VERY MILITARY “KIDS”

VERY COMBATIVE The elephant-like “light” cruisers, such as “Mogami”, “Brooklyn” or “Belfast”, differ from hard only in the replacement of 8-inch artillery 6-inch, of course, perfectly suited for any combat missions. In General, a very worthy ships in all but one — the price. Miracles in shipbuilding does not happen: to the limit stuffed with weapons and equipment, 10-thousanders of the cost was off the charts beyond that available even to the wealthiest countries in the world. It was impossible to build in adequate to create a balanced fleet quantities, certainly not in peacetime. No Parliament or Congress has not approved such a budget, especially considering the smoldering since the first postwar years the economic crisis erupted, several setiausaha.

In this situation in the most unpleasant position in that light, it was Britain. The leadership of the Navy has always considered the cruiser the basis of the power of the Empire, scattered to all corners of the globe. To protect the invisible threads of sea routes, ensuring the vital activity of this complex organism, indeed, have required many ships. So much that they can would not fit in the limits stipulated by the Treaty of London, subject to continuation of the construction 8 — 9 — 10-tasaciones units even if they would find the funds. Meanwhile, for actions with linear squadrons and flotillas of destroyers were not required such a large cruiser that has shown success small “Aratus”.

 
Therefore, in 1934, the Admiralty made a second attempt to create a “Navy cruiser” — a ship to work in conjunction with the main forces, which looked at the time still very impressive. First among the list of conditions for designers were the size and the cost, of course, the smallest. The designers sat at drawing boards and picked up a slide rule, and soon the admirals got the preliminary sketches that plunged them into a hefty depression. Most of the projects represented several “poshtukatureny” old — types “C” and “D”. Most decent looked a bit like a modified “Arethusa”, and the most interesting — a completely unarmored superesminets with a displacement of 1850 tons the weapons with five two-gun 120-mm units. That he went into business, creating, in the end, the famous type “Tribal”. But here’s the problem of the cruiser squadron has not advanced a single step, although its decision was joined themselves admirals. From the command of the Mediterranean fleet were quite original suggestion: light armor protected the ship with a displacement of only 3500 tons with twelve(!) 120-millimetrovie in six plants. It could be called the armored leader, if not the speed, limited to just 26 — 27 knots. The idea, in principle, clear: the then British battleships developed at 2 to 5 knots less than this mournful numbers and operations, the boat was a good fit. But abroad, it was already designed and ready to build a new high-speed ships of the line against which such “Navy cruiser” absolutely not good. Looked sadly even thought about meeting with the regular cruisers of the enemy. In the case of the superiority of the “lame boy,” could them to catch up, and in a reverse situation, it could only die, inflicting, except that minor damage is clearly their weak guns.
 
However, the idea of the ship, armed with a significant number of milder than usual befits the cruiser, guns, sunk into the head. Moreover, increasingly loomed the prospect of trouble from the aircraft, and to repel air attacks six-inch guns approached badly, although they tried to make a more or less universal. In early 1935 it was decided that the future “naval” cruiser in the main caliber gun versatile, able to act as the aircraft and fight the destroyers, which inevitably “swell” in size. On the selection of the appropriate miracle weapons gone the whole year, when I finally settled on a completely new and unusual for the British caliber 133. such guns were supposed to be set on the new battleships (the future “king George”), so the decision was very reasonable from the point of view of the cost of development and supply of ammunition. Looked reasonable and the caliber of the shells weighing over 36 kg is only slightly inferior to the six-inch in action on small ships, but the instruments themselves were much easier.
From Mediterranean ticketnest immediately decided to give up, while providing a standard for the time 32 — 33 knots displacement immediately jumped to more than 5 million tons. Well, I had to make that sacrifice to create a more or less balanced draft. And the new “Navy” cruiser looked very good. With a displacement of 5,350 tons he was carrying the latest armament: ten 133-millimetrovogo and two four-barrelled 40-mm machine gun, and had the 6 torpedo tubes, and relatively decent for a “baby” book. The apt choice as it confirms the rapid graceful body, over which rose a “hill” of the three towers in the nose, peretekaniya in the superstructure with bridge and small ship gave the impression of power. Speed testified sloping chimneys and masts.
 
