Bonaventure, the Ilrst 01 the class to complete.

Cleop.tr. -



Dear Reader, You have before you Ensign No 2 covering the Dido class cruisers. With sixteen ships in the class it is not surprising that several have been somewhat neglected, while others such as the Dido have always attracted attention. We have attempted to remedy this state of affairs within this volume and although there are more photos for some than for others, there are at least two views for every vessel. Because of the three turrets before the bridge the Didos lend themselves well at certain angles to some striking photos and one of these we have chosen for the cover. If you have any points to which you would like to draw our attention about the contents of Ensign your letters will be welcome. We reserve the right to publish all or part of any letter received. Ensign No 3 will deal with the most famous escort type ever built - the Flower Corvette. As with the Didos there will be many profiles in colour plus a complete set of plans for the model-maker. Thank you for your interest and letters. Many people wrote to tell us of the caption error in Ensign No.1. The cover photo was of the Duke of York and not the King George V. Our apologies. Acknowledgements: Thanks to David Brown, and David Lyons for all the help they gave in the preparation of this issue. ALAN RAVEN Photographs not from the author's collection are included by courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, Messrs. Wright & Logan, U.S. Navy and R. Freeman, Esq.



All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical. photocopying, recordings, or otherwise, without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Dorriston EC2A 2HY. Ltd., 21/25 Earl Street, London

Cover photo -


When the British Government took the decision to re-arm in 1935 owing to mounting international tension the strength of the Royal Navy was at a low ebb, and nowhere was this more evident than in the cruiser fleet. An immediate requirement, therefore, was to increase cruiser strength, and the Board of Admiralty's proposal was to build two types: one up to the permissible limits of the 1936 London Naval Treaty (8,000 tons and 6in guns), and a second smaller type which could be more rapidly built than the former and would also ease the critical numerical deficiency in cruisers. This, then, was the genesis of the "Dido" class, the smaller of the two re-armament cruiser designs. Design background In 1935 two elderly "C" class cruisers the Curlew and the Coventry had been hurriedly re-armed with anti-aircraft (A.A.) guns only and despatched to the Mediterranean as reinforcements for the fleet during the Abyssinian crises, and their usefulness was favourably commented upon by the station C-in-C. This was at a time when four heavy A.A. guns and a single high-angle director control tower (HA.DCT) was considered a reasonably adequate air defence for capital ships and cruisers, but there was an increased awareness of the threat from the air and to the requirement for a specific A.A. vessel. Not surprisingly it was proposed that the small cruisers of the Re-Armament Programme be armed primarily as fleet A.A. vessels. To speed the construction of the "Dido" class the greatest possible use was made of existing systems and equipment, and little in the way of innovation went into their design. The hull and scantlings were based on the earlier Arethusa, and the same machinery was installed but with cruising turbines omitted. The choice of armament lay between the long-established 4in or the more recent 4.5in and 5.25in guns. To the Admiralty Board of the day it was inconceivable that a vessel of some 5,000 tons lacked surface action capability so the 5.25in gun was finally chosen, and while it endowed the "Dido" class with a dual-purpose (D.P.) main armament it was to the detriment of A.A. fire. The 5.25in gun was in production as the secondary battery of the "King George V" class battleships in a twin power operated turret so that the same mounting had to be adopted by the Dido, and as there was a reluctance to drop below the 10-gun (six 6in & four 4in A.A.) of the Arethusa this meant shipping five twin turrets. The forward turrets were super-imposed one over the other (so that "Q" turret was carried at the second level above the fo'c'sle deck); and - compared with the Arethusa - to accommodate the extra turret forward "A" turret was mounted 12ft closer to the stem wh ile

the bridge was sited 16ft farther aft, so that it was only necessary to lengthen the hull by about 5ft. With the 4in battery suppressed there was, of course, no difficulty in accommodating the extra turret aft. for the Dido was for a vessel of about 5,300 tons, armed with five Item Weight twin 5.25in turrets, two 2,521 tons Hull quadruple .5in A.A. maMachinery 1,169 tons Protection 718 tons chine guns, two triple Armament 779 tons Equipment 406 tons banks of torpedo tubes Standard 5,593 tons (T.T.), and with a seaOil fuel 1,~~~ :~~~ plane stowed between Reserve feed water 6,836 tons the funnels and handled Full load by a crane. Only slight modifications were made in the final draft that received Board approval when two quadruple 2pdr. A.A. mountings were added in the waist in place of the aircraft and crane. The displacement was given as 5,450 tons which was about 150 tons below the designed figure, and was probably accounted for by the reduced peace-time standard of storing and outfit of shell. From the outset it was appreciated that every weight-saving ttxpedient would have to be used to keep within the legend displacement; and with extra complement required again when compared with the Arethusa - to man the armament accommodation would be at a premium, added to which the additional turrets and their supports severely encroached on living spaces. Five "Dido" class were ordered under the 1936 Estimates, of which two were to be fitted as flagships; two under the 1937 Estimates; three under the 1938 Estimates; and three under the 1939 Estimates. but this was increased to six (all to be fitted as flagships) under the Emergency Progr;amme following the outbreak of war. The volume of work placed under the Re-Armament Programme, however, was beyond the capacity of a run-down armament industry, and bottlenecks soon arose with such specialised items as turrets and mountings, fire control equipment, turbine machinery and reduction gearing, etc. While the hulls could be fairly rapidly advanced, fitting-out and completion were subject to various delays. Thus, although the first ten were all laid down before the outbreak of war not one was ready for service when hostilities commenced, although six had been launched. The crash Re-Armament Programme was neither to the liking of the Admiralty nor the armament industry, and they had in fact consistently advocated against such a possibility. 1936 Programme: Dido, Euryalus, Naiad, Phoebe and Sirius. 1937 Programme: Bonaventure and Hermione. The preliminary draft

c.P.P.A. Turrets 1l (faces)/1 (crown.A. 4. A. six 21inch (2 X 3) torpedo tubes.F. (2 X 4) guns.A. SPARTAN Displacement: 5.440/1. BONAVENTURE. four 44-inch searchlights. the forward engine room driving the outboard shafts and the after engine room the inboard shafts. tweNe 20 mm. With the first group the fore funnel had to be raked to keep the bridge clear of fumes (and the after funnel and mast naturally followed suit). and Protection: As in first groujl. SIRIUS Displacement: 5.100 tons. View of the bridge and bow of Bonaventure taken from the roof of the D. The unit arrangement was adopted for the quadruple-screw machinery with the boiler and engine rooms alternated. Dimensions: As in first group except draught 14i (standard)/17-1 (full load) feet.A. Upper and lower decks (amid) 1 inch. 1939 Programme: Argonaut. sides & rears) inches. Machinery. Bunkers & radius: O.P. Parsons SR geared turbines S.H. and a raised fo'c'sle deck over the . Bunkers & radius. Royalist and Spartan. Armament: Ten 5.400/3. Generator capacity 4 X 300kW 220 V d . (6 X 2) guns. *0100. BLACK PRINCE. Note how dark the wood decking Is when new. Longitudinal bulkheads (abreast magazines) I-It inches. *SCYLLA. (3 X 4). Legend Photo taken from the flag lockers looking aft. Complement: 480 as designed (·fitled as flagships). PHOEBE. HERMIONE. but as the second group omitted "Q" turret the bridge could be made one deck lower and there was "Dido" class (second group): BELLONA. Complement: 508 (all fitted as flagships). (5 X 2).480/2. Diadem.25-lnch D. Protection: Main belt 3 inches closed by bulkheads 1 inch. They were rigged with two masts and two funnels. four 44-inch searchlights.3L forward was continued well aft as superstructure."Dido" class (first group): ARGONAUT.450 (standard)/6. Cleopatra and Scylla. Machinery: Four Admiralty a-drum boilers (400 Ib/in2): four shafts. Black Prince.T. Bel/ana. *CHARYBDIS. 62. legend 1938 Programme: Charybdis. EURYALUS. barbettes t .25-inch D.770 (standard)/6. *NAIAD. six 21-inch (2 X 3) torpedo tubes. eight 2-pounder A. (2 X 4). Platform deck over magazines (fwd & aft) 2 inches. as compared to how light it has become through weather exposure as shown in the aerial view that was taken a few months later. Construction The hull followed conventional cruiser form with a raked stem and cruiser stern.i inch. *CLEOPATRA. Dimensions: 485 (op)/506 (wl)/512 (oa) X 50 (mld)/50t (max) X 28-1 d 1141 (standard)/17 (full load) feet. (4 X 2). . i. lower deck (aft) 1 inch (flat and slopes) over steering gear. DIADEM. This photo and the preceding one were taken after completion of Bonaventure's working-up period in Bermuda In May 1940.C. twelve 2-pounder A. 1.000 321 (standard)/30! (full load) knots. ROYALIST.500 miles at 12/20/25130 knots. Armament: Eight 5. sharply raked in the first group (eleven units) but stepped vertically in the second group (five units).700 (full load) tons as designed.970 (full load) tons as designed. eight s-lnch A.

a type 279 air with the aerial frames at each masthead.1940 while on a Dido patrol with her sister ship Naiad. starshell .Aerial shot of Bonaventure taken on the 4. The bleaching of the wood decks is evident. The most noticeable feature here Is the absence of 'X' turret with Its position occupied by the 4" gun. Quarter view of Bonaventure in mid-1940. Note also that only one radar set Is carried.10.

