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Middcore

ADLA: Hawkins class (UK CA)

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A Detailed Look At: The Hawkins class heavy cruisers

SWwpCUN.jpg

Hawkins class HMS Frobisher at sea during WW2. 

 

For my maiden voyage attempt at a ADLA article, we’ll be looking at the Hawkins class, a class of four (or five, depending on how you look at it – we’ll get to that later) British cruisers. 

 

Design Origins and History

 

The Hawkins class were the first heavy cruisers in the “modern” sense of the word (rather than the outmoded “armored cruiser” type) designed for the Royal Navy. However, they were initially designed as improvements of the Town-class of light cruisers (a WW1-era class, not the ships represented in WoWS by Edinburgh and Belfast). They were intended for protecting trade from German commerce raiders in the far-flung waters of the British empire, a role which demanded good speed, long range, and powerful armament. All of the ships were to be named after famous ship captains from the Elizabethan age: HMS Hawkins, HMS Frobisher, HMS Cavendish, HMS Effingham, and HMS Raleigh. (It seems odd to me they didn’t use HMS Drake in honor of Sir Francis Drake, probably the most famous English seaman of the era but that's neither here nor there.)

 

However, the war ended before most of the new ships were finished, and what was needed for protecting the peacetime empire was large numbers of cruisers rather than a few larger, individually powerful ones. (This is basically the reason why the Royal Navy went on to build lots of light cruisers and relatively few heavy cruisers.) Nevertheless, it was concluded that it would have been a waste to dismantle the ships when they were so close to completion and thus they were finished anyway. At just under 10,000 tons displacement, they ended up becoming the prototype for the heavy cruiser type in the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. 

 

OybNv21.gif

Hawkins class line drawing, as designed/completed

 

Survivability and Armor

 

As mentioned, the Hawkins class as built had a standard displacement just under the 10,000 tons which was to become the Washington treaty “magic number” for cruisers. To be precise, they came in at 9,750 tons. Using the best-guess formula we have for how WG calculates HP, this would put them right at about 28,000 HP in game. My understanding is that while standard displacement is typically used for the stock hull HP, final upgraded hull HP is based on full-load displacement. The full-load displacement of 12,190 tons gives us about 32,500 HP for a fully upgraded “B” hull.

 

The Hawkins class armor protection is at the barely-adequate level you would expect from a scaled-up light cruiser designed in the 19-teens. The main belt is 76mm at the thickest point amidships, tapering to 34mm forward and 38mm aft. The upper belt was 38mm forward and 51mm amidships. The upper deck was covered in 25-38mm thick plating over the boilers, with the main deck receiving the same plating over the engines and 25mm armor over the steering gear. The gun shields for the ship’s armament were 51mm thick on the face and 25mm on the crown and sides. 

 

Propulsion and Speed

 

The Hawkins class were designed and built just as oil began to replace coal as the primary fuel source for warships. They were initially designed to use a mixture of coal and oil to ensure adequate supplies of fuel while stationed in the distant reaches of the British empire – coal was more readily available, and the ships were supposed to be able to cruise on coal alone. The first two ships were completed as such and generated 60,000 shp for a top speed of 30 knots. The later ships, finished after the war with less haste, received an all oil-fired propulsion setup generating 70,000 shp for 31 knots top speed.

 

Armament - Stock

 

In response to reports of large German commerce raider cruisers armed with 7-inch (178mm) guns, the initially considered armament for the Hawkins class was a mixture of 9.2-inch (234mm) and 6-inch (152mm) guns. Experience during WW1 battles where it proved hard to distinguish between shell splashes of different calibers and the invention of director firing made this proposal obsolete, and a uniform main battery of seven 7.5-inch (190mm) guns in individual mounts was settled on.

