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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY - UNITED KINGDOM

CRUISERS

CERES light cruisers (1917-1918)

Cardiff 1939

Coventry 1940

Curacoa 1941

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Ceres 66, 36, 58, D59 459 John Brown, Clydebank 11/7/1916 24/3/1917 6/1917 sold for BU 4/1946
Cardiff (ex-Caprice) 29, 39, D58 526 Fairfield, Govan 22/7/1916 12/4/1917 7/1917 sold for BU 1/1946
Curacoa A7, 62, D41 257 Pembroke DYd 7/1916 5/5/1917 2/1918 collision 2/10/1942
Curlew 80, 3C, 48, D42 497 Vickers, Barrow 21/8/1916 5/7/1917 12/1917 sunk 26/5/1940
Coventry (ex-Corsair) 4C, 61, D43 1035 Swan Hunter, Wallsend 4/8/1916 6/7/1917 2/1918 sunk 14/9/1942

 

Displacement normal, t

4190

Displacement full, t

5020

Length, m

137.2

Breadth, m

13.3

Draught, m

4.50

No of shafts

2

Machinery

Brown-Curtis geared steam turbines, 6 Yarrow boilers

Curlew: Parsons geared steam turbines, 6 Yarrow boilers

Power, h. p.

40000

Max speed, kts

29

Fuel, t

oil 935

Endurance, nm(kts) 5900(10)
Armour, mm

belt: 76 - 38, deck: 25, CT: 76 (not all), gun shields: 25

Armament

5 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk XII, 2 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I, 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II, 4 x 2 - 533 TT

Complement

460

Ship project history: When a new class of light cruisers was ordered in March-April 1916 the opportunity was taken to make a radical improvement to the Centaur / Caledon design. While no attempt was made to increase armament, by giving the hull 0.2m more beam and rearranging the guns it proved possible to increase fighting power. The tripod and bridgework were moved aft, allowing the second 152mm gun to be moved from its restricted position to 'B' position, superimposed over 'A' gun. It has been made not so much for strengthening of fwd salvo, how many to remove a bridge and rangefinders from a stem, having lowered their deck wetness (all ships of Arethusa class and "early C" strongly suffered from splashing of a fore end). Because of the increased upper weight the hull beam has been slightly increased. Despite the undertaken re-planning, they have appeared only hardly less wet than their predecessors.

"C" type cruisers were created for service in the North Sea under 1915 year design and become obsolete to the beginning of 1930th, and in 1935 the decision to convert them to AA ships was accepted. Coventry and Curlew in 1935-1936 had all old arms changed to 10 single 102mm and 2 quintuple 40mm pompoms. To keep a stability it was necessary to load nearby 100t of ballast. Update has appeared successful, and during the period 1936-1940 it was planed rearm similarly remained 11 "C" type ships. However the program has been put aside. Only in the middle of 1939 works on Curacoa were begun. It was planed that other ships of class will follow them but the war was compelled to be limited to end of works on this ship which has become operational in 1940.

Ship protection: Armoured belt protected ship at full length, its thickness was 76mm abreast machinery spaces (51mm armour on 25mm plating), 51mm (38mm armour on 13mm plating) aft and 38mm (25mm armour on 13mm plating) fore. Belt was closed by aft 25mm bulkhead near stern. It extended to main deck (and to upper deck abreast machinery). Machinery and steering gear were covered by 25mm deck.

Modernizations: mid-1918, Coventry: turning flying-off platform for one Pup fighter was fitted amidships.

1919, all: CT was replaced by lighter one with thinner armour.

(1935 - 1936, Portsmouth DYd), Coventry: Full new armament consisted of 10 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, full displacement was 5468t

(1935 - 1936, Chatham DYd), Curlew: Full new armament consisted of 10 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 1 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, full displacement was 5355t

1938 - 1939, Coventry: - 1 x 8 - 40/39; + 2 x 4 - 12.7/62

1938 - 1939, Curlew: + 2 x 4 - 12.7/62

1939 - 1940, Curlew, Coventry: - 2 x 1 - 102/45

(7/1939 - 4/1940, Chatham DYd), Curacoa: Full new armament consisted of 4 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI, 1 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 2 x 4 - 12.7/62, type 279 radar

12/1940, Curacoa: + 1 x 20 - 178 UP AA rockets projector

91941, Curacoa: - 1 x 20 - 178 UP; + 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, type 282, 285 radars

4/1942, Cardiff: + 6 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 290 radar

5/1942, Coventry: + 5 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

mid-1942, Ceres: + 6 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

9/1942, Curacoa: + 5 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, type 273 radar, full displacement was 5403t, including 200t of solid ballast.

1943, Cardiff: + type 273 radar

late 1943, Ceres: - 2 x 1 - 40/39; + type 273, 290 radars

5/1944, Ceres: - 2 x 1 - 76/45; + 8 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

1/1946, Ceres: 5 x 1 - 152/45 P Mk XIII, 14 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, 4 x 2 - 533 TT

1/1946, Cardiff: 5 x 1 - 152/45 P Mk XIII, 2 x 1 - 76/45 Mk II, 2 x 1 - 40/39 HA Mk II, 6 x 1 - 20/70 Mk III, 4 x 2 - 533 TT

Naval service: Ceres was damaged in collision with USN destroyer Fox in Bosphorus in April 1923. Curlew was sunk by German He 111 bombers (bombs near-misses) off Norwegian coast 26/5/1940. Coventry was damaged by torpedo explosion in March 1923 at Malta. She was sunk by German Ju 87 and Ju 88 bombers 14/9/1942 near Egyptian coast. Curacoa was mined in Baltic in May 1919 (steering gear was damaged, ship was towed to home base and repaired till late 1919). She was damaged by German bombs 24/4/1940 and repaired till December, 1940 and sunk 2/10/1942 being rammed by s/s Queen Mary (she was cut apart) in Atlantic.

Cardiff 1928

Curlew 1938

 

Ivan Gogin, 2008-15