SMALL ORIGINALSAfter the First world war, in addition to shipbuilding giant — Britain and the major European players in the face of France, Italy, Germany and the Soviet Union, in quiet corners of Europe still remained small countries trying hard to develop a national military shipbuilding for their own projects. However, sometimes I had to resort to the “elders”. In the end, was born a very unique ships. And not in the last instance they proved to be just cruisers.

A “great shipbuilding nation in the third category” is Holland, and not because of a whim. Kingdom with a population comparable to the number of inhabitants in greater London, in the early twentieth century had a significant area and population of the colonial Empire, which, of course, were the Indies- today’s Indonesia. A huge “archipelago of a thousand Islands” from a purely Maritime borders just cried on the fleet to protect it. Meanwhile, by the beginning of the First world war, the Royal Netherlands Navy consisted of a collection of more than pretty outdated ships, is not always suitable, even for routine service, not to mention the implementation of major combat missions. Most of it was the battleships of coastal defense gunboats and ships that are useful in peacetime for deterrence “unruly savages”, but unable to resist the modern high-speed units. The cruiser was represented exclusively by the slow-moving “old man”. It is clear that in such circumstances the necessary experience in the construction of the Dutch is almost completely absent. Therefore, immediately after in 1915, the Parliament adopted the program, which included a couple of big cruisers (“Java” and “Sumatra”) to protect the colonies, the Dutch had to apply “advice” to its powerful neighbor, Germany. Despite the war, the Germans found resources for design assistance, especially that from their own shipyards went smaller large ships, and the Dutch were paid full value.


The famous Krupp shipyard “Germany” offered an interesting project, representing a increase the standard Imperial cruiser type “Karlsruhe”, so much so that he could carry a 150-mm guns. The initial version kept the traditional “German” look with four pipes and onboard location of artillery, but, according to the requirements of the customer, its solidly reworked, so that in the end the ship is still in the drawing has completely changed the finish. Now he had a long forecastle, two chimneys and the characteristic “shelf with bridges” as the front of the superstructure. In the end, “the small Dutch” got a rather ferocious appearance: from a distance they somewhat resembled such linear giants like “geben” or “Moltke”. On the other hand, at large distance they could be confused with the British “Elizavetinsky”, though not as devastating as battle cruisers, but even more dangerous for any “classmate”. Of course, to this similarity, the designers specifically sought, but it is in any difficult moment of life could be far not superfluous.

External differences from the prototype lurked no less significant. The Dutch project differed from its German predecessors and higher speed (30 knots), and several enhanced reservation by the German tradition involving the belt and deck with reinforcing its bevels. More successfully placed the artillery: of the ten 150-mm guns on Board could shoot seven, and in the nose and stern — four theoretically and practically, rather, just three. All guns were covered by solid boards, the thickness of the front plate of which reached 100 mm. Generally protected the designers tried: in accordance with the Kaiser’s Navy for ships of the line scheme were booked and even the chimneys that the cruisers were observed very rarely. The German tradition was consistent with the three-shaft power plant, especially boilers and turbines had to supply the Germans prior to the collapse of the Empire of Wilhelm II. But as a supplier of artillery, the Dutch wisely chose not to fight Germany, and neutral Sweden, so lose the main “counselor” in the war had no impact on the process of armament of their ships. However, due to lack of experience and delays in deliveries, the construction of “Java” and “Sumatra” at domestic shipyards in Vlissingen and Amsterdam ranked nine and ten respectively. And the third cruiser, the “Celebes”, which was supposed to be the flagship of the East India fleet (which he was supposed to be longer than 3 m and 150 tons heavier), the construction of which has already agreed with the government shipyard in Rotterdam just not mastered. The order postponed several times until, in 1919, not repealed fully in connection with moral obsolescence of the project.
