The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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|Tonnage||9100 tons standard displacement
|Dimensions||585'6" by 65'3" by 18'4"
178.46m by 19.89m by 5.59
|Maximum speed||32.7 knots|
|Armament||2x3, 2x2 8"/55
8x1 5"/25 AA guns
2x4 1.1" AA guns
8 machine guns
3" machinery belt
3.5" aft magazine side
4" forward magazine belt
1.5" deck over machinery
1.75" deck over magazines
2.5"/1.5"/0.75"/0.75" turret front/roof/side/rear
1.25" conning tower
||4-shaft Parsons geared
8 White-Forster boilers
|Bunkerage||2116 tons fuel oil|
|Range||10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km) at 15 knots|
|| Radar was regularly
1942: Light antiaircraft upgraded to 4x2 1.1" guns and 8x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns.
1943: 1.1"guns replaced with 4x4 40mm Bofors AA guns.1944: Light antiaircraft upgraded to 6x4 40mm, 20 20mm guns and aircraft reduced to two seaplanes and a single catapult.
Following the end of the First World War, the U.S. Navy saw a need for a new class of cruisers that could outfight the British Hawkins class and had the radius of action needed for a Pacific conflict. Although design studies began as early as 1919, the mood of the country was opposed to new armaments and no design was accepted before the naval disarmament treaties created the new category of heavy cruisers, which were limited to 10,000 tons displacement and 8" (203mm) guns. The Navy eventually looked at no less than seven designs ranging in displacement from 5000 to 10,000 tons and armed with 5" (127mm) to 8" (203mm) guns. A design began to emerge in November 1923 and was finalized in March 1925 that would become the Pensacola class.
Like most American
cruisers built between the wars, the Pensacolas were built
with the utmost
(costing $11 million apiece), were rather lightly armored, and were
unstable. Their armament was fairly substantial, but the
were so close
together that the muzzle blast from adjacent barrels perturbed the
resulted in a rather high dispersion pattern. The guns were
mounted on a
single sleeve, so that they had to be elevated together. The ships
had the distinctive feature of triple turrets superfiring over
twin turrets, to better allow the lower turrets to fit within a
very slim hull. Fire control for the main battery was provided by
a Mark 18 director atop the main mast.
These ships used
mostly welded construction rather than riveting, a departure from
practice. Machinery dispersal was good.
Extensive weight-saving measures brought the displacement well
below the 10,000 tons permitted by treaty, and some of the weight
reincorporated in the form of increased protection.
The Pensacolas were
completed in 1929-1930. Although Pensacola was laid down
first, Salt Lake City was launched and completed first,
and so some authors describe the class as the Salt Lake City
class. Like most American cruisers, the Pensacolas landed
armament prior to the
outbreak of war in the Pacific.
Both ships survived the war.
Pensacola Convoy, near Phoenix Islands en route Philippines
Task Force 8 (Halsey, Enterprise) returning from Wake
(2014; accessed 2014-3-19)
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