Erebus Class Cruisers.


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I never liked this class of cruiser, and replaced it and its Chronos Class spinoff with the 1918 Apollo Class cruisers.

With the Cap Trafalgar and other large German raiders making life difficult for the Allies, the Atlantean Admiralty ordered two new Armoured Cruisers. Atlantis had seen the increase in size of the battlecruiser from the 17,000 ton Invincibles to the 30,000 ton Renowns. A large cruiser was what was needed to chase raiders. Two ships were laid down in 1916, but the Chronos was to be diverted for special duties. The Washington treaty gave the converted ships a free pass with the Atlanteans being able to complete the conversion of the Chronos, and convert the two Athena class ships to aircraft carriers. Meanwhile the Erebus was completed as an Armoured Cruiser (re-rated Heavy Cruiser from 1922) with four twin 8" turrets laid out in the superfiring layout as the battleships. At 12,500 tons standard, the ship required a hard fought dispensation to continue to exist after the Washington Treaty.

Erebus as completed:
Displacement: 12,500 tons standard, 15,750 tons full load
Dimensions: 591 x 66 x 25 feet
Machinery: 2 shaft steam turbines, 75,000shp,
Speed: 30 knots
Endurance: 12,000 miles at 12 knots
Armour: 5.5" belt, 3" deck, 6" turrets.
8 x 8" (4x2)
5 x 75mm (5x1)
2 x 47mm (2x1)
Torpedoes: 6 x 21" (2x3)
Crew: 850

1939 and the Chronos and Erebus with the Dionysus and two destroyers, were designated Force M and sent to the South Atlantic to hunt the Graf Spee. By January 1940 with the Graf Spee sunk, Force M returns to Atlantis and is disbanded. While the Chronos had been away there had been no carrier available for deck landing pilot training. Chronos spent most of the war doing this invaluable work (it only escaped for 2 weeks for Operation Torch in late 1942). Chronos was also used to train the convoy escort groups how to work with aircraft to make the best use of both.

1940 and Erebus is used for long range patrol hunting blockade runners and the early raiders. The Erebus is in the South Atlantic until November 1940, when it returns to Artemis for a refit and boiler clean. February 1941, operating in mid-Atlantic with the Dionysus, they encounter the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Admiral Lutjens as per orders refuses battle with a capital ship and turns to escape. However Dionysus is as fast as S&G and its 12" guns are big enough to cause damage. Lutjens knows he is being hunted by Allied forces and could not allow a ship the size of Dionysus to shadow S&G, calling in the hounds. Lutjens decides that the Atlantean ships must be damaged and slowed to allow S&G to escape. A fine clear day as S&G turn to confront, Erebus and Dionysus. At 35,000 yards S&G start firing ranging shots, followed by full salvoes from 32,000 yards. Dionysus opens fire at 32,000 yards and Erebus at 30,000 yards. The shooting from both sides is good, Scharnhorst scores three hits on Dionysus that fail to pierce its armour, but cause fires. Gneisenau is firing at Erebus which takes damage from 4 hits from different salvoes, Erebus is not armoured to take 11" hits and suffers serious damage and fires. Gneisenaus seventh salvo roars in on Erebus and five of the nine shells hit. The first hits forward and knocks A turret of its mountings and out of action, two shells hit the bridge area causing great damage and fires, but also killing and wounding the Bridge personnel including the Captain. It is the 4th and 5th shells cause fatal damage, hitting and piercing the armour around the aft magazines which explode and vaporise the aft part of the ship. Erebus slowly sinks. Erebus can have the satisfaction that its 125kg shells did damage to Scharnhorst, knocking out all of its portside 5.9" and 4.1" guns. Erebus' shells were not large enough to pierce either of S&G's armour. Dionysus was also shooting well and knocked out Gneisenau's turret Caesar. Two shells from Scharnhorst finally achieved Lutjens aim, hitting Dionysus in a turbine and boiler room, which allowed S&G to make for Brest for repairs, escaping the Allied hunters, but their damage caused them to miss joining the fleet which came through and fought the Denmark Strait battle.

AWS Erebus - Service/Fate: Sunk in action with Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, February 1941.

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