 

Specifically, these guns were the BL 7.5-inch 45 calibre Mark VI guns in CP Mk V mounts. They fired a hand-loaded 200lb (91kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 844m/s for a maximum firing range of 19km. The mounts were hand-operated with additional power training and elevation provided by an electric motor and hydraulic pump, with a max elevation of +30 degrees (loading possible at up to +10 degrees) and max depression of -5 degrees. The Hawkins class were the only Royal Navy ships ever to carry this specific gun (earlier ships armed with 191mm guns used a different, older model), and the only other guns of this type produced were used in shore batteries. I have not been able to find specific rate of fire date for these guns, but allegedly while providing fire support during the D-Day landings Frobisher was able to manage an impressive five rounds per minute (a 12-second reload time). The guns were arranged in single mounts superfiring fore and aft, with an additional gun astern on the quarterdeck, and one on each side amidships, allowing six of the seven guns to fire on either broadside.

 

The other ships currently in the game with main battery of a caliber similar to these weapons are the Kirov and the stock hull Furutaka. Furutaka has 7.9-inch (200mm) guns with a rate of fire of only 2.3 rounds per minute and a stock maximum range of 12.6km, with a shell velocity of 870m/s. Kirov has 7.1-inch (200mm) guns firing 97.5kg shells at 4 rounds per minute at a max range of 14.8km but a muzzle velocity of only 800m/s. It can therefore be deduced that the performance of Hawkins’ 191mm guns will probably fall somewhere in between the two. As both Kirov and (I think?) Furutaka have true turrets whereas Hawkins has hand-operated mounts with power assist, it wouldn’t be surprising if Hawkins gun traverse is worse than Kirov -although hopefully not as bad as Furutaka’s (which is really kind of inexplicable). I don’t expect a WoWS rendition of Hawkins to get a 19km main battery range, even with an upgraded gun director. Somewhere around Kirov’s range is more reasonable.

 

The Hawkins class’ secondary armament as designed consisted of 8 QF 12-pounder (76mm) guns in single mounts and 4 high-angle 3-inch (76mm) guns for AA work. As it happened, none of the ships were completed with this exact mix of secondary weapons; rather the secondary weapons fit varied from ship to ship.

 

The Hawkins class as built were also equipped with two 21-inch submerged torpedo tubes and four above-water tubes. The submerged tubes would obviously not be included in the WoWS version of the ship. I have not been able to find a good image or other source that confirms the configuration of the four above-water tubes (maybe one of you can CSI “enhance” or magnifying glass these pictures to figure out where they are, I can’t be arsed). Some sources also refer to these tubes as “fixed.” I am assuming in the in-game rendition of the Hawkins class they would end up configured as normal rotating mounts 2x2 on either side. The performance of the torpedoes themselves would likely be identical to those on Emerald, as the ships are from the same era. 

 

Armament – Upgraded

 

In the late 1930’s Effingham received an extensive modernization which completely altered her main armament as well as her appearance. All of the 7.5-inch guns were removed and in their place a main battery of nine 6-inch (152mm) guns was equipped. These were the BL 6-inch Mk XII 45 calibre type, identical to those currently seen in-game on Emerald and Danae, so for their characteristics, you can simply refer to the readily available stats for those ships. The guns were in single mounts, in unusual triple superfiring groups fore and aft, one gun on either wing, and the last on the quarterdeck, for an eight-gun broadside. All torpedo tubes were removed. The 12-pounder secondary guns were replaced with 8 QF 4-inch dual-purpose Mk XVI guns in four twin mounts. For additional AA defense, she received two quadruple 2-pounder “pom pom” mounts and three quad 0.5-inch machine gun mounts. It appears that the original 3-inch AA guns were removed during this refit but I am not 100% sure. Provision was made to equip her with a catapult and aircraft but they were never actually fitted.

 

It was planned to remodel the other ships of the class along the same lines as Effingham, but the outbreak of war prevented this from happening and they received less extensive modernizations. They kept their 7.5-inch main battery, although Hawkins had the two wing guns deleted to make room for more AA armament, reducing her to five guns. The submerged torpedo tubes were deleted, but the above-water ones stayed. The 12-pounder secondary guns were replaced with an equal number of 4-inch guns. They were equipped with either two or four (depending on the ship) quad 2-pounder “pom poms” and seven or eight (again, depending on the ship) 20mm Oerlikon guns.  Later in the war the number of 20mm guns was increased, although I have not found a source which specifies exactly how many – one source says Frobisher had as many as nineteen. It's unclear in the sources I have whether the original WW1-era 3-inch AA guns were retained although my guess would be they were not. I will leave it to those more familiar than me with the formulas involved to try to calculate what kind of AA DPS this results in. They also received various air warning and fire director radar equipment (although at the tier these ships are likely to be placed at I think it’s unlikely they will be given access to the radar consumable). 

