By Angus Konstam, Paul Wright
Within the early twentieth century Britain's biggest colonies validated their very own small naval presence, and their ships fought along the Royal army in the course of international struggle I. those fleets have been improved just a little throughout the inter-war years, and in 1939 the Royal Australian army, the Royal Canadian military and the Royal New Zealand military willingly joined the struggle on behalf of the British Commonwealth. For the main half those small navies consisted of some cruisers and destroyers, designed to guard territorial waters and to guard neighborhood sea lanes. even though, those warships and their crews quickly stumbled on themselves interested by a world conflict, and for that reason have been referred to as upon to struggle anywhere they have been wanted, opposed to the Germans, the Italians and the japanese. at the beginning of the battle the Royal Australian military used to be the most important of those Commonwealth navies, however the difficulties of offering its wartime wishes from the a ways part of the area hindered its enlargement. From overdue 1941 it additionally stumbled on itself combating a truly various warfare from the British, and located itself operating heavily with the united states army to include the japanese within the Pacific. the following it used to be supported by way of the smaller Royal New Zealand army - whereas either one of those Commonwealth fleets had fought with contrast within the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, it used to be within the Pacific Theater that they might make their mark. Geography intended that the Royal Canadian army used to be thrust into the vanguard of the conflict of the Atlantic, and whereas its fleet extended swiftly through the warfare, its sailors additionally earned a name for dedication, professionalism and cheerfulness which helped conquer a few of the tribulations of this gruelling naval crusade. The RCN ended the conflict because the biggest of those 3 Commonwealth fleets. This ebook tells the tale of those small cruiser forces, and the boys who served the Allied reason so good through the lengthy and brutal struggle at sea.
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Additional info for Commonwealth Cruisers 1939-45
Name Built Laid Down Launched Completed Fate Ontario (formerly Minotaur) Harland and Wolff, Belfast 20 November 1941 29 July 1943 25 May 1945 Scrapped, 1960 Incidentally, of the remaining ships in this group, one was scrapped before she was launched, and work on three more was postponed until the mid1950s. They eventually became Tiger, Blake and Lion, the last cruisers to enter service with the Royal Navy, by which time their original design had been altered beyond recognition. That left Superb, which resembled the two cruisers of the Swiftsure class, but had a wider beam, and a modified armament.
In Canada, the priority was the safe passage of ships across the Atlantic Ocean, or the eastern seaboard of North America. This meant that while the RCN was keen to counter the threat posed by the Japanese in the Pacific, the real threat came from German U-boats operating in the North Atlantic. Not only did this mean larger naval warships such as cruisers were less important to the fleet than destroyers and escort vessels, but Canada’s limited naval resources were also concentrated on the east coast rather than the west.
HMNZS Leander, as she appeared in June 1944. This colour scheme of overall midgrey, with a dark grey panel in her hull, was favoured in the British Pacific Fleet. By this time ‘X’ turret had been removed, and her anti-aircraft armament had been strengthened. the battle fleet and trade protection. By then, this fleet support role involved countering attacks by enemy destroyers, conducting night attacks and shadowing the enemy. Several designs were considered, but in late 1929 an eight-gun configuration using four twin turrets was selected, guided by a modern fire control system.