Unfortunately, as often happens, good ideas ran into problems in their implementation. The focus was primarily on the basis around which you created the project, — 133-millimetrovogo. The guns and their installation was not quite suitable for defense. Pumped and the speed of aiming and rate of fire, optimistically defined in 14 to 16 rounds per minute. In fact, well, if it has reached 10 shots. In addition, new tools immediately become scarce: they were established on linear the ships as a universal caliber, so that “Navy” cruisers get only the leftovers. Meanwhile, the wartime conditions demanded a speedy entry of new units into operation. Therefore, as “interim” armament two units, “Scylla” and “Charybdis” received eight 114-millimetrovogo — along with the ironic nickname “toothless terrors”. Of course, such weapons rather unbecoming to the great destroyer, but, surprisingly, faster-firing and the mobile units has been very good for defense against aviation. So temporary became permanent. There is only the question: how would the “monsters” in combat with the enemy’s cruisers? The answer is pretty obvious.
 
But as they say, “some shortcomings” did not mean that the new “Navy cruiser” has failed. On the contrary, from the very beginning of their career they became very popular. All units received the names of the heroes and heroines of ancient mythology, people, gods, and monsters like the already mentioned “Scylla” and “Charybdis”. Among them was “Dido” (“Dido”), “Hermione”, “Oriolis,” “Phoebus” and other. Lacked only the Odyssey of Ulysses, and filled in this gap-known author of adventure novels by Alistair Maclean. He created “the HMS “Ulysses””, in which they show all the traits of a “Navy cruiser” the will of the author was in the North, in the protection of convoy to Murmansk. I must say that some of them really had to do some fighting in Arctic conditions, for example, “the Argonaut,” published in the icy Atlantic in the Navy of the mother country, or “Scylla”, skillfully and effectively defending from the German planes convoy PQ-18. However, most of the “Dido” had to fight in a much more comfortable from the point of view of climate the waters of the Mediterranean. But no less critical, from a different point of view. Danger was waiting for them and from the depth and from the air. “Bonaventur”, “Hermion and Naiad” went to the bottom after the attacks of submarines, but the first of them had until then to sink an Italian destroyer and damaging another. “Phoebe” and “Cleopatra” was more fortunate: after a similar attack and hits torpedoes, they managed to get to the saving of the harbors and after repair again to enter into operation.
 
Tried to keep pace with its submarines and enemy aircraft. Bombs from German dive-bombers were damaged and “Bonaventur”, and “Sirius”, and “Naiad” and “Cleopatra”, and a torpedo with a “Svoya-Marchetti” struck “Argonaut”. But the enemy pilots were less lucky: all their victims survived and returned to service. Often in order to die. Safely surviving all the trouble in the Mediterranean “, Charibdis” fate was waiting in the English channel where it was struck by torpedoes of German destroyers. Together with the cruiser killed most of the crew. The explosion of a powerful bottom mines under the hull of the “Scylla” has led to so heavy damage that the cruiser was never recovered, though remained fretting at the sludge until 1950. But the “Argonaut” has shown an enviable vitality. Two torpedoes from Italian submarine off of him and a nose, and feed in the open ocean off the coast of Congo, but the cruiser made it safely to base and after repairs in the USA he continued his career, while shelled them for two weeks before the “punishment” of the Italian destroyer V SS Folgore once and for all went down. All the real history sometimes is not inferior to literary fantasies. This one of the prototypes of the team had prior to his miraculous rescue to participate in the evacuation of troops from Greece and Crete, the wiring convoys to Malta and operation Pedestal, to your torpedo and repaired And continue no less remarkable career after he participated in vysotkah in Normandy and southern France, fought against the Germans in the Aegean sea (the scene of another novel Maclean — “the Guns of island Navarre”) and finally went to the Pacific where he accompanied the British fleet in operations against the Arakan and Sumatra, and then came with him to Okinawa and Shanghai. An equally strong lust for life showed Phoebus, bow and stern which tore already not Italian, and German torpedoes. And the cruiser “cured” in the United States, after which he also came first in the Aegean sea and then the Pacific ocean.
 
