USS Baltimore (CA-1941)


Return to Main page:

The Baltimore Class continued the improvement of the heavy cruiser lines. Bigger, better, faster. Over 10% bigger than the previous Wichita type, more armour, much more AA capability. For the first time in a USN cruiser the class had only a single funnel. The 5" DP AA of the Wichita, kept the turrets in the Baltimore, but they were now in six twins. The extra size and displacement was used in unseen ways. A 6" internal armour belt was fitted, compared to the 5" belt on the Wichita. The biggest change was to increase the 8" ammunition stowage from 100 to 150 rounds per gun. The advent of the 335lb 'super heavy' shell had meant that there had to be clear divisions between the new shells and the semi-armour piercing and High Explosive shells in the older 260lb size.

The Baltimore class was the largest class of cruiser ever produced. Over 60 of the hulls were laid down, but not all were completed, or completed as cruisers. (see Saipan Class) Those that were not near completion at wars end were scrapped.

The Baltimore class did have the distinction of not losing any of its members to enemy action. I would have liked to see a direct fight between the Baltimore and the Prinz Eugen. I have just had a look at the stats of both vessels and it surprised me how close I got the two ships.


Displacement 15,250 tons standard, 19,200 tons full load
Length 676 ft
Breadth 76 ft
Draught 25 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, steam turbines, 120,000 shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 14000 miles at 14 knots
Armour 6" side, 3" deck, 5"/3" turrets
Armament As completed
9 x 8" (3x3)
12 x 5" (6x2)
52 x 40mm (13x4)
14 x 20mm (14x1)
Aircraft 4 Kingfisher as built
Complement 1150
Notes Baltimore
Oregon City
Saint Paul
Fall River
Los Angeles
Kansas City
+ many more
  Hulls from the Baltimore class also went to become the Saipan Class CVL's

Many of those that went into the 1950's were converted to missile cruisers.


Return to Main page: