HMAS Canberra (CA-1928 (1937-mod))


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These were the first cruisers built by the Commonwealth navies under the new Washington Treaty limits. The Commonwealth designers sacrificed some gunpower by using the 7.5" 45/50 caliber guns from the older decommissioned armoured cruisers for the main armament but mounted the guns in a new triple turret. The original AA armament was 6 x 4" in single mounts. Light AA guns in 2 pounder pom poms and 20mm were added as they became available and when each ship went through its programmed refit phases. A refit scheduled for 1939-40 was to replace the 5 twin 4" with 4.5 turrets but this was shelved on the outbreak of war.

The hull design was the Frobisher class hull with a better gun and machinery layout, and the difference in weight (about 600 tons) used for better armour. Aircraft handling facilities were a neccessity as these ships were intended for trade protection duties. To aid this the hangar for the floatplanes was built into the bridge superstructure, a feature that figured in all of the Commonwealths large cruiser designs for the next 20 years.  This was one of the largest homogenous cruiser classes built as Britain built 14, Australis 6, and even the Southern African Navy had a couple built for them.


Displacement 10,000 tons std, 13,200 tons full load
Length 604 ft
Breadth 64 ft
Draught 24 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, Steam turbines, 60,000shp
Speed 30 knots
Range 5000 miles at 18 knots
Armour 4" side, 2" deck, 4.5" turrets
Armament 9 x 7.5" (3x3)

10 x 4" (5x2)

24 x2pd (2x8 2x4)

Aircraft 2
Torpedoes 8 x 21" (2x4)
Complement 780
Notes HMAS Canberra 1928

HMAS Woolongong 1928

HMAS Riverina 1929

HMAS Albany 1930

HMAS Wellington 1932

HMAS Grampian 1932


7.5" guns removed from HMS Shannon, the guns are removed from the turrets and mounted in a new triple turret. This reusing of the reconditioned guns from the old armoured cruisers made a large difference in the cost and building times of the ships the guns were used in.


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