The main armour belt was composed of 3in plate over the machinery spaces closed by 1in transverse bulkheads and a 1in deck. and the generators could absorb 50% overload for a period of . all linked to individual Admiralty fire control tables. An armoured platform deck extended forward and aft of this central citadel and was 2in thick over the forward and after magazines but thinned to 1in over the spaces between the forward magazine and the forward boiler room. and bullet-proof plating was applied to the fore end of the bridge.}hr. and providing deeper recesses for the shells and tightening the securing screws. An optical control unit for the multiple 2pdr had been developed pre-war. and other weight-saving expedients included: -using copper piping for pumping flooding. etc. while 1-1 tin longitudinal bulkheads were placed inboard abreast the magazines. Certainly.677 tons and was then increased by a further 72 tons.A. Only "eye-shooting" sights were provided for the multiple Zpdr and . The class were otherwise reported on as good seaboats but subject to heavy pitching on occasions (hardly surprising in view of the heavy loading at the ends).OCT (4 tons). bulkheads.A.5in A. and weight and accommodation problems were further aggravated by the requirements to install radar and increase the light A.OCT aft. V HA.25in guns (in any case they were too long to be stowed below deck). Fire control arrangements comprised separate low-angle (LA) and high-angle (HA) director control towers (OCT) on the bridge. The total generator capacity was 1. once experience was gained KEY TO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 INBOARD PROFILE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 22 23 24 25 20 21 26 27 28 VVatertight compartment Paint store Paint room VVorking space Torpedo gunners' store Canvas room Petrol stowage compartment Cable locker Seamen's mess Capstan machinery space Compressor room Hoist trunk Asdic compartment 'A' shell room 'A' magazine Seamen's heads Marines' mess Seamen's mess Refrigeration machinery compartment 'B' shell room 'B' magazine 'Q' maqazine & shell room Pom Pom magazine No. due to As and As added during 1941. The steam lines were so arranged that any generator could be supplied from either the forward or after boiler rooms.less problem with platform. IV HA. The proposal to increase the diameter of the roller paths for turrets was not agreed to as the additional weight reduced stability to below an acceptable limit. so that her standard displacement rose to 5. -elimination of handing room between the magazine and turret (mock-up showed no possibility of flash penetrating the magazine). 1 low power room Seamen's galley Cooks' kitchen Lobby CROs & POs pantry Smiths' shop Soda fountain & lobby Fresh water tank Admiral's sea cabin Type 284 office Type 279 office (transmitting) Lobby Remote control office VVheel house Captain's sea cabin 9 metre rangefinder Torpedo workshop Admiral's cabin Officers' cabin 'B' boiler room Forward engine room 'A' boiler room After enqine room VVard room Naval store 'X' maqazine & shell room 'Y' magazine & shell room Lobby Steering gear compartment o "'i=====j 50 64 . Re-inforcing this armoured deck was a narrow waterline strake of tin side plating. armament together with the extra complement entailed. 2 transmitter room Seamen's mess No. -no spare barrels were carried for the 5. but did not adequately meet Service requirements. mountings. First trials Following experience with the initial units extra strengthening had to be provided.OCT (5t tons) rejected in favour of lighter Mk. and was most evident with "A" turret for which thirteen cases of ovality were reported. The turrets were protected by 1-1 tin plate and were mounted on t-tin barbettes. Each turbo-generator was situated in a separate watertight compartment with the ring main extended fore and aft behind armour and below the water- line. and draining systems and for the domestic lines. Oeck movement was also evident in other units and resulted in some turret jams while training. and it would appear that some of the weather damage can be accounted for by driving them too hard in adverse conditions. and would have increased stresses in the structure. and frames were welded. The systems were naturally based on visual target acquisition and were later integrated with radar with a fair degree of success. -heavier Mk. In the Naiad leaks caused by the movement of the deck and bridge were a matter for some concern and entailed further stiffening. -providing a common fitting shop instead of individual shops for each of the various trades.200kW. and a combined HA/LA. This was rectified by extra pillaring and general stiffening of the hull structure. At the stern 1in side and deck armour enclosed the steering gear. and shells vertically stowed in trays were dislodged. and the 20mm guns that subsequently replaced the latter. As a result of weather damage sustained by the Bonaventure in November 1940 two pillars under the fo'c'sle deck buckled. 1 transmitter room Transm itting station Stokers' mess 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Lower steering position No. backdraught into the compass To save weight the forward 80ft of the hull and a considerable portion of the decks.

5in guns they were fitted with two combined HA/LA.1940.500 tons and 5. armament of two 2pdr (2 X 1) and three 20mm (3 X 1) guns were provided in lieu. . guns twin-mounted in open shields.5in O. while the Scylla had eight 20mm (8 X 1) guns.A. but war resulted in the fleet flotillas being depleted and widely dispersed.OCT in production for the 4. Armament on completion The ships of the 1936-37 Programmes passed into service during 1940-41 other than the Sirius which was delayed until 1942 owing to bomb damage while building. armament of two 2pdr (2 X 1) forward of the bridge and four 20mm (4 X 1) guns. and the Bonaventure "X" turret. and all shipped the designed armament except that: -the Dido. As completed the 4-turret Dido and 5-turret Naiad displaced 5. The Dido and Phoebe lacked "Q" turret. was otherwise armed as designed except that the multiple MG's were omitted and a light A. the latter being lost before this could be achieved. and the 5-turret Sirius 5. In addition. no further weather damage was sustained and their generally light construction was better appreciated.OCT's.P. had a 4in starshell gun mounted forward of "X" mounting. 2° 10 minutes west. the Charybdis only.25in turrets was even worse. taken by an aIrcraft operating from Oyce. Photo was taken at position 56° 10 minutes north. with "B" mounting carried high on a double-storied forward shelter deck.574 tons respectively. Aerial of NaIad on the 4.10. She displaced 5. Phoebe and Bonaventure all lacked one turret and temporarily shipped a single 4in starshell gun in lieu. With the ships of the 1938 Programme the supply position with regards 5. but not Phoebe and Bonaventure. Bin storage of ammunition was first tried in the Sirius.A.with the class. the Cleopatra. As completed the Charybdis displaced 5. and none was available at all for the Charybdis and Scylla. Both these units were completed with an extemporised armament of eight 4. As there was no specific LA.1940.785 tons. one forward and Broadside aerial of NaIad taken on the 27. and the missing turrets were eventually mounted in Dido. and proving satisfactory was extended to all other units of the class.582 (standard) 16. and a light A.582 (standard) 16. one aft.975 (full load) tons. and neither shipped multiple MG's.9. The remaining unit of the 1938 Programme.975 (full load) tons as completed. It was originally inintended for them to serve as flagships for the RA(O)'s in the Home and Mediterranean fleets.

.Naiad at some time during the first half of 1941. 1946. Foremast 01 Euryalus. 1941. Foremast of Argonaut. 11is interesting to note that she has not changed at all in appearance from completion in July 1940.