As can be seen from is not a comprehensive description of the service, “Dido” is really in great demand and have been rather successful. It is not surprising that in the Navy in the first months of the war demanded the continuation of the “series”. At the end of 1939 and beginning of 1940 was followed by the laying of the five improved “Dido”. Was originally supposed to repeat the original project, but during construction it turned out some “subtleties”. So, cruisers, mostly accompanying their heavy ships, or convoys, obviously not enough light anti-aircraft weapons for self-defense against aircraft. Furthermore, the third (the highest) bow tower was heavily weighted extremity and decreased stability. The solution seems to be killing two birds with one stone: the problem of the tower was replaced in the third four-barrel “POM-POM”. In the rest of the “filling” remained the same, and in appearance the second series differed from the first straight chimneys. (It was considered that this option to a lesser extent gives the direction of motion of the ship.) Already during the war, Bellona and his comrades received one and a half to two dozen 20-mm “Arlekino”. First, it was assumed is thoroughly outdated by the time the “POM-pomul” set four “Bofors”, but the demand was too great. Generally, the circumstances strongly reflected in service “Navy” cruisers (mostly the first series). Thus, the “Scylla” and “Charybdis” unable to get a 133-mm setting and instead fought with eight 114-millimetrovie — arms, several weak for a cruiser, but proved less effective against defenses. “Dido”, “Bonaventur” and “Phoebus” carried on the bow instead of the third tower of the old 102-mm gun, fit only for firing illuminating shells.
 
Entered into service in 1943 the cruiser of the second series, however, have time to smell gunpowder. In January 1944, Spartan, covering the landing at Anzio, got hit by German glide bombs. It is clear that the tool can sink a battleship, a small cruiser to “digest” could not. The sinking of “Spartan” was able to get to small places and became stranded. Therefore, in some references it is listed as sunk, and some as heavily damaged. The fact of the matter is that to recover it, the British did not: the outcome of the war was not in doubt, and anguish in the fight for yet another combat unit seemed unnecessary.
 
Other modified “Dido” succeeded in sinking enemy ships. Two military transport on the account listed as “Royalist”. Bellona along with do-it deremine destroyers killed a couple of enemy minesweepers, a patrol boat and a steamer off the coast of France, and then paired with heavy cruisers “Kent” and “Norfolk” added two more trawlers. “Black Prince”, together with the destroyers, sank the destroyer “T-29” of the enemy and damaged two more, and the “diadem” with “Morisien” heavily damaged a large destroyer “Z-31”.
 
VERY COMBATIVE
196. Light cruiser “San Diego” (USA, 1944)
 
Built by “Bethlehem” in Quincy. Standard displacement— 6590 tons, 8100 tons, a maximum length of 165,05 m, width of 16.21 m, maximum draught of 6.25 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 75 000 HP, speed of 32,5 knot. Reservations: the Board and traverse 95 mm, 32 mm deck, towers, 32 mm, cutting 65 mm Armament: sixteen 127/38-mm guns, sixteen 40-mm and eight 20-mm guns, two four 533-mm torpedo tubes. In 1942-1946, he built 11 units: “Atlanta”, “June”, “San Diego, “San Juan”, “Auckland”, “flint”, “Reno”, “Tucson”, “Juno-N”, “Spokane” and “Fresno”. “Atlanta” and “Juno” died November 13, 1942; of the remaining 5 scrapped in 1960-1962, 3 in 1966 and the last (“Spokane”)— 1973
 
197. Light cruiser “Argonaut” (England, 1943)
 
It was built by the firm “Cammel Laird”. Standard displacement—5972 t, full—7171 tons, maximum length—156,05 m, width of 15.39 m, maximum draught of 5.21 m. Capacity chetyrehbalnoy steam turbine 62 000 HP, speed 32.25 node. Reservations: the Board of 76 mm, deck 51 mm -25, tower of 12.7 mm Armament: ten 133/50-mm guns, eight 40-mm guns, four 20-mm machine gun, two three-pipe 533-mm torpedo tubes. In 1940-1942, he built 11 units: “DIDOT”, “Bonaventur”, “Feb”, “Oriolis,” “Hermione””, Charibdis”, “Cleopatra”, “Argonaut”, “Sirius” and “Scylla”. “Bonaventur”, “Charybdis”, “Hermione” and “Naiad” was killed in the Second world war, “Scylla” scrapped in 1950, the rest in 1956 — 1959
 
198. Light cruiser “Jacob van Heemskerk, you’ll be” (Holland, England, 1940)
 
It was built by the firm “Nederlandse Shipibo” in Amsterdam, armed in England. Standard displacement — 3765 t, full—4860 tons, dimensions, power plant and reservation: 16+20-30 mm, deck 25-15 mm, cutting 12 mm. Armament: ten 102/45 mm universal guns, four 40 mm and six 20-mm guns. Excluded from the lists of fleet combat in 1951, was used as placatory, finally excluded from the list in 1970 and scrapped.