 

Ship Histories

 

HMS Hawkins

Hawkins was commissioned in July 1919 and deployed to the China Station. After less than a decade of service she was refitted (including having her coal-fired boilers removed and the oil-fired boilers modified) and joined the Atlantic Fleet in 1929. Transferred to reserve in 1930, she then served in the east Indies after 1921. In 1937, under the terms of the London Naval Treaty, she was demilitarized to serve as a training ship, with all of her main guns and deck torpedo tubes removed. The beginning of the Second World War in 1939 led to her being hastily rearmed and recommissioned, however. At the beginning of the war she patrolled off the South American coast as far as the Falklands. By 1941 she was active off the coast of Africa, supporting the British actions against the Italians. She captured a number of Italian and German merchant ships trying to flee the former Italian territory. Later she escorted convoys and intercepted Vichy French shipping. In 1944 she returned to British waters and was involved in Exercise Tiger, a rehearsal of the D-Day landings which became a disaster when due to friendly fire and attacks by German E-boats. On D-Day, Hawkins supported the landing force as part of the bombardment force at Utah Beach. At the conclusion of the war she was placed into reserve again. In 1947 she was used as a target for bombing practice by the RAF, and was then sold for scrap in 1947.

71SIiiT.jpg

Hawkins at sea

 

HMS Raleigh

Raleigh had the shortest and most unfortunate career of the class. Commissioned in 1921, only one year later she ran aground in the Strait of Belle Isle in Labrador (Canada). Eleven members of her crew drowned. Her captain was found to be at fault for the disaster as he sped the ship through the thick fog. The ship remained stuck for four years, was stripped of everything salvageable, and was then destroyed by explosives in 1926.

 

HMS Frobisher

Commissioned in 1924, Frobisher entered service in the Mediterranean, then briefly on the China Station. After refits in the late 1920’s she joined the Atlantic Fleet. In 1930 she was placed in reserve to service as a cadet training ship, and she served in that role from 1932 to ’39. At the outbreak of WW2 she was recommissioned and extensively refitted. In 1932 she joined the Eastern Fleet and worked in the Indian Ocean escorting convoys around the African coast. In 1944, like her sister Hawkins, she provided fire support for the D-Day landings, bombarding Sword Beach and scoring a direct hit on the Grand Bunker at Ouistreham (the assault on this position is depicted in the movie The Longest Day). After the landing she served as a depot ship for Allied motor torpedo boats. In August 1944 she was damaged by torpedoes launched by German E-boats. After this she was partly disarmed and used again as a cadet training ship. She was eventually sold for scrap and broken up in 1949.

JuYJl31.jpg

Another shot of Frobisher. Note how the camouflage scheme makes it harder to quickly tell what direction the ship is moving. 

 

HMS Effingham

Commissioned in 1925, Effingham was flagship of the RN squadron in the East Indies until 1932, then was placed in to reserve. In 1937-38 she was given a very extensive modernization that involved the complete replacement of her main battery as described above. This was supposed to be the model for refits of her sister ships but only Effingham ever actually received it. After being recommissioned she served on the North America and West Indies station. After the start of the war she patrolled the North Atlantic in the Iceland region and transported gold reserves to Canada. She then hunted German surface raiders and participated in the Norwegian campaign. She evaded an attack by a U-boat and bombarded German positions. In May 1940 while escorting troop transports she ran aground on a large rock. The rock was well-known and marked on charts, but in a stroke of bad luck when Effingham’s navigator marked her course on the map his pencil line covered the mark for the rock. Fortunately, none of her crew was killed in the accident. After all crucial papers and equipment were removed, the ship was scuttled with a torpedo from a British destroyer. The wreck was dismantled in 1945. 