1944 while undergoing repair.3. (Readers' help invited. These three photos show Dido in Malta yard from the 2.Dido. On the top of the mainmast is Ihe aerial frame for the type 281 air.3.) the 29.1944 until the cause of the damage. The author has been unable to find . Dido was the first ship in the navy to receive type 281. out of Rosyth in December 1940.

armament of four 20mm (4 X 1) guns. Both types 279 and 281 were available. Note that the machine gun platform has been removed. and the highest priority was awarded to fit- ting air warning (WA) sets.279) had radar control (RA. but while the Eurya/us (W. A recognition feature lor Dido is the cross bracing between the aller legs of the foremast. Vessels completed in 1940 were fitted with AW.1945 taken by an aircraft from Wick. and were finally completed to a modified design (q. Phoebe and Bonaventure) and WA.281 (Dido) at the mastheads. The Argonaut was armed as designed but had a light A.v.tons weight 19ft above the upper deck had to be removed.279 (Naiad.2. the Hermione (WA.OCT of both.285) fitted to the HA. In the Eurya/us and Hermione which followed (1941) a surface ranging (RS) set was added on the LA. and all the others were suspended during 1940-41 owing both to the shortage of turrets and other urgent work.281) had radar control (RA.Dido on the 22. Only the Argonaut of the 1939 Programme was completed to the original design. and displaced 5.A. omitted the multiple MG's.OCTs.). Radar While building it was decided to incorporate radar.171 (full load) tons.282) for the multiple 2pdr mountings.972 (standard)/7. and to install this the equivalent of 9-!. There was some difficulty in incorporating the type 282 radar director Midships detail 01 Dido in May 1947 out of Portsmouth. .

6. that was left behind in French EquatoriDI Africa during emergency repairs.Broadside of Phoebe In early 1941 possibly taken at Alexandria.6. Phoebe on leaving Brooklyn Navy yard upon completion of repairs on the 16. She still has her 4 starshell gun in 'Q' position.) Quarter view on 16.1943. (See notes on damage. She has no 'A' turret. . Note the type 240 IFF aerial for the type 281 air on top of the receiving 281 aerial frame on the mainmast.1943.

282(2) radar.284.and type FVI radar interceptor.Bow of Phoebe on 16.into existing ships owing to the large radar office required below it.1 .S. and during 1942-43 the earlier surviving units were ali brought up to this standard. aerials carried on extension arms filled to each end of the lower fore yard. . the addition of interrogator and IFF sets for the warning radar IFF.272.285(2). The Charybdis and Scyl!e were completed (194142) with WA. Later refinements included replacing WS. A feature to note here is the addition of T. W A. RA.272 by type 277. RS. RA.285 (2).281.281.B.first known as the close-range predictor (CRP) Mk.242 and 252 for the WS and IFF.281 was available for the Cleopatra. and shortly after (1942) a surface warning (WS) type 272 was added low on the foremast in the former the first unit of the class to be so equipped but only WA. The twin 20mm mounting on the quarterdeck can easily be picked out. A full outfit of radar was installed in the Argonaut on completion: WS. . Also note that the W/T aerial frame is sited on the extreme front corner of the bridge instead of the more normal position in the middle.6.6.282(2).1943. and RA. Stern view on 16.240 and 243 for the WA .1943. and RA.

Ark Royal in the background. On completion she was slightly beller equipped than her previous four sisters because she carried a type 284 gunnery radar outfit. looking over the bow.Broadside view of Hermione soon aller completion in March 1941. View taken from the D.C. .T.

Close up 01 bow and stern 01 Hermione as she enters Grand Harbour Malta. . Date not known.

armament was augmented.A. and there was no further alteration up to the time she was lost. Modifications to second group When work was resumed on the five suspended vessels of the "Dido" class they were completed to a modified design as a result of war experience with the earlier units of the first qroup. in 1944. and bridge structure was reduced in height by Hermione on the 11. The two single 2pdr were replaced by single 20mm guns in Cleopatra in 1942. and in the following year "Q" turret and tfie multiple 2pdr mountings were removed and replaced by multiple 40mm (3 X 4) mountings.25in (or even American pattern 5in guns) but this was not implemented. The Argonaut had all the single 20mm guns taken out and replaced by five twin 20mm mountings in 1943. with the addition of four more 20mm (4 X 1) guns. the next year three 20mm were removed and replaced by three 40mm (3 X 1) guns.A. In 1941 the Dido had the multiple MG's removed and five 20mm (5 X 1) added. and in place of the 4in gun in "Q" turret position a multiple 40inm (1 X 4) mounting. with further additions in 1943 of two more 20mm (2 X 1) and in 1944 of eight 20mm (4 X 2) of which two twin mountings replaced single guns. and in 1944 "Q" turret was replaced by a multiple 2pdr (1 X 4) mounting and twelve 20mm (6 X 2) guns were added. In 1944 the Scylla had twelve 20mm (6 X 2) added. and finally.A. and to this end the following alterations and additions were made: -full radar control was provided for the armament. Finally.5in or 4in) as the class was often engaged in surface action in Home and Mediterranean waters. In 1942 the Phoebe had the multiple MG's removed and five 20mm (5 X 1) added.A. weapon. four additional 40mm (4 X 1) guns were added. but generally the 5.A. then in 1944 "Q" turret was removed and replaced by a multiple 2pdr (1 X 4) mounting and five more 20mm (5 X 1) added. -RPC was fitted to the 5.Wartime armament modifications During the whole period of the Second World War the light A.25in turrets so that the guns automatically followed the HA.1942 in position 480 34 minutes north. armament was progressively strengthened in all units. then the five twin 20mm mountings were adapted to ship a single 40mm gun (Boffin). and compounding this was a not very effective HA fire control system. In the Euryalus five 20mm (5 X 1) were added in 1942. In 1942 the single 4in and two 2pdr (2 X 1) were taken out of the Charybdis and replaced by six 20mm (2 X 2 and 2 X 1) guns. Remote power control (RPC) was eventually fitted to all 5. one 20mm gun was first added. In late 1942 there was an addition of six more 20mm (6 X 1) guns. capability. 150 00 minutes west.9in-gunned German destroyers.25in gun was too large and too slow in training and rate of fire to be an effective A. and two more 40mm (2 X 1) guns were added in 1945.25in turrets and the multiple 2pdr mountings. in 1945. As has already been established the prime requirement was to improve and augment the A. and following heavy damage off the Normandy beaches it was proposed to re-arm her with 5. -the -the light A.DCT's for elevation and training. and two 20mm (2 X 1) guns removed.2. In 1943 the light A. of which two twin mountings replaced single guns. five single 20mm guns were replaced by six twin 20mm mountings. . On the other hand there was some justification for shipping this heavier gun (in preference to the 4.5in gunned Scylla (rather unkindly referred to as the "Toothless Dragon") to intercept 5. but contact was not made. armament was completely revised when multiple 40mm (2 X 4) replaced the multiple 2pdr mountings and sixteen 20mm (6 X 2 and 4 X 1) were mounted. When the Sirius two 20mm (2 X 1) guns were added in 1943. On one occasion there was a certain amount of apprehension in despatching the 4.

