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Great Britain's Flag

Great Britain's Modified Dido class cruisers

Photos

HMS Bellona in coastal waters:
HMS Bellona in coastal waters
©IWM, A-19851

HMS Bellona escorting a Soviet Union bound convoy in Force 12 plus gale:
HMS Bellona escorting a Soviet Union bound convoy in Force 12 plus gale
©IWM, A-27554
HMS Bellona escorting a Soviet Union bound convoy in Force 12 plus gale:
HMS Bellona escorting a Soviet Union bound convoy in Force 12 plus gale
©IWM, A-27554
HMS Black Prince being towed in the Tyne:
HMS Black Prince being towed in the Tyne
©IWM, FL-2239
HMS Diadem on the Tyne:
HMS Diadem on the Tyne
©IWM, FL-9948
HMS Royalist being launched on May 30, 1942:
HMS Royalist being launched on May 30, 1942
©IWM, A-9590
HMS Royalist off Egypt being over flown by Seafires from No. 807 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm:
HMS Royalist off Egypt being over flown by Seafires from No. 807 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm
©IWM, A-27757
HMS Spartan on August 10, 1943:
HMS Spartan on August 10, 1943
©IWM, FL-3094
HMS Spartan supporting 5th Army landings on Italian coast:
HMS Spartan supporting 5th Army landings on Italian coast
©IWM, A-21460

Design

As the early ships in the Dido class were shown to unstable it was decided that the Q turret should be removed which allowed for the bridge to be lower.1,2 The bridge was also moved forward which had the benefit of having the funnels be lower.1,2,6

Ships

 

HMS Bellona

  • Manufacturer: Fairfield1,2,3,4,5
  • November 19395, November 30, 1939: Laid down.1,2,4,5
  • September 29, 1942, 19426: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6
  • October 19435, October 29, 1943: Completed.1,2,4,5
  • 1943 - 1945: Home Fleet.3
  • April 1944: Four 20 mm guns added.1
  • June 1944: Reserve force for Normandy invasion.1
  • July 1944: Escorted carrier raids on Tirpitz.1
  • August 1944: Bay of Biscay to intercept German blockade runners.1
  • September 1944: Escort Arctic convoys.1
  • April 1945: Eight 20 mm guns added.1,2
  • May 1945: In Copenhagen at German surrender.1

HMS Black Prince

  • Manufacturer: Harland & Wolff1,2,3,4,5
  • November 2, 19394, December 1, 1939: Laid down.1,2,4,5
  • August 27, 1942, 19426: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6
  • November 20, 1943: Completed.1,2,4,5
  • 1943 - 1944: Home Fleet.3
  • 1944: Mediterranean Fleet.3
  • 1944: Two Bofors added.4
  • April 25 - 26, 1944: With destroyers sank German torpedo boats T29 and damaged T24 and T27 off the north coast of Brittany.1
  • June 1944: Normandy invasion.1 Member of Force A off Utah Beach.1
  • June 1944: Two 20 mm twin mounts and eight 20 mm guns added.2
  • August 1944: Southern France invasion.1
  • September - October 1944: Aegean.1
  • November 1944: East Indies Fleet.1
  • 1945: Pacific Fleet.3
  • 1945: Six Bofors added.4
  • 1945: Eight 20 mm guns and two 20 mm twin mounts added.1
  • January 16, 1945: British Pacific Fleet.1
  • April 1945: Bombardment of Okinawa and mainland Japan.1
  • September 1945: Member of reoccupation of Hong Kong.1

HMS Diadem

  • Manufacturer: Hawtorn5, Hawthorne Leslie1,2,3,4
  • December 15, 1939: Laid down.1,2,4,5
  • August 21, 1942, August 26, 19423,4,5, 19426: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6
  • 1943 - 1945: Home Fleet.3
  • January 6, 1944: Completed.1,2,4,5
  • 1944: Arctic convoy escort.1 Escorted carrier raids on Tirpitz.1
  • June 1944: Normandy invasion.1 Member of Force E off June Beach.1
  • August 12, 1944: With destroyers sank the Sperrbrecher 7 off La Rochelle.1
  • September 1944: Arctic convoy escort.1 Norwegian coastal raids.1
  • 1945: Eight 20 mm guns and two 20 mm twin mounts added.1
  • January 28, 1945: Fought three German destroyers and damaged the Z31.1 Damaged by the destroyers.2
  • February - April 1945: Repairs at Tyne.2 Two 20 mm twin mounts and six 20 mm guns added.2

