County class cruisers (1924-29)

United Kingdom (1926-1929) - 13 heavy cruisers

The staple of Interwar British cruiser Force

With their three funnels, large and tall hull these cruisers were difficult to miss in the Royal Navy, or in any recoignition book of the time. By their numbers and features there are featured prominently in the annals of warfare, and served with distinction in many key events of the second world war. They were much more powerful than the following York and Exeter (one more turret), and were the last British Washington treaty cruisers, not in terms of displacement but of artillery, with the classic "double eight" (eight 8-inches guns) arrangement in four turrets.

When the admiralty went back to 10,000 tons cruisers of the "Town" class from 1936, the fad then was to display more guns of smaller caliber (6 inches) instead. There was in effect a projected 16-18,000 tonnes standard design in 1939 calling for three triple turrets with 8-in guns like American cruisers, but it never materialized. So in essence the County were the first and last of their kind in the Royal Navy, and for this and their large production deserve a special place in history books.

The Kent class general appareance in 1926

Three innovative series

These ships were characterized by a serie of improvements over the previous Hawkins class, still mixing old style shielded single mounts and a single twin turret. The Washington treaty had a tremendous impact on this new design, as the four heavy caliber twin turrets naturally dictated a larger displacement and increased dimensions. The need for versatile cruisers tailor-made for colonial stations, trade protection and escort, and hunting enemy vessels.
HMAS Australia of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), in 1942. In 1944 he will be attacked by Kamikaze and will be hit by six aircrafts.

The county class, named after traditional regional aeras of Great Britain ("counties"), was the largest and most used "standard" heavy cruiser class of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. They respected the limits of the Washington treaty, being just under 10,000 tons, with in standard 8 pieces of 8 inches (203 mm) disposed in four double turrets. Designed to operate in remote stations or when the presence of a battleship was superfluous, they had great autonomy and their large hull solidly built and well protected that made them very roomy and almost comfortable ships, they also had "tropical" comfort equipment like air conditioning.

Their crews appreciated them particularly. A total of fifteen ships were produced, in three subclasses (Kent, London, Norfolk) carrying significant improvements, while maintaining their silhouette "three pipers" with a long continuous hull. They were officially classified "A" ("treaty cruisers") remaining the only ones, the following lightened B (due to the 1929 crisis) or York class having one less turret.

HMS Kent rear turret, with the crew playing hockey in the interwar

Of course, these ships were modernized in the 1930s, receiving radars, sonars, more modern telemetry equipment and a more consistent AA, around the lend-lease 40 mm bofors octuple mounts and 20 mm Oerlikon single mounts, not counting multiple additions during the war. This modernization consisting in an increase of the weight, and to remain within the limits of the treaty, a good part of the back of the hull on the Cumberland and Suffolk of the Kent class (see illustration above) was retired and a large hangar was added for Walrus seaplanes.

The other units of the class (Berwick, Cornwall, Kent) were not modified in the same way, but in the end the limits were exceeded, probably over 10,600 tons or more, which the admiralty did not bother to communicate. They were not handy ships however, the usual tactical diameter being well above 1070 yards.

4-in guns of HMS Dorsetshire firing

London class

The London class also included the Devonshire, Sussex and Shropshire was amputated its side ballasts to save weight at the expense of the ASW protection, compensated by the installation of a second internal belt partition... Their hull was slightly elongated, the saving a quarter of a knot. Their command superstructure was moved further back and their funnels lengthened. In 1932 catapults were installed for two aircraft. They also gained 102 mm twin mounts instead of their original single ones, plus four Bofors quadruple mounts, and twin 12.7 mm quadruple mounts.

Between 1938 and 1941, the London was the only one of the class to be completely rebuilt and modernized. But between 1935 and 1939 reconstruction for all ships included the extension of the cemented armour belt, below the lower deck. TTs were often removed also to save weight. Single 2-pdr Pompom were replaced by quadruple ones and for some ships, octuple ones in 1942; Cornwall and Kent. From june 1942 catapults were generally removed as radar was widespread. HMS Australia, reconstructed after a Kamikaze attack saw her X turret removed and 10 twin and 8 single 40mm pompom added.

A tandem quad Vickers .5 (13 mm) heavy machine gun, a common AA systems in the British Navy, less efficient than the Bofors "pom-pom" though.

One of their essential characteristics was ammunition space fairly well protected by 4in cemented armour on the most vulnerable areas and 3in-1in on the above platform deck. There was 1.2 in over the machinery spaces and lower deck protection for the steering gear (30-40 mm). Innovation was also in the use of 70° elevation mounts for the 8-in guns, with charges and shells automatically loaded and rammed in one swoop. The HMS Australia and Camberra, the last of this first London class, had oxygen-enriched Mk.VII torpedoes. The London class and the following only had normal Mk.V models. Standard armament comprised eight BL 8-inch (203 mm L/50) Mk.VIII in twin mounts Mk.I, abour four to eight QF 4-inch (102 mm L/45) Mk.V in single mounts HA Mk.III, four QF 2 pdr (40 mm L/39) Mk.II in single mounts HA Mk.I, eight QF 0.5-inch (12.7 mm L/50) Mk.III in quad mounts Mk.Iand two quadruple banks of 21 inch (533 mm) torpedoes. Propulsion was assured by Eight Admiralty 3-drum boilers feeding four shaft Parsons geared turbines which together developed 80,000 shp (60 MN) for a top speed of 32 knots (59.3 km/h) and a range of abour 9000+ nautical miles at 12kts.

After being equipped with a catapult, the ships carried one Supermarine Walrus. Some were reconstructed to carry three. However these were discarded during the war when radars were added, and later electronic fire control systems and AA radars. Probably the most compelling reconstruction was performed on the HMS London, which emerged with a brand new massive superstructure, which caused however great stresses on the hull which had to be strengthened later. So it was by chance in some ways, that because of other priorities, this reconstruction was not applied to other ships of the class.

Details of the Walrus seaplane and catapult on board HMAS Australia.

