Sunday, 21 May 2017

British light cruiser HMS Dragon 1917-1943 and Polish ORP Dragon 1943-1944



Building ordered under the War Emergency Program in September 1916, laid down by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Greenock, Scotland on 24 January 1917, launched on 29 December 1917, completed on 16 August 1918, handed over to the Polish navy on 15 January 1943, damaged while attacked by a so-called German Neger manned torpedo off Caen, France on 8 July 1944, stricken as useless and used as breakwater off the Normandy beaches, France on 20 July 1944. When completed was she fitted out with a hangar to store a floatplane.

Part of the Danae-class light cruisers consisting of the completed Danae, Dragon, Dauntless, Delhi, Dunedin, Durban, Despatch and Diomede and the cancelled Daedalus, Daring, Desperate and Dryad, preceded by the C-class and succeeded by the Emerald-class. An improved C-class design including lengthening of the hull to make it possible to add an extra 15,2cm/6”gun situated between the bridge and the forefunnel.

General technical class specifications
Displacement 4.850 (standard)-5.925 (full load) tons and as dimensions 135,6 (between perpendiculars)-144,0 (over all) x 14,2 x 4,4 metres. The machinery consisted of 6 Yarrow water tube boilers and Parsons geared steam turbines to supply 40.000 shp and with the 2 shafts allowing a speed of 27 (full load)-29 knots. Range 2.300 nautical miles. Crew numbered 462 men. Original armament consisted of 6x1-15,2cm/6” L/45 Mark XII guns, 2-7,62cm/3” Mk II anti aircraft guns, 2-4cm/2pd quick firing pom-pom anti aircraft guns and 4x3-53,3cm/21” torpedo tubes. In 1930 6-15,2cm/6” Mk XII guns, 3-10,2cm/4” Mk V quick firing anti aircraft guns, 2-4cm/2pd pom-pom anti aircraft guns and 4x3-53,3cm/21” torpedo tubes. In 1942 6-15,2cm/6” Mk XII guns, 2-10,2cm/4” Mk V quick firing anti aircraft guns, 6-4cm/2pd pom-pom anti aircraft guns and 4x3-53,3cm/21” torpedo tubes. In 1943 5-15,2cm/6” Mk XII guns, 1-10,2cm/4” Mk V quick firing anti aircraft guns, 8-4cm/2pd pom-pom anti aircraft guns,3x4-2pd Mk VIII guns, 12-2cm Oerlikon anti aircraft guns and depth charge launcher. The armour consisted of a 3,8cm/1.5”-5,7cm/2.25” (forward)-7,6cm/3” (amidships)-5,1cm/2”-5,7cm/2.25” (aft) thick main belt, a 2,5cm/1” thick upper deck above the machinery, the steering gear was above protected by the 1” thick main deck and the guns by 1” thick gunshields