Indeed, by the time of commissioning in 1925, “Java” and “Sumatra” is not fully deserved the proud title of the modern cruisers, particularly with regard to their “shield” of artillery and are already quite modest by the time speed. However, they could say the same thing about the Spanish type of “Internet Servers”: they could deal on equal terms with the first generation of light cruisers of a new type, possessing a very decent protection for medium distances. Moreover, the owners tried to improve their performance osovremenivaya possible “his all”. So, shortly after the entry into operation “Java” and “Sumatra” got a couple of small seaplanes. Locations for the catapult, of course, was not, and the hydroaviation are lowered and raised with the help of two powerful cranes. In the mid-1930s years, the couple completed the second modernization, in the course of modernization received a modern fire control system of domestic development and an excellent 40-millimeter borsovska machines instead of obsolete 75-mm antiaircraft guns. At the end of the decade, reviewed plans on replacing deck installations on four towers located in modern linear-elevated scheme. Anti-aircraft armament was increased to two dozen 40-mm guns the best brands, with good controls that would make the “Dutch” one of the most forceful cruisers. But in the end, from the curious adjustment refused, finding that served for a dozen years, the ships prefer not to upgrade, and replaced by a fundamentally new one.
Meanwhile, before the end of the 1930-ies of the cruising Navy of the Netherlands increased only slightly, only on one ship. The original “skater” “De Ruyter” was viewed as experimental, which would give the answer to the annoying question of all: can finally Holland to build a modern fleet without the help of those same Germans. And looked in the initial draft it is very modest: less than his island colleagues of German origin, with weapons a total of six 150-mm guns, although the standard time for a speed of 32 knots and a decent “kid” booking. For two years in the marine circles of the country were loud debate, does not the appearance of such a ship, is inferior to fire almost any opponent in its class, the original surrender of Holland. The designers said that the price of a certain increase in displacement (and, of course, cost) can be installed either eight 6-Dujmovic, or six 8-Dujmovic. But in the end I had to resort to a small increase in length, due to what has been a compromise to fit a seventh gun. It is worth noting that the price of “De Ruijter” still increased by over 10%. Besides the shipyards of the firm “Feyenord” long body didn’t fit into the existing slipway, and it was laid in dry dock. Nevertheless, Builder with honor came out, and the cruiser was able to enter in the system exactly three years. The term does not record, but very, very good, compared with the previous decade “unfinished”.
And yet, despite all the desire for full independence, the project was again observed the influence of the Eastern neighbor of Germany. New cruiser externally acquired certain traits of the latest achievements of the Reich — pocket battleships such as the very long characteristic beshenkovsky forecastle and forward superstructure. “German trace” was found in other parts of the structure, for example, reservations zaimstvovanii the German light cruisers “K” type, although somewhat strengthened. By the way, “Reuters” was well protected: the weight of his armor made up of 1,100 tonnes — almost 20% of the standard capacity, a great value for a light cruiser. In General, the Dutch managed to use in the construction of all modern technological advances, such as the inclusion of armor in an element of the hull strength, welding and the use of light alloys for the inner light partitions and add-ons. It is noteworthy looked and artillery.
150 graph paper, modified by the Dutch on the basis of the same bavorovsky guns, was a strong and reliable weapon. A few spoiled it’s only their location, or rather, the proverbial “premium” seventh weapon, remaining in a single setting (the rest were placed in the towers with a 100-mm protection). Even more outstanding were anti-aircraft guns. Due to the lack of provision of weight and space the Dutch have abandoned the traditional for cruisers of all countries of medium caliber. Instead, Reuters has received five double-barreled guns “Bofors” in a stable in three dimensions installations “Hazemeyer”, each of which was equipped with its own fire control system with fairly advanced computing device! Installation is far ahead of its time and made a strong impression on the British, for which the first detailed examination of the “Dutchman” was a real shock. The figures of the Admiralty, it became clear that their badly outdated “pukalki” — 40-mm “POM-pay” — no more than the spear of the savage compared to a rifle with a telescopic sight. The Dutch were able to supply the cruiser and aircraft, this time even with the catapult, although the space for a hangar for two seaplanes, of course, was not.
205. Light cruiser “De Ruyter” (Holland, 1936)
It was built by the firm “of Wilton-Feyenoord”. Standard displacement of 6000 tons, full — 7550 tons, maximum length — 170,8 m, width — 15.7 m, draft — 5,1 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 66 000 HP, speed 32 knots. Booking: 50 — 30 mm, turret 100 — 30 mm, deck 30 mm, cutting 30 mm Armament: seven 152/50-mm guns, ten 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, eight 12.7 mm machine guns 2 seaplanes, 1 catapult. Sunk by torpedoes in February 1942 in the Java sea.
