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Dido Class (1940) CC

The Dido Class (1940) were designed as anti-aircraft, light cruisers, intended for use in the Fleet role to counter the growing capabilities of aircraft during the mid-late 1930's.

They were intended to increase cruisers numbers quickly during the run up to WW2, and were an unusual multiyear construction programme.

Five ships were authorised for the 1936 construction programme, (Bonaventure, Naiad, Phoebe, Dido and Euryalus).

Two more under the 1937 programme (Hermione and Sirius).

Three more under the 1938 programme (Cleopatra, Charybdis and Scylla).

Six more under the emergency 1939 programme (Argonaut, Spartan, Royalist, Black Prince, Bellona and Diadem). But construction of these were suspended in Jun-1940 and not resumed until Oct-1940. However only Argonaut completed as planned. The other five were completed to a revised design to improve stability known as the Modified Dido Class (1943).

They earned a high reputation in the Mediterranean during early WW2. With none lost to enemy aircraft attack. All four which were lost were torpedoed.

With their three turrets forward topweight was a problem, and as they were small and cramped they were not suitable for post-WW2 modernisation. So most spent several years in reserve before being broken up in the mid-1950's. 

 

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This page last edited - 21 December, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.