Chatham Class (1912) CC

The six ships of the Chatham Class (1912) were light cruisers. Part of the 1910 construction programme. Three were for the Royal Navy and three for the Royal Australian Navy.

They were a continued development of the Bristol Class (1910) and Weymouth Class (1911). The weakness of the low freeboard amidships was improved by extending the forecastle deck aft for two thirds of their length, with five of the eight 6in guns at this height.

The protective deck armour was ⅜in for most of its length. The weight saved allowed a waterline armour belt of 2in nickel steel over 1in shell plating. Being an early example of armour forming an integral part of the ships structure.

Changes to the metacentric height ensured they were steadier gun platform than their predecessors. Also the guns were new mark XII 45 calibre weapons which despite having a lower velocity than the previous mark XI 50 calibre guns were more accurate.  

A distinguishing feature from their two preceding classes was a long fore-deck and clipper bow.

They, together with the Bristol (1910), Weymouth Class (1911), Birmingham (1914), and Birkenhead (1915) Classes were sometimes collectively known as Towns or Town Classes.  All the ships in these classes were named after British Towns.

They were successful and remained in service after WW1. Having ocean going range in a predominantly short range cruiser force, built for North Sea operations.


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This page last edited - 11 March, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.