HMS Dauntless (CL-1919 (1940-mod))


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D Class cruisers as completed were armed with 6x6" in single open mounts. Two were completed with a twin 6" forward of the type eventually fitted in Nelson/Rodney. However the modern cruiers with their turreted 6" and above far outclassed the old D's. Like the C's before them the ships were replaced in service by the modern Leanders / Arethusa classes. The 12 ships were then converted to either Anti-aircraft cruisers (8) or to Escort Cruisers (4) with a modern turreted main armament. The British still had plenty of the 7.5" guns that were removed and refurbished from the old Armoured Cruisers as they were converted to area defence vessels (see Shannon). Three of these singles were fitted aft while a twin turret was fitted forward. Single 4" AA, 40mm and 20mm guns formed the anti-aircraft armament, while a pair of quadruple torpedo tubes gave them teeth to attack larger prey. 

D class cruiser prior to conversion.

HMS Diomede with twin turret forward, HMS Dunedin with original armament, Wellington NZ during late 1920's


Displacement 5950 tons 
Length 472.5 ft
Breadth 46.5 ft
Draught 14.5 ft
Machinery Geared turbines, 2 shaft, 40,000shp
Speed 28 knots
Armour 3" side 1.5" deck
Armament 5 x 7.5" (1x2, 3x1)

4 x 4" (4x1)

6x40mm (1x4, 2x1)

10x20mm (4x2, 2x1)

8 x 4.5" (4x2)

12 x 2pd (3x4)

8 x 40mm (4x2)

8 x 20mm (2x2 4x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 8 x 21" (2x4) 6 x 21" (2x3)


HMS Daedalus (CLA-1919 (1939-mod))

The 8 D class cruisers set to be converted to anti-aircraft cruisers started their conversions in 1937 with one pair per year. The last two had not been taken in hand for conversion and spent the first period of the war in their original state. Delhi was one of the first ships to benefit from the Lend-Lease deal with America when she went into US dockyard for refit and rebuilding. She emerged with 5 single 5" which was not a gret outfit as though they were dual purpose weapons the ship was seriously outgunned by other cruisers. 4 twin 5" would have been a better outfit and matched the other ships that were converted with the 4 x twin 4.5".

HMS Delhi after AA Cruiser conversion in USA


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