Norfolk class

The Norfolk class which also included HMS Dorsetshire were the last in the series. Their superstructure was lowered and lightened, but their new turrets and 203 mm hulls were heavier in the end. Their DCA was increased considerably and they were the first to be equipped with a type 283 radar. Losses during the war included Cornwall and Dorsetshire (sunk by the Japanese air force off Ceylon on April 5, 1942 at the same time). None was lost in the Atlantic or the Mediterranean. They were scrapped in 1948-1955.

Losses and damage in action:

HMS Cornwall was sunk in 12 minutes by nine bombs and six near-misses and all boilers and engines rooms were flooded and out of action quickly. HMS Suffolk was hit by a 1100 Ib bomb, and had to be beached at Scapa flow aftr steaming for 22 hours at 15 knots, the engines partially flooded and was in repairs for 10 month. HMS Kent was torpedoed by an Italian aircraft and repairs took one year.

Australia was hit by six kamikazes but survived; Camberra was sunk during the Savo Island battle, receiving more than twenty 8-in and lighter rounds before being completely disabled. HMS Cumberland was hit by a 9.4 in shell at Dakar, and her main machinery was put out of action. HMS Berwick engaged KMS Hipper and her belt deflected one 8-in shell, and previously one of her turret was blown off when duelling with Italian cruisers.

HMAS Camberra firing

Career of the County class ships:

HMS Berwick

She joined the Mediterranean squadron in 1936, underwent reconstruction between 1937 and 1938, Then she joined the America and West Indies Station, 8th Cruiser Squadron based in Bermuda, until the war broke out. She served on ocean convoy escort duties, then was part of Force "F" (with HMS York) hunting German raiders and intercepted the mercantile blockade runners Wolfsburg and Uruguay in March 1940.

9 April 1940: Norwegian Campaign, 10 May 1940: Invasion of Iceland. Then Force "H" at Gibraltar (November 1940). Operation Collar, duelled with Italian heavy cruiser Pola or Fiume. December 1940: She engaged KMS Admiral Hipper off the Canaries as convoy escort to the Middle East. She scored no hits on Admiral Hipper, but sustained a fair amount of damage but saved the convoy. Repairs lasted until June 1941. Then, this was the Home Fleet for the remainder of the war, escorting convoys to North Russia and escorted carriers raiding the Norwegian coast in 1945. She was sold and scrapped in 1949.

HMS Berwick in 1944
HMS Berwick in 1944

HMS Cornwall

She was built at Devonport Dockyard, launched on 11 March 1926, completed on 6 December 1927. She was first assigned to the 5th Cruiser Squadron, China Station. In 1930 she received a High-Angle Control System for her anti-aircraft guns, and a catapult. From July 1936, she underwent a major refit: 4.5-inch (114 mm) Krupp cemented armour belt, 4-in armour on the sides of the boiler room fan compartments, hangar for aircraft and new catapult, director moved to the roof of the hangar, new director-control tower, twin-gun mounts for Mark XVI guns, two octuple 2-pounder mounts for 107 long tons (109 t) more in displacement.

She joined afterwards the 5th CS in 1939 and in October 1939 was assigned to Force I, hunting German commerce raiders in the Indian Ocean. She was transferred to the South Atlantic and later was sent to capture Dakar from the Vichy French. She failed to intercept the cruiser Primauguet. She returned to the Indian Ocean, sank the German commerce raider Pinguin on 8 May 1941.

HMS Cornwall in 1929

After the start of the Pacific War she escorted convoys across the Indian Ocean, then was part of fast Force A and on 5 April, she was off Addu Atoll and her planes spotted the Japanese cruiser Tone south-west of Ceylon. What followed was the battle of Easter Sunday Raid. She was struck by Aichi D3A dive bombers and sank, while only part of her crew was later rescued.

HMS Cumberland

The HMS Cumberland joined the China Station, 5th Cruiser and later was refitted in UK from March 1935. In 1938, she joined the 2nd cruiser squadron (South American station) and in at the start of the Second World War she returned to South America and joined Force G, 2nd Cruiser Squadron. However when the battle of the Rio de la Plata started whe was being refitted in the Falklands.

She arrived when Admiral Graf Spee was already into neutral Montevideo, trapped and later scuttled. She later joined South Africa, Simonstown and escorted convoys along the African coast to the Middle East. She searched for the German commerce raider Thor but intercepted and sank the Vichy French merchant Poitiers, loaded with ammunition for Dakar. She was later damaged there by a French coastal battery.

HMS Cumberland
HMS Cumberland

In October 1941 she joined the 1st Cruiser Squadron escorting Arctic convoys until January 1944 (battle honour Arctic 1942-1943). She then sailed for the Far East as part of 4th Cruiser Squadron Eastern Fleet. She covered raids on Northern Sumatra, and won the battle honours Sabang 1944 and Burma 1945.

After the war she transported troops until June 1946, then in reserve until 1949 but refitted at Devonport and emerged in 1951 as a gunnery trials ship with two 8-inch turrets, but was fitted a prototype dual 6-inch automatic turret in 'B' position, and prototype automatic dual 3-inch turret in 'X' position. She also played in the 1956 film The Battle of the River Plate and afterwards was fitted with trial anti-A-bomb and anti-H-bomb defences and was finally decommissioned in 1958 and sold.

HMS Suffolk

She served on the China Statio, and was reconstructed until 1939 and from then on patrolled the Denmark Strait. In April 1940 she participated in the Norwegian Campaign and covered the Faroe Islands. landings, sinking the German tanker Skagerrak off Bodø. Together with four destroyers she shelled later the airfield at Sola but was damaged by German bombers. She was back to Scapa Flow for repairs which latest until February 1941 at the Clyde.

HMS Suffolk on the Tyne, 1944

In May 1941 HMS Suffolk took part in the Battle of the Denmark Strait (battleship Bismarck), engaging the battleship twice and tracked her using her radar through the Denmark Strait and maintained contact, allowing other units to rally. She shadowed the Bismarck after the battle with Hood and PoW, but was forced to join Iceland, low on oil.

