HMS Swiftsure, HMCS Ontario
The last British wartime cruisers
Penultimate cruisers derived from the “Town” of 1936, following the “Colony”, the Swiftsure were closely derived from it. They were a direct continuation with a rear turret sacrificed to make way for AA gun. Protection was further improved at the waterline. The hull on the other hand, was the same as on previous ships, reinforced for stability. Quickly, the space dedicated to the seaplanes was eliminated, and the superstructure was lightened, the open space used to accommodate lifeboats, and the released deck space gaining additional AA mounts. There were only two ships delivered, the Minotaur and the Swiftsure, but shortly before her completion the first one was renamed HCMS Ontario and serve in the Royal Canadian Navy for half of the cold war. They were in service in June-July 1944 (Swiftsure) and May 1945 (Ontario). The former was operational to hunt the last few U-Bootes of the Atlantic. She was modernized and placed in reserve in 1971.
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A second series of ships directly derived from the Swiftsure was started in 1941-43: Bellorophon (canceled), Blake, Defense, Hawke (canceled later), Superb and Tiger. The Superb was the only one completed during the year 1945 (November 16), too late to participate, while the others were completely redesigned and finally put into service in 1959-61. The HMS Blake also became a helicopter cruiser and remained in service until the 80s. They will be the last cruisers of Great Britain.
HMS Swiftsure in 1944
HMS Swiftsure 1944 specifications
|Dimensions||169,3 m long, 19,20 m large, 6,30 m|
|Displacement||8 800 t. standard -11 130 t. FL|
|Propulsion||4 shafts Parsons turbines, 4 Admiralty boilers, 72 500 shp.|
|Speed||31.5 knots, Range 10,000 nautical at 14 knots.|
|Armament||9 x 152 (3×3), 10 x 102 (5×2), 16 x 40 AA Bofors (4×4), 6 x 533 mm TTs (2×3).|
Conway’s all the world’s fighting ships 1922-47