Imb1pzE.jpg
Effingham after her rebuild. Note the Warspite-esque single trunked funnel and trio of superfiring 152mm guns fore and aft.

 

HMS Vindictive

Hey, wait a minute, this name doesn’t seem to fit the theme! Vindictive was originally ordered as HMS Cavendish, and was to be the lead ship of the class, so these ships were almost called the Cavendish class. While still under construction it was decided to finish her as an aircraft carrier and she was renamed. She had some of her guns and her conning tower removed to make room for a takeoff deck at the front of the ship and a landing deck aft, and a hangar for up to six reconnaissance aircraft. A gangway along the port side allowed the planes (with their wings folded) to be wheeled from one deck to the other. Finished too late to play any role in WW1, she was used for trials (during which it was concluded that the turbulence from her intact superstructure and funnels made landing on her at high speed nearly impossible), then was deployed to the Baltic in 1919 as part of the British effort to support the White Russians with a dozen aircraft of various types. On July 6 1919, she… wait for it… can you guess? Yep, she ran aground on a shoal and became stuck and was only freed several days later. Only one mission was ever flown off of her decks, although her aircraft proved some use when offloaded to land bases. After returning from the Baltic she was placed into reserve. By this point it was clear the “cruiser-carrier” concept didn’t work so great. The Admiralty considered converting her into a full-fledged CV with a complete flight deck, but finances and her small size killed that plan. For several years Vindictive was either in reserve or used as a troop transport. In 1923 she was converted back into a cruiser basically in the original designed configuration, except she was equipped with a prototype aircraft catapult (the first RN cruiser to mount aircraft). She conducted anti-piracy patrols on the China Station from 1926-1928, then returned home and had the catapult and aircraft removed and went into reserve. In 1936-37 she was demilitarized under the London treaty and turned into a training ship. Half her boilers were removed to make room for accommodation and most of her armament was removed. At the beginning of WW2, it was planned to rebuild her along the same lines as Effingham, but it was eventually decided to rebuild her as a fleet repair ship instead. She served in this capacity and as a troop transport in various theaters until 1944, when she was converted into a destroyer depot ship. In 1944 she was damaged by an air-dropped German torpedo. She was put into reserve in 1945 and sold for scrap in ’46, completing an eclectic, if not exactly distinguished, career

DUSAqIL.jpg

Vindictive in her CV configuration

 

In-Game: Theorycrafting and Analysis

 

The Hawkins class in World of Warships is by era and level of capabilities pretty clearly a Tier V ship. In her stock configuration the closest current in-game analogue to her is the stock hull Furutaka. A matchup comparison between the two can be instructive.

 

The Furutaka is faster, has more and better torpedoes, and likely better shell penetration (heavier shell at a high muzzle velocity). However, Hawkins has one more gun (albeit not able to bear on the broadside), and probably better rate of fire. Hawkins might also have better range. When you compare the two ships’ upgraded hulls, the Hawkins now becomes clearly outgunned, retaining only perhaps a range advantage and probably an edge in RoF (I consider it unlikely WG will allow Frobisher’s reported 5 rounds per minute – something very close to Kirov’s 4 rounds per minute seems more likely to me). Much depends on whether the “B” hull is modeled on Hawkins or Frobisher, as Frobisher kept all seven of her main guns but Hawkins had two of hers’ removed, which would be a sorely felt blow. Hawkins’ torpedo loadout, with the same fish as Emerald but a lot fewer of them, isn’t likely to be much use most of the time.

 

On the bright side, depending on exactly how many 20mm guns they let her have, AA capability would be a major strength of the upgraded Hawkins, probably even with or slightly behind Omaha among cruisers at this tier.

