  • October 8, 1957: Renamed Lion.
  • July 20, 1960: Completed.

HMS Hawke

  • Class: Minotaur, Tiger
  • 1942 Program.
  • Manufacturer: Portsmouth Dock Yard
  • September 1943, August 1944: Laid down.
  • January 1945: Suspended.
  • 1946: Cancelled.

HMS Minotaur, RCN Ontario

  • Class: Minotaur, Swiftsure
  • 1941 Program.
  • Manufacturer: Harland & Wolff
  • November 20, 1941: Laid down.
  • July 29, 1943: Launched.
  • July 1944: Turned over to Royal Canadian Navy. Named Ontario.
  • May 25, 1945: Completed.
  • 1945: Pacific Fleet.

HMS Superb

  • Class: Minotaur, Swiftsure, Tiger
  • 1941 Supplementary Program.
  • Manufacturer: Swan Hunter
  • June 23, 1942: Laid down.
  • August 31, 1943: Launched.
  • November 16, 1945: Completed.

HMS Swiftsure

  • Class: Minotaur, Swiftsure
  • 1941 Program.
  • Manufacturer: Vickers, Vickers Armstrong at Tyne
  • September 22, 1941, November 22, 1941: Laid down.
  • February 4, 1943: Launched.
  • June 22, 1944: Completed.
  • 1944, June 1944: Home Fleet.
  • November 1944, 1945: British Pacific Fleet.
  • March - May 1945: Okinawa.
  • Summer 1945, June 29 - August, 1945: Refit in Sydney. Eight 20 mm twin mounts and six 20 mm guns removed. Eight 40 mm Boffins and five 40 mm Bofors Mk III guns added.
  • June 1945: Truk raid. Member of TG 111.2.
  • August 1945: Hong Kong to accept Japanese surrender.

HMS Tiger

  • Class: Minotaur, Tiger
  • 1941 Supplementary Program.
  • Originally: Bellerophon.
  • Manufacturer: Clydebank, John Brown, Vickers Armstrong at Tyne
  • October 1, 1941, June 1943: Laid down.
  • October 25, 1945: Launched.
  • March 18, 1959, March 24, 1959: Completed.

Specifications

  Minotaur / Swiftsure class
Crew 730, 730 - 960, 733 - 900, 855, 855 - 960
Displacement 8,000 tons, 8,800 tons
Displacement - Loaded 11,130 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 555' 6"
169.31 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 538'
163.98 m
Length - Water Line  
Beam 63'
19.2 m
Draft / Height 17' 6", 20', 20' 8"
6.3 m
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed 31.5 knots, 32.25 knots, 32.5 knots
Range  
Range at 13 knots 6,520 nautical miles
Armament 6": 9
6" triple mounts: 3
6" Mk XXIII triple turrets: 3
6" L/50 Mk XXIII triple turrets: 3
Anti-Aircraft 4": 10
4" twin mounts: 5
4" Mk XVI twin mounts: 5
4" L/45 QF Mk XVI HA twin mounts: 5
2 pdr pompoms: 16
2 pdr quad mounts: 4
40 mm: 8, 13
20 mm twin mounts: 8
20 mm: 6
Torpedo Tubes 21": 2 mounts 3 tubes each, 6
Aircraft 0
Armor  
Belt - Machinery 3.25"
Belt - Magazines 3.5"
Belt - Main 3.25", 3.25" - 3.5"
Bulkheads 1", 1.5" - 2"
Control Tower 4"
Deck 2"
Magazine Box 2"
Turrets 1" - 2", 2"
Turrets - Roof 2"
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty: 4
Shafts 4
Turbines Parsons geared
HP 72,500, 80,000
Oil 1,700 tons, 1,850 tons
  Tiger class
Crew 716, 796 - 1,000, 867, 900
Displacement 8,000 tons, 8,885 tons, 9,550 tons
Displacement - Loaded 11,560 tons, 11,700 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 555' 6"
169.31 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 538'
163.98 m
Length - Water Line  
Beam 64'
19.51 m
Draft / Height 21' 1", 21' 3", 23'
6.43 m
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed 31.5 knots, 32.25 knots
Range  
Range at 13 knots 6,500 nautical miles
Armament 6": 9
6" DP twin turrets: 2
6" Mk N5 twin turrets: 2
6" Mk XXIII triple turrets: 3
6" L/50 Mk XXIII triple turrets: 3
Anti-Aircraft 4": 10
4" L/45 QF Mk XVI HA twin mounts: 5
4" Mk XVI twin mounts: 5
3" twin mounts: 3
2 pdr pompoms: 18
2 pdr quad mounts: 3
40 mm: 8
40 mm Bofors: 8
20 mm twin mounts: 4
20 mm: 2, 10
Torpedo Tubes 0
21": 2 mounts 3 tubes each, 6
Aircraft 0
Armor  
Belt - Machinery 3.25"
Belt - Magazines 3.5"
Belt - Main 3.25" - 3.5"
Bulkheads 1.5" - 2"
Control Tower  
Deck 2"
Magazine Box  
Turrets 1" - 2"
Turrets - Top 2"
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty: 4
Shafts 4
Turbines Parsons geared
HP 72,500, 80,000
Oil 1,900 tons
  HMS Superb
Crew  
Displacement - December 1945 9,066 tons
Displacement - Loaded - December 1945 11,564 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam 64'
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Range at 13 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 40 mm Bofors: 8
20 mm twin mounts: 2
20 mm: 2
2pdr: 2
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Machinery  
Belt - Main  
Bulkheads  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Magazine Box  
Turrets  
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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