RPN Condor (CL-1914)


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The Panagaean Navy was very happy with the Bittern class cruisers. But felt more could be done with the design. The removal of one set of torpedoes enabling the hull to be shortened by 20 feet. The breadth was taken in three feet to keep the fineness of the hull constant. They then turned around and squeezed 40,000shp of machinery into the space where 34,000shp had been before. The speed increasing from 28 to 30 knots. This increase was because of the increase in speed of the Capital ships that these cruisers were intended to screen as scouts.

The four ships of the class and the two Revenge class battleships were sent to join the Grand fleet at Scapa Flow on the outbreak of war. The Revenge class joining the 6th Battle Squadron while the cruisers joined the 1st light cruiser Squadron in the van of the fleet as scouts. The four ships had a busy war scouting for the fleet and it was Galatea of the Squadron that first sighted the enemy fleet that brought about the Battle of Jutland. None of the four ships received more than splinter damage and that from when the ships saw off the German torpedo boat attack that was sent to give the German Fleet time to turn and run. The ships spent a lot of time tied up to buoys in Scapa Flow with little to do. To sortie the Fleet took a great amount of time and energy to come about. Sips officers spent a great deal of time dreaming up different evolutions to keep the men occupied. The ships were still in Scapa Flow when the Coventry led the German Fleet into captivity. Only then were the Panagaean Navy vessels released from service. They went to ports around Great Britain where they picked up Panagaean Army units for transport back to Panagaea.

Being a bit newer than the Bittern class the ships had more done to them during the inter-war period. The single 4" were swapped out for twin 4" dual purpose mountings, the 2 pounder mountings were upgraded and a quad mounting set up on the center superstructure. The torpedo director being moved aft. The twin 18" were removed and replaced with triple 21" mountings. The electronic outfit was increased markedly.

December 1941, the battleship Implacable and the two cruisers Condor and Kestrel are on a show the flag mission to the US Navy base at Pearl harbour. The Implacable is parked at the end of Battleship row with the Condor moored to it. The Japanese attack comes in and the Implacable receives a bomb hit, but it is the Condor that is in trouble as it has had two torpedo hits that were meant for the Implacable. If it wasn't for the mooring ropes attaching it to the Implacable, the Condor would have capsized and sunk. Towed into dock the Condor is surveyed which shows the back of the ship is broken. The Condor is a write off. But it saved the Implacable.

August 1942, The Kestrel is a part of Admiral Crutchley's cruiser Squadron defending the American and Australis forces that have been landed on Guadalcanal Island. Japanese Admiral Mikawa has seven cruisers and a squadron of destroyers arriving in the area to interrupt the landings and interdict supplies. A fierce battle takes place during which five cruisers are sunk by the Japanese - all by torpedo hits. One of those is the Kestrel.

November 1942, and a force of six Allied cruisers and six destroyers intercept a force of ten Japanese destroyers. This is a night action where the Allied radar did give them an advantage. But the Allied Admiral was slow in making decisions and his six destroyers passed the optimal launch point for their torpedoes and had to launch two minutes later, does not sound much but with both forces traveling over 20 knots a lot of ground can be covered in that time. The torpedoes launched all missed. The cruisers opened fire, but without flashless powder they lit themselves up like Christmas trees giving the Japanese destroyers perfect firing solutions for their Long Lance torpedoes. The result is two cruisers sunk and three more heavily damaged. The Hawk is sunk. Two 24" torpedo hits are too much for the old ship to handle.

The Eagle leads a charmed life. The ship was at Midway Island bringing special supplies and a change of personnel to the Dragoon which was stationed there. The air attacks that cleared Midway Harbour (sinking the Dragoon) missed the Eagle entirely - not even splinter damage and no crew injuries. The crew saved from Dragoon were put aboard ship and the Eagle returned to Retribution. The Eagle is transferred to join other Panagaean ships with Force H. Just in time to join the escort for the Pedestal convoy in August 1942. Eagle joined the cruiser force pushing the convoy through the narrows. Where so many of the escorts were sunk or damaged, the Eagle received no damage. The Torch landings and Battle of El Alamein break the siege of Malta and empty North Africa of Axis troops. Operation Husky follows, taking Sicily back for the Allies. Landings at Salerno and Anzio follow but these are contested heavily by the German troops stationed in Italy. Eagle is with the RPN Courageous, USS Brooklyn and HMS Penelope as the main shore bombardment vessels. a dozen Allied destroyers are also used for shore bombardment, nothing else is available. These supporting units are heavily attacked by German Air Force units including the Do217 force with their Fritz X glider bombs. The Courageous is the main target and that ship receives three hits and sinks. Its upper works are visible at low tide. Both Penelope and Eagle had a quick replenishment trip to Naples for a rest and resupply. Leaving Naples both ship were line astern when they were hit with two torpedoes each from a German U-boat. Eagles luck had finally run out. both ships slowly sinking.

Displacement 6,100 tons standard, 7,800 tons full load
Length 456 ft
Breadth 48 ft
Draught 17 ft
Machinery 2 shaft geared turbines, 40,000shp
Speed 30 knots
Range 6000 miles at 12 knots
Armour 3" side, 2" deck, 2" turrets
Armament As Completed:

6 x 6" (3x2)
4 x 4" (4x1)
4 x 2pd (4x1)

Refits etc to 1939

6 x 6" (3x2)
8 x 4" (4x2)
8 x 2pd (1x4, 4x1)
Torpedoes 4 x 18" (2x2) 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 345 375
Notes Condor - Sunk at Battle of Savo Island
Eagle - Torpedoed by U-boat off Naples 1944
Kestrel - Sunk at battle of Tassafaronga 1942
Hawk - Constructive loss after Pearl Harbour Dec/41 - scrapped


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