CSS San Diego (CL-1939)


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After the huge cruisers of the Norfolk class a class of small 6 inch cruisers was designed where numbers rather than size could be a factor. Other navies were building such ships and for the same duties, guarding the merchant sea lanes, for which these ships were adequately armed. It was the advent of the German Raiders of the Graf Spee class that really spurred these ships on. Small and fast they would be able to shadow the much larger Germanic States ships, while calling in bigger units to deal with the German ship.

The bigger 5.1" secondary guns of the Norfolk class were not fitted to these ship but were fitted with the new 3.9" twin turret that was an improvement on the prior open mounts. The ships were fast making 34 knots with ease on standard load displacement, while able to make 33 knots on full power with full load displacement. For their task they were oversized when compared to their European counterparts and this was because of the larger bunkering for longer cruising range and larger magazines for the increased rounds per gun required by the extra time at sea.


Displacement 8,300 tons std 10,400 tons full load
Length 611 ft
Breadth 62 ft
Draught 22 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines 105,000shp
Speed 34 knots
Range 12,000 miles at 15 knots (3,000 nm at 28 knots)
Armour 3" side, 1.5" deck, 3" turrets
Armament 9 x 6" (3x3)

12 x 3.9" (6x2)

20 x 40mm (5x4)

20 x 20mm (20x1)

Aircraft 3
Torpedoes 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 825
Notes CSS San Diego



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