|Hawkins class Heavy Cruisers|
|Cavendish||Harland & Wolff||1918||Completed
as aircraft carrier Vindictive. Converted to
cruiser 1925 and to training ship 1937,
repair ship 1940, destroyer depot ship 1944. Scrapped 1946
|Hawkins||Chatham RDY||1919||Scrapped 1948|
|Raleigh||Beardmore||1920||Wrecked 8/8/22 in Belle Isle Strait|
|Frobisher||Devonport RDY||1924||Scrapped 1948|
|Effingham||Portsmouth RDY||1925||Grounded Falsen Shoal 17/5/40 & torpedoed by HMS Matabele. Wreck blown up 21/5/40|
|1:600 Hawkins as re-armed for war. Having been stripped for conversion, the outbreak of war brought about a hasty re-armament; all original 7.5" guns were shipped, five single 4" AA were added two between the funnels, two abreast the mainmast and one between the quarterdeck main guns. Two quad pom-poms were mounted, one in each wing. With a HA director equipped with AR type 285, AW 286 at masthead and SW 271 at bridge head, she was sent to war.The 21" torpedo tubes were fixed, two on each side, amidships © Andrew Arthur|
|1:600 Frobisher as re-armed for war. Wisely, she traded two 7.5" guns for a stronger AA armament than Hawkins. Without the beam 7.5" guns, the 4" guns amidships were winged out for far better sky arcs. A second HA director was added and these too were winged out and could cover the forward sky arcs too. With one less 4" AA, a second pair of quad pom-poms was added at the quarterdeck break. © Andrew Arthur|
|1:600 Frobisher in 1942. Camouflaged, she shipped seven 20mm Oerlikon AA cannons in addition. Otherwise she was unchanged. © Andrew Arthur|
|1:600 Effingham in 1939, as she was re-contructed ( and as it had been intended to reconstruct Hawkins and Frobisher ). With all armament removed and the superstructure raised, nine single 6" guns were added, triple-superfiring fore and aft, on each beam and one at the extrem end of the quarterdeck. New split fore and aft superstructures were built, and two boilers removed with the remaining uptakes trunked into a single, large, un-raked funnel. A new bridge was built around a stump tripod, supporting an AA spotting top with two HA directors and a rangefinder. Pole masts were shipped fore and aft. Finally, a quad pom-pom was added in each wing, a twin 4" AA sided fore and aft and three quad 0.5" MG AA were mounted on the aft superstructure. The crane had been inteded to support a plane on a rotating catapult, but the latter ( to have been fitted abeam the winged 6" ) was never fitted. © Andrew Arthur|
Named after famous Elizabethan
naval characters, this 5 ships of this class were the first
"heavy cruisers" ( a term not coined up until later )
to be built for the RN for over a decade, and were intended for
open-ocean (i.e., Atlantic) operations rather than operations in
the more confined waters of the North Sea and English Channel,
for which the light cruisers of the "Arethusa"
and "C" Classes were designed. Designed with a
heavier armament an d protection than the latter, and with a much
greater reange but equaal speed, a ship over twice as big was
It was originally intended to fit either fourteen 6" guns in a broadside arrangement or a mixed battery of 9.2" and 6" guns. Neither of the later were chosen, and instead, seven 7.5" guns were fitted in an arrangement similar to the "C" class. They were the only RN ships ever to use this gun. However, the 7.5" guns were too large to be mounted entirely on the centreline ( for maximum broadside ) and so the amidships pair were winged out on either beam. They were mounted on low, circular platforms sunk into the deck to allow for 30" elevation of the large breech. The main armament was controlled from a director and rangefinder in a spotting top supported by a tripod, around which the bridge was built.
Intended secondary armament was twelve LA 3" guns, two inside the forward shelter deck firing through ports, two in the wings, two between the funnels, four around the after funnel and two at the quarterdeck break. Those around the funnel were to have been fitted on HA mounts. Two submerged and four above-water 21" torpedo tubes were fixed fore and aft.They were.