HMS Suffolk in May 1941, at the time of the hunt for the Bismarck

She later joined the 4th Cruiser Squadron and served with the Home Fleet in Arctic waters until the end of 1942. Her "X" turret was removed in a new refit, and she receive additional AAA, then sailed for the Eastern Fleet, in the Indian Ocean, patrolling there until the end of the war. She was placed in reserve until 1948, was sold off, and scrapped.

HMS Kent

Like the other "County" cruisers she was at first sent to the China Station but also passed through the standard major refit of 1937–38. She was back in China in 1939. She then took part in the hunt of battleship Admiral Graf Spee in the East Indies in late 1939. She was later reassigned to troop convoy escort duties in the Indian Ocean in early 1940, and transferred to the Mediterranean. There at Alexandria in August 1940 she joined the 3rd Cruiser Squadron (battleships Warspite, Malaya, Ramillies) and shelled Italian positions near Bardia and Fort Capuzzo. She took part in many other operations until late September, in particular around Benghazi.

HMS Kent in 1944
HMS Kent in 1944

However she was later torpedoed by Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 bombers from the 279th Independent Torpedo Squadron, badly hit, towed to port and under repair until late 1941. She was back with the Home Fleet, taking part to convoy missions to Mourmansk. In mid-1944 she covered several carrier's attacks on Norwegian German bases and merchant traffic and against the Tirpitz (Operation Mascot, and then Operation Counterblast). She also intercepted a German convoy and sank two freighters and five escorts. Paid off in early 1945, in reserve and used as a target she was eventually was sold to breakers in 1948.

HMAS Australia

Both Australian cruisers has been started in 1925 at John Brown & Company, Clydebank. The career of this cruiser was quite long and agitated and would deserve her own post. She entered service in 1928 with the RAN. She was deployed first to the Mediterranean from 1934 to 1936, taking part in the British response to the Abyssinia Crisis. She then joined as planned the South-West Pacific waters and remained near Australia until mid-1940.

She sailed to the eastern Atlantic searching for German ships and Operation Menace. The next year she operated in home and Indian Ocean waters, and finally became the flagship for the ANZAC Squadron in early 1942, later renamed Task Force 44, and Task Force 74. She operated with US units covering amphibious landings until the start of 1945.

HMS Australia through the Panama Canal in March 1935
HMS Australia through the Panama Canal in March 1935

Operations and most memorable actions included the battles of the Coral Sea and Savo Island, Guadalcanal and Leyte Gulf, plus the whole New Guinea campaign. She was eventually attacked by a series of kamikaze attacks in the Lingayen Gulf. She was badly hit, survived several impacts but was declined later any repairs in Australian shipyards because of other priorities. Summarily repaired she had to sail to UK and still there at the end of the war.

During the late 1940s, Australia served with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan, and participated in several port visits to other nations, before being retasked as a training ship in 1950. The cruiser was decommissioned in 1954, and sold for scrapping in 1955.

HMAS Australia in 1953
HMAS Australia in 1953

HMAS Camberra

This second RAN cruiser was in service by 1928 and alternated between deployments in Australian waters and the China Station. She patrolled around Australia but was reassigned in June 1940 to escort shipping between Western Australia, Sri Lanka, and South Africa.

By mid-1941, she was involved in hunting German auxiliary cruisers and commerce raiders. She was back in Australian waters when Pearl harbor happened, and quickly reassigned to patrol around New Guinea, only leaving this theater to operate in Malaysian and Javanese waters. The RAN cruiser joined Task Force 44, and soon was plunged into the deadly battles of the Guadalcanal Campaign and Tulagi landings.

HMAS Camberra at King's warf in Australia before the war
HMAS Camberra at King's warf in Australia before the war

On 9 August 1942, she opened fire the Battle of Savo Island, and was badly damaged, evacuated and sunk in the infamous "Ironbottom Sound" by American destroyers. More in detail, in the afternoon of the previous day, a Japanese task force (Vice Admiral Mikawa) of five cruisers and a destroyer was spotted at the south of Savo Island, bound to attack US landing operations at Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

The Allied commander of the combined naval forces, British Rear Admiral Victor Crutchley, which raised hi mark on the HMAS Australia split his forces and led his ships, accompanied with USS Chicago, and two destroyers on the southern waters. But when the evening was falling he was recalled urgently by Admiral Richmond K. Turner at the head of the amphibious landings. During the night, Mikawa's observation seaplanes were heard, and past 01:45, Patterson spotted Mikawa's fleet and alerted the fleet. The Japanese seaplanes soon dropped flares to light Canberra and Chicago. and while the cruiser was able to dodge at first a volley of Japanese torpedoes, gunfire concentrated on her.

HMAS Camberra at Sydney in 1936
HMAS Camberra at Sydney in 1936

Soon the bridge, and the engine rooms were badly damaged and the 8-inch magazines were flooded. She was hit 24 times by heavy caliber, lost power, listed to starboard, in fire from stern to stem, with a fifth of her crew missing or disabled. One torpedo strike was reported, and eventually at 03:30, she received orders by Rear Admiral Turner to be abandoned and sunk. While a destroyer rescuing survivors spotted an approaching ship, a friendly fire erupted with USS Chicago, which had mistaken Canberra for a damaged Japanese vessel. By 06.30 the ship's engines rooms cannot be repaired and towing her was considered too dangerous, so she was scuttled, torpedoed by the destroyer USS Ellet at 08:00 after USS Selfridge hit her 263 times, and fire four torpedoes, and was the first ships sunk in the future "Ironbottom Sound".

Her battles honors comprised the "East Indies 1940–41", "Pacific 1941–42", "Guadalcanal 1942", and "Savo Island 1942". Later in the war, the only United States Navy Baltimore-class cruiser named after a foreign city was designated USS Canberra to pay homage to the Australian ship and her crew.

wow's rendition of HMS Devonshire 1944
wow's rendition of HMS Devonshire 1944

London class

HMS London

In service by 31 January 1929 she served with the 1st Cruiser Squadron until March 1939, flagship of Admiral Max Horton, commanded by Henry Harwood. In 1937 with HMS Sussex she cruised in Italy, visiting Venice and later with HMS Shropshire helped evacuate thousands of civilians from Barcelona (Spanish Civil War).

