HMS Lancaster (CA-1940)


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Last cruiser class in this series.

So far I have done a standard group of County class cruisers with the Cornwall type. That type would produce the 12-14 units of the original Counties. Next I went to a high speed variant because of the speeds being attained by the RN's competitors. The gloves come off the WNT/GNT limits in 1934-35 and the RN can design and build a heavy cruiser worthy of the name. The next thing to decide was how far would the RN want to push the concept. I already have a 'Brazilian' cruiser that is commandeered in 1939 for the RN which has the 12x8" in this thread, so I figured on doing an RN equivalent to the US 9 gun heavy cruisers.

The Lancaster Class

The 10,000 ton limit had provided 'nearly' ships. Nobody was really happy with the results, nearly enough 8" guns, nearly enough armour, nearly enough range, nearly enough speed. Only those countries that just ignored the Treaty limits produced a decent ship. Germans, Italians, Japanese, all ignored the limits and the heavy cruisers they produced were good examples of the type.

The RN to match those ships would need to improve (over basic County) the armour, not nearly enough. Speed at 32 knots was considered adequate and the 9 gun layout was good enough to take on any of their competitors. Range could probably increase a bit with a larger hull. Aircraft handling facilities could be improved, and the biggest additions would be made to the AA batteries.

During the period of their building 1937-40, the electronic revolution went into full swing and by the time the first two were accepted for service in 1940, a full suite of Radar and electronic aids had been fitted. Originally eight were ordered, two laid down in 1937, two in 1938, the last four in 1939. Only the first four were completed as cruisers in 1940-41, while the last four were delayed, then cancelled and reordered as light carriers: See Unicorn Class.

Displacement 13,500 tons standard, 18,200 tons full load
Length 652 ft
Breadth 68 ft
Draught 22 ft
Machinery 4 shaft geared turbines, 90,000shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 12,500 miles at 14 knots
Armour 5" side, 3" deck, 5" turrets

9 x 8" (3x3)
12 x 4" (6x2)
24 x 2pd (6x4)
18 x 20mm (9x2)

Aircraft 2
Torpedoes 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 900 (945 as flagship)
Notes HMS Lancaster (1940)

HMS Buckingham (1940)

HMS Essex (1941)

HMS Somerset (1941)

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