Thursday, 18 May 2017

British heavy cruiser HMS Effingham (D98) 1917-1940


Building ordered in December 1915, laid down by Portsmouth Dockyard, England on 6 April 1917, launched on 8 June 1921, commissioned on 2 July 1925, modernized between 1937-1938 including rearmament, replacing the 2 funnels by one and rebuilding the bridge, wrecked off Bodø, Norway 18 May 1940 and destroyed by a torpedo by the HMS Matabele.

Part of the Hawkins-class heavy cruisers consisting of the Effingham, Frobisher, Raleigh, Vindictive and Hawkins, succeeded by the County-class. Although it were heavy cruisers was the Hawkins-class in fact an modernized and enlarged Town-class subclass Birmingham light cruiser, In 1915 it became clear that light cruisers were not capable for a sufficient protected of the merchant shipping in distant areas. The heavy cruiser was a combination of a high speed, long range and heavy guns. Originally to be armed with an armament of 23,3cm/9.2” and 15,2cm/6” guns was decided regarded the experience in the First World War to choose for 19,1cm/7.5” guns. The Hawkins-class cruisers were in fact the prototype of what became the Washington 10.000 tons cruiser.

Displacement 9,750 (standard)-12.190 (full load) tons and as dimensions 565 (between perpendiculars)-605 (over all) x 58-65 (across bulges) x 17.25-20.5 feet. Crew numbered 690 (at peace)-800 (at war) men. Machinery consisted of Parsons geared steam turbines and 10 Yarrow-type oil fuelled water tube boilers supplying 70.000 shp allowing a speed of 30 knots. With a speed of 14 knots was the range 5.400 nautical miles. Oil bunker capacity 2.186 tons. The designed armament consisted of 7x1-7,5” Mark VI guns, 8x1-12pd quick firing Mk II 12cwt guns, 4x1-3” quick firing Mk I 20cwt guns and 6-21” torpedo tubes (2 submerged, 4 fixed surfaced). Armament when completed 7x1-7,5” Mark VI guns, 3x1-4”MkV guns, 4x1-3” quick firing Mk II guns, 2x1-2p Mk II quick firing guns and 6-21” torpedo tubes (2 submerged, 4 fixed surfaced). Armament after modernisation 1937-1938 9x1-6” Mk XII guns, 4x2-4” Mk XVI quick firing guns and 2x1-2pd Mk II quick firing guns. Fitted out with a crane for handling planes although she never was fitted out with a catapult or carried a plane. Armour consisted of a 3,8cm/1.5”- 6,4cm/2.5” (fore)-7,6cm/3” (amidships)-3,83cm/1.5”-5,7cm/2.25” (aft thick main belt, a 3,8cm/1.5” (fore)-5,1cm/2” (amidships) thick upper belt, a main deck with a thickness of 2,5cm/1”-3,8cm1.5” above the engines and 2,5cm/1” above the steering gear with the main guns protected by shields with a thickness of 2,5cm/1” (crown+sides)-5,1cm/2” (face).