Just before the war in 1939 she was back at the Chatham Dockyard for a complete reconstruction with a brand new superstructure and new funnels, emerging like a massive Crown Colony-class light cruiser. 4-inch twin gun mounts, 20mm AA guns and radar were also added as well as a 3½-inch cemented armoured belt covering the engine rooms and emerging two years later in March 1941. This particular refit planed for other ships but never carried out.

HMAS London as reconstructed
HMAS London as reconstructed

King Georges V onboard HMS London, meeting the crew

In May, she arrived on time to chase off the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941 but it seemed her new superstructure causing stresses on the hull which cracked and the ship was quickly refitted in a commercial shipyard on the River Tyne from October 1941 until February 1942.

Then until November 1942 she escorted convoys in the North Atlantic, the North Atlantic seas causing more hull cracks, another refit from December 1942 along with the replacement of the radar, and more light AAA the work being completed in May 1943. She then was sent in South African waters and the Eastern Fleet for the remainder of the war. She was scrapped in 1948.

HMS Devonshire

Completed on 18 March 1929, she joined the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet and stayed there until 1939, with a short sortie in 1932–33 tour with the China Station. She suffered a serious accident on 26 July 1929 during gunnery training off Skiathos in the Aegean. While repaired in UK she received a High-Angle Control System and a catapult, plus four more single four-inch AA guns and tow quadruple Vickers .50-calibre (12.7 mm) Mark III machine guns (1937). She also sailed to Marseille, France, with 452 Spanish Republican refugees on board from Menorca in 1939.

HMS Devonshire in her Mediterranean camouflage

She then returned in the Home Fleet and sailed from the Clyde to attempt to find the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. From March 1940 she carried the flag of the future First Sea Lord, Vice-Admiral John H. D. Cunningham and patrolled off Scotland, the Faeroe Islands and Iceland and escorted ships carrying troops in Norway, from Rosyth to Stavanger and Bergen. But soon the Germans invaded, and the cruiser was attacked by German bombers, which missed. This happened again in May when she covered the evacuation of British and French troops from Namsos. She also evacuated King Haakon VII, Crown Prince Olav, and Norwegian government officials including the Prime Minister from Tromsø in June.

After the Norwegian Campaign, she participated in the attack of Vichy France Dakar, in Senegal, together with the Australia. When the Barham was torpedoed, the admiral raised the flag on her. She shelled the harbour, firing 200 without success as the later was covered by concealing smoke. She later evacuated personal and blockaded the coast of Gabon while her seaplane spotted the French submarine Poncelet, which was sunk.

Still in the south Atlantic she searched for the raider Kormoran in January 1941. She was refitted in Liverpool 19 February–22 May and received the new radar and more AAA. Back in action she escorted convoys in the North sea, bound to Petsamo and Norway, then the first convoy to Russia, Operation Dervish. She also later captured a Vichy convoy bound for French Indochina off South Africa and later sank the axuliary German cruiser Atlantis. She sailed to the USA and was refitted in Norfolk, Virginia from 24 January to 7 March 1942, gaining a new radar and a more impressive AAA.

She joined 4th Cruiser Squadron of the Eastern Fleet bound to Vichy-held Madagascar to prevent the Japanese to use the Island (Operation Ironclad). She remained in the Far East until May 1943, escorting convoys between Suez and Australia and back. She then went back home for another refit until 20 March 1944 and until the end of the war escorted convoys and covered operations in Norway.

HMS Sussex

She served in the Mediterranean until 1934 and operated with HMAS Australia until 1939 defending neutral shipping along the eastern Spanish coast in the last days of the Spanish civil war. When the war broke out she was sent to the Atlantic theatre, operating with Force H in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean, searching for the Admiral Graf Spee. With HMS Renown she intercepted the German passenger ship Watussi and later returned to the UK, and served in the Norwegian Campaign.

She was refit at Liverpool in March to May 1940 and joined 1st Cruiser Squadron in Scapa Flow. Later while undergoing work in drydock because of a propulsion defect at Stephen's shipyards, Govan, she was struck by German bombers on 18 September 1940, and needed more extensive repairs until August 1942. She would receive a new radar, fire control and additional Oerlikon 20 mm and Pom Pom eight barrel systems.

HMS Sussex
HMS Sussex

She was back in Scapa flow and was refitted at the Tyne shipyard, and when out in January 1943 she joined 1st Cruiser Squadron and 4th Cruiser Squadron of the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean, intercepting and sank the German tanker Hohenfriedburg while en route but attacked by German submarine U-264, avoiding her four torpedoes. She spent 1944 in the Pacific covering operations in the East Indies after the cessation of hostilities but was attacked in July 1945 by kamikazes, one badly damaging her side. She would later enter Singapore to receive General Seishirō Itagaki's surrender.

HMS Shropshire

The British cruiser spent her early life under British flag but would later be passed on to the RAN, replacing HMAS Australia. She served with 1st Cruiser Squadron of the British Mediterranean Fleet, took part in the British response in the Abyssinia Crisis and Spanish Civil War, supporting the evacuation of refugees from Barcelona. After the war broke out, she was sent to the South Atlantic for escort duties intercepting German merchant Adolf Leonhardt, was refitted in early 1940 in UK and sailed to the Indian Ocean for more escort patrols on the Cape Town-Durban-Mombassa-Aden line.

She also was deployed off Italian Somaliland in 1941 shelling Mogadishu and Kismayu. She was refitted at Simon's Town until June 1941, then again in October 1941 at Chatham until March 1942, then back to South Atlantic and again back in UK. Then she was transferred to the RAN as a gift, announced by the King on 10 September 1943. However she has not renamed Canberra as in between president Roosevelt announced that a new under-construction Baltimore-class cruiser USS Pittsburgh would be renamed USS Canberra.

HMS Shropshire

HMS Shropshire meanwhile underwent another refit at Chatham until 20 June 1943 and she was recommissioned in the RAN from 17 April with the new crews arrived well before the end of her refi to train. From August she escorted a convoy to Gibraltar and arrived in Sydney on 2 October. She supported amphibious landings at Arawe and Cape Gloucester, then took part in the Admiralty Islands campaign, covered the landings at Hollandia, patrolled in the Wakde-Sarmi-Biak area, and after another refit in Australia served with distinction in Aitape and Cape Sansapore, Morotai and Leyte Gulf in early October 1944.

