RZS Celeborn (CA-1917)

 

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The Rohan class were under construction when the need for Fleet cruisers was pinpointed. An expanded Rohan class was designed, continuing with the 7.5" twin mounting, but adding one more than the Rohan class mounted. The Celeborn class of four ships started being layed down at the end of 1913 with the final ship of the class being completed in 1919. Being completed so late into World War One, the ships had little high speed war time use. This left the ships in superb condition when they were surveyed at age 20 to see whether money should be spent on them to upgrade them to continue in their roles as fleet cruisers to the older battleships still being used by the Zealandian Navy.

The Washington Treaty passed them by as their 9,500 ton standard displacement brought them within the Treaty Limits.

Displacement 9,500 tons standard, 20,750 tons full load
Length 540 ft
Breadth 58 ft
Draught 18 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 70,000shp
Speed 30 knots
Range 8,500 miles at 14 knots
Armour 5" belt, 1.5" deck, 4"/3"/2" turrets.
Armament 8 x 7.5" (4x2)
7 x 4" (7x1)
4 x 2pd (4x1)
Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 12 x 21" (4x3)
Complement 690 (720 as Flagship)
Notes RZS Celeborn (12/1917)

RZS Galadriel (02/1918)

RZS Thranduil (08/1918)

RZS Elrond (01/1919)

The ships had been state of the art when built, with good AA capabilities and a heavy torpedo armament. By the mid-1930's they looked their age. The refit given to the ships was comprehensive with the latest cruisers bridge being duplicated onto the ships, twin 4" heavy AA, quad 2 pounder and single 20mm Hispano cannons rounding out the light AA armament. The new bridge structure came with a new set of Gun Directors for the Main and Secondary armaments. The two old funnels were replaced with a new single funnel. These new bits and pieces provided space amidships for the placement of a catapult and other aircraft handling facilities. Two reduce some of the added topweight, the aft most set of torpedoes was removed. The other set of torpedoes was removed in late 1940 early 1941 on surviving ships.


 

Displacement 9,500 tons standard, 20,750 tons full load
Length 540 ft
Breadth 58 ft
Draught 18 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 70,000shp
Speed 30 knots
Range 8,500 miles at 14 knots
Armour 5" belt, 1.5" deck, 4"/3"/2" turrets.
Armament 8 x 7.5" (4x2)
8 x 4" (4x2)
8 x 2pd (2x4)
8 x 20mm (8x1)
Aircraft 1
Torpedoes 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 700 (728 as Flagship)


The 20mm Hispano cannon found fame in being fitted to literally hundreds of thousands of aircraft. Before this they were trialed on board ships. Their light construction was fine for land and air use but aboard ship where the mounting can be moving in almost three dimensions they literally fell apart. The more robust 20mm Oerlikon replaced them as they became available.

 

 

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