C class cruiser

C class light cruiser
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Class Overview
Type:light cruiser
Name:C
Preceded by:Arethusa class
Succeeded by:Danae class
General characteristics


The C-class was a group of twenty-eight light cruisers of the Royal Navy, and were built in a number of sub-classes known as the Caroline (six ships), Calliope (two ships), Cambrian (four ships), Centaur (two ships), Caledon (four ships), Ceres (five ships) and Carlisle (five ships) classes. They were built for the rough conditions of the North Sea and proved rugged, and capable, vessels, though they were quite small and cramped.

Carolines

The Caroline-class were all launched in 1914 or 1915 and commissioned in 1915. They had an armament of two single 6 in guns aft, eight 4 in guns and two 6 pounder guns. Their anti-aircraft (AA) weaponry consisted of four 3 pounder guns. Their aft 6 in guns were superfiring and the class had three funnels. During WWI, the class underwent a variety of alterations, including the removal of the 4 inch (102 mm) guns in Caroline, Carysfort and Comus, being replaced by two extra 6 inch (152 mm) guns, while Cleopatra, Conquest and Cordelia retained one or two of the 4 inch (102 mm) guns, with two 2 pounder guns being added to some of the ships.

Ships

Calliopes

The two ships of the Calliope sub-class - HMS Calliope and HMS Champion - had all geared turbines, the first RN cruisers to be fitted with them. They also had increased belt armour and, Champion had just two screws. They were commissioned in mid to late 1915, as modifications to the Caroline with higher speeds and a more efficient boiler layout and the reduction in the number of funnels to two. The two ships had different machinery types for comparative purposes. Calliope and Champion underwent similar gun armament modifications to the Caroline class. They also had underwater tubes rather than the deck mounted weapons of the Caroline class and were given two twin deck mounted torpedo tubes during the war but these were later removed to reduce top weight.

Ships

Cambrians

The Cambrian-class were commissioned between 1915 and 1916. They had two funnels rather than the three in the Caroline class, following on from the developments in the Calliope subclass. The Cambrian-class had similar armament to the previous sub-class, with its main armament being four 6 inch (152 mm) guns in single turrets. Their secondary armament consisted of eight 4 inch (102 mm) guns. They were later removed, with Canterbury and Champion retaining one single 4 inch (102 mm) gun. The rest of the ships used either two to three 3 inch (76 mm) guns.

Ships

Centaurs

The Centaur-class were launched and commissioned in 1916. The class also had geared turbines, as-well as four screws. They retained the two funnels introduced to the C-class by the Cambrians. Their main armament was five 6 in guns in single turrets. Their 4 inch (102 mm) guns were mostly replaced in a similar fashion to the previous sub-classes, with smaller calibre guns.

Ships

Caledons

Caledon class C class cruiser
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Class Overview
Type:C class cruiser
Name:Caledon
General characteristics


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HMS Calypso
The Caledon-class were all commissioned in 1917. They retained the two funnels of the previous two sub-classes. Their propulsion was slightly different to the previous sub-classes. Their superstructure was also slightly altered. They had a main armament of five 6 inch (152 mm) guns and a secondary armament of two 3 in guns, as-well as an AA armament of four 3 pounder guns. The surviving ships of the class survived to see World War II, and underwent a number of modifications. Five 20 mm Oerlikon guns were added to all ships. Caledon herself had a different armament, as she underwent an extensive rebuild that saw her become an AA cruiser. She was armed with the effective 4 inch (102 mm) gun, of which she had twelve, two 40 mm Bofors and eight 20 mm Oerlikons.

Ships

Ceres

Ceres class C class cruiser
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Class Overview
Type:C class cruiser
Name:Ceres
General characteristics


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HMS Curacoa
The Ceres-class were commissioned between 1917 and 1918. They were very "wet" at the bow, which was remedied in the subsequent Carlisle sub-class with the addition of a "trawler bow". Their main armament consisted of five 6 inch (152 mm) guns, while their secondary armament consisted of two 3 inch (76 mm) guns, of which a further one was later added to Ceres herself. Four 3 pounder guns were also fitted.

Three ships underwent extensive rebuilds during the 1930s, becoming AA cruisers, resulting in all previous armament being removed. The ships were Coventry, Curacoa and Curlew, with Curacoa being the last of the three to be rebuilt in 1939; the other two ships having been converted in 1935. Coventry and Curlew were given ten 4 inch (102 mm) guns (two later being removed from Coventry) and sixteen 3 inch (76 mm) guns for their AA role. Curacoa had slightly different gun numbers, being armed with eight 4 inch (102 mm) guns and four 3 inch (76 mm) guns, and later on in WWII, four 20 mm Oerlikons. Cardiff and Ceres were to have undergone the same conversion, but this was prevented by the outbreak of war.