As part of Task Force 77, she was involved in the Battle of Surigao Strait, and after that, the Battle of Luzon, attacked by two kamikaze aircraft, both missing (one shot down). She also covered the Corregidor landings and was back in time from Australia in the Philippines for the Japanese surrender. She was also at Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. She transported Australian soldiers home and operated from January until March 1947 in Japanese waters. She was sold on 16 July 1954 to a Dutch shipbreaker.

HMAS Shropshire firing at the battle of Morotai

HMS Norfolk

The British heavy cruiser served prior to the war in the East Indies Station. She was refitted in 1939 and was deployed with the 18th Cruiser Squadron, taking part in the hunt of battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, and later Admiral Scheer. She was repaired for battle damage in Belfast, and was attacked by an air raid by Kampfgeschwader 26 at Scapa Flow on 16 March 1940, repaired once more on the Clyde. By December 1940, she sailed to the South Atlantic, Force K hunted the Admiral Scheer and, and the auxiliary cruiser Kormoran.

HMS Norfolk escorting a Convoy to Mourmansk

In May 1941 she returned to Icelandic waters, and spotted the German battleship Bismarck, to trailing the German battleship and was present to sink her at the end. From September 1941 she escorted ships on the dangerous Arctic Convoys road and engaged the Scharnhorst on 26 December 1943, scoring three hits but receiving several 11-in hits but occupying her enough to be caught and sunk by the battleship Duke of York.

She was repaired and refitted on the Tyne, losing her damaged X-turret in favour of additional AAA but missed the D-day landings. As flagship of Vice Admiral Rhoderick McGrigor she fought in Operation Judgement, an attack on an U-boat base in Norway and the last air-raid of the war in Europe. After the war she was refitted at Malta and served in the East Indies until being retired.

HMAS Shorpshire at Sydney in 1945

HMS Dorsetshire

When the war broke out, the cruiser was on the China Station, but then sailed to South American waters chasing Admiral Graf Spee.

Later on together with the Cornwall and aircraft carrier Eagle sailed to Simonstown in South Africa. From there she sailed from Colombo on 9 December, to Tristan da Cunha and Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) learning about the Graf Spee scuttling in between. Dorsetshire escorted the HMS Exeter back to Britain in January 1940. Back in South American waters her planes spotted the German freighter Wakama off Brazil, scuttled by her crew before she arrived.

However this was a violation of Brazilian waters, quickly called by the press the Wakama incident. After a refit in Simonstown, then in UK, she was sent to search for French battleship Richelieu, which left Dakar for Casablanca. She met the aircraft carrier Hermes off Dakar buy was later attacked by French submarines Le Héros and Le Glorieux but evaded their torpedoes.

HMS Dorsetshire at Sydney

In September, she was back at Durban, then Simonstown, and sailed for Sierra Leone and the Indian Ocean. She shelled Zante in Italian Somaliland, searched for the Admiral Scheer and in late May 1941, she searched for the Bismarck, and remained south of Bismarck's route and later took part in her last battle, opening fire at a range of 20,000 yards (18,000 m) and firing 254 shells from her main battery. In the final moments of the battle, she was ordered to move closer and torpedo Bismarck and fired three torpedoes, two of which on the feared German battleship. She also picked up 110 survivors.

HMS Dorsetshire at Scapa Flow in 1941

In late August 1941, HMS Dorsetshire searched for the Admiral Hipper and later escorted a convoy from Halifax to Basra, Iraq. In December she was diverted to Bombay and hunted the commerce raider Atlantis but intercepte the German U-boat supply ship Python instead. By 1942 under her new commander Augustus Agar, she joined Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean, then Force A (Admiral James Somerville) with the Warspite, Indomitable and Formidable.

On 5 April, while withdrawing to refuel at Colombo the Dorsetshire and her sister ship Cornwall were spotted by Japanese reconnaissance aircraft from the Tone and later attacked by fifty-three Aichi D3A Val dive bombers southwest of Ceylon. The Dorsetshire was hit by bombs and several near misses and sank stern first at 13:50, rapidly and survivors (1000+ for both ships) were rescued by cruiser Enterprise, destroyers Paladin and Panther the next day.

London class specifications, Second County Class

Dimensions193 m, 20m, 6.4m (633 ft x 66 ft x 21 ft)
Displacement9,750 tons standard, 13,315 tons full load
Crew784 officers and enlisted men
Propulsion8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, four shaft Parsons geared turbines 80,000 shp
Speed32 knots (59.3 km/h)
Range9,120 nm at 12kts
Armament8 × BL 8-inch (203 mm L/50), 4–8 4-inch (102 mm L/45), 4 x pdr (40 mm L/39), 8 × QF 0.5-inch (12.7 mm L/50) 8 × 21-in (533 mm) TTs.
ArmorBelt 38-64 mm (1.5-2.5 in), decks & bulkheads 38-51 mm (2 in).

Links/sources (model kit analysis)
Conway's all the world's fighting ships 1922-1947


HMAS Australia in 1942

HMS Norfok, of the last serie (1928)

HMS Suffolk as rebuilt to operate seaplanes, as for 1941

Naval History

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Hellenic Navy 1870 Nautoko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Haiti Koninklije Marine 1870 Koninklije Marine
Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
Buffel class turret rams (1868)
Skorpioen class turret rams (1868)
Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
Adder class Monitors (1870)
A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
A.Paulowna Frigate (1867)
Djambi class corvettes (1860)
Amstel class Gunboats (1860)

Marine Française 1870 Marine Nationale
Screw 3-deckers (1850-58)
Screw 2-deckers (1852-59)
Screw Frigates (1849-59)
Screw Corvettes (1846-59)
Screw Fl. Batteries (1855)
Paddle Frigates
Paddle Corvettes
screw sloops
screw gunboats
Sailing ships of the line
Sailing frigates
Sailing corvettes
Sailing bricks

Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
Arrogante class Flt. Batteries (1864)
Provence class Bd. Ironclads (1864) Embuscade class Flt. Batteries (1865)
Taureau arm. ram (1865)
Belliqueuse Bd. Ironclad (1865)
Alma Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1867)
Ocean class CT Battery ship (1868)
French converted sailing frigates (1860)
Cosmao class cruisers (1861)
Talisman cruisers (1862)
Resolue cruisers (1863)
Venus class cruisers (1864)
Decres cruiser (1866)
Desaix cruiser (1866)
Limier class cruisers (1867)
Linois cruiser (1867)
Chateaurenault cruiser (1868)
Infernet class Cruisers (1869)
Bourayne class Cruisers (1869)
Cruiser Hirondelle (1869)

Curieux class sloops (1860)
Adonis class sloops (1863)
Guichen class sloops (1865)
Sloop Renard (1866)
Bruix class sloops (1867)
Pique class gunboats (1862)
Hache class gunboats (1862)
Arbalete class gunboats (1866)
Etendard class gunboats (1868)
Revolver class gunboats (1869)

Marinha do Brasil 1870 Marinha do Brasil
Barrozo class (1864)
Brasil (1864)
Tamandare (1865)
Lima Barros (1865)
Rio de Janeiro (1865)
Silvado (1866)
Mariz E Barros class (1866)
Carbal class (1866)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1870 Osmanlı Donanması
Osmanieh class Bd.Ironclads (1864) Assari Tewfik (1868) Assari Shevket class Ct. Ironclads (1868)
Lufti Djelil class CDS (1868)
Avni Illah class cas.ironclads (1869)
Fethi Bulend class cas.ironclads (1870)
Barbette ironclad Idjalleh (1870)
Messudieh class Ct.Bat.ships (1874)
Hamidieh Ct.Bat.Ironclads (1885)
Abdul Kadir Batleships (project)

Ertrogul Frigate (1863)
Selimieh (1865)
Rehberi Tewkik (1875)
Mehmet Selim (1876)
Sloops & despatch vessels

Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru
Monitor Atahualpa (1865)
CT. Bat Independencia (1865)
Turret ship Huascar (1865)
Frigate Apurimac (1855)
Corvette America (1865)
Corvette Union (1865)

Regia Marina 1870 Regia Marina 1870 Imperial Japanese navy 1870 Nihhon Kaigun Prussian Navy 1870 Preußische Marine Russian mperial Navy 1870 Russkiy Flot Swedish Navy 1870 Svenska marinen
Norwegian Navy 1870 Søværnet
⚑ 1898 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1898 Armada de Argentina
Parana class Gunboats (1873)
La Plata class Coast Battleships (1875)
Pilcomayo class Gunboats (1875)
Ferre class Gunboats (1880)

Austro-Hungarian Navy 1898 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 Imperial Chinese Navy
Danish Navy 1898 Dansk Marine

Hellenic Navy 1898 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne
Koninklije Marine 1898 Koninklije Marine
Konigin der Netherland (1874)
Draak, monitor (1877)
Matador, monitor (1878)
R. Claeszen, monitor (1891)
Evertsen class CDS (1894)
Atjeh class cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Sumatra (1890)
Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
Banda class Gunboats (1872)
Pontania class Gunboats (1873)
Gunboat Aruba (1873)
Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
Batavia class Gunboats (1877)
Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
Ceram class Gunboats (1887)
Combok class Gunboats (1891)
Borneo Gunboat (1892)
Nias class Gunboats (1895)
Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
Dutch sloops (1864-85)

Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
Richelieu CT Battery ship (1873)
Colbert class CT Battery ships (1875)
Redoutable CT Battery ship (1876)
Courbet class CT Battery ships (1879)
Amiral Duperre barbette ship (1879)
Terrible class barbette ships (1883)
Amiral Baudin class barbette ships (1883)
Barbette ship Hoche (1886)
Marceau class barbette ships (1888)
Cerbere class arm. rams (1870)
Tonnerre class Br. Monitors (1875)
Tempete class Br. Monitors (1876)
Tonnant Barbette ship (1880)
Furieux Barbette ship (1883)
Fusee class Arm. Gunboats (1885)
Acheron class Arm. Gunboats (1885)
Jemmapes class Coast. Def. ships (1892)
Bouvines class Coast. Def. ships (1892)

La Galissonière Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1872)
Bayard class barbette ships (1879)
Vauban class barbette ships (1882)
Prot. Cruiser Sfax (1884)
Prot. Cruiser Tage (1886)
Prot. Cruiser Amiral Cécille (1888)
Prot. Cruiser Davout (1889)
Forbin class Cruisers (1888)
Troude class Cruisers (1888)
Alger class Cruisers (1891)
Friant class Cruisers (1893)
Prot. Cruiser Suchet (1893)
Descartes class Cruisers (1893)
Linois class Cruisers (1896)
D'Assas class Cruisers (1896)
Catinat class Cruisers (1896)

R. de Genouilly class Cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Duquesne (1876)
Cruiser Tourville (1876)
Cruiser Duguay-Trouin (1877)
Laperouse class Cruisers (1877)
Villars class Cruisers (1879)
Cruiser Iphigenie (1881)
Cruiser Naiade (1881)
Cruiser Arethuse (1882)
Cruiser Dubourdieu (1884)
Cruiser Milan (1884)

Parseval class sloops (1876)
Bisson class sloops (1874)
Epee class gunboats (1873)
Crocodile class gunboats (1874)
Tromblon class gunboats (1875)
Condor class Torpedo Cruisers (1885)
G. Charmes class gunboats (1886)
Inconstant class sloops (1887)
Bombe class Torpedo Cruisers (1887)
Wattignies class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)
Levrier class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)

Marinha do Brasil 1898 Marinha do Brasil
Siete de Setembro class (1874)
Riachuleo class (1883)
Aquidaban class (1885)