 

In terms of her non-armament characteristics, nothing about the Hawkins stands out. Her HP pool is average to good compared to her peers, her armor is unremarkable. Her speed is downright poor – Hawkins as built with a mix of coal and oil propulsion only hit 30 knots, the all-oil ships hit 31. Either way this is less than her competitors. Maneuverability should be average – she is roughly the same length as most of her peers, a little shorter than Furutaka and Kirov. Concealment is likely to be average. Like other UK cruisers she should have access to the repair party, and there is no reason not to allow her to use smokescreens as well unless WG arbitrarily decides UK light cruisers get smoke but UK heavies don’t. As I said before, despite the ship in real life having a pretty capable radar suite I don’t think there’s any way she gets radar in-game. Hydro-acoustic search is possible. Since Leander doesn’t get Defensive AA fire, Hawkins certainly can’t. 

 

The Curious Case of the Effingham

 

Effingham as rebuilt ended up as a very different ship from her sisters, as previously discussed, and thus warrants separate consideration. A case could almost be made for her as a premium, but given her obscurity that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

 

With her revised armament she is a light cruiser rather than a heavy cruiser (remember that the only clear distinction between the two is gun caliber, and some countries didn’t even acknowledge that). With 9x1 152mm guns she would play something more like an Omaha. Although of course as a British cruiser she would lack the ability to sling HE, you can still bring eight guns to bear on either broadside and can probably get at least 4-5 on target from almost any angle, allowing you to keep pumping out rapid fire volleys even while twisting and turning to evade return fire (and the ever-present threat of long-range deletion via BB salvo citadel hit). The loss of the 2x2 torpedo mounts is nothing to mourn about too much. There is a case to be made here Effingham is a better light cruiser at T5 than Emerald (not that Emerald is a high bar), trading speed and torpedoes for a better allotment of main guns and more beef. With her secondaries replaced by dual-purpose 4-inch guns but fewer pom-poms and only some quad machine gun mounts instead of 20mm Oerlikons, Effingham would probably have better long-distance AA compared to her sisters but be weaker close-up. 

 

In-game, I see Effingham as a “C” hull for the Hawkins class but branched off as a sidegrade to the “B” hull, an option for players who appreciate the different play style but not presented as an improvement or a necessity to grind through. When Hawkins is part of a full RN heavy cruiser line, the Effingham-based hull could also be a point where one could transfer over to the light cruiser line, with the Effingham hull allowing access to Leander at T6.

 

GwgDkRM.gif

Line drawing of Effingham after rebuild. 

 

Pros and Cons

 

Pros

 

+Quite good or class-leading AA in upgraded form

+Solid HP pool

+Guns effective for opposition at her likely tier

+Armor configuration allows for some bow-tanking and could be effective against HE spam at likely tier

 

Cons

 

-Quite slow compared to competing ships

-Torpedo fit almost worthless

-Main battery limited by mediocre traverse and inefficient layout

-May have to sacrifice main battery guns to maximize AA on upgraded hull

 

Concluding Thoughts

 

These are little-known ships even by the standards of Royal Navy cruisers, and you could argue that the whole class seemed afflicted with a serious case of bad luck, with no less than three of the five being involved in serious grounding incidents and two of those three being lost as a result. Nevertheless, as First World War-era designs which soldiered on of necessity through World War II with varying levels of improvements made, they are interesting ships from a design perspective and will almost certainly have to be included in World of Warships if Wargaming ever decides they want to fill out a British heavy cruiser line.

 

In terms of in-game performance they're likely to be very middling ships. As stated above, the closest comparison is a slower stock hull Furutaka with slightly better guns and much better AA, or an Emerald that trades speed and torps for much better guns and AA and a bigger HP pool. Too powerful for Tier IV, at T5 they'll suffer from being up-tiered a lot and seeing T7 heavy cruisers that outclass them in every way, not to mention BB's designed 20 years after them. In T5 games though they will fully enjoy the advantage of their respectable AA kit, their firepower is competitive with Furutaka and Kirov, and they should outgun all the other cruisers.  


 

Whew. OK, I think that's it. This took me most of the afternoon. I know people may have different views on where this ship fits into the game and how it would perform (which is fine, let's hear them!) but please let me know what you think of the job I did on this ADLA overall, since it's my first one. Hopefully it won't go completely unnoticed in all of the RN BB hype (which I am as excited about as anyone). 