Ships

Carlisles

Carlisle class C class cruiser
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Class Overview
Type:C class cruiser
Name:Carlisle
General characteristics


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HMS Carlisle


The Carlisle-class were commissioned between 1918 and 1922. They differed from the previous sub-class, with the addition of a "trawler bow" which raised the bow higher, as-well as having no conning towers. They had an armament of five 6 inch (152 mm) guns in single turrets, while their secondary armament consisted of two 3 inch (76 mm) guns, four 3 pounder guns and two 2 pounder guns.

All ships of the class, except Colombo and Capetown, were converted into AA cruisers by 1939, although Capetown received 6 20 mm guns and radar. Their main armament consisted of eight 4 inch (102 mm) guns in four twin turrets with varying numbers of 20 mm Oerlikon guns being added. Colombo was finally converted to an AA cruiser in 1942, with its armament consisting of eight 4 inch (102 mm) guns and six 20 mm Oerlikons.

Ships

First World War service

In March 1916, Cleopatra rammed and sank the German destroyer G.194 while Cleopatra covered a raid at Tondern. Ships of the C-class were extensively involved later that year in the Battle of Jutland. In 1917, Centaur hit mines that blew her bow and stern off. Despite the extensive damage, Centaur survived and was repaired. The year also saw ships of the class involved in action at Heligoland Bight.
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Cardiff leading German battle-cruisers into Rosyth at the end of the War
In 1918, Cardiff had the honour of leading the defeated German High Seas Fleet to the River Forth, where the German ships would be held before being moved to various other ports.

No C-class ships were lost during the First World War; however, in December 1918, Cassandra hit a mine and subsequently sank.

Ships of the C-class performed a variety of duties after World War I, including service on overseas stations. In 1919, Curacoa hit a mine that badly damaged her, but she survived and was repaired. The Caroline, Cambrian and Centaur classes were all scrapped or consigned to minor roles, such as training ships, by the 1930s.

Conversion

In the mid-1930s it was decided to modernize and refit the C class cruisers for anti-aircraft work. The aim was to convert all 13 cruisers of the late C-classes, the Caledons, Ceress and Carlisles. The conversions between 1935 and 1936 of HMS Coventry and HMS Curlew served as prototypes.

Coventry and Curlew first had all armament removed. This was replaced with 10 single mount 4 inch high angle (HA) guns and two eight-barreled pom-pom mounts. The previous gun directors were removed and replaced with two suitable for anti-aircraft gun control. Only limited structural work was carried out to keep costs down, but the masts were altered. In 1938 the aft pom-pom was removed because of shortages and given to other ships - the replacement was two quadruple Vickers machine gun mounts. The modifications were considered successful, and the conversion of the other eleven ships was drawn up. This was delayed though, Cairo and Calcutta did not start conversion until 1938. Instead of single guns, they were to receive twin HA mounts except that one mount was given over to a quad pom-pom. In mid 1939 Carlisle and Curacoa went in for their conversion but the conversion work ceased on the outbreak of war.

Second World War service

In the Second World War, the Caledon, Ceres and Carlisle class ships participated, despite their age.

Calypso caught the German blockade-runner Konsul Hendrik Fisser in 1939. That same year, Caradoc intercepted the German tanker Emmy Friedrich, whose crew subsequently scuttled her. A number of ships took part in the Norwegian campaign in 1940.

The C-class were also extensively used in the Mediterranean Sea; the first notable engagement by a ship of the class being's Coventry's participation in the Battle of Cape Spartivento in 1940.

In 1941, Calcutta and Carlisle took part in the Battle of Cape Matapan, in which a number of Italian warships were sunk. C-class cruisers also took part in the campaign and evacution of Crete, coming up against heavy German opposition from the air. In 1942, Carlisle took part in the Second Battle of Sirte.

In 1942/43 Colombo and Caledon went in for their refits - getting 40 mm Bofors and 20 mm Oerlikons alongside the twin mounts.

In 1943, Carlisle was heavily damaged by German aircraft, though did not sink. The damage did, however, knock the ship out of the war.

In 1944, Capetown provided support to the Normandy Landings, bombarding German positions.

Six ships of the C-class were lost during the war: Cairo was sunk in 1942 by the Italian submarine Axum during Operation Pedestal; Calcutta was attacked and sunk by German aircraft during the evacuation of Crete; Calypso was sunk by the Italian submarine Bagnolini in 1940; Coventry was heavily damaged by German aircraft while covering a raid on Tobruk in 1942, forcing HMS Zulu to scuttle her; Curacoa was sunk after colliding with the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary in 1942; and Curlew was sunk by German aircraft off Narvik during the Norwegian campaign in 1940.

