Thursday, 18 May 2017

British heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (D86) 1916-1947


Laid down at the Chatham Dockyard, England on 3 June 1916, launched on 1 October 1917, commissioned on 25 July 1919, decommissioned for refit and recommissioned in December 1929, decommissioned in May 1930, recommissioned in 1932, laid up in reserve in April 1935, main guns and torpedo tubes removed in 1937, rearmed and recommissioned in 1939, used after January 1947 for aircraft bomb tests, sold to be broken up on 21 August 1947 and broken up at Arnott Young, Dalmuir, Scotland in December 1947.

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 721-750 (serving as flagship) men. Machinery consisted of Parsons geared steam turbines and 10 Yarrow-type oil fuelled and 2 coal fuelled water tube boilers (replaced in 1929 by 10 oil-fuelled) supplying 60.000 shp allowing a speed of 30 knots. With a speed of 14 knots was the range 5.400 nautical miles. The designed armament consisted of 7x1-7,5” Mark VI guns, 8x1-12pd quick firing Mk II 12cwt guns, 4x1-12pd Mk I quick firing 20 cwt guns and 6-21” torpedo tubes (2 submerged, 4 fixed surfaced). Armament when completed 7x1-7,5” Mark VI guns, 8x1-12pd Mk I quick firing 20 cwt guns, 2x1-2pd quick firing Mk II guns and 6-21” torpedo tubes (2 submerged, 4 fixed surfaced). 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).