 

 

 

Edited by Middcore
  • Cool 7

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A starting point for an RN CA/CL line split at Tier V makes it interesting. The T VI CA, by default, becomes Kent, with Australia or Canberra as a T VI Commonwealth Premium. London comes in at T VII, but beyond that you are in paperland. Cancelled 1928 CA Surrey is your only T VIII option, and with only 8 guns she will suffer compared to the other heavies since she was designed earlier than most of them at that tier. T IX and T X are paper ships. T IX would be the 1939 modified (2.5 feet greater beam) Belfast hull designed with three triple 8-inch turrets in place of 4 triple 6-inch with identical secondaries and torps. T X is a paper exercise at 18,000 tons with either three triple 9.2 inch turrets or four triple 8-inch and Belfast secondaries, with torpedoes similar to Neptune. Norman Friedman and DK Brown are pretty clear on the options and I have both books in my library. Since this is a game, go for the bigger guns! Two things missing in the RN CL line are the Dido/Royalist class CLs (AA, but better in surface warfare) and the small three turret Arethusa class fleet cruisers of the mid thirties. Dido or Cleopatra would make an excellent T VI Premium. Arethusa makes more sense at T V than T VI, as a Premium or tech tree replacement for Emerald, as she is much like an Emerald with twin turrets, Leander AA, torpedoes, and speed. My small contribution to a (probably) sterile discussion!

Edited by GrandAdmiral_2016

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More types of ships is good I suppose; as long as it doesn't lead to the power-creep insanity of WoT.

Edited by Estimated_Prophet

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First of all, this is very well done and is a good read. Good work.

 

As far as the RN CA line I see something like

V- Hawkins with Frobisher B and Effingham C hulls (I like your idea with this, skipping Emerald to get to Leander would be awesome)

VI- York with Exeter 41 as the B hull and Exeter 39 as a premium

VII- London

VIII- Surrey

IX- Not sure

X- Churchill super cruiser with 9.2 in guns

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The Hawkins had a huge hullform (and beautiful, too) and the saddest gun apportionment I have ever seen - it would have been cool to see them get some kind of Furataka-like 3 x 2 7.5" arrangement.

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Pros:

  • Armor belt extends all the way fore and aft allowing bow tanking of any caliber of AP, and reducing HE vulnerability
  • Large HP pool

 

Cons:

  • Not just slow, but really slow compared to the 35kt speed machines
  • Poor firepower concentration ahead or astern
  • Dispersed gun mounts increase dispersion
  •  7.5in gun sucks. http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_75-45_mk6.php - 30% longer flight times to combat ranges as the British/Japanese 8in equivalent = lots of shell hang, hard to land hits. Hand training doesn't help.
  • Torpedoes will have to be 'Furutaka'd' - traversable tubes replacing fixed, but that will restrict waist gun angles and it's not clear there's much space

 

Hawkins is a poor, poor in-game ship and should not be included. She's a slower firing, inferior version of that utter calamity Emerald. WG have gone pretty bonkers on T5 cruisers, Konigsberg is generations ahead (and then they gave 360' traverse and now 1/4 HE penetration instead of 1/6....) Kirov is 20 years younger, Furutaka gets buffed to the nines, Omaha sucks too but at least gets high ROF as a spammer.

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Pros:

  • Armor belt extends all the way fore and aft allowing bow tanking of any caliber of AP, and reducing HE vulnerability
  • Large HP pool

 

Cons:

  • Not just slow, but really slow compared to the 35kt speed machines
  • Poor firepower concentration ahead or astern
  • Dispersed gun mounts increase dispersion
  •  7.5in gun sucks. http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_75-45_mk6.php - 30% longer flight times to combat ranges as the British/Japanese 8in equivalent = lots of shell hang, hard to land hits. Hand training doesn't help.
  • Torpedoes will have to be 'Furutaka'd' - traversable tubes replacing fixed, but that will restrict waist gun angles and it's not clear there's much space

 

Hawkins is a poor, poor in-game ship and should not be included. She's a slower firing, inferior version of that utter calamity Emerald. WG have gone pretty bonkers on T5 cruisers, Konigsberg is generations ahead (and then they gave 360' traverse and now 1/4 HE penetration instead of 1/6....) Kirov is 20 years younger, Furutaka gets buffed to the nines, Omaha sucks too but at least gets high ROF as a spammer.

