World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Great Britain's Flag

Great Britain's Norfolk class cruisers

Photos

HMS Dorsetshire picking up survivors from the Bismarck on May 27, 1941:
HMS Dorsetshire picking up survivors from the Bismarck on May 27, 1941
©IWM, ZZZ-3130-C

HMS Dorsetshire in Sydney:
HMS Dorsetshire in Sydney
©IWM, Q-83436
HMS Dorsetshire:
HMS Dorsetshire
©IWM, Q-65701
HMS Dorsetshire:
HMS Dorsetshire
©IWM, Q-75610
HMS Dorsetshire at Scapa Flow:
HMS Dorsetshire at Scapa Flow
©IWM, FL-2120
HMS Norfolk in 1940:
HMS Norfolk in 1940
©IWM, A-117

HMS Norfolk:
HMS Norfolk
©IWM, Q-65702
HMS Norfolk at Scapa Flow on October 17, 1941:
HMS Norfolk at Scapa Flow on October 17, 1941
©IWM, A-5898
HMS Norfolk in August 1943:
HMS Norfolk in August 1943
©IWM, A-18307
HMS Norfolk:
HMS Norfolk
©IWM, FL-1864

Design

The Norfolk class intended to use a lighter turret so that armor could be distributed elsewhere but the turrets turned out to be heavier than originally planned.1,2

The Norfolk class were approved on October 28, 1926, to be part of the 1926 Program.2

Aircraft

Aircraft were launched by a catapult.1

Armament

  Shell Weight Velocity Elevation Rate of Fire Rounds Carried
8" Mk L/50 Mk VII2 256 lb2 2,775'/sec2 70°2 5 rpm2  

It was found during the trials that the torpedo tubes were too high for the Mk V torpedoes to function.2 The torpedoes had to be made stronger and the angle at which fired into the water adjusted.2

Ships

 

HMS Devonshire

  • Manufacturer: Portsmouth Dock Yard1,3,4
  • September 21, 1927: Laid down.1,4
  • January 29, 1929: Launched.1,3,4
  • September 30, 1930: Completed.1,4
  • 1930 - 1933: Atlantic Fleet.1 Home Fleet.1
  • 1933 - 1935: Africa Station.1
  • 1936 - 1937: Refit.1,2 One 4" replaced by four 4" twin mounts.2 Two 2 pdr eight barrel pompoms added.2 Bridge modified.2
  • 1937 - 1939: Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron at China Station.1
  • 1939: East Indies.3
  • 1939: Joined Force I at Ceylon.1 Hunted Admiral Graf Spee.1
  • December 12, 1939: Arrived at River Plate to block Admiral Graf Spee.1
  • 1940, 1940 - 19413: South Atlantic.1,3
  • February 1940: Captured blockade runner Wakama near Rio.1
  • Summer 1940: Patrolled off Freetown against Vichy French shipping.1
  • July 1940: Attack on Dakar.1
  • November 1940: Bombarded Italian Somaliland.1
  • December 1940: Off Freetown escorting Sierra Leone to Great Britain convoys.1
  • May 1941: Participated in hunt and torpedoed and shelled the Bismarck.1
  • December 1, 1941: Captured armored merchant cruiser supply ship Python near St. Helena.1
  • 1942: Eastern Fleet.3
  • Early 1942: Nine 20 mm guns added.2
  • March 1942: Refit in Colombo.1
  • April 5, 1942: Sunk by Japanese carrier aircraft.1,3,4 Ten hits were made and she sunk in eight minutes.4