Protection was similar to the "C" class, but was more extensive : 1~2" armoured decks were fixed over the boilers ( at upper level ) and engines ( at main deck level ). Intended to burn coal, the deep bunkers were angled outwards slightly into a noticable bulge for additional protection - the main belt being etended forward and aft and an additional, thinner, belt added above the main one.
With WWI nearing a close, construction proceeded at a relaxed pace, except Cavendish who's completion was rushed so that she could be converted into an experimental aircraft carrier. ( She had a 100 foot flying-off / 215 foot landing-on deck fore and aft respectively, and hangers under the former for eight planes. Armament was six 3", two in the wings and four amidships around the funnel. ) Completed as HMS Vindictive. She was reconverted to a cruiser between 1923 and 1925, but in 1937 she was disarmed and modified to replace Frobisher as a training ship. Although she later gave valuable service as a headquarters ship at Harstad during the Norwegian campaign, she was not considered a true combatant and did not appear in the list of cruisers in World War II.
The first to complete as a cruiser, Hawkins, thus gave her name to the class; the construction of Effingham and Frobisher ceased for a time while their future was determined, and they did not complete until 1924/5.
The slow completion allowed a number of changes to be worked in. Oil propulsion was installed, increasing power by 10,000 shp but depriving them of the protection of the coal bunkers. The 3" guns were never shipped ( except temporarily in Hawkins ) and instead two 4" were mounted abreast the aft funnel and one 4" was mounted above the beam 7.5" guns.
Excellent sea-boats, they steamed well and efficently and were very sturdily built. As a side-note, they were the largest 'cruisers' of their time, and it was the Royal Navy's insistence that they be retained post-WW1 that lead to the creation of the light ( <6.1" gun ) and heavy ( >6.1" gun cruiser. ) - Ironic in that the Admirality later lost interest in the heavy cruiser for many years.
Raleigh was wrecked in 1922.
The remainder of the class were scheduled for scrappin in 1936, but when the London Naval treaty lapsed that year, they were saved from the breakers. Effingham was extensively re-built in 1937 - 1939 as a powerful light cruiser; With all old armament removed and the superstructure raised, nine single 6" guns were added, triple-superfiring fore and aft, on each beam and one at the extreme end of the quarterdeck. New, split, fore and aft superstructures were built, and two boilers removed with the remaining uptakes trunked into a single, large, un-raked funnel. A new bridge was built around a stump tripod forward, supporting an AA spotting top with two HA directors and a rangefinder. Pole masts were shipped fore and aft. Finally, a quad pom-pom was added in each wing, a twin 4" AA sided fore and aft and three quad 0.5" MG AA were mounted on the aft superstructure. The crane had been inteded to support a plane on a rotating catapult, but the latter ( to have been fitted abeam the winged 6" ) was never fitted.
It had been intended to convert her two sisters as such, but the war prevented this and they were rapidly re-armed for war after being dis-armed in preperation for conversion. As re-armed they carried;
With seven ( Hawkins ) / eight ( Frobisher ) 20mm AA added, they finished the war unmodified and were unceremoniously scrapped in 1948.
|Hawkins||Frobisher||Effingham||Length ( ' )||605|
|Standard Displacement ( tons )||9860||9800||9550||Beam ( ' )||58 ( 65 over bulges )|
|Full Displacement ( tons )||12500||12450||12100||Draught ( ' )||20.5|
|Performance & Propulsion|
|Bunkers||2150 tons oil fuel = 5400 nm @ 14 knots||Speed||30.5 knots ( 29 full load )|
|Machinery||10 x Yarrow water-tube boilers; 4 x Brown-Curtis geared turbines driving 4 shafts @ 65000 shp|
|Bunkers||2600 tons oil fuel = 5400 nm @ 14 knots||Speed||29.5 knots ( 28 full load )|
|Machinery||8 x Yarrow water-tube boilers; 4 x Parsons geared turbines driving 4 shafts @ 55000 shp|
|Bunkers||2500 tons oil fuel = 5400 nm @ 14 knots||Speed||29.5 knots ( 28 full load )|
|Machinery||8 x Yarrow water-tube boilers; 4 x Brown-Curtis geared turbines driving 4 shafts @ 58000 shp|
|Armament, Armour & Complement|
|Complement||712-749 officers & ratings|