home

fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY - UNITED KINGDOM

CRUISERS

ARETHUSA light cruisers (1935 - 1937)

Penelope 1940

Arethusa 1941

Arethusa 1942

Arethusa 1942

       Penelope 1942

Arethusa 1945

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Arethusa 26   Chatham DYd 25/1/1933 6/3/1934 23/5/1935 sold for BU 1949
Aurora 12 - C12   Portsmouth DYd 23/7/1935 20/8/1936 12/11/1937 to China 5/1948 (Chung King)
Galatea 71 559 Scotts, Greenock 2/6/1933 9/8/1934 14/8/1935 sunk 14/12/1941
Penelope 97 940 Harland & Wolff, Belfast 30/5/1934 15/10/1935 13/11/1936 sunk 18/2/1944
  

Displacement standard, t

5220 - 5270

Displacement full, t

6665 - 6715 (later 7180 - 7400)

Length, m

146.3 pp 154.2 oa

Breadth, m

15.5

Draught, m

5.03 deep load (later 5.36 - 5.51)

No of shafts

4

Machinery

Parsons geared steam turbines, 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Power, h. p.

64000

Max speed, kn

32.3

Fuel, t

oil 1250 - 1325 (later 1115 - 1150)

Armour, mm

box protection to magazines: 76 - 25, belt: 57, bulkheads: 25, barbettes: 19, turrets: 25, deck: 25

Armament

Arethusa, Galatea: 3 x 2 - 152/50 BL Mk XXIII, 4 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 2 x 1 - 47/40 Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 x 4 - 12.7/62, 2 3 - 533 TT, 1 aircraft (Osprey), 1 catapult D-I-L

Penelope:  3 x 2 - 152/50 BL Mk XXIII, 4 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI, 2 x 4 - 12.7/62, 2 3 - 533 TT, 1 aircraft (Osprey), 1 catapult D-I-L

Aurora:  3 x 2 - 152/50 BL Mk XXIII, 4 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI, 2 x 1 - 47/40 Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 x 4 - 12.7/62, 2 3 - 533 TT

Complement

500

Ship project history: The moderated variant of Leander, but with machinery arranged en echelon (as Phaeton class), three main turrets and slightly more thin armour. They were smaller in comparison with the predecessor, Leander were too large for service with squadrons. To more rational disposing by limited of the London conference 91 000t displacement it has been decided to built instead of the next ships of Leander class some cruisers of the smaller size. The tonnage spared thus was supposed to expend for last two ships (future Southampton class), from among resolved to building during the period till 1936.

Already during building antiaircraft armament have decided to strengthen having changed single 102mm guns on twins, but as their production just begun first two ships have become operational with single 102mm, twin mounts have appeared already on Penelope and Aurora. Latter was completed as a flag ship for destroyers of Home Fleet and had no catapult, on its place the superstructure for a headquarters placed.

Protection: Armoured belt protected machinery spaces (57mm armour on 13mm plating) and extended to upper deck abreast boiler rooms and fore engine room and to main deck abreast aft engine room. Machinery and steering gear also were protected by 25mm armoured deck. Magazines were covered by 76mm longitudinal and 76mm transverse bulkheads and 51mm crowns.

Modernizations: 1939, Galatea: - 4 x 1 - 102/45; + 4 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI

1939, all but Penelope: - 4 x 1 - 47/40

6/1940, Aurora: + 2 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 1 x 20 - 178 UP AA rockets projector

1/1941, Galatea: - 1 catapult with seaplane; + 2 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 8 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 279 radar

4/1941, Arethusa: - 1 catapult with seaplane; + 2 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII

4/1941, Aurora: + type 284, 290 radars

7/1941, Arethusa: + 4 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 2 x 20 - 178 UP AA rockets projectors, type 286 radar

7/1941, Penelope: - 1 catapult with seaplane; + 2 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, type 281, 284, 285 radars

8/1941, Aurora: - 2 x 4 - 12.7/62, 1 x 20 - 178 UP; + 6 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

1/1942, Penelope: + 4 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

3/1942, Arethusa: - 4 x 1 - 102/45, 2 x 4 - 12.7/62, 2 x 20 - 178 UP, type 286 radar; + 4 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI, 4 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273, 281, 282, 284, 285 radars

6/1942, Aurora: - type 290 radar; + 3 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273, 281, 285 radars

9/1942, Penelope: - 2 x 4 - 12.7/62; + 4 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273 radar

10/1942, Arethusa: + 3 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

12/1943, Arethusa: - 2 x 4 - 40/39, 3 x 1 - 20/70, type 273 radar; + 2 x 4 - 40/56 Bofors Mk 1/2, 4 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 272, 283 radars

4/1944, Aurora: - 4 x 1 - 20/70 ; + 2 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

10/1945, Aurora: - 3 x 1 - 20/70; + 1 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

1/1946, Arethusa: 3 x 2 - 152/50 Mk XXI, 4 x 2 - 102/45 Mk XIX, 2 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 4 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 8 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, 2 3 - 533 TT

1/1946, Aurora: 3 x 2 - 152/50 Mk XXI, 4 x 2 - 102/45 Mk XIX, 2 x 4 - 40/39 Mk VII, 3 x 2 - 20/70 Mk V, 2 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, 2 3 - 533 TT

Naval service: Galatea was sunk by three torpedoes from German submarine U557 near Alexandria and sunk for 3 minutes. Penelope was damaged by German aircraft (bomb) 10/4/1940 and repaired 2 months.  She was again damaged by German bombs in the beginning of April, 1941 and repaired till the end of a year. She was sunk by two torpedoes from German submarine U410 off Anzio 18/2/1944. Arethusa was damaged by German aircraft (bomb) 27/11/1941 and repaired 3 months.  She was again damaged by an aircraft torpedo 18/11/1942 and has failed more than for a year. Next time Arethusa was damaged by German bombs 24 and 25/6/1944 and repaired 6 months. Aurora was damaged by close explosion of a mine 19/12/1941 and repaired till July, 1942. She was damaged by hit of 500kg bomb 20/10/1943 and has failed for 5 months.

Penelope 1936

Ivan Gogin, 2008-15