Dido Class Anti-Aircraft Ship.

Mount Perry Class Anti-Aircraft Ship.

Kiliminjaro Class Anti-Aircraft Ship.


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In the real world the Dido Class was armed with five twin 5.25" turrets, the same as fitted to the King George V battleships as secondary armament. However in this Alternate Universe the RN did not include the 5.25" gun in their armaments inventory. The twin 4.5 with bag and shell projectiles, not the fixed projectiles of that other RN, were the guns of choice. This meant that the ships could keep all ten guns throughout their service careers where the 5.25" armed ships had to lose the C turret because of topweight issues. The real time improved Dido's only ever mounted four turrets.

The Dido type introduced the twin 4.5" turret with Dual Purpose capabilities to the Commonwealth cruiser forces. The lightweight turret and high rate of fire was not only useful against aircraft but also against enemy destroyers and other light craft. The rest of the armament was the standard 2pd pom pom with three quad mountings being fitted, then the new Oerlikon 20mm cannons in twin and single mountings were placed wherever space could be made for them, 20 to 30 barrels being fitted. The obligatory two sets of triple 21" torpedoes were fitted but these were the first things removed when topweight needed to be lost to fit the new weaponry and electronics that became available throughout the war.

The RN Dido class was a handy sized ship and fast enough to act with the destroyer flotillas. Minimal armour was fitted, most over the machinery spaces and a box armour system over the magazines. The Australis and Southern African designed ships were smaller and slower but carried just about as much armament.

While classed as cruisers, in the Commonwealth countries they were referred to just as Anti-Aircraft Ships.

Two of the RN Dido class were transferred to US dockyards to be completed when the severe shortage of material and weapons occurred during 1941. Lend Lease came at just the right time.

HMS Scylla and HMS Charybdis as sent across the Atlantic with single 4", then as the ships returned from the US dockyards armed with 5"/38cal twin turrets.

The major bulk of the ships were ordered under the War Emergency Building Programmes. The Australis focus on cruiser construction was the Mount Perry AA ships with only four of the Sirius class cruisers being built to the 24 Mt Perry class ships.

Displacement 6700 tons standard, 8450 tons full load (Dido). 6,200 tons standard, 8,100 tons full load (Mt Perry)
Length 512 ft (Dido) 500 ft (Mount Perry)
Breadth 52 ft
Draught 17 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 75,000shp (Dido), 4 Shaft steam turbines 60,000shp (Mount Perry).
Speed 34 knots (Dido) 32 knots (Mount Perry)
Range 6000 miles at 15 knots
Armour 3" belt, 3" box, 2" deck. 1.5" turrets.
Armament As Completed 1940 Dido

10 x 4.5" LA (5x2)
12 x 2pd AA (3x4)
26 x 20mm (8x2 10x1)
As completed Mount Perry

10 x 4.5" (5x2)
12 x 2pd (3x4)
24 x 0.5"mg (6x4)
US Armed Ships

8 x 5" (4x2)
12 x 2pd (3x4)
18 x 20mm (9x2)
Torpedoes 6 x 21" (2x3) 6 x 21" (2x3) 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 480 480 465

Royal Navy Ships (18):

Batch 1: HMS Dido, HMS Naiad, HMS Argonaut, HMS Cleopatra, HMS Hermione, HMS Phoebe, HMS Arethusa, HMS Galatea, HMS Penelope,

Batch 2: HMS Bellona, HMS Royalist, HMS Black Prince, HMS Euryalus, HMS Spartan, HMS Juno, HMS Minerva

Batch 3: HMS Scylla, HMS Charybdis,

Southern African Navy ships (6):

HMSAS Mount Kiliminjaro, HMSAS Mount Cameroon, HMSAS Mount Botlolong, HMSAS Mount Kibo, HMSAS Mount Makheka, HMSAS Giants Castle.

Australis Navy ships (24):

HMAS Mount Perry, HMAS Mount Kosciusko, HMAS Mount Barker, HMAS Mount Ngaruhoe, HMAS Mount Surprise, HMAS Mount Eagle beak, HMAS Mount Ruapehu, HMAS Mount Garnet

HMAS Mount Gordon, HMAS Mount Larcom, HMAS Mount Margaret, HMAS Mount Barnett, HMAS Mount Montgomery, HMAS Mount Stewart, HMAS Mount Minerva, HMAS Mount Morgan

HMAS Mount Archer, HMAS Mount Tongariro, HMAS Mount Egmont, HMAS Mount Coolon, HMAS Mount Molloy, HMAS Mount Buller, HMAS Mount Hutt, HMAS Mount Meharry.

Original version of Mount Perry class AA ship, Mount Parkes. It looked ok, but I just never quite liked the drawing. For some reason it just did not look 'British'.

Another version of a CLA was the Inconstant shown below. This was a drawing I did trying to combine the CLA with a trade route cruiser.

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