guns. It was found that the davits of the forward boats masked the arcs of fire of the amidships twin 20mm mountings.5in gun.one deck. This acted as a windbreak and carried the airflow clear of the bridge.A.OCT's crew with the turret trained on red 40deg and the guns elevated at 35deg. Blast trials with the Royalist in 1943 showed that with "B" turret trained on green 120deg and with the guns elevated at 20deg conditions for the crews of the forward multiple 2pdr mounting and its director were very unpleasant. mountings forward.350 (full load) tons. was shipped with unobstructed fire over the vital arcs from ahead. so a hinged davit head was substituted. armament. Gun and blast trials Gun trials were very satisfactory in the Spartan in August 1943. as the 2pdr mounting was considerably lighter than the turret and it also permitted the bridge to be reduced in height.A. and four more (4 X 1) in 1945. which had more space available owing to her extemporised 4.except in emergencies . and .A. and finally the latter by single 20mm A. guns.285(2). By the close of the war "Q" turret had been removed from the Euryalus. There was some overall loss in enclosed space as it was only necessary to place the 2pdr mounting on a low and small support which enabled the upper shelter deck to be omitted. With improved control arrangements the value of sheer volume of fire was diminished for the heavy A.A.A. As in the first group compensating water ballast had to be admitted up to the half-oil condition. RA.850 (standard) /7. In both groups the searchlights were arranged abreast of the fore funnel and abaft the after funnel. four 20mm (4 X 1) were replaced by two 40mm (2 X 1) A.A. Armament modifications All the second group were armed as designed on completion. Later. Phoebe.A. In view of the increased light A. In addition to the extra multiple 2pdr mounting provision was also made for six twin 20mm A. The lead ship Spartan exceeded the designed figure and displaced 6. RS. The earlier problem of back draught into the compass platform was eliminated by the extension of the admiral's bridge forward of the compass platform. In 1944 eight 20mm A. and the remaining decks were heightened tft to accommodate greatly increased wiring runs and voicepipes.284. The advantages which accrued from this included reduced topweight. but this was partly compensated for by the absence of the turret support. and so "Q" turret could be omitted without any loss of efficiency. guns in the Black Prince. Again. By 1945 the Bellona shipped six (6 X 1) / Black Prince eight (8 X 1 )/Diadem ten (2 X 2) and 6 X 1) additional 20mm A. the extra complement involved worsened already overcrowded living conditions and early in the following year. . and aft on each side.A.420 (full load) tons.282(3). amidships. mounting. During 1943 the Royalist was modified for service as an Escort Carrier Squadron Flagship. General Of the eleven vessels of the first group the Dido was always distinctive as her degaussing (OG) coil was fitted externally. and were principally distinguishable from each other by the variations in the light A. while some internal re-arrangement was effected with offices and cabins.A. Scylla. and vibration at all speeds were insufficient to detract from accurate rangetaking. as were the Charybdis and Scylla with their 4.the level of bunker oil was not permitted to drop below 30% of the total capacity (including double bottom tanks). was also modified to an ECSF. together with its type 282 radar director. The most notable external feature was the absence of rake to masts and funnels. armament the number of ready-use (RU) lockers was doubled compared with the first group. but there was some reduction with the final unit.5in gun armament. and RA. The five vessels of the second group were far more homogeneous.272. but first the former were replaced by twin 20mm mountings (in both groups). In its place a third multiple 2pdr A. It was therefore recommended that the turret be limited to red/green 115deg for training. which displaced 5. with "X" turret trained on red 60deg and the guns elevated at 5deg conditions for the crew of the after twin 20mm mounting was very unpleasant. (2 X 2 and 4 X 1) were added in the Royalist. However. and only slightly improved at 25deg elevation. Radar fitted included WS. and no alterations were effected in the Spartan up to the time of her premature loss. and Cleopatra leaving only the Dido and Sirius as 5-turret ships while the Phoebe and Cleopatra had quadruple 40mm in place of the multiple 2pdr mountings. the Diadem. WA. and was fitted with the special communications and radar equipment required for this role.281.018 (standard) /7. In the bridge structure the long-established upper wheelhouse was abolished and the lower position used at all times. guns (in most of the first group and all of the second group). but there was no actual material damage to the guns or director. and to provide additional office space for radar and communications a deckhouse was added between the funnels. and similarly for the after HA/LA.

changed in many ways Irom when she was lirst completed in December 1941.Cleopatra out 01 Portsmouth 1946. Taken in mid-1945. A line close-up ot the midship 40mm bolors mounting in Cleopatra. . The author has been unable to lind any decent photos 01 her in 1942 and would be glad to hear Irom anybody with pictures taken in this period.

.as was stated earlier .A. weapon) 5. To maintain 32 knots the machinery spaces of the class were relatively large when compared with larger cruisers of greater length.A. As A.the decision to install the heavier but less effective (an an A. View looking over the midships part 01 the vessel. just below It Is the log light. War service The overall war service of the "Dido" class emphasised their sound design and construction.C.A.T. together with those Taken near the loot 01 the main mast and showing good detail 01 the alter H. except. Dlreclly in Iront Is the S.1945.6. and due allowance must be made for the small cruiser with regards to protection and sub-division. and all the units sunk were hit by either torpedo or bomb in these vulnerable areas. guns. accepting the arbitrary limitations of displacement and length imposed on them there was little else that could be done to make them more resistant to battle damage. director. This and the precedIng photo were taken at Lamlash on the 8. perhaps. the provision of diesel generators placed above the waterline.A.D. Therefore. ships they were less successful than most other cruisers armed with 4in A. The aircraft shot down or damaged by all cruisers.Looking over the 40mm bolors mounting.25in gun was justified. but . The lilting on the end 01 the platform on the mainmast Is the alter daylight signalling lantern. director.S.

Bow and broadside views of Euryalus right after completion in June 1941. Euryalus In mld-1943 off Malta. have not yet been IllIed. Type 279 air replaced by type 281. type 284 main gunnery aerials through and across the Iront 01 the D. the aerial lor this last type being carried In a weather-proof lantern on the foremast just below the crows nest.A. By this time she had a comprehensive radar ouilit. on the bridge. The aerials lor the lorward H. and also type 285 gunnery set with the aerials on top 01 the alter H. This outfit was removed from all the class by 1943.T. .C. with the 279 air on the two mastheads.S. 284 main gunnery. The radar outfit can be seen clearly.A. The large Diamond· shaped Irame on the mainmast is the aerial for the type FH3 HF/DF. although the support Irame is in place.C.S.C. 285 A-A gunnery and type 272 surface search.

.Quarter view of Euryalus on completion in June 1941.

Sirius 7.975 tons.1942. Camouflage was first used on cruisers in April 1940 in the Norway Campaign. Class Named cruisers Unnamed cruisers "Dido" class Destroyed 92. credited to the "Dido" class. and part of the dilemma is due to the tremendous variety of camouflage schemes used. had to be made. Broadside 01 Charybdis on the 22. Scylla 6. and a complete change of palntwork. of the number of attacking aircraft driven off by A.01 5. Argonaut 7. and too often too little account taken. However.500 tons.360 tons. It was when this stage was reached that the critical decision to continue with an operation.82 Phoebe 7. Euryalus 7. Differences Irom the 1941 photo are the addition of type 272 surface radar on the foremast.00 1.00 14.420 tons. ammunition had been expended. There were no special colours used in this type. are shown in the accompanying table.2. especially as they mainly operated in areas exposed to heavy air attack. fire.47 Damaged 49.Quarter view showing Charybdis on completion in late 1941. where it was not so dependent on the bunker capacity but when 50% of the A. A number of the County class heavy cruisers including the York were wearing a type loosely based on some of the Dazzle designs of the First World War. and it can be fairly interpreted that the contribution made by the "Dido" class was only modest. there being two main types. just the standard paint stocks that were The full load displacement of the surviving units of the class at the termination of hostilities was as follows: Dido 7.A.210 tons.81 2. Black Prince 7. or turn back. The scale of air attack gave a new dimension to endurance in the Mediterranean. from the very simple one-colour design (Mountbatten Pink) to the complicated Admiralty First disruptive type with up to five or six colours in the pattern.515 tons. no record has been kept.410 tons. . CAMOUFLAGE As far as the modeller is concerned. Diadem 7.420 tons.00 6. and Royalist 7.560 tons.280 tons.410 tons.92 Probable 23.80 1. Cleopatra 7. the cruiser classes of the Royal Navy in World War two offer an almost bewildering choice of subject. Bellona 7.A.

1942 out of Portsm outh dockyard immediately alter completion. Note that a comprehensive outllt of radar Is carried. The diamond-shaped frame sited between the funnels Is the aerial for the MF/DF outfit. .6. Aerial view of Sirius taken during the latter hall of 1942.Broadside and quarter views of Sirius taken on the 17. Note the difference In tone between the bare steel On the foredeck and the lighter appearance of the wood decking that extends up to the breakwater.

and in the position that it would normally have occupied was the Captain's sea cabin. Note the unusual positioning of two single 20mm mountings in Iront of the bridge.6.1942 soon atter completion.Bow and quarter views of Scylla in the Clyde on the 22.C. . was fitted. As with Charybdis no D.T.