HMS Royalist

  • Manufacturer: Scotts1,2,3,4,5
  • 19395, March 21, 1940: Laid down.1,2,4,5
  • May 30, 1942, 19426: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6
  • August 25, 19435, September 10, 1943: Completed.1,2,4,5
  • 1943 - 1944: Home Fleet.3
  • September 1943: Home Fleet.1 Escorted Arctic convoys.1
  • September 1943: Converted into Escort Carrier Squadron flagship.1,2 Two 20 mm twin mounts and four 20 mm guns added.1,2
  • 1944 - 1945: Mediterranean Fleet.3
  • August 1944: Supported invasion of southern France in Escort Carrier Squadron TF88.1.1
  • September 15, 1944: With HMS Teazer sank transports KT4 and KT26 off Cape Spatha.1
  • Late 1944, 19453: East Indies.1,3
  • April 1945: Flagship of 21st Escort Carrier Squadron.1 Rangoon landings.1

HMS Spartan

  • Manufacturer: Vickers Armstrong at Barrow1,2,4, Vickers2
  • December 21, 1939: Laid down.1,2,4
  • August 27, 1942, 19426: Launched.1,2,3,4,6
  • August 10, 1943: Completed.1,2,4
  • 19433, August 1943: Home Fleet.1,3
  • 1944: Mediterranean Fleet.3
  • January 29, 1944: Sunk.1,2,3,4,6 Hit by a Hs 293 glider bomb while off Anzio.1,2,4,6

Specifications

  Modified Dido class
Crew 5301,4, 5353,6, 535 - 5515
Crew - Flagship 5513, 6002
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 5,700 tons - 5,770 tons5, 5,770 tons3,6, 5,950 tons1,4
Displacement - Loaded 6,970 tons6, 7,350 tons1, 7,350 tons - 7,410 tons4, 7,400 tons5
Length 512'1,2,3,4,5,6
156.05 m1,4, 156.3 m6
Length - Between Perpendiculars 485'1,2,3,4
147.82 m1,4
Beam 50' 6"1,2,3,4,5,6
15.39 m1,4, 15.4 m6
Draft / Height 14' 9"3, 15'5, 17' 3"6, 17' 9"1,4
5.3 m65.41 m1,4
Draft / Height - Maximum 17' 11"4, 18' 7"5
5.46 m4
Performance  
Speed 32 knots1,4, 32.25 knots2,6, 33 knots3,5
Range at 12 knots 7,400 nautical miles1
Armament 5.25" DP 5, 5.25" / 13.3 cm DP6: 85,6
5.25" DP twin turrets3, 5.25" Mk I twin turrets1,2, 5.25" L/50 QF Mk I twin turrets4: 41,2,3,4
Anti-Aircraft 2 pdr6: 8 or 126
2 pdr quad mounts: 31,2,3,4
20 mm6: 126
20 mm twin mounts: 61,2,3
Torpedo Tubes 21"1,2,3,4,5, 21" / 53.3 cm6: 2 mounts 3 tubes each1,2,3,4,5, 66
Aircraft 01
Armor  
Barbettes 0.5" - 0.75"6
1.3 cm - 1.9 cm6
Belt - Machinery 3"2
Belt - Magazines 2"1, 2" - 3"3, 3"2
Belt - Main 3"1,4,6
7.6 cm6
Bulkheads 1"4
Control Tower 1"3,6
2.5 cm6
Deck 0.5" - 2"3, 1"6
3.5 cm6
Deck - Machinery 1"1
Turrets 1" - 1.5"6, 1" - 2"3
2.5 cm - 3.8 cm6
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty: 41,4,5
Shafts 41,2,3,4,5,6
Turbines Geared3, Parsons geared1,2,4,5,6
HP 62,0001,2,3,4,5, 64,0006
Oil 1,042 tons - 1,100 tons4, 1,100 tons1,2

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
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site