HMS Norfolk (CA-1928)

HMSAS Congo (CA-1929)


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Royal Navy County class cruisers, built to the Treaty limits of 10,000 tons standard displacement. They received a lot of criticism for having 7.5" guns for their main armament while the competition were all building 8" gunned ships. The 7.5" guns fired at 6-7 rounds per minute while the 8" guns fired at 4-5 rounds per minute. So although the guns were smaller, the rate of fire made up for it. Also the 7.5" guns being smaller and lesser weight per turret to mount on the ships gave more weight that could be devoted to armour, something that the French and Italians almost gave up on. The hull used was the successful Hawkins class type, with the high freeboard neccessary for long range patrol cruisers.

The hull layout internally was revamped as the Hawkins class had single mounts and the magazines ended up in odd places that disrupted the propulsion layout. The 7.5" guns were provided for the first ships from those removed from the older armoured cruisers which were fitted in new triple turrets. Once these guns were used up the ships were fitted with new guns from the armoury. The secondary armament was at first single 4" AA guns but provision was made for those to be replaced with twin mountings as soon as they became available. The twin 4" AA mounting was being designed as these ships were under construction.

The new layout of propulsion systems allowed a more powerful installation increasing from the Hawkins 60,000shp to 72,000shp for a 2 knot increase in speed, which does not sound much but made them able to keep up with the battlecruisers and to be better able to act as shadowers if they came accross a Germanic States raider.

Two of the class were built for the Southern African Navy and were the last cruisers sourced outside of Southern Africa as the new infrastructure for shipbuilding came online in the mid-20's and beyond. The Southern African Navy purchased the two cruisers to act with the new Transvaal class battlecruiser. Being the only ships of any size that could stay with the new battlecruiser.


Displacement 10,000 tons std 12,800 tons full load
Length 605 ft
Breadth 67 ft
Draught 20.5 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 72,500shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 6000 miles at 18 knots
Armour 4" side, 2" deck
Armament 9 x 7.5" (3x3)

10 x 4" (5x2)

16 x 2pd (1x8 2x4)

16 x 20mm (3x2 10x1)

Mines nil
Torpedoes 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 825

Royal Navy ships:

HMS Norfolk, HMS Suffolk, HMS Cornwall, HMS Cumberland, HMS Dorsetshire, HMS Kent, HMS Lancaster, HMS Devonshire, HMS Roxburgh, HMS Hampshire, HMS Berwick, HMS London, HMS Essex, HMS Carnarvon.


Southern African Navy ships:

HMSAS Congo, HMSAS Lydenberg.


HMS London in mid war outfit.


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