Ships painted in Admiralty First Disruptive type always had a different pattern port and starboard. with the rest of the superstructure a light grey. This period appears to be the only time when Phoebe ever wore pattern camouflage. and Diadem. Argonaut and Sirius wore the same pattern until repainted in 1944 with the Admiralty Standard type. did not wear camouflage of any kind and throughout her short life was painted an overall medium grey.available to most ships at this time.S.) Phoebe. forefunnel and "A" gun mounting. It is known for certain that she initially carried camouflage in the first months of 1942. like her sister ship the Naiad. on damage sustained in the Crete operations that she wore camouflage of any sort. (Readers' help invited. Dido was similarly painted on completion and it was not until she returned from repairs in the U. the Cleopatra is somewhat of a mystery. and this has meant that we were unable to include her in the colour artwork. and at least one of the Arethusa class (Penelope). Bellona and Diadem. The Admiralty First Disruptive type had been superseded by designs that were simpler in pattern and also used only three or four colours. refer to the large centre illustration of Black Prince. In 1941 large numbers of light cruisers began to be seen wearing the very striking Admiralty First Disruptive type and ships of the Dido class were no exception. photo coverage of the Euryalus and Charybdis is incomplete. Thus for the colours used on Spartan. The first of the Modified group completed in mid 1943 and was painted up in the new 1943 designs and these included a new range of colours. Although the patterns varied considerably from ship to ship the style in most cases was easily identifiable as the colours were applied in horizontal swathes. while the Scylla retained her design until withdrawn from service in 1944. Of the four to complete in 1941 only the Hermione did not wear camouflage. with three of the four ships completed in 1941 painting up in this type. (Readers' help invited. for after repairs she appeared in simple dark hull and light upperworks type and stayed this way until well into 1944 when the somewhat similar Admiralty Standard type was applied. there being no known photos of the port side of Euryalus and none showing the starboard side of Charybdis. and was still wearing this style when damaged in 1941 in the Mediterranean. armament of the second group had been further strengthened by the addition of four 40mm (4 X 1) guns in the Royalist. Unfortunately the author has been unable to find photos of this ship in the period from late 1941 until 1943. although the author suspects that she might possibly have been painted in Mountbatten Pink. Mediterranean light grey. and also the second ship of the Dido class to complete . The three were: Cleopatra. Charybdis wore her first design for only a few months and in the first months of 1942 she repainted over her old type with a 1942 Admiralty disruptive type. and as far as Cleopatra is concerned. As far as the author is concerned. Euryalus carried her first camouflage until at least the end of 1942 and at approximately this time she repainted with a medium grey hull. The first Dido to complete. when her camouflage was painted out and replaced by a simple two colour design without pattern.M. Euryalus and Charybdis. The light cruisers adopted a completely different style of camouflage. In both groups four 3pdr saluting guns were added on either the forward or after shelter decks to units in commission. but not completely because part of her old pattern was still carried around the bridgework. She wore this type from completion in mid-1940 until late in the same year or very early in 1941. Post-war modifications By the end of 1946 there had been little alteration to the class except that the light A. with the patterns becoming bolder and simpler and the numbers of colours in most cases kept down to three in any one design.) By 1942 the designs being prepared by the camouflage department had standardised to a certain extent and this could be noticed on the new patterns being worn by ships of all types. but on the question of duration or later changes no information is available. the same three colours being used in each pattern. Several of the Town class used this scheme. Royalist. a medium light green and Mediterranean light grey. The colours were a dark brown. while six 40mm (6 X 1) guns replaced the twin 20mm mountings in the Black Prince. and sometimes a white was included.S.H. and of the three Didos that completed in 1942 th is was especially noticeable in the design worn by Sirius. a look at the artwork of Sirius as compared to that of Euryalus and the difference will be instantly apparent.A.S.M. . had standard Admiralty Disruptive designs. By the beginning of 1943 the designs had become even more standardised. The remaining four ships of the group also carried standard Admiralty Disruptive 1943 designs. Bonaventure. Bellona. Argonaut and Scylla. The colours were Home Fleet dark grey. was also painted on completion with the Brown and Green type in the autumn of 1940. The other two ships completed in 1942.A. using dark grey for the hull and a light grey on the upperworks. no photos of either side. Naiad. and she was still wearing this design when sunk. Of the three. H.

disruptive "Scylla" as in June 1942 in an Admiralty disruptive scheme. This design was painted onto the ship when first completed and in 1943 after damage repairs the pattern was slightly altered as the photos will show."Sirius" as in June 1942 in an Admiralty camouflage. . . "Charybdis" as in mid 1942 with the same type of camouflage as that worn by "Scylla" with the exception of the large areas of white. Intermediate "Argonaut" as in late 1942 with a straightforward light disruptive type.

General arrangement profile as on completion in 1943. .

Note the false bow wave in white.ge. It is thought that the pattern that was carried by Cleopatra was almost identical. Pattern is identical on the port side. "Euryalus" as in early 1942 with a First Admiralty type camouflage pattern. this device was used on several ships from destroyer size downwards in 1940 but only rarely on large vessels. "Phoebe" as in late 1940 with a variation of the Brown and Green type camoufla. ."Naiad" as in mid-194O with Brown and Green type camouflage. The pattern is identical on the port side.

"Argonaut"."Sirius". "Charybdis". port side pattern. port side pattern. port side pattern. port side pattern. "Scylla". As with Euryalus the camouflage carried on the reverse side was similar in style but the paint panels were differently arranged. "Charybdis". . showing the pattern worn on completion.

and only the Cleopatra was re-fitted with three twin Mk.400 (full load) tons and draught to 14V17! feet. guns with displacement increased to 6. Generally. however.A.A. and it was stipulated that the close range (CR) armament comprised the best possible arrangement of 40mm guns including at least three twin STAAG mountings. and two twin 20mm A.A. guns and removing single 20mm A.A. amidships and aft. With the Black Prince all the CR armament was removed and replaced by eight 40mm A.most units. and provide an after ADP. mountings in the wings of the bridge. and the Royalist's final displacement was 6.DCT's. V in place of the quadruple 40mm A. and for independent operations.556 (full load) tons. -modernise fire-fighting equipment. and the former was returned to the Royal Navy in 1956 in exchange for the Royalist which had been modernised by Devonport Dockyard. four single 40mm A.500 (full load) tons and the complement to 651_ Despite reduced costs the proposal fared no better than the earlier ones.A. gun in each bridge wing. added to which the class was the least adaptable to modern requirements which made heavy demands on space owing to their small size. mountings. The cost. mountings and the CR armament reduced to a single 40mm A. twin 40mm replaced the multiple 2pdr A. and -the attack and defence of Trade. -take out all the quadruple 2pdr/40mm mountings and single 20mm guns and fit either three twin 40mm Mk. the full extent of the damage sustained by the Scylla was deemed to be beyond economic repair.160 (standard) /7. On-board view 01 Scylla taken at some time during the winter 01 1942/43 at Scapa Flow_ It was proposed to modernise the "Dido" class by: -removing the LA.DCT's were replaced by two modern HAl LA. V mountings (either with individual directors or with one STAAG mounting forward) or three twin 40mm STAAG mountings. When surveyed. (8 X 1) guns: two forward of the bridge.A. generally in line with the 1949 proposals. The bridge was enclosed and ABC defence measures fitted. especially with regard to habitability. In the following year a much simplified modernisation was proposed primarily to suit them for: -air and surface escorts for aircraft carrier groups. and for secondary duties in support of destroyer striking forces or combined operations. modify the bridge to incorporate a centralised action information centre (AIC).100 (standard)/7. the tripods were replaced by lattice masts and the radar modernised. Transfers and disposals In 1948 the Bellona and the Black Prince were loaned to the Royal New Zealand Navy.DCT and replacing both HA. guns in . ruled out such major alterations.DCT's (one forward and one aft). for reconaissance.046 (standard) /7 .A. and the torpedo tubes were removed. and while consideration was given to converting her into a Royal yacht she was finally paid-off to scrap in 1948. It was estimated that displacement would rise to 6. DCT's by new combined HA/LA. and -completely overhaul the boilers and engines.P. the proposals that involved little or no structural alterations were implemented.A. -rebuild the air defence position (ADP). They were to be provided with defence against radio-active fall-out which entailed an enclosed bridge. A more ambitious modernisation was put forward in 1948 which involved re-arming with ten 3in/70cal D. -improve mechanical ventilation to suit tropical service and provide air-conditioning in important compartments. the former HA and LA. but little else was done other than replacing twin 20mm with single 40mm A.