Marina de Mexico 1898 Mexico
GB Indipendencia (1874)
GB Democrata (1875)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1898 Osmanlı Donanması
Cruiser Heibtnuma (1890)
Cruiser Lufti Humayun (1892)
Cruiser Hadevendighar (1892)
Shadieh class cruisers (1893)
Turkish TBs (1885-94)

Regia Marina 1898 Regia Marina Pr. Amadeo class (1871)
Caio Duilio class (1879)
Italia class (1885)
Ruggero di Lauria class (1884)
Carracciolo (1869)
Vettor Pisani (1869)
Cristoforo Colombo (1875)
Flavio Goia (1881)
Amerigo Vespucci (1882)
C. Colombo (ii) (1892)
Pietro Micca (1876)
Tripoli (1886)
Goito class (1887)
Folgore class (1887)
Partenope class (1889)
Giovanni Bausan (1883)
Etna class (1885)
Dogali (1885)
Piemonte (1888)
Staffeta (1876)
Rapido (1876)
Barbarigo class (1879)
Messagero (1885)
Archimede class (1887)
Guardiano class GB (1874)
Scilla class GB (1874)
Provana class GB (1884)
Curtatone class GB (1887)
Castore class GB (1888)

Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun German Navy 1898 Kaiserliches Marine
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Russkiy Flot
Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Royal Navy 1898 Royal Navy
HMS Hotspur (1870)
HMS Glatton (1871)
Devastation classs (1871)
Cyclops class (1871)
HMS Rupert (1874)
Neptune class (1874)
HMS Dreadnought (1875)
HMS Inflexible (1876)
Agamemnon class (1879)
Conqueror class (1881)
Colossus class (1882)
Admiral class (1882)
Trafalgar class (1887)
Victoria class (1890)
Royal Sovereign class (1891)
Centurion class (1892)
HMS Renown (1895)

HMS Shannon (1875)
Nelson class (1876)
Iris class (1877)
Leander class (1882)
Imperieuse class (1883)
Mersey class (1885)
Surprise class (1885)
Scout class (1885)
Archer class (1885)
Orlando class (1886)
Medea class (1888)
Barracouta class (1889)
Barham class (1889)
Pearl class (1889)

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

Infanta Maria Teresa class (1890)
Emperador Carlos V (1895)
Cristobal Colon (1897)
Princesa de Asturias (1896)
Aragon class (1879)
Velasco class (1881)
Isla de Luzon (1886)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Reina Regentes class (1887)

Destructor class (1886)
Temerario class (1891)
TGunboat Filipinas (1892)
De Molina class (1896)
Furor class (1896)
Audaz class (1897)
Spanish TBs (1878-87)
Fernando class gunboats (1875)
Concha class gunboats (1883)

US Navy 1898 1898 US Navy
USS Maine (1889)
USS Texas (1892)
Indiana class (1893)
USS Iowa (1896)

Amphitrite class (1876)
USS Puritan (1882)
USS Monterey (1891)

Atlanta class (1884)
USS Chicago (1885)
USS Charleston (1888)
USS Baltimore (1888)
USS Philadelphia (1889)
USS San Francisco (1889)
USS Newark (1890)
USS New York (1891)
USS Olympia (1892)
Cincinatti class (1892)
Montgomery class (1893)
Columbia class (1893)
USS Brooklyn (1895)

USS Vesuvius (1888)
USS Katahdin (1893)
USN Torpedo Boats (1886-1901)
GB USS Dolphin (1884)
Yorktown class GB (1888)
GB USS Petrel (1888)
GB USS Bancroft (1892)
Machias class GB (1891)
GB USS Nashville (1895)
Wilmington class GB (1895)
Annapolis class GB (1896)
Wheeling class GB (1897)
Small gunboats (1886-95)
St Louis class AMC (1894)
Harvard class AMC (1888)
USN Armoured Merchant Cruisers
USN Armed Yachts


☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
London class (1899)
Duncan class (1901)
King Edward VII class (1903)
Swiftsure class (1903)
Lord Nelson class (1906)
HMS Dreadnought (1906)
Bellorophon class (1907)
St Vincent class (1908)
HMS Neptune (1909)
Colossus class (1910)
Orion class (1911)
King George V class (1911)
Iron Duke class (1912)
Queen Elizabeth class (1913)
HMS Canada (1913)
HMS Agincourt (1913)
HMS Erin (1915)
Revenge class (1915)
B3 class (1918)

WW1 British Battlecruisers
Invincible class (1907)
Indefatigable class (1909)
Lion class (1910)
HMS Tiger (1913)
Renown class (1916)
Courageous class (1916)
G3 class (1918)

ww1 British cruisers
Blake class (1889)
Edgar class (1890)
Powerful class (1895)
Diadem class (1896)
Cressy class (1900)
Drake class (1901)
Monmouth class (1901)
Devonshire class (1903)
Duke of Edinburgh class (1904)
Warrior class (1905)
Minotaur class (1906)
Hawkins class (1917)

Apollo class (1890)
Astraea class (1893)
Eclipse class (1894)
Arrogant class (1896)
Pelorus class (1896)
Highflyer class (1898)
Gem class (1903)
Adventure class (1904)
Forward class (1904)
Pathfinder class (1904)
Sentinel class (1904)
Boadicea class (1908)
Blonde class (1910)
Active class (1911)
'Town' class (1909-1913)
Arethusa class (1913)
'C' class series (1914-1922)
'D' class (1918)
'E' class (1918)

WW1 British Seaplane Carriers
HMS Ark Royal (1914)
HMS Campania (1893)
HMS Argus (1917)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Vindictive (1918)
HMS Hermes (1919)

WW1 British Destroyers
River class (1903)
Cricket class (1906)
Tribal class (1907)
HMS Swift (1907)
Beagle class (1909)
Acorn class (1910)
Acheron class (1911)
Acasta class (1912)
Laforey class (1913)
M/repeat M class (1914)
Faulknor class FL (1914)
T class (1915)
Parker class FL (1916)
R/mod R class (1916)
V class (1917)
V class FL (1917)
Shakespeare class FL (1917)
Scott class FL (1917)
W/mod W class (1917)
S class (1918)

