HMS Delhi (D47)

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For the Indian Leander class cruiser, see INS Delhi.
For other ships of the same name, see HMS Delhi.
HMS Delhi.jpg
HMS Delhi after refit, fitted with 5"/38 calibre guns
Career
Ordered: July 1917
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth
Laid down: 29 October 1917
Launched: 23 August 1918
Commissioned: June 1919
Fate: 22 January 1948 - Sold for scrap
General characteristics
Class & type: Danae class cruiser
Displacement: 4,927 tons standard (4,850 tonnes)
Length: 445 ft (136 m) p/p
Beam: 46 ft 6 in (14.17 m)
Draught: 14.4 ft (4.4 m) mean
Propulsion: 2 × Brown Curtis geared steam turbines = 40,000 shp
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Range: 6,700 nmi (12,400 km; 7,700 mi)
Complement: 450-469
Armament:

(As built)
6 × 6"/45 (15.2 cm) BL Mark XII guns
2 × 3"/45 (76.2 cm) 20 CWT QF HA
2 × 2-pdr AA

(As refitted in 1941)

5 × 5"/38 (12.7 cm)
8 × 40 mm Bofors AA (2 quadruple mounts)

12 × 20 mm Bofors AA (2 twin mounts)
Armour:

Main belt = 3-1.5" (75-32 mm) Decks = 1" (25 mm)

Conning Tower = 3" (75 mm)

HMS Delhi was a Danae class cruiser that served with the Royal Navy in the Baltic and in World War II. She was laid down in 1917 (launched in 1919) and scrapped in 1948 after war service in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Service history[edit]

In 1918-19 she served in the British campaign in the Baltic.

HMS Delhi was based at Malta at the time of the Spanish Civil War. The cruiser picked up refugees from Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona and Valencia,[1] where she was straddled by aerial bombs and by gunfire from the Nationalist heavy cruiser Canarias.[2]

In World War II she was initially assigned to operate in home waters, in the North Sea and off the Scandinavian coast. Here she captured the German merchant Rheingold, and intercepted the German merchant Mecklenburg east of Iceland. The Mecklenburg's crew scuttled her before she could be captured.

Bomb damage to the stern of HMS Delhi during operations in North Africa

From May to December, 1941 Delhi was refitted as an anti-aircraft cruiser at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This refit included 5"/38 calibre gun barrels originally intended for USS Edison, and were hand-picked by Edison's commanding officer, but were ordered transferred to Delhi by President Roosevelt himself.[3] With her new dual purpose main armament, she took part in a number of allied landings in the Mediterranean, (Sicily, Salarno and Algiers). On 20 November, 1942 Delhi was damaged by enemy action in Algiers Bay when her stern was blown off by Italian aircraft, whilst she was making smoke to protect the fleet. She returned to Britain and was under repair until April 1943.

During Operation Shingle, the Allied landings at Anzio, she collided with another Royal Navy ship whilst avoiding an air attack at night and suffered damage to her bow. Several ships were sent to relieve her, including HMS Spartan, but all were sunk. She was repaired at sea and remained in service for the rest of the war, taking part in fleet activity prior to D-Day to create uncertainty as to the actual landing zones.

On 12 February 1945 she was attacked and damaged by six German explosive motorboats in the harbour at Split, Croatia. The attack missed the Delhi and struck a nearby landing craft. The force of the resulting explosion caused the Delhi's rudder to jam and she had to be towed to Malta.[4][5]

Disposal[edit]

She returned to Britain and was laid up after the war. She was not fully repaired, and was instead sold on 22 January 1948 to be broken up. She arrived at the yards of Cashmore, of Newport in April 1948 to be scrapped.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Argus newspaper, 25 April 1938
  2. ^ "My War": In the Royal Navy by Ronald William Bannister BBC History
  3. ^ United States of America 5"/38 (12.7 cm) Mark 12
  4. ^ Tucker, Spencer (2011).World War II at Sea: An Encyclopedia - Naval Operations in the Adriatic. ABC-CLIO, p. 7. ISBN 1598844571
  5. ^ HMS Delhi - World War I - D-type Light Cruiser Naval-History.net

Publications[edit]