while the latter were smaller vessels of 3. leaving only the Babur (ex-Diadem) still serving 30 years after first commissioning. and the Royalist in 1968. She was finally torpedoed by the Italian submarine Ambra on 31/3/41 on the starboard side opposite the forward and after engine rooms. followed by the Phoebe and the Sirius in 1956. the Naiad incurred superficial damage from bomb splinters with some shock damage to turbine mountings on 10/4/40.A. In 1955 the Argonaut started the melancholy procession to the breakers' yards. the Euryalus and the Bellona in 1959. and armed with eight 5. She was out of service for five months (including 2t months in Brooklyn Navy Yard) . to a lesser extent. guns amidships were retained.745 tons. mountings.000 tons less. The Naiad was finally torpedoed by the German submarine U. with minor .455 tons. But towards the close of the Second World War the Royal Navy had drawn up plans of what amounted to a much enlarged Dido the Minotaur which shipped ten 6in D. Other designs No other navies built cruisers strictly comparable to the "Dido" class. but on both occasions was nil time out of service. Off Crete extensive but superficial damage from bomb splinters were sustained between the bridge and "Y" turret. Aerial 01 Argonaut in October 1942 steaming at 30 knots. The Diadem was transferred to the Pakistani Navy in 1956 and re-named Bebur. The ship took an immediate list of 10deg. two amidships abreast the fore funnel. off Crete. and there were minor fires in the cinema projection room and cordite stowed in "B" turret. and two aft abreast the mainmast. 34 bulkhead put her out of service for three weks. followed by a third machinery space. but no time was lost out-of-service.3in/ 45cal (4 X 2) guns. the Black Prince in 1962. and complete loss of lighting and communications prevented adequate counter flooding. while four single 20mm A. she flooded rapidly. The Hermione was in collision with mercantile Temgien in the Western Mediterranean on 2/8/41. but this was hardly surprising on a displacement which ran up to 15.P.two abreast the bridge. (8 X 2) guns but this was reduced to twelve 5in (6 X 2) in later units. which exploded just above the fo'c'sle deck. and was hit on the starboard side abreast the after end of the forward engine room (No. She had 14ft of the forward plating torn. There were 310 survivors.A. While building. The Dido sustained a direct hit by a 500kg armour-piercing bomb on the roller path of "B" turret on 29/5/41. the Italian "Capitan! Romani" class. There were 582 survivors. the Dido in 1957.A. guns in five fully automatic turrets with a high rate of fire and capable of rapid training and elevation They possessed all the desirable qualities that the Dido lacked. Except for the vessels that became war losses and the damaged Scylla the remainder served between 1525 years. mountings and six single 40mm the twin 20mm A. The former were larger vessels of 6. and continued to heel over to starboard until she foundered 35min after first being hit. and more extensive damage from bomb splinters on 22/5/41 to the wholly welded fore end.565 on 11/3/42. "Q" turret trunk and roller path were fractured and distorted. lightly built for high speed. Action damage The Bonaventure incurred superficial damage from splinters during surface action on 10/1/41 and again in an air raid on Malta on 23/3/41. Both engine rooms immediately flooded. 99 bulkhead). the Cleopatra in 1958. which partially flooded the ship up to No.000 tons and initially shipped sixteen 5in/38cal D. but near approximations were the American "Atlanta" class and. but only the CR armament was modernised when three twin 40mm replaced the multiple 2pdr A. and sank by the stern in 5-6min.P. What was surprising was that the Dido 'accomplished so much on 10.

Amidship view of Argonaut at Bone on the Norlh African coast in late 1942. Two on-board photos of Argonaut in the Autumn of 1942. .

Two views of Argonaut taken after repairs in Philadelphia Navy yard.11. .1943. on the 4.

.Argonaut after repairs in 1943.

.25 mounting has been replaced by a quadruple pom pom. Note that most of the 20mm mounts have been removed and replaced by 40mm botors and boffins and that 'Q' 5.Bow and quarter views of Argonaut at Portsmouth in June 1946.

and was hit on the starboard side at Nos. and communications between the bridge. rigging. The Argonaut was torpedoed by aircraft in the Western Mediterranean on 14/2/42. Both spaces flooded immediately. The Phoebe was torpedoed by enemy aircraft in the Eastern Mediterrannean on 27/8/41. 5 and 6 O. Nos. The ship was out of service for 15 months and was repaired by the Philadelphia Navy Yard. A near miss 50yd to port.F. and the engine room failed. and over 70 ft. and compartments forward of No.7 station 3ft above the keel. the Phoebe was again repaired at Brooklyn Navy Yard and was out of service for eight months. and bow compartments below the platform deck were flooded for 28ft. penetrated No. The Cleopatra was dive-bombed ofl Malta on 11/2/42 one direct hit by a 500kg bomb and two near misses. this time off the West African coast by the German submarine U. of the shell plating was blown inboard with serious damage behind it. and she foundered 21min after first being hit. The bomb hit on the starboard side of the fo'c'sle. There were 440 survivors. The torpedo made a hole 30ft X 20ft and surrounding plating was forced in over a length of 80ft. 3 low power room. tanks. Despite extensive structural damage the emergency lighting functioned correctly. On 22/3/42 the Cleopatra was hit by a 6in shell from the Italian battleship Littorio about 2ft above the compass platform deck on the starboard side. 16 bulkhead and aft of cut-up were open to the sea. The ship was out of service for one month while repairs were effected. but with all guns in local control. During another air attack on 30/9/42 the Cleopatra only sustained superficial damage to the superstructure. passed out through the garboard strake just forward of No.25in cordite charges had exploded and four others burned-out (out of two hundred and sixty stowed in transn cases). Nos. The HA calculating position. and exploded underwater and caused minor damage to 10ft of the keel. but not before two 5. but an initial 6deg port list was corrected by counter-flooding and became a 4deg starboard list. the structure in the vicinity was wholly demolished. 1 and 2 transmitting stations. the machinery extensively damaged. 48-50 stations.205 on 16/6/42. and was hit twice on the starboard side. No. 35-87 stations from the lower deck to the keel. serious internal damage was sustained between Nos. The ship took an immediate list of 22deg. and was hit one the port side 4ft below the platform deck abreast "Q" turret magazine. and the fore end structure below the lower deck was wrecked or demolished for 28ft. and the only power failure was aft. The keel hogged 6in over 50ft. caused serious splinter damage to the tubes and the training gear of the multiple 2pdr mounting. the bulkhead between the engine room and the adjoining forward boiler room was destroyed (both immediately flooded). abreast the torpedo tubes. Flooding (some controlled) extended to the five forward O. and the starboard forward cable passage also flooded. The forward hit was at No. Abaft the cut-up 56ft of the structure was demolished or wrecked. "B" and "Q" magazines and shell rooms. and "A" magazine and the A/S compartment were partially flooded. main lower steering position. The Cleopatra was torpedoed off Sicily by the Italian submarine Dandolo on 1617/43. Another mid-air near miss to port caused splinter damage to the forward HA. there was progressive flooding from "B" magazine to Nos.DCT and the searchlight.161. 19 bulkhead and the watertight door of the small arms (SA) magazine. but the main machinery compartments were intact and undamaged. The ship was repaired at Brooklyn Navy Yard and was out of service for eight months. 2pdr and torpedo magazines. The SA magazine was flooded. The torpedo blew a 28 X 18ft hole in the outer bottom. and was struck on the starboard side abreast the after boiler and engine rooms (No. 34-57 stations flooded to the waterline. On 23/10/42 the Phoebe was again torpedoed.damage to adjoining plates and frames. The after hit was 8ft below the waterline and under the steering gear compartment. She was finally torpedoed by the German submarine U. In addition. and five side armour plates were displaced. and main switchboard room. tanks. and . 117 station). and the deck above set-up 9in. The torpedo blew a hole 40ft X 30ft from the keel to above the lower deck over the full length of "Q" magazine. and all radar and both gyro compasses out of action. while two cased torpedo warheads which caught fire were jettisoned. and speed was reduced to 6 knots. but with only minor damage to fittings. 1 and 2 low power rooms. "B" turret was out of action. "A" turret could not be operated owing to risk to damaged structure.F. and was hit at the after end of the forward engine room at bilge keel level. with minor damage as far forward as "X" turret. 24 bulkhead leaving a 4tft X 3ft hole in its wake. She was able to steam at 10-11 knots. followed by "X" magazine and the forward engine room. and aerials. After emergency repairs at Pointe Noire (where "A" turret was landed). An initial port list of 7tdeg was corrected by counterflooding aft. and nearly all compartments from Nos. while the next 16ft was crumpled back and displaced to port. which increased steadily until she was on her beam ends. The ship was docked at Gibraltar and was out of service for five days.

The after boiler room and adjacent wing spaces flooded immediately. The Diadem was hit by a 5. and a splinter caused a fire in "Y" turret. but the after control position. and the ship heeled 5-10deg to port. the starboard tubes shifted 2ft. so that the ship could only be manoeuvred by the outboard shafts.flooding extended to the O. The deck was holed and the metalsmiths' and shipwrights' workshops were damaged by blast and splinters. superstructure. electrical equipment.27 in the English Channel on 23/10/43. tank was damaged and flooded the W /T compartment below the steering gear and adjacent store rooms. which increased the list to 15deg. There was a temporary loss of all electrical power. Because of risk to damaged structure "Y" turret could not be operated. Slight buckling occurred on the port side as well. There was extensive structural damage: the upper deck was blown upwards. but the after F.leaving a hole 16in X 3in but failed to explode and caused only minor damage. Shock caused extensive damage to main and auxiliary machinery castings: all LP turbine castings. but most damage was made good in a few hours and the ship was not placed out of service. both sets of torpedo tubes. The Scylla was mined off Normandy in 9 fathoms of water on 23/6/44. and as a result the ship lost all steam and electrical power. the port director for the multiple 2pdr mountings was damaged by splinters. both gyro compasses. The Sirius again sustained bomb damage from one direct hit and four near misses off Scarpanto Island on 17/10/43.9in shell when in action with German destroyers off Norway on 28/1/45. Both inner shafts were bent and their A-brackets wrecked. which exploded on contact with the fo'c'sle deck just abaft the fore funnel. the port torpedo tubes warheads and the 2pdr RU ammunition caught fire. The ship was out of service for five weeks for repairs. and internal structure was also buckled.W. The ship was out of service for 4-!. and the RPC gear to "X" turret was flooded. The Charybdis suddenly trimmed by the stern and hung almost vertically for about 30min before foundering. tanks. Steam power was restored after 24min but no electrical power as supply switchgear was flooded. and the decks hogged and worked. and the after 20mm gun destroyed. and leads to P3 and S3 twin 20mm mountings were severed. the directors for the multiple Zndr mountings. The port torpedo tubes were demolished. The shell passed through a cabin and out at the side 8ft above the waterline . On 29/1/44 the Spartan was hit by an HS-293 glider bomb off Anzio just abaft the after funnel. and foundered 10min later. damage to radar and W /T equipment. end the torpedo tubes jumped-off their roller paths. the after HA/LA. Within 5min the list had increased to 50deg and the upper deck was awash to abaft the break of the fo'c'sle as the ship settled by the stern. The Scylla was patched-up but never completely repaired.months while under repair. Shock closed the emergency valve between the forward boiler and enqine rooms. She was first hit on the port side in the after boiler room and rapidly took an initial list to port of 20deg. The ship was out of service for 10-!. plummer block pedestals. . fixed and sliding feet of turbines (both for main propulsion and the generators). F. and the provision room.OCT displaced. "Y" gun house and both barrels of "X" turret were damaged by splinters. and the explosion occurred under the starboard side of the after engine room. tanks. A large hole was blown in the upper deck and in the ship's side. a serious fire broke out in the after superstructure. and due to fire danger "X" and "Y" magazines were flooded 19min after being hit.months and was repaired by the Philadelphia Navy Yard. including weather drainage. Smoke and steam impeded the damage control parties. On 18/9/43 a near miss by a 250kg bomb abreast the bridge 30ft to starboard caused temporary but severe shock damage to the electrical equipment of the Sirius. and half of the W /T equipment was unserviceable. most radar. There was no flooding from the sea. and the steering gear and rudders were destroyed. This started fires in and around the RU lockers for the after 20mm gun and among debris on the lower deck. and 10min later was hit again on the port side in the after engine room. main bearers in the after engine room (engines put out of alignment).23 and T. Four near misses off the port side amidships caused splinter damage to the side. all electrical power failed. one tube of the port torpedo tubes. The outer bottom plating was buckled and corrigated to a depth of 6in over 160ft abreast the after boiler and engine rooms and the after magazines.F. The Charybdis was torpedoed by the German destroyers T. and the mainmast collapsed to port. After 5hrs of repairs the ship qot underway on the port after turbines.W. A 250kg bomb hit the quarterdeck abaft "Y" turret and blew a 20ft diameter hole in the upper deck and a smaller hole in the lower deck. A 155mm shell from a shore battery hit the Argonaut on the starboard side of the quarterdeck off Normandy on 30/6/44. The Spartan was abandoned just over an hour after being hit. and it detonated abreast the port side of the after boiler room. and all keeps to the fixed and sliding feet of the boilers were distorted. and to "Y'' turret. radar.

Note the complete difference in appearance as compared to the original group. the funnels are now upright.Bow view of Spartan In August 1943 on the Clyde. The overall effect is that of a much more compact and modern ship. Spartan later in 1943. She has the same appearance as when completed. extra deckhouses have been added amidships. and the height of the bridge has been lowered. ~~-~~~~~~~~~ .


Note {hal {he torpedo tubes have been removed. The only external additions are those to the foremast in the form of TBS aerials carried on an extra yardarm filted fore and aft on {he upper foremast. .6.Looking over the top of Royalist on the 2.1944 as a command ship.3.1945. Aerial of Royalist on the 1. and that a deckhouse and a 27' whaler have baen added in {hose positions.

armament.A. new HAlLA. .Royalist in March 1945. OCT's lore & all. and had the torpedo tubes removed. lattice masts. new radar and close-range A. Aller modernisation in 1956 the Royalist had an enclosed bridge.

- - - - - - Bellona In New Zealand waters on 4.-_ Bellona on completion in 1943.1952. . Note that the 20mm mounts have been removed and replaced by single 40mm bolors.6.

.On board view of Bellona In early 1945.

.Bellona In early 1944. On-board view of Bellona while escorting Russian convoy during the firsl monlhs of 1945.

.7. date of photo not known for certain but believed to be about 1951.1944.Bellona photographed in New Zealand waters. Bow view of Black Prince on the 26.

Quarter view 01 Black Prince taken on 26.1943 soon aller completion. Quarter view 01 Black Prince on the Diadem on completion. .

.Bow and quarter views 01 Diadem In January 1944 on completion.

Aerial bow view 01 Diadem on 15.3. .3.1945. Broadside view 01 Diadem on Ihe 20.1945.

9.40 30. and all others by builders.40 27..3. Dockyard (Chatham) Hawthorn Leslie (Hebburn) (Govan) Fairfield H.5.44 10. Sold Hughes Bolckow.1. & Speed Oil fuel Guns Dido 5.42 29. Torpedoed German submarine U.39 24.10. Cashmore. (1956-67). arrived Blyth 18/7/59 & scrapped.39 1.39 21.39 19.42 8.6.43 20. R.37 19. Barrow 16/7/57 & Sold Hughes Bolckow.N.P. arrived Newport 19/11/55 & scrapped. R. sold Nossho.8.9. W.40 30.40 24.37 26. R. Sold J. MACHINERY CONTRACTS: Euryalus engined by Hawthorn Leslie.38 18. W. Dockyard (Portsmouth) ~0. Designed legend Displacement (standard) Dimensions S.42 27. (1948-62).N.11.23 & T.8.42 26. arrived 2/3/62 & scrapped.12.000 tons 520 x 53 x 16t It 75. sold T. 18.PtNo Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate 37 42 93 43 82 Dido Euryalus Naiad Phoebe Sirius Cammell Laird (Birkenhead) H.39 6.41 12.3. scrapped.41 Torpedoed Italian submarine Ambra north of Sollum 31/3/41.42 6.M.M. Sold T.8.10.39 25. 1.3. arrived Blyth 15/10/56 & scrapped.2.000=33k. arrived Barrow 6/5/50 & 61 63 81 84 89 95 Argonaut Cammell Laird (Birkenhead) Bellona Fairfield (Govan) Black Prince Harland & Wolff (Belfast) Diadem Hawthorn Leslie (Hebburn) Royalist Scotts (Greenock) Spartan Vickers-Armstrongs (Barrow) 21.435 tons 16-5" DP 12-1.40 25.000 = 32!k.3. 1.11. Torpedoed German submarine U.745 tons 455 x 47t x 10 It 110.9.3" 8-37 mm AA 8-21" T.8. arrived Briton Ferry 5/2/59 & scrapped.N.40 21. Bombed German aircraft Anzio 29/1/44.l. arrived Newport 15/12/58 & scrapped. W.40 3.100 tons 10- 2.37 6.12. 88 33 98 Charybdis Cleopatra Scylla Cammell Laird (Birkenhead) Hawthorn Leslie (Hebburn) Scotts (Greenock) 9. 31 74 Bonaventure Hermione Scotts (Greenock) Stephen (Linthouse) 30.H.25" DP 8-2p AA 6-21" Atlanta 6.5.42 Sold T.T. Cashmore.N. Ward. sold Japanese sbkr.40 6.37 21.38 5.8.l.40 6.39 3.42 27.10.27 English Channel 23/10/43.39 6.43 10.5.39 30.N.5. (1948-56).39 15. arrived Blyth 1/8/56 & scrapped.41 5.565 south of Crete 11/3/42.1.41 24. 1. R. Babur (1956). Ward. .l.39 17.~ 8-21" Atlilio Regolo 3.39 18.205 north of Sollum 16/6/42.1" A.450 tons 485 x 50 x 141 ft 62.11. arrived Osaka 1/68 & scrapped. arrived scrapped. Sold Hughes Bolckow.N.9.43 Sold J.N.41 29.000=40k. Sirius by Scotts.42 Torpedoed German torpedo boats T.7.10.400 tons 8-5. Ward.4.9.P.

