Capetown Class Cruiser (1918)
The five light cruisers of the Capetown Class (or, sometimes, Cairo Class) were completed between 1919 and 1922. They were follow-on units of the Ceres class, and generally completed after their design successors, the Danae class.
|Overview of 5 vessels|
|Citations for this data available on individual ship pages|
|Capetown||Cammell Laird||23 Feb, 1918||18 Jun, 1919||Sold Apr, 1948|
|Cairo||Cammell Laird||28 Nov, 1917||19 Nov, 1918||10 Oct, 1919||Sunk|
|Calcutta||Vickers||18 Oct, 1917||9 Jul, 1918||Sunk|
|Carlisle||Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company||2 Oct, 1917||9 Jul, 1918||Sold 1948|
|Colombo||Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company||8 Dec, 1917||18 Dec, 1918||18 Jun, 1919||Sold 22 Jan, 1948|
- 1 Machinery
- 2 Armament
- 3 Fire Control
- 4 Torpedo Control
- 5 See Also
- 6 Footnotes
- 7 Bibliography
In 1916, it was stated that ""C" and "D" class light cruisers" have three 52.5 kw dynamos at 105 volts. It is unclear whether this outfit was still deemed sufficient for this later class.
The ships were armed as follows.
- Five 6-in 45cal B.L. Mark XII guns on the centre-line with a maximum elevation of 30 degrees. The guns had armoured shields of 1/4 inch on the face, 3/16 inch on sides and top, weighing 1.25 tons.
- Two 3-in 20cwt Q.F. on H.A. mountings
- Four 3-pdr
- Two 2-pdr pom-poms
- four 21-in D.R. Mark II* (?) above water tubes (4x2) disposed in pairs abreast, bearing 60-120 degrees.
As the 6-in guns fired over these, they proved untenable for manned firing as the 6-in guns would have necessitated a blast shield projecting fully 18 feet from the muzzle. The ugly expedient taken was to train the tubes to a pre-arranged bearing on coming to action stations and to use remote firing from the primary and secondary control positions.
In 1918, the Capetown class was one of several light cruiser classes ordered to receive refits so that their A.W. torpedo tubes would use two impulse charges firing in a cascade to increase the torpedo discharge velocity and thus reduce the angle at which the torpedoes entered the water. However, the Capetowns may have later been excluded from this alteration, as Mark II* tubes were found not to be suitable candidates for the re-work.
By 1919, all the ships were likely equipped with four Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter Mark II*s with Elliott's Bearing Transmitters. The installations generally consisted of placing one on each side of the foretop, driven by flexible shafting from a gearbox on the director tower.
Supplies of these devices begane in June 1918.
They were to be supplied an additional 9-foot rangefinder aft, specifically to augment torpedo control.
Evershed Bearing Indicators
These ships almost certainly had Evershed gear for gun control from delivery, and would also feature Evershed installations for searchlight control after orders for such installations from February 1917.
All ships were completed with gunnery directors in place.
Fire Control Instruments
In 1916, it was decided that all light cruisers of Bristol class and later should have torpedo firing keys (Pattern 2333) fitted on the fore bridge, in parallel with those in the CT, and that a flexible voice pipe be fitted between these positions.
By 1917, modifications to the torpedo control voice pipe system were desired. The voice pipes (port and starboard) to the CT were ordered to be removed in 1917, and in 1918, stop cocks were to be added to permit the after control position to be chopped out to improve the acoustic efficiency of the networks to the remaining rangefinder platform control position forward. 
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School', 1916', p. 120.
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. pp. 60-61.
- Progress in Naval Gunnery, 1914-1918", p. 10.
- The Technical History and Index, Vol. 4, Part 34. p. 18. I presume this is what is referred to as "C" class.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 35. I am inferring that the faults in Caledon carried through to this class.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 81.
- Manual of Gunnery (Volume III) for His Majesty's Fleet, 1920. p. 35, 37.
- The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 25-6.
- Manual of Gunnery (Volume III) for His Majesty's Fleet, 1920. p. 45.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 199. (possibly pertinent: C.I.O. 481/17) I am presuming this is the "repeat C" class.
- The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 29.
- The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 11.
- Handbook of Captain F.C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, 1918., p. 142 and plate opposite.
It is most likely that the details were similar to those of the most recent light cruisers.
- Handbook of Captain F.C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, 1918. p. 3.
- Admiraly. Pamphlet on Mark III* Dreyer Table, 1930, p. 1.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 146.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 214. CT VP removal per C.I.O. 4037/17.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1919. p. 119.
- Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1917). The Director Firing Handbook. O.U. 6125 (late C.B. 1259). Copy No. 322 at The National Archives. ADM 186/227.
- Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1910). Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1909. Copy No. 173 is Ja 345a at Admiralty Library, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
- Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1918). Handbook of Captain F. C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, 1918. C.B. 1456. Copy No. 10 at Admiralty Library, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
- Admiralty, Technical History Section (1919). The Technical History and Index: Fire Control in H.M. Ships. Vol. 3, Part 23. C.B. 1515 (23) now O.U. 6171/14. At The National Archives. ADM 275/19.
- Admiralty, Gunnery and Torpedo Division (July, 1919). Progress in Naval Gunnery, 1914-1918. C.B. 902. The National Archives. ADM 186/238.
|Capetown Class Light Cruiser|
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