HMS Norfolk

  • Manufacturer: Fairfield1,2,4
  • July 19275, July 8, 1927: Laid down.1,4,5
  • December 12, 1928: Launched.1,3,4,5
  • April 30, 1930, June 19305: Completed.1,4,5
  • 1930 - 1932: Atlantic Fleet.1 Home Fleet.1
  • 1932 - 1934: America and West Indies Station.1
  • 1939 - September 1939: Refit.1
  • September 6, 1939: Member of 18th Cruiser Squadron with Home Fleet patrolling in the Denmark Straits.1
  • December 1939: Member of 1st Cruiser Squadron with Home Fleet.1
  • 1939 - 1945: Home Fleet.3
  • March 15, 1940, March 16, 19402: At Scapa Flow when bombed and damaged.1,2
  • March - June 1940, March 27 - June 14, 19402: Repairs at Clyde.1,2
  • June - December 1940: Home Fleet.1
  • December 1940: South Atlantic.1 Joined Force K in Freetown and hunted Admiral Scheer.1
  • January 1941: Hunted armed merchant cruiser Kormoran.1
  • February 1941: Troop convoy escort.1
  • May 1941: Iceland.1 Searched for Bismarck.1
  • July - September 1941: Refit at Tyne.1,2 A / two2 0.5" machine gun was removed.1,2 Six 20 mm guns added.1,2
  • 1941 - 1945: Home Fleet.1 Arctic convoy escort.1
  • October 1942, October 14 - 23, 19422: Repairs at Clyde.2 Three 20 mm guns added.1,2
  • 19431,4, March 16 - May 31, 19432: Aircraft equipment removed.1,2,4 Three2 / Nine 20 mm guns added.1,2
  • December 1943, December 26, 19432: Damaged during battle with Scharnhorst off the North Cape.1,2
  • December 1943 - November 1944, 19444, January 14 - November 4, 19442: Repairs and refit.1,2 X turret, two 2 pdr eight barrel, and two 20 mm guns removed.1,2,4 Two / Six2 2 pdr quad and eleven 20 mm twin mounts added.1,2,4
  • 1944 - 1945: Home Fleet.1
  • 1945: Patrolled off Norway.1

HMS Northumberland

  • Cancelled.3

HMS Surrey

  • Cancelled.3

Usage

Bismarck

Both the Dorsetshire and Norfolk took part in the hunt and final destruction of the Bismarck.4 The Norfolk fired 527 8" shells and eight torpedoes.4 The Dorsetshire fired 254 8" shells and three torepedoes.4 Two of these finally sank the Bismarck.4

Scharnhorst

The Norfolk was hit by two 11" shells from the Scharnhorst.4 One of which passed through the ship.4

Specifications

  Norfolk class, Dorsetshire class2
Crew 6503, 7104, 7841,2
Crew - Flagship  
Displacement 9,925 tons - 9,975 tons4, 9,975 tons1
Displacement - Loaded 13,425 tons1,4
Physical Characteristics  
Length 630'3, 632' 8"1,2, 633' - 635' 5"4
192.83 m1, 192.93 m - 193.67 m4
Length - Between Perpendiculars 590'3, 595'1,2,4
181.35 m1,4
Length - Water Line  
Beam 66'1,2,3,4
20.12 m1,4
Draft / Height 17'3, 20' 11"1,4
6.37 m1,4
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed 32.25 knots2,3, 32.3 knots1,4
Range at 12 knots 12,500 nautical miles1,2
Armament 8" twin turrets: 43
8" L/50 Mk VIII twin turrets: 44
8" BL Mk VIII twin turrets: 41
8" L/50 BL Mk VIII twin turrets: 42
Anti-Aircraft 4" QF Mk V: 41,2
4" L/45 QF Mk V: 44
4" twin mounts: 43
2 pdr: 41,2
2 pdr 8 barrel: 23, 44
0.5" quad mounts: 23
Saluting 3 pdr: 44
Torpedo Tubes 21": 2 mounts with 4 tubes each1,2,4
Aircraft 11,3
Armor  
Belt - Main 1"1,2,4
Bulkheads 1"2
Control Tower 3"3
Deck 1.5" - 4"3
Deck - Lower 1.375"2
Magazine Box 1" - 4"4, 1" - 4.375"1, 3" - 4.3752
Turrets 1"1,2,4, 1.5" - 2"3
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty: 81,2,4
Shafts 41,2,3,4
Turbines Geared3
Parsons geared1,2,4
HP 80,0001,2,3,4
Oil 3,190 tons1,2, 3,210 tons4
  HMS Dorsetshire
Crew  
Displacement 9,975 tons3
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Length - Water Line  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft - April 1944  
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  HMS Norfolk
Crew 8195
Displacement 9,925 tons3,53, 10,900 tons4
Displacement - Loaded 14,600 tons4
Physical Characteristics  
Length 630'5
Length - Between Perpendiculars 590'5
Length - Water Line  
Beam 66'5
Draft / Height 17'5, 22' 8"4
6.91 m4
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed 32.25 knots5
Range  
Armament 8" L/50: 65
Anti-Aircraft 4": 85
2 pdr pompoms: 125
Torpedo Tubes 21": 2 mounts with 4 tubes each5
Aircraft  
Armor  
Control Tower 3"5
Deck 4"5
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty: 85
Shafts 45
Turbines Parsons geared5
HP 80,0005
Oil 3,200 tons5

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