The survivor

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HMS Caroline sporting her three flags (From left to right) Union Flag, Commodore RNR's Burgee, Flag of the Royal Navy (White Ensign).
HMS Caroline remains in service as of 2004, serving as HQ and training ship to the Royal Naval Reserve in Northern Ireland, duties that she first started in 1924. Her armament was removed many decades ago, but in nearly every other aspect still resembles the ship that fought at Jutland in 1916, and remains in very good condition. There are plans to bring her to Portsmouth, where she would be berthed next to HMS Warrior as a museum-ship.

References

A light cruiser is a warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armoured cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armour in the same way as an armoured cruiser; a protective belt and deck.
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A light cruiser is a warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armoured cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armour in the same way as an armoured cruiser; a protective belt and deck.
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Arethusa class light cruiser


Class Overview
Type: light cruiser
Name: Arethusa

Preceded by: Town class
Succeeded by: C class General characteristics


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Danae class light cruiser


Class Overview
Type: light cruiser
Name: Danae

Preceded by: C class
Succeeded by: Emerald class General characteristics

The Danae class
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A light cruiser is a warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armoured cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armour in the same way as an armoured cruiser; a protective belt and deck.
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Naval Service

Components
Royal Navy
  • Surface Fleet
  • Fleet Air Arm
  • Submarine Service
  • Royal Navy Regulating Branch
  • Royal Naval Reserve
  • Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service
Royal Marines
  • (includes Royal Marines Reserve)

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The North Sea is marginal, epeiric sea of the Atlantic Ocean on the European continental shelf between Norway and Denmark in the east, Scotland and England in the west, and Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France in the south.
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As built:
  • 2 × 6 in (152 mm) /45 Mk XII (2 × 1),
  • 8 × 4 in (102 mm) /45 Mk IV
  • 1 × 6 pounder,
  • 4 ×

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September 29 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1880s  1890s  1900s  - 1910s -  1920s  1930s  1940s
1911 1912 1913 - 1914 - 1915 1916 1917

Year 1914 (MCMXIV
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As built:
  • 4 × 6 in (152 mm) /45 Mk XII (2 × 1),
  • 2 × 3 in (76 mm) /45 Mk IV
  • 1 × machine gun
  • 4 ×

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November 14 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1880s  1890s  1900s  - 1910s -  1920s  1930s  1940s
1911 1912 1913 - 1914 - 1915 1916 1917

Year 1914 (MCMXIV
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January 14 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

It is celebrated as New Year's Day by those still following the Julian calendar.
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1880s  1890s  1900s  - 1910s -  1920s  1930s  1940s
1912 1913 1914 - 1915 - 1916 1917 1918

Year 1915 (MCMXV
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As built:
  • 2 × 6 in (152 mm) /45 Mk XII (2 × 1),
  • 8 × 4 in (102 mm) /45 Mk IV
  • 1 × 6 pounder,
  • 4 ×

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December 16 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1880s  1890s  1900s  - 1910s -  1920s  1930s  1940s
1911 1912 1913 - 1914 - 1915 1916 1917

Year 1914 (MCMXIV
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January 20 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

In astrology, it is the cusp day between Capricorn and Aquarius.
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1880s  1890s  1900s  - 1910s -  1920s  1930s  1940s
1912 1913 1914 - 1915 - 1916 1917 1918

Year 1915 (MCMXV
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As built:
  • 4 × 6 in (152 mm) /45 Mk XII (2 × 1),
  • 1 × 4 in (102 mm) /45 Mk IV
  • 1 × machine gun
  • 8 ×

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February 23 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1880s  1890s  1900s  - 1910s -  1920s  1930s  1940s
1911 1912 1913 - 1914 - 1915 1916 1917

Year 1914 (MCMXIV
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HMS Calliope was a British C class light cruiser of the Royal Navy under construction at the outbreak of World War I.

Both Calliope and her sister ship Champion were based on HMS Caroline.
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December 17 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1880s  1890s  1900s  - 1910s -  1920s  1930s  1940s
1911 1912 1913 - 1914 - 1915 1916 1917

Year 1914 (MCMXIV
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HMS Champion was a C-class light cruiser of the British Royal Navy. She was part of the Calliope group of the C-class of cruisers.

She was laid down on 9 March 1914, launched 29 May 1915 and commissioned into the navy on 20 December 1915.
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May 29 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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