Thursday, 18 May 2017

British heavy cruiser HMS Cavendish 1916-1918 and aircraft carrier/cruisers HMS Vindictive 1918-1946


Building ordered in April 1916, laid down as Cavendish by Harland&Wolff, Belfast, Ireland with yard number 500 on 29 June 1916, launched on 17 January 1918, renamed Vindictive commissioned on 1 October 1918, completed on 19 October 1918, part of the reserve since 24 December 1919, and reconverted into a cruiser by removing flight decks although hangar, conducted trials and catapult at Chatham Dockyard since 1 March 1923, part of the reserve in 1929, converted into a training ship (9.200 tons displacement, maximum speed 24 knots) between 1936-1937, fleet repair ship since 1939, destroyer ship since 1944, part of the reserve since 8 September 1945 and sold to be broken up on 24 January 1946 which was executed at Blyth.

Part of the Hawkins-class heavy cruisers consisting of the Effingham, Frobisher, Raleigh, Vindictive and Hawkins, succeeded by the County-class. Although it were heavy cruisers was the Hawkins-class in fact an modernized and enlarged Town-class subclass Birmingham light cruiser, In 1915 it became clear that light cruisers were not capable for a sufficient protected of the merchant shipping in distant areas. The heavy cruiser was a combination of a high speed, long range and heavy guns. Originally to be armed with an armament of 23,3cm/9.2” and 15,2cm/6” guns was decided regarded the experience in the First World War to choose for 19,1cm/7.5” guns. The Hawkins-class cruisers were in fact the prototype of what became the Washington 10.000 tons cruiser.

Displacement 9,394 (light)-12.400 (full load) tons and as dimensions 565 (between perpendiculars)-605 (over all) x 58-65 (across bulges) x 17.25-20.5 feet. Machinery consisted of Parsons geared steam turbines and 10 Yarrow-type oil fuelled water tube boilers supplying 70.000 shp allowing a speed of 30 knots. With a speed of 14 knots was the range 5.400 nautical miles. Crew numbered 648 men. Armament consisted pf 4-19cm/7.5” Mk VI guns, 4-3” 20cwet quick firing guns, 4-3” 2-cwet quick firing anti aircraft guns, 6-53,3cm/21” torpedo tubes (2 submerged, 4 fixed surfaced). After 1937 2-12cm/4.7” guns and 1x4-2pd quick firing anti aircraft pom-pom aft. When the modernisation aft August 1939 started was the intended armament 9-15,2cm/6” guns and 4x2-10cm/4” guns, latter was decided 6-6” guns and 3-4” anti aircraft guns until in October 1939 was decided to convert her into a fleet repair ship to be armed with 6x104” Mk V quick firing anti aircraft guns,2x4 pom poms and 6 depth charges. On 30 March 1940 was she ready for her new role. When she was converted into a destroyer depot ship was the armament increased with 6 Oerlikons. The same year replaced another 8 Oerlikons the 4” guns and a year later were again 6 Oerlikons to the armament added. Hangar with as dimensions 23,8x14,9 metres/78x49 feet for storing 6 reconnaissance aircraft, a 32metres/106 feet long flying-off deck and a 58,8x17,4/193x57 feet large landing deck. The armour conform the original design of the Hawkins-class consisted of a 3,8cm/1.5”- 6,4cm/2.5” (fore)-7,6cm/3” (amidships)-3,83cm/1.5”-5,7cm/2.25” (aft thick main belt, a 3,8cm/1.5” (fore)-5,1cm/2” (amidships) thick upper belt, a main deck with a thickness of 2,5cm/1”-3,8cm1.5” above the engines and 2,5cm/1” above the steering gear with the main guns protected by shields with a thickness of 2,5cm/1” (crown+sides)-5,1cm/2” (face).