P&S All six single 20mm mounts in positions D. P&S Light A-A positions for Diadem Single 20mm mounts added by March 1945.T.C. with secondary compass on top 44" Searchlight P&S HA/CS Director Gravity tank A B C D E F G H I J Single 20mm Oerlikon mountings added by June 1944. 6 Support for HA/CS Director 7 Position for Pom Pom Director 8 20" Signalling Projector P&S 9 Main WT Aerial Trunk 9a 'B' Gun Mounting 10 Three ton electric winch P&S 11 Locker P&S 12 Quadruple 2Pdr Pom Pom 13 Paravanes P&S 14 Twin 20mm Oerlikons P&S 15 Leadsman's platform P&S 16 'A' Gun Mounting 17 Watertight hatch 1943) 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 Reel P&S Wash deck locker Sick bay skylight Pillar supports to Flag deck platform Boiler room vents Catwalk Lifebelt locker P&S Wash deck locker Ladder 44" Searchlight P&S Vegetable locker Vegetable locker Magazine lockers Reel P&S Power unit for twin 20mm mounting P&S Two ton boat winch Reel P&S Engine room vent P&S Position for two Pdr Pom Pom P&S Pom Pom locker P&S 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 Ladder up to casing top Engine room vent P&S Ready use lockers for twin 20mm mountings P&S Magazine lockers P&S Wash deck locker Timber rack Engine room exhaust vent 'X' Gun mounting Gravity tank Aerial for MF/DF Radar office for type 281 MF/DF office Gratings Pom Pom directors P&S Boiler room vents P&S Commander's shelter. moved by mid 1945 to positions E Twin 20mm mounts added by mid 1945. P&S Twin 20mm mounts in waist replaced in June 1944 by singles 44" searchlights P&S replaced in June 1944 by twin 20mm Oerlikons. bringing the total carried to eight twin 20mm mountings Light A-A positions for Royalist Single 20mm mounts added by March 1945 Light A-A positions for Bellona Single 20mm mounts added by April 1945 Positions of the six 20mm mounts carried by September 1946 Two single 20mm mounts removed by September 1946 @@ I! ® 0) tIt (7) + (1)0 Q) CD i~cra® fJ @ @@ ® 3~ ''-®®@ @ o I 1 5"0 64- F .KEY TO PLAN VIEWS (BLACK PRINCE as in November 1 WT Aerial trunk 2 Admiral's Bridge 3 Platform P&S 4 Compass Platform 5 Support for D.

.C..-=:::::.. ~21~I--.:::::c:...I-}Ec=:~ ~\~==5~21 ~\r-L~~~~:::::::::::::::to =--kf'L___ .:.. ~/~=:l_l_~_...-~ -~~~-L~.=!_J~('..57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 Wood decking 14' sailing dinghy 27' whaler P&S 16' motor dinghy Beef screen Vegetable store 32' motor Cutter 30' Motor Boat Boat crutches Pom Pom support Vent P&S Line of Pom Pom platform 21" Triple TTs P&S Fore legs of Mainmast Line of 20mm gun platform 72 73 74 75 76 One ton electric winch 'Y' Gun Mounting Capstan Portable steel plate Depth Charge rails KEY TO SECTIONS 'BLACK PRINCE' Boiler room vent Uptake After boiler room Oil fuel Air space Cable passage Radar office over over 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 o so I 64 14 /S' I 8 Combined fitting shop 9 Lobby 10 Bakery 11 Forward engine room 12 Boiler room vent 13 Forward boiler room 14 Aircraft and tactical plotting office 15 Lobby 16 Officers' W... 17 Wardroom lobby 18 Pantry 19 Admiral's office 20 Stokers' mess 21 No 1 transmitter room 22 Flour store 23 TS and HACP office 24 Oil fuel 25 Stokers' mess 26 Seamen's mess 27 Cool room 28 Engineers' store 29 'B' magazine and shell room 16 iaffiUmMi!d o 50 1 64- I c?f C?f C?f ¥ DoD 0 73 70 (OJ 0 6 \ \ ~-.. 0 0 o c:$ / I / I ----============~.-=:::::.

CLEOPATRA Positions for two single 2pdr pom poms as fitted from completion until mid-1942. and five single mounts. CLOSE RANGE A-A WEAPONS AS MOUNTED ON SHIPS but believed to have carried five single fitted in late 1941. Two singles added in mid-1943 (positions not known). Positions for four twin 20mm mounts as fitted from early 1944 until scrapped. probably invited. Positions for two quadruple bofors mountings fitted in place of quadruple pom poms from June 1943. Three single 40mm bofors and four single 20mm mounts carried by September 1944 (positions not known). . 14 HERMIONE Positions for five single 20mm mounts. SIRIUS Positions for five single 20mm mounts. Positions for five twin 20mm mounts (including One on the quarterdeck) as fitted on completion of refit in November 1943. Positions for four twin 20mm mounts as fitted in mid-1943. Positions for four single 20mm mounts as fitted from June 1943. Nine single 20mm mounts fitted from this lime ~~~rt\~~~S fOnrotsi~nf. including one on the quarterdeck as fitted from very late 1941 or early 1942. : t---l . Eight single zornrn mounts carried from mid-1942 (positions not known). PHOEBE Positions for eleven single 20mm mounts. including one On the quarterdeck as fitted from completion. Single mounting on quarterdeck removed in mid1943.-mWW:J. as fitted from November 1941 until mid-1943. 5. Positions for three quadruple bofors mountings as fitted from n:>id1943 onwards. It is not certain if these positions are correct. Positions for five single 20mm mounts as fitted from early 1944 unti I scrapped.) Positions for five single 20mm mounts as fitted from mid-1943.J . Six singles added in 1944 (positions not known). plus one on quarterdeck.2 3 4 DIDO Positions for four single 20mm mounts. power mount. including one quarterdeck. making a total of six twin mounts. Positions for seven Single 20mm mounts as fitted from September 1942.:"t-wpt4tI ~o i ~----------------------~. including one on the quarterdeck. as fitted from mid-September until sunk. 9 10 20 21 11 12 13 22 PLAN VIEWS SHOWING LIGHT A-A POSITIONS r: -------.25" 'Q' mounting replaced early in 1944 by quadruple 2pdr porn porn. Two more single 40mm botors added by April 1945 (positions not known) . r ! Multiple Porn Porn.W'1 2.zomm mounts as fitted from early 1944. including one on the quarterdeck as fitted from June 1943 until start of 1944.~). Sm. Positions for eight single 20mm mounts as fitted from mid-1943 until very early 1944. One quadruple bofors mounting fitted in place of former 4" starshell gun in 'Q' position from May 1942 onwards. (Readers' comments OF THE DIDO CLASS 15 16 17 18 19 5 6 7 8 EURYALUS Positions for five single 20mm mounts as fitted in mid-September. . .gle pam poms removed in mid-1942. NAIAD Not known lor certain.25" 'Q' mounting replaced early in 1944 by quadruple 2pdr pom porn. / . Positions for two twin 20mm mounts added in early 1944.. including one on the quarterdeck as fitted from May 1942 until damaged in October 1942. ----r__@) '<S' o \ '. ARGONAUT Positions for four single 20mm mounts as fitted on completion. Positions for six twin 20mm mounts. Positions for three single 20mm mounts. 20mm mounts.) on the Twin 20mm. (Readers' comments invited. Positions for four single 20mm mounts as fitted from early 1944. No singles carried. 5.

Vincent) Landing Craft Minesweepers Armed Trawlers Seaplane Carriers .ENSIGN 2 Already ENSIGN published: 1King George V Class Battleships In preparation: 34- 56- Flower Class Corvettes Queen Elizabeth Class Town Class Cruisers "R" Class Battleships Battleships Future volumes will feature:- "0 & P" Class Destroyers Vanguard & Lion Class Battleships Colony Class Cruisers County Class Cruisers Early Dreadnoughts (including Bellerophon & St.

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