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Fiji Class, British Light Cruisers


Photograph of HMS Gambia, a Fiji-class light cruiser

Allan C. Green. State Library of Victoria. Via Wikimedia Commons.


Specifications:


Tonnage 8530 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 555'6" by 62'0" by 19'10"
169.31m by 18.90m by 6.04m
Maximum speed       32.25 knots
Complement 733
Aircraft
3 seaplanes
1 catapult
Armament 4x3 6"/50 guns
4x2 4"/45 dual-purpose guns
2x4 2pdr AA guns
2x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
4x4 0.50 machine guns
2x3 21" torpedo tubes
Protection 3.4" (83mm) machinery belt
3.5" (89mm) magazine belt
2" (51mm) bulkheads tapering to 1.5" (38mm)
2" (51mm) deck
1.25" (32mm) crown over steering with 1.5" (38mm) slopes
1" (25mm) barbettes
2"/1" (51mm/25mm) turret face/side
Machinery
4-shaft Parsons geared turbine (72500 shp)
4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers
Bunkerage 1700 tons fuel oil
Range 6520 nautical miles (12,000km) at 13 knots
Sensors
Type 279 radar
Type 281 radar
Modifications
Kenya: 12-1942: Light armament improved to 2x4 2pdr, 6x2 20mm guns. Radar upgraded to Type 272, Type 282, Type 283 and Type 285. Late 1943: Added 2x2 20mm guns. 1945-4: One 6" turret replaced with 2x2 40mm Bofors AA guns.

Nigeria: 1943-6: 0.50 machine guns and single 20mm guns replaced with 8x2 20mm guns and Type 272 and Type 282 radar.

Gambia: 1942-2: Added 6x1 20mm guns. 1943-9: Aircraft replaced with 10x2 20mm guns.


The Fiji class were a direct response to the Second London Naval Treaty of 1937, which mandated a displacement limit for cruisers of 8000 tons. Because of the rapid collapse of the naval treaty system, the Fijis were the only cruisers actually built by any power to confirm to the short-lived 8000 ton limit. In some respects they resembled small Southamptons. With the lapse of the treaties, the design armament was increased by the addition of torpedo tubes and 2pdr antiaircraft guns.

As with many other classes of ships, the antiaircraft armament and radar were repeatedly updated during the war.


Units in the Pacific:

Gambia     
Arrived 1942-3?

Kenya

Arrived 1944-1

Nigeria
Arrived 1944-1


References

Friedman (2013)

Gogin (2010; accessed 2012-12-21)

Whitley (1995)

Worth (2001)



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