The accession of Britain, largely against the will and in a rather unprepared state, in the war with Germany questioned the most promising projects in the field of shipbuilding, related with large artillery ships. The main victim, of course, were the battleships, but got the cruisers. At first, everything was still quite cheerful, the benefit of restricting constructors contractual limitations gone. In early 1940, the Admiralty began development of a new heavy cruiser with three treboradice towers and a displacement of about 15 thousand tons. It was assumed that such a ship can be effectively protected from fire by six-inch with 152-mm armor on the sides and 76 – 63-mm deck.
Much greater attention was paid to careful division into sections mechanical installation, had solid power and is able to provide the speed to 33 knots. So England were finally able to get a very modern and powerful cruiser (though the Achilles heel remained of the tower), but the cost and time of construction, quickly put him on the cross. Engineers began to “compress” the project, gradually reducing the displacement of up to 12.5 first, and then to 11 and 10 thousand tons. To save as the basis now used a slightly modified “Belfast”, which was considered, not without reason, the most modern and strong at the time of the English cruiser. Side armor is gradually “shrunk” to the belfa-stawski same 114 mm, after which the project ceased to please the Admiralty and died somehow by itself. Instead, the British decided to build a hybrid “colonies” (“Fiji” with the company) and the same “Belfast” with a “light” armament of twelve six-inch. However, here the opposite happened: “hybrid child” was bigger than the largest of the “parents” quickly razbuhnut to 13 500 tons. And the project suffered the same fate.
To designers not to lose skill and admirals – demand, and so, and others were “playing at soldiers” is only on paper. But here the limits of imagination lost in a dark gave. In January 1941, at the offices of the Admiralty roamed the plans of the program, including, no less, as six 12-inch super-cruisers in the spirit of the American “Alaska”, eight “simple” heavy cruisers with jasminewebcam and a displacement of about 15,000 tons. And that’s not counting a crowd of light units of grade – advanced “colonies,” and “Dido”! The fate of this manilovism is clear: the drawings and tables went first in a dusty folder, and then “the furnace”.
Not surprisingly, actually during the war, was rebuilt only has a decent exhaust and unpretentious “ordinary soldiers” – the “colony” and “Dido”. However, the plight associated with the Japanese attack on the Imperial possessions in the far East, almost had an effect on them. In 1942, the Admiralty suddenly found that half of the power turbines “Dido” goes to accelerate the vehicle from 28 to 32 knots. And then came the idea: why not cut mechanical up to half, saving on machinery and boilers, and displacement in General? So almost appeared quite “skimpy” cruiser, which had only three or four 133 mm Sparky and modest speed, allowing to follow is that the battleships and merchant ships. Still, common sense prevailed: the British realized that this “stub” will not be able to cover 32 – 33-hub carriers, which gradually became the main force of the sea. This project “for the poor” followed their ambitious predecessors.