CUS Vancouver (CA-1944+)


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With the war in full swing in 1940, the Australis Navy gave to both the CSA and CUS Navies the technology for the autoloading systems that it had produced for its own 7.5" and 4.5" weapons. The CSA already had access to some of this technology through its French connection. The CUS was very grateful to receive this technology as it saved them years of development of their own. The CUS proceeded to design a cruiser utilising all of the technologies for 8", 4.5" and 3" automatic weapons. The 3" was to replace the 40mm and 20mm cannons that were found wanting in knockdown capabilities against the Japanese Kamikaze attacks and the German controlled bombs.

The class was only a few feet bigger than the prior twelve gun Augusta class, but as noted from the table below completely out performed that class. As one commander put it, the Vancouvers were floating magazines. The 8" guns fired a new super-sized 8" shell half as big again as the standard 8" shell 335lb to the standard 260lb shell. The trade-off for the advanced weaponry was that the new 8" turrets were almost twice the size and weight of the previous mark (51.6 tons to 29.0 tons). The magazines (as noted above) had to be almost 3 times as big to take enough shells (250 per gun). The new autoloading guns would have fired the normal 100 shells per gun in about 10 minutes. Though firing the main guns at the maximum rate would wear the barrels out in short order through the heat generated.

Gun Size Range Rate of Fire Shell Weight Load per gun Date in Service
8"/55RF Mark 16 30,000 yards 10 rpm 335/260lb 250 1941
8"/55 Marks 12/15 30,000 yards 3-4 rpm 260lb 150 1937
4.5"/50 RF Mark XI 20,000 yards 20 58 600 1942
4.5"/45 QF Mark III 20,000 yards 12 55 350 1932
3"/50RF Marks 27 14,600 yards 45-50 rpm 13lb 1500 1944
3"/50 Marks 10-20 14,600 yards 15-20 rpm 13lb 500 1915-35

As can be seen from the above table, the guns show little difference in range and shell types, it is in the load per gun, and rate of fire per gun that the autoloading weapons excel at. With the much improved Radar ranging and detection equipment available to the weapons by 1944 the Vancouver classes accuracy was phenomenal.


Displacement 18,500 tons std 21,700 tons full load
Length 688 ft
Breadth 78 ft
Draught 27 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines 125,000shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 10,000 miles at 15 knots
Armour 6" Belt, 6" Turrets, 2.5" Deck
Armament 9 x 8" (3x3)

12 x 4.5" (6x2)

26 x 3" (13x2)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1800
Notes CUS Vancouver


Twin 3" are on board, yet to receive Radar outfit, Bridge superstructure complete as ship nears completion late 1944.


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