Hawkins Class, British Heavy Cruisers

Photograph of Hawkins-class heavy cruiser

Imperial War Museum. Via Wikipedia Commons


Tonnage 9800 tons standard
Dimensions 605'4" by 64'11" by 17'3"
184.4m by 19.8m by 5.25m
Maximum speed       29 knots
Complement 690
Armament 7x1 7.5"/45 guns
4x1 4"/45 dual-purpose guns
4x1 40mm/40 (2pdr) AA guns
Protection 820 tons:
3" (76mm) belt (machinery)
1.5" (38mm) deck (machinery)
2.5" (64mm) belt (magazines)
0.5" (13mm) deck (magazines)
1" (25mm) bulkheads
1"/0.5" (25mm/13mm) magazine box sides/roof
1" (25mm) deck (steering)
2" (51mm) turret
3" (76mm) conning tower
5' (1.5m) torpedo bulges
4-shaft Parsons geared turbine (55,000 shp)
12 Yarrow boilers
Bunkerage 2600 tons fuel oil
Range 5400 nautical miles (10,000km) at 14 knots
1942: 2x4 40mm/40 and 7x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns added to light antiaircraft battery, along with Types 273, 281, and 285 radar. Two single 40mm/40 guns removed.

1944-8: 2x4 40mm guns and remaining single 40mm guns replaced with 2x8 40mm guns.

The Hawkins were large cruisers specifically designed to hunt down commerce raiders the Germans let loose in the Atlantic in 1914-1915. Because the raiders had good speed and 6" guns, the Hawkins were given more powerful armament than was then the standard in cruisers. Completed in 1919-1924, they became the basis for the heavy cruiser type recognized by the naval disarmament treaties.

The ships were originally designed for both oil and coal burning so that they could operate independently around the world. They were among the first to use the concept of an armored box around the magazines, but they lacked good machinery dispersal.

By the time of the Pacific War, they had been modified extensively, so that there were significant differences between the various ships of the class. We list here the characteristics of Hawkins, the only unit to see service in the Far East.

Units in the Pacific:

Hawkins       arrived 1942-9
withdrawn 1944-3


Gogin (2010; accessed 2012-12-22)

Whitley (1995)

Worth (2001)

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