E and F Class Cruisers


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The E class correspond to the RN original ships with a different layout. The F class is my replacement for the Frobisher class with the single 7.5" replaced with turrets to give the same broadside.

First designed as the follow on from the D type cruisers, the main changes being to double the power output to 80,000shp for an increase of speed from 29 to 33 knots but the original design raised the number of 6" from six to seven. Laid down in 1918 the three ships, Emerald, Enterprise, and Euphrates, had their building schedules slowed with the end of WW1. Allied to these three ships were five F class cruisers of the same design but these ships were to be armed with 7.5"/8" guns to combat the German Admiral Schroder class cruisers under construction. Both ships were to go to turret designs, moving away from the hand loaded, shield mounted, weapons of earlier designs. The twin 6" was to also be used on the G3/N3 designed ships, while the 7.5"/8" would be used on the forthcoming heavy cruiser classes. The E's would have four mountings, the F's three.

The changes between the two designs are fairly obvious with the F class having four triple 21" torpedo mountings, while the E class had four quadruple torpedo mountings. The F's had a fifth 4" mounting superfiring over the aft 7.5" turret.

The eight ships went through various refits with additions and alterations through to 1935, the most major of which was the addition of aircraft handling facilities and the change from single to twin 4" AA mountings. The first HACS units were also added to control the heavy AA batteries. Light AA was increased with another four single 2pd guns.

By the outbreak of war in 1939, the ships were still the fastest cruisers in the fleet, and as such were posted to where their speed would be the greatest asset. To that end the three E's were at Gibraltar with Force H, while the five F's were with the Home Fleet from ports around the United Kingdom with three posted to Scapa Flow. The first signs of Radar and radar assisted gunnery sets were starting to show up on the ships as they went through their refit processes. The three ships with Force H had to wait till they were rotated through to UK ports for major upgrades. More AA weapons and electronic equipment saw the removal of the torpedo tubes and aircraft handling facilities as topweight became an ever increasing problem. With the Italians entering the war in July 1940 the Mediterranean became a real battleground where ships were at the mercy of aircraft but also had their own wins in various battles in and around the island of Malta with Force K. 1942 and the remaining cruisers are spread far and wide from fighting in the Arctic wastes to fighting around sun soaked atolls in the Pacific. Late 1943 saw a freeze on putting new equipment aboard these ships as the future of the war became clearer and these old and now worn out ships would have no future past the end of the current war. Maintenance of current systems would be it.

By this time the ships foreparts still looked like sisters, but the rear areas were considerably different as new equipment set them apart. The Enterprise show its armament after late 1943 refit for Pacific service. The 20mm guns have gone and been replaced with twin 40mm mountings, where the F's replaced the catapult with two quad 2pd mountings the Enterprise had one octuple mounting in the same area.

May 1941, and HMS Fearless is part of the search groups looking for the Prinz Eugen recently escaped from the Denmark Strait battle. The Fearless has yet to be modernised and is still carrying its aircraft handling facilities and both sets of torpedoes, speed is not optimum as the ship is overdue for a hull and boiler clean. The Prinz Eugen appears out of the darkness and into the dawns light, rushing into range of the Fearless and giving the Fearless no time to use its supposed superior speed to shadow the Prinz Eugen and call in the big boys to take care of the mighty cruiser. The Prinz Eugen being superior in all departments to the Fearless, starts hitting with its 3rd salvo, and registers hits reguarly thereafter. The effect of these hits on the Fearless is horrendous. The Fearless is armoured against 5.9" guns not the big 8.2" shells arriving from the Prinz Eugen, damage keeps increasing with firepower and horsepower both draining away. The Prinz Eugen did not get away unscathed, the 7.5" guns of the Fearless hit the Prinz Eugen and caused enough damage for the Prinz Eugen to seek the sanctuary of a French Atlantic port for repairs. The end came for the Fearless when two hits from the same salvo hit the two forward turrets and magazines, causing an explosion that blew most of the bow away, leaving the Fearless in a sinking condition and just unable to carry on the fight as the Prinz Eugen sailed off into the distance. The nearest help for the Fearless was the cruiser Newcastle who arrived in time to take off the Fearless' crew and put a torpedo into the wreck and sink it.


Displacement 8,200 tons standard, 10,450 tons full load
Length 572 ft
Breadth 57 ft
Draught 19 ft
Machinery Four shaft, Geared turbines, 80,000shp
Speed 33-34 knots
Range 7,500 miles at 15 knots
1,700 miles at 32 knots
Armour 4" side 1.5" deck
Armament As built E Class

8 x 6" (4x2)
4 x 4" AA (4x1)
9 x 2pd AA (2x4, 1x1)
As built F Class

6 x 7.5" (3x2)
5 x 4" AA (5x1)
8 x 2pd AA (2x4)
E Class to 1935

8 x 6" (4x2)
8 x 4" (4x2)
13 x 2pd (2x4, 5x1)
F Class to 1935

6 x 7.5" (3x2)
10 x 4" (5x2)
12 x 2pd (2x4, 4x1)
E Class to 1942

8 x 6" (4x2)
8 x 4" (4x2)
16 x 2pd (1x8, 2x4)
16 x 40mm (8x2)
F Class to 1942

6 x 7.5" (3x2)
10 x 4" (5x2)
16 x 2pd (4x4)
14 x 20mm (7x2)
Torpedoes 16 x 21" (4x4) 12 x 21" (4x3) 16 x 21" (4x4) 12 x 21" (4x3) nil nil
Aircraft nil nil 2 2 nil nil
Complement 580 590 610 615 640 650
Notes E Class Ships
Emerald (1925)
Enterprise (1926)
Euphrates (1926) Sunk in action with Japanese cruiser forces 1942, while part of Australian cruiser group with HMAS Canberra (also sunk) and others.

F Class Ships
Formidable (1925)
Frobisher (1925)
Furious (1926)
Fearless (1927) wrecked in action with the Prinz Eugen May 1941, sunk by HMS Newcastle.
Fulmar (1927)

The next 6 drawings are of E class types, 2 as completed, 2 1935 update, and 2 1943. All are drawings of the real E class cruisers, three drawings of never-were ships are at the end.

Next up was the original turret version of E class that I drew years ago

F Class Cruisers with four and five 7.5" armaments, with those horrible hand loaded mountings.

HMS Emerald Video   (Copyright of 3D Model by Delta Strife)

The video does work but can take 1-2 minutes to load. It used Quicktime or VLC Media player on my computer.