Dido class cruisers

United Kingdom (1939-42)

HMS Dido, Bonaventure, Naiad, Phoebe, Cleopatra, Charybdis, Euryalus, Hermione, Scylla, Sirius, Argonaut

The British AA cruisers

The “Dido” class is a failed attempt to reconcile anti-aircraft and anti-ship capabilities to respond to destroyers. In some ways, they can be compared to “super-destroyers” and they follow the same approach as the Atlanta Americans. This mixed capability was based entirely on the new secondary casings developed for the King George V class battleships, twin 133 mm mountings. Relatively light, these could be divided into a triple tiering in the front. However, in use these guns proved too slow to fight effectively against aviation, and too light to deal with enemy ships. 11 ships will be started in 1937-39, launched in 1939-41 and completed in 1940 (Dido, Bonaventure, Naiad, Phoebe), 1941 (Cleopatra, Charybdis, Euryalus, Hermione) and 1942 (Scylla, Sirius, Argonaut). Their armament was so inefficient that it was decided to modify the Scylla and Charybdis still under construction by giving them four 114 mm double hulls.


Note: This is a pleceholder pending the release of a fully fledged article


These units were used extensively despite their defects, and 4 castings: The Charybdis was sunk in 1943 by the German torpedo boats T27 and T23, the Bonaventure by the submarine Italian Ambra on March 31, 1941, the Hermione and the Naiad by the U-Bootes U-205 and U-565 in 1942. Virtually all others suffered damage from torpedoing but survived. In June 1944, the Scylla jumped on a mine, was rescued, towed, but never completely repaired. Their DCA was increased in 1944-45 by 20 and 40 mm pieces in single carriages, and they were removed from service in the 1950s.

HMS Sirius in 1941
The HMS Sirius in 1941, with its standard Atlantic camouflage

Dido class specifications

Dimensions156 m long, 15,40 m large, 5,11 m de tirant d’eau
Displacement5,600 t. standard, 6,850 t. Pleine Charge
Crew530
Propulsion4 shaft Parsons turbines, 4 Admiralty boilers, 62,000 hp.
Speed32.5 knots, Range 10,000 nautical at 14 knots.
Armament10 x 133 (5×2), 8 x 102 mm (4×2), 8 x 40 mm AA Bofors (2×4), 6 x 533 mm TTs (2×3).
ArmorBelt 75 mm, turrets 60 mm, ammunition magazines and citadel 75 mm.

Links/sources

Conway’s all the world’s fighting ships 1922-47
http://gb-navy-ww2.narod.ru/HTM-CLAA-dido.html

Leander class cruisers (1931)
Bellona class cruisers

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