WW1 British Torpedo Boats
125ft series (1885)
140ft series (1892)
160ft series (1901)
27-knotters (1894)
30-knotters (1896)
33-knotters (1896)

WW1 British Submarines
Nordenfelt Submarines (1885)
Flower class sloops
British Gunboats of WWI
British P-Boats (1915)
Kil class (1917)
British ww1 Minesweepers
Z-Whaler class patrol crafts
British ww1 CMB
British ww1 Auxiliaries

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

Bulgarian Navy Bulgaria
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Greek Royal Navy Greece

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
Spanish Armada Spain Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden


✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

US ww2 US Navy
WW2 American Battleships
Wyoming class (1911)
New York class (1912)
Nevada class (1914)
Pennsylvania class (1915)
New Mexico class (1917)
Tennessee Class (1919)
Colorado class (1921)
North Carolina class (1940)
South Dakota class (1941)
Iowa class (1942)
Montana class (cancelled)

WW2 American Cruisers
Omaha class cruisers (1920)
Pensacola class heavy Cruisers (1928)
Northampton class heavy cruisers (1929)
Portland class heavy cruisers (1931)
New Orleans class cruisers (1933)
Brooklyn class cruisers (1936)
USS Wichita (1937)
Atlanta class light cruisers (1941)
Cleveland class light Cruisers (1942)
Baltimore class heavy cruisers (1942)
Alaska class heavy cruisers (1944)

WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1943)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
IJN Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
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Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
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Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
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Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
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Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
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Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

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Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
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Dedalo seaplane tender
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Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class CBBs (1918)
Interwar Swedish CBB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
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Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
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Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
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Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

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minor navies Minor Navies

naval aviation Naval Aviation
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USN aviation
Boeing model 2/3/5 (1916)
Aeromarine 39 (1917)
Curtiss VE-7 (1918)
Aeromarine 40 (1919)
Douglas DT (1921)
Naval Aircraft Factory PT (1922)
Loening OL (1923)
Huff-Daland TW-5 (1923)
Martin MO (1924)
Consolidated NY (1926)
Vought FU (1927)
Vought O2U Corsair (1928)
Berliner-Joyce OJ (1931)
Curtiss SOC seagull (1934)
Grumman F3F (1935)
Northrop BT-1 (1935) Vultee V-11 (1935)
Grumman J2F Duck (1936)
Curtiss SBC Helldiver (1936)
Vought SB2U Vindicator (1936)
Brewster F2A Buffalo (1937)
Douglas TBD Devastator (1937)
Vought Kingfisher (1938)
Curtiss SO3C Seamew (1939)
Cessna AT-17 Bobcat (1939)
Douglas SBD Dauntless (1939) Grumman F4F Wildcat (1940)
Northrop N-3PB Nomad (1941)
Brewster SB2A Buccaneer (1941)
Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger (1941)
Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf (1941)
Grumman F6F Hellcat (1942)
Vought F4U Corsair (1942)
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver (1942)
Curtiss SC Seahawk (1944)
Douglas BTD Destroyer (1944)
Grumman F7F Tigercat (1943)
Grumman F8F Bearcat (1944)

Curtiss H (1917)
Curtiss F5L (1918)
Curtiss NC (1919)
Curtiss NC4 (1918)
Naval Aircraft Factory PN (1925)
Douglas T2D (1927)
Consolidated P2Y (1929)
Hall PH (1929)
Douglas PD (1929)
Douglas Dolphin (1931)
General Aviation PJ (1933)
Consolidated PBY Catalina (1935)
Fleetwings Sea Bird (1936)
Sikorsky VS-44 (1937)
Grumman G-21 Goose (1937)
Consolidated PB2Y Coronado (1937)
Beechcraft M18 (1937)
Sikorsky JRS (1938)
Boeing 314 Clipper (1938)
Martin PBM Mariner (1939)
Grumman G-44 Wigeon (1940)
Martin Mars (1943)
Goodyear GA-2 Duck (1944)
Edo Ose (1946)
Hugues Hercules (1947)

Japanese WW2 naval aviation
Mitsubishi 1MF
Mitsubishi A5M
Nakajima A4N
Mitsubishi A6M "zeke"

Mitsubishi B1M
Aichi D3A Navy Type 99 "Val" (1940)
Aichi B7A Ryusei "Grace" (1942)
Mitsubishi B5M (1937)
Nakajima B5N "Kate" (1937)
Nakajima B6N "Jill" (1941)
Yokosuka B4Y "Jean" (1935)
Yokosuka D4Y "Judy" (1942)
Yokosuka MXY-7 "Baka" (1944)
Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" (1935)
Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" (1941)
Yokosuka P1Y1 "Frances" (1943)

Aichi M6A1-K Nanzan (1943)
Kyushu K10W1 "Oak" (1941)
Kyushu K11W1 Shiragiku (1942)
Kyushu Q1W1-K "Lorna" (1943)
Mitsubishi K3M "Pine" (1930)
Yokosuka K5Y1 "Willow" (1933)
Yokosuka MXY-7K-1 "Kai" (1944)
Yokosuka MXY-8 Akigusa

Nakajima E4N
Nakajima E14Y
Nakajima E8N "Dave"
Mitsubishi F1M "pete"
Kawanishi E7K
Kawanishi H6K
Kawanishi E11K
Kawanishi K6K
Kawanishi K8K
Kawanishi E15K Shiun
Kawanishi H8K "Emily"
Kawanishi N1K1 "Rex"

Italian WW2 air arm
CANT Z.501 Gabbiano
CANT Z.506 Airone
Fiat RS.14
IMAM Ro.43
IMAM Ro.44
Macchi M5

British Fleet Air Arm
Carrier planes
Fairey IIIF (1927)
Fairey Swordfish (1934)

Fairey Flycatcher (1922)
Supermarine Southampton (1925)
Blackburn Iris (1926)
Hawker Osprey (1930)
Short Rangoon (1930)
Short Valetta (1930)
Fairey Seal (1930)
Supermarine Scapa (1935)
Supermarine Stranraer (1936)
Supermarine Walrus (1936)
Fairey Seafox (1936)
Short Sunderland (1937)
Saro Lerwick (1940)
Short Shetland (1944)

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