 
Active service in years of battles affected the post-war fate of “the Navy cruisers”. From the number of surviving units of the first series no one has served the limit of 20 years; moreover, by 1957 scrapping escaped only three from seven. A little more luck upgraded “Dido”: “Bellona” and “black Prince” in 1948 gave New Zealand, and in 1956, they added “Royalist”. Small dominion to treat our inherited very large “by the standards of the antipodes”, the ships, but Finance was “not rubber”, and one by one they went to be scrapped (the last was in 1968, “the Cavalier”). Even last longer “diadem”, which was sold in 1956, Pakistan became the flagship under the name “Babur”. But the British were quick to part with their cruiser support fleet just because and its “big fleet” melted with the speed of the snow in strong thaw.
 
But before the Second world war the idea of a small cruiser for the action with the main forces seemed very promising, so much so that thinking about it even the Americans — the principal supporters of the big cruisers. Was to and external motives. Prisoner in 1936 second London naval Treaty (by the way, is much less known than the first, 1931) reduced the limit of allowed displacement of a light cruiser up to 8 thousand tons. Now the limitation of calibre of 152 mm artillery was not considered important, but to cram a large caliber weapon in such a small body is not possible. Moreover, the cruiser “new standard” is clearly too inferior to its predecessors and this caliber: it is reasonable to place more than 8 — 9 six-inch was not possible. After a fair deliberation, which took three years, the Americans decided on a asymmetrical response by creating a ship with a size less than the maximum, armed with lighter weapons, but in large quantity. This mini-cruiser is well suited for the same role, that of “Dido” — joint action with the destroyers, and, if necessary, of course, battleships. Only in the United States went even further, choosing as the main caliber 127 mm universal guns with a barrel length of 38 caliber, as fleet destroyers. Or, if you will, rather as on the newest battleships, where the same pyatidyuymovki were installed in turrets and were used as antiaircraft guns. So many books and reference light cruisers of the “Atlanta” were listed as cruisers, the defense, as, however, and the British “Dido”. Actually both types are intended for actions with other forces of the fleet; the difference consisted in the fact that the Americans are counting on their small cruiser as leaders of the destroyers. However, life has taken its toll: 127-millimetrovom (as the British 133 mm) much more often had to shoot at air targets than the enemy ships. However, in the US, in the end, all officially recognized by their defense ships, but only after the war, in 1949.
 
But let us return to the late 1930s. after going through two dozen projects with U.S. experts stopped on the 6000-ton ship, literally studded with two-gun installations. Three towers stood above the other in the bow and stern, two were found only on the sides, closer to the stern. Sixteen trunks match the power of a division of destroyers, especially when you consider the improved fire control and a more stable platform.
At the hull design of “Atlanta” is reminiscent of the greatly reduced “Brooklyn”. This is evident in its form: the same flush-deck, transom stern, but the bending of the upper deck was affected much more steep to relatively short vehicle is not too buried in the water in heavy seas. More differences appeared in the “guts”. Energy installed by type, characteristic for light vehicles very lightweight and had only two shaft and four boilers. The basis of the “patchwork” of protection became a 95-mm waist covering only the mechanisms, but defense cellars (deep gone under water) had only ballistic. The undoubted highlight of the project as “Britons,” were the artillery. And unlike the ships of the former mother country, the Americans completely failed to provide a great rate of fire. In favorable conditions, “Atlanta” could release the enemy ship about 250 rounds per minute (aircraft — 300) — more than any other cruiser of the Second world war. Lucky for the small cruisers and torpedo armament. In fact, Americans from the mid-1930s years remained staunch opponents of the existence of a threat not only to the enemy “fish” on Board large ships, but because “kids” were not; in addition, they intended for the action with the destroyers, and in this case, the torpedo tube does not look superfluous. The original designers assumed one three-pipe apparatus on Board, but here under a hand turned up four shot destroyers of the type “the Sims” as a result of modernization.
 