 

This.  Hawkins is crap.

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A starting point for an RN CA/CL line split at Tier V makes it interesting. The T VI CA, by default, becomes Kent, with Australia or Canberra as a T VI Commonwealth Premium. London comes in at T VII, but beyond that you are in paperland. Cancelled 1928 CA Surrey is your only T VIII option, and with only 8 guns she will suffer compared to the other heavies since she was designed earlier than most of them at that tier. T IX and T X are paper ships. T IX would be the 1939 modified (2.5 feet greater beam) Belfast hull designed with three triple 8-inch turrets in place of 4 triple 6-inch with identical secondaries and torps. T X is a paper exercise at 18,000 tons with either three triple 9.2 inch turrets or four triple 8-inch and Belfast secondaries, with torpedoes similar to Neptune. Norman Friedman and DK Brown are pretty clear on the options and I have both books in my library. Since this is a game, go for the bigger guns! Two things missing in the RN CL line are the Dido/Royalist class CLs (AA, but better in surface warfare) and the small three turret Arethusa class fleet cruisers of the mid thirties. Dido or Cleopatra would make an excellent T VI Premium. Arethusa makes more sense at T V than T VI, as a Premium or tech tree replacement for Emerald, as she is much like an Emerald with twin turrets, Leander AA, torpedoes, and speed. My small contribution to a (probably) sterile discussion!

 

Dido is basically inferior British Atlanta and makes sense as a T6 premium.

 

The fact Emerald is in the tech tree at T5 now instead of Arethusa is something I can only attribute to spite. 

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Dido is basically inferior British Atlanta and makes sense as a T6 premium.

 

T6 if she gets 'optimistic' ROF. The shells aren't individually great and at historic ROF she'll not be much like Atlanta (Dido 80 RPM, Atlanta 168 RPM to a broadside - more like a T5).

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ny69mr.jpg_zpsmifk2uak.gif

 

Nice post!

 

I don't know if there's much I can add that hasn't been touched on already.

She is going to have a very 'meh' feel about her, although her amor could be quite trollish;

 

Hawkins_class_cruiser_diagrams_Brasseys_

Her guns by themselves aren't very exciting, and their angles are, as already mentioned, very poor. Perhaps if WG modified it to liberate the firing arcs a little bit?

 

With the right buffs, she could make it with the power of her armor scheme abusing game mechanics - she'll be mostly invulnerable to overmatch, and her hull side, 38mm at the thinnest, renders her immune to HE alpha from almost every cruiser gun she'll ever have to worry about facing, and also IFHE 155mm and smaller. The Germans will be an exception, namely York's 210mm HE and IFHE from the 150mm guns (after the 1/4 HE pen buff)... but that's a minority of places. Most of it is 50mm+ armor plating... so she could be quite the PITA for HE-spammers, and with clever angling (at the price of severely restricting your firepower) a pain for BBs as well.

 

She'd be a frustrating ship for all parties involved, I think.

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The fact Emerald is in the tech tree at T5 now instead of Arethusa is something I can only attribute to spite. 

 

Personally like Emerald, better than Leander; which as far as I'm concerned couldn't fight it's way out of a haystack. Emerald at least works as a destroyer leader and can kill things up close with its torpedo blob. Leander just gets laughed at or deleted.

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I've updated the OP a bit based on feedback and insights in all of your responses. Thanks for the encouraging response, all!

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Personally like Emerald, better than Leander; which as far as I'm concerned couldn't fight it's way out of a haystack. Emerald at least works as a destroyer leader and can kill things up close with its torpedo blob. Leander just gets laughed at or deleted.

 

I would have preferred Enterprise, myself, just because that experimental dual turret looked wicked cool.

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