Overview

Cruisers became Britain's essential vessel for protecting battleships, carriers, and convoys versus Japanese, Italian, and Nazi German commerce raiders, submarines, aircraft, and destroyers. 

The light cruiser was a natural development of the sailing frigate - a fast multi-purpose warship that could patrol the sea lanes, protect convoys and scout for enemy battle fleets. By the inter-war period the need for this type of ship was even ...
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British Light Cruisers 1939-45

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Overview

Cruisers became Britain's essential vessel for protecting battleships, carriers, and convoys versus Japanese, Italian, and Nazi German commerce raiders, submarines, aircraft, and destroyers. 

The light cruiser was a natural development of the sailing frigate - a fast multi-purpose warship that could patrol the sea lanes, protect convoys and scout for enemy battle fleets. By the inter-war period the need for this type of ship was even more important, given the increasing need for protection from aircraft, and the need to screen the fleet from submarines or destroyers.

During the 1930's a new group of British light cruisers were commissioned, designed to replace an earlier generation of warships designed during the Great War. These new ships were sleek, fast, and relied on the 6-inch gun - a tried and tested weapon that combined hitting power with a high rate of fire. A second generation of light cruisers followed during the late 1930's, armed with twelve 6-inch guns apiece. One of these - HMS Belfast - is still afloat today.

Finally the threat posed by German aircraft led to the conversion of some older warships into anti-aircraft cruisers - a stopgap measure until a new class of these powerful and much-needed warships entered service. By this time wartime experience had shown that the British light cruiser was one of the most versatile types of ship in the Royal Navy, able to protect other warships, bombard enemy shores, guard life-saving convoys and intercept and destroy enemy warships. These were truly the workhorses of the wartime Royal Navy. While the battleships and carriers grabbed the headlines, these sleek, elegant warships quietly got on with the job of securing control of the seas.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is superbly illustrated with a selection of period photos of these ships as well as the equally excellent art work or illustrator Paul Wright, who has ably illustrated several naval books. This includes a series of full color profiles. It is everything that makes the New Vanguard series one of my favorite from Osprey and a book I can easily recommend to you."
- Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (November 2012)

"Angus Konstam recaps the total tale in OSPREY's excellent British Light Cruisers 1939–45. And while he admits that a "book of this size can never be more than a useful summary of the subject", the author penned a positively illuminating introduction in just 48 pages."
- David L. Veres, www.cybermodeler.com

"The British light cruiser played a key role throughout World War II, and this account documents their naval achievement and how they helped gain control of the seas during the war. Military holdings with specific interest in World War II will find this a winning account!"
- James A. Cox, the Midwest Book Review (January 2013) 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781782003076
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Series: New Vanguard
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,169,753
  • File size: 16 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Angus Konstam hails from the Orkney Islands, and is the author of over 50 books, 30 of which are published by Osprey. This acclaimed and widely published author has written several books on piracy, including The History of Pirates, and Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate. A former naval officer and museum professional, he worked as the Curator of Weapons at the Tower of London and as the Chief Curator of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida. He now works as a full-time author and historian, and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Design and Development 5

The World War I Cruisers

The London Naval Treaty

Leander Class

Arethusa Class

Southampton Class

Edinburgh Class

Dido Class

Bellona Class

Fiji Class

Swiftsure Class

Operation 34

Weaponry

Sensors and Fire Control

Specifications 41

Caledon Class

Ceres and Carlisle Classes

D Class

E Class

Leander Class

Arethusa Class

Southampton Class

Edinburgh Class

Dido Class

Fiji Class

Bellona Class

Swiftsure Class

Further Reading 47

Index 48

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