American cruiser-leaders, they are also cruisers, air defense, turned out quite successful, although not without flaws; the most unpleasant was a significant overload. The first units did not exceed acceptable 240 tons, but later made to improve the draft, reached 570 — 580, t — almost 10% of the original displacement. It is not surprising that there is a problem with achieving the design speed with the latest cruisers of the series were not up to 35.5 node even under light load, and at full displacement was nearly a knot less. It is curious that the Americans managed, as in the case with the armor of their new battleships, to create and successfully sustain for many years the legend of the extraordinary rapidity “Atlant”, which reference those times attributed and 38, and 39, and even 40 knots! But they don’t advertise it so unique for cruisers features like the sonar and release gear.
 
First overseas “kids” have a hard enough time: they are ripe just in time for it to get into the thick of fierce battles that erupted near Guadalcanal. There laid my head “Atlanta” and “Juno” who died in a single day, 13 November 1942. Atlanta first took up to three dozen shells from the Japanese destroyers, having “a snack” 610 mm “long spear”. This would be enough and a larger ship, but the cruiser kept on the water and might have survived if not for its own heavy fellow “San Francisco”, which not he understood the situation and added to the “collection” of hits 18 eight-inch shells. To withstand this chance was gone, and the next morning the cruiser sank, taking with them 170. Even worse, he had to “Juno”, also seriously damaged by shells and torpedo Japanese destroyers. The final blow to the helpless ship struck a submarine. Unlike “Atlanta”, was not his, and at the bottom with the cruiser went almost the whole team. Interestingly, both victims managed to get hold of 5 and 4 stars respectively differences, though, were in service less than a year. It is not surprising that their names got a new cruiser, and in the case of “Juno” — of the same type. And the record in the fee awards were “San Diego”, awarded as much as 16 “fighting stars.”
 
After the war the us small cruisers lasted a little longer than their British counterparts. However, they nearly became the basis for post-war ships. When in 1944 the Navy Department decided to build a few “Atlas”, the designers have proposed to equip their new 127-millimetrovie with the length of the barrel 54 caliber gun — a powerful weapon that has become standard in the 1950 — 1960-ies. About the project recalled before and after the war, but in the end decided that new times call for a fundamentally new ships.
 
Simultaneously with the giants of military shipbuilding your option economical “baby” was developed and “small world.” But to implementation in the metal was reached only in the Netherlands, where the matter is treated most seriously. Designing a small cruiser began in 1931, it connected the designers of such well-known English firms as “thornycroft” and “yarrow”. However, in the end, the job was done by the Dutch experts are not quite satisfied with the proposed variants of the weapons with 120-millimetrovogo. They managed a small miracle: just before the beginning of world war II in operation included the cruiser with a displacement of less than 3800 tonnes, while carrying six 150-mm guns, machine guns and torpedo tubes and a seaplane. In addition, the ship had a rather extensive area of the reservation, although very thin: on-Board zone only 15 mm, but it stretched over a solid 20 — 30-mm longitudinal bulkhead, which served as additional protection against shells, and (if possible) against torpedoes. For all that, the boat could develop a decent speed: in tests up to 34.5 per node.
 
To the “Tromp” in the end of 1940 were to join fully the same type of sister ship, “Jacob van Heemskerk, you’ll be”, but the unexpected German attack was made to take have not an armed ship to England, where he was reunited with the “Tromp”.
 
The British, naturally, did not have proper weapons and equipped with “valuable asset” in its own way. “Heemskerk, you’ll be” received five paired 102-mm universal settings and has become a real cruiser air defense, which torpedo tubes and a seaplane was no longer needed (it didn’t). But it mounted the radar, then replaced during the upgrade to a more modern model. In the meantime, he hastily departed to the far East, where already actively fought with the Japanese “Tromp”. Dutch “the kid” was one of the first battles of the Pacific war in the Badung Straits, getting a dozen hits from Japanese 127-millimetrovogo. He was lucky to safely escape from the Java trap in Australia, where he was modernized in the course of which he removed the seaplane and crane operations with him, and more conveniently rearranged light anti-aircraft guns. Both cruisers with Dutch crews for nearly three years, accompanied the convoys and looking for German blagopriyatny in the Pacific and Indian oceans, attracting the attention of “older” allies by its small size and fine views. After the war a lot like the ships he served a very short time: by 1955 both brought from the fleet, and then slowly sent to be scrapped.

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