The eternal conflict of needs and means of their realization was particularly glaring after the start of construction of the “Washington” cruisers. Desyatitysyachnye high-speed ships are often not inferior to the dreadnoughts of the last war neither in length nor in cost. Their number depended primarily on the thickness of the purse, and with it all countries during the great economic crisis, the situation was not all that great. In a particularly unpleasant situation, “mistress of the seas”. Britain needed a lot of cruisers, at least 50 that need to be changed to the new type required fantastic for those times the sum of 100 million pounds. Meanwhile, in 1926, the financial situation became so critical that I had to abandon two of the four scheduled “County.” The fate of the two planned building ships also remained in question. The Admiralty then went on a long beaten path, trying to abandon the “maximum” heavy cruisers in favor of smaller and more economical option.
However, too much to cut back on the combat capabilities of units of “economy class” (which, by the way, the “b” designation instead of “A” class, full-size mile high) also was not reasonable, because in case of war they had to face their “older brothers” from the opponents. It was supposed to be limited to a displacement of 8,000 tons due to the removal of one of the eight-inch towers. However, the accumulated experience seems to be allowed at the same time to strengthen a reservation, providing decent protection from at least six-inch.
In the end the project is quite much different from the poorly protected vysokovoltnyh “counties”. (Both ships received ideologically curious names, reflecting their interim status. They were called “York” and “Exeter”; on the one hand, the names of the cities traditionally given light cruisers, and with another — both cities had the status of cities counties.) “Writenote” visibly manifested in their appearance. First of all, the cruiser turned noticeably shorter. Instead of a massive flush-deck hull designers were limited to quite a long forecastle. From its predecessors the new cruisers went to the power plant, but the number of pipes was reduced to two: both front boiler rooms smoke dissipate into the front pipe. Maintaining the same power with less displacement would bring the speed up to 32 knots. The figure is quite modest, but it is not superfluous to recall that the British by that time, refused to “cheat” inflated speeds achieved only on tests focusing on the reliability and stability mechanisms without any forcing. It is not surprising that their ships could compete on the service with formal where as with the speed of the Italians and the French.
A couple were not quite the same. If head “York” has retained many features of “County” (in particular, the inclined pipe and “three-storey” front add-belted, off bridges), the “Exeter” found a shape that has become characteristic of all subsequent cruisers of the British Navy. Straight pipes and a fully closed angular add-in gave it a more solid appearance, inherent in most battleship.
Finally the British cruiser returned side armor. Though not very solid: the thickness of the armor belt was 76 mm, same as the old small “C”. Decently defended the cellar of ammunition, which had become so familiar “box” design. Their walls reached a thickness of 112 mm on the head “York”, and “Exeter” they stepped up to 140 mm. as for the weapons, some of the useful innovations involves the installation of multi-barrelled 40-mm “POM-pomo”, but to save weight and money during construction were replaced as traditional as it is of little use 12.7 mm machine guns.
In General, however, the ships have turned out quite good (some experts not without good reason consider them to be the best British heavy cruisers), but the main task — the economy failed to solve. Economy version cost only 10% cheaper than full-sized “County.” A simple calculation shows that such investment can hardly be called rational: 10 “exetera” could oppose the enemy with only 60 guns of the main caliber, while standard nine mile high — 12 guns. Winning one combat unit does not compensate the fact that individually each ship dozens of such inferior in fire power is a possible opponent in the quarter or even a third. In the Admiralty all this is quickly figured out and decided the “economic experiments” are not repeated. The following heavy cruisers would be the “Northumberland” and “Carrey”, which we have already mentioned, complete the “DC community” with four two-gun turrets. However, the adoption of the London naval Treaty was set to “mistress of the seas” an end to further construction of eight-inch cruisers — all released on their quota was already selected. So by chance “defective”, “city” and “Exeter” were the last representatives of this class in Britain.