206. Light cruiser “Java” (Netherlands, 1925)
It was built by the company “De Schelde” in Vlissingen. Standard displacement — 6670 t, full — 8200 t, and the maximum length was 155.3 m, beam — 16 m, draught — 5.5 m Power a three-shaft steam turbine 65 000 HP, speed 30 knots. Reservations: the Board 75 — 50 mm traverse 60 mm deck 25 mm (50 mm on the bevel), cutting 100 mm. Armament: ten 150/50 mm guns, four 40 mm anti-aircraft gun, four 12.7 mm machine guns, 2 seaplane, 12 min. In 1925 — 1926. built 2 units: “Java” and “Sumatra”. “Java” sunk by torpedoes in February 1942 in the Java sea. “Sumatra” was used as part of brekvater in Normandy in June 1944
207. Light cruiser “Gotland” (Sweden, 1934)
Built by “Lindholmen-Gotaverken”. Standard displacement of 4700 tons, full — 5550 tons, maximum length — 134,81 m, a width of 15,4 m, draft is 5.5 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine plant 33 000 HP, speed of 27.5 knot. Reservations: the Board — 15 — 25 mm, 25 mm deck, towers — 19 — 25 mm. Armament: six 152/55-mm guns, four 75/60 mm anti-aircraft guns, four 25-mm machine gun, two treforedling 533-mm torpedo tubes, 8 planes, up to 100 min. In 1943 — 1944 upgraded with the strengthening of anti-aircraft artillery of up to eight 40-mm and four 20-mm. Excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1960 g scrapped in 1963

A good small ship has deservedly become the flagship of the East Indies fleet and in this capacity met the Japanese attack. His rank is even more improved, when under threat of invasion “De Ruijter” raised their flag Admiral Karel Doorman commander of the combined forces АВDА: USA, Britain, the Netherlands and Australia. However, the high status of command poorly supported financially: the third cruising forces have been from the Dutch “Reiter” and “Java”. And both cruisers fell one after the other in the battle of the Java sea, struck 203 mm projectiles and a powerful 610-mm torpedoes, taking with them more than 850 people, including the commander. More fortunate “Sumatra”, which in the time of the German invasion was under repair in the metropolis. The cruiser managed to escape to England, where he performed the honorary role otveta members of the Dutch Royal family away from German bombs and possible landings in Canada. Never repaired the ship then headed to the East Indies, but “dismantled” the state could to save as “Sumatra” was not included in the ABDA fleet, and he after a long journey returned to England. There in 1944 don’t need anyone now “old” disarmed, and the case used as part of the artificial harbour “, Goosberry” during the landing in Normandy — quite a pleasant end to the outlandish Outlander.
But back to pre-war times. Inspired by the success of the project “De Ruijter”, the Dutch in 1938 approved the construction of its two larger units. This time “De Zeven Provincien and Kijkduin” (the latter renamed in 1939 under the tab “Eintracht”) was to have four full two-gun turret. Markedly improved and booking side: up to 100 mm in the middle part and up to 75 mm closer to the extremities. Just before the beginning of construction of the lower two-gun towers have decided to replace treboradice. In General, the improvement of the performance took place in parallel with the design. So, originally it was planned to equip the cruiser with the same 150-mm/50 guns, that of the predecessors (the good half dozen years of operation confirmed their high quality) However, it was decided to increase, by ordering the same “Bofors” a new gun with a long barrel for versatile installations, capable to fire at aircraft. Given the high quality of weapons and equipment, it could be expected that the new cruiser will be one of the best in the class “moderate” displacement (it is planned at the level of 8300 — 8400 tons). But the German invasion prevented the works, frozen at an early stage, far from launching. However, the head of “De Zeven Provincien” we went down to the water for a few days before the end of 1944. Lowered him to the Germans, but not in order to fight the invaders wanted to flood the housing in the channel leading to Rotterdam, to hinder the use of the port by the allies. However, the plan could not be implemented, and after the war, both corps were again placed at the disposal of the Dutch government. In the end, the cruiser still has finishing work on a new project, but these events belong to a completely different story — after the war.
Constant suppliers of artillery for the Dutch Navy — the Swedes — also went its own way even more extraordinary. The main country of Scandinavia had a long coastline and a set of very impressive and very dangerous neighbors. It is clear that to seriously confront the German and Soviet Navy of its battleships of coastal defence would be unable, but the importance of good tactical intelligence on the sea, in case of trouble, these slow ships would time to depart under the protection of shore batteries, and the favorable scenario and cause unexpected blow. The presence of air directly “on the battlefield” seemed the best option. To begin with, the Swedes rebuilt the old Gidroaviasalon BBO “Britishmen”, but soon realized that as a scout you want faster and more modern ship. However, the fleet did not have any cruisers, except for slow-moving and obsolete “Fungii”. Cramped in means, the country wanted to resolve the issue of intelligence, as they say, one hit. Therefore, on the drawing boards of Swedish engineers in 1926 appeared the unprecedented hybrid. With a displacement of just 4,500 t it had six 6-Dujmovic in the panel settings in the front and 12 seaplanes aft. Store they were in the big hangar which gave the ship a kind of “living”, but not too military.
But, of course, was not. This ship was not fit for combat on the withdrawal of any opponent, even with the destroyers because the bulky hangar “masked” and so modest angles of attack guns. In the end, “Gotland”, as he called the new ship, could not resist artillery, or to escape from persecution, having rather modest speed of 27 knots.
Hybrid redesigned, significantly improving its cruising qualities. Although the number of guns has not changed, but now they were placed in two-gun towers, two of which could fire on the nose, and the third in the stern. However, the latter was executed only in case if the area in front of its trunk completely cleared of seaplanes, which had been reduced to eight. But still, to produce eight planes with a single catapult or roll back their carts in the middle of the case just before the battle was hardly possible. Remained in case of emergency to dump the “extra” aircraft overboard. In General, it is easy to expect attempts to “pull the nose” when a confined space has led to a “tail trap”. Cellar this very rear of the tower (as you do not want to name the feed, because it was situated almost in the middle of the body) had to squeeze between the back boiler and turbine departments. In the end, the cruiser was reminded of the artist on one of the stiltskin: one of his shafts were much longer than the second. The complexity of the layout was accompanied by financial difficulties that led to the abandonment of one of the towers, which once again relegated to a couple of deck installations just to save a hundred thousand crowns. Problems with mass effect and the second main armament of seaplanes. Although as a scout chose not too expensive British “Osprey” the money was only enough for four pieces. It was supposed to subsequently produce the remaining (and spare) airplanes under license, but actually managed to bring “ammunition” only up to six aircraft. But still the cruiser was unique in its versatility: in addition to the six-inch and anti-aircraft artillery, he had a couple three-pipe torpedo tubes and could carry up to hundreds of minutes!
Of course, such a generous combination of various specimens of weapons on a ship with a displacement of less than 5,000 tons left little room for protection. In essence, the armor covered only by fragments: 25-mm thickness and had the Board and the deck and tower. However, in the course of construction and after the commissioning of the small “universal” attracted the attention of the most important shipbuilding “players”. Fortunately the Swedes, to test his fighting qualities really was not necessary. On maneuvers “Gotland” successfully discovered “imaginary enemy” on my planes and repelled the attack of the forces of light artillery, but actually the most important in his career the contact took place without the participation of Russia on distance of direct visibility. Swedish cruiser found overlooking the Atlantic RAID “Bismarck” and was told his command, where important information safely “leaked” to the British. His own aircraft between the rapidly and hopelessly outdated. Had or select new aircraft,… or to abandon it altogether. As the candidate was a good fit German-114 — universal plane, strong and heavily armed, fit, if necessary even as a fighter. However, for its deployment needed to fully replace the catapult and cranes, and carts to move aircraft. In the end, after much deliberation (of course, in the context of the traditional lack of money) in 1943 decided to just remove the unnecessary “osprey”. Their place was taken by a much more urgent anti-aircraft machine — four paired “Bofors” and two Sparky “Arlekino”. So “Gotland” became a kind of cruiser defense, as they say, for lack of another. And after world war II, the Swedes were in no hurry to send your “universal” to be scrapped, trying to find him some use. In 1955 he passed his final and highly significant alterations to the vehicle control fighter aircraft. However, the new service went wrong, and a year later served to “legitimate” the 20-year period, the cruiser went to the reserve. After being laid up for another four years, he finally retired from the Navy, but went to be scrapped after only three years. It is difficult to clearly determine whether there was “Gotland” failure or success, but their unique mark in the history of shipbuilding, no doubt he had left. Although hybrid aircraft carrier, cruiser was created by a different great power, to really make this controversial idea has been the supplier of guns for Dutch units — the small but distinct Sweden.

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