HMS Euryalus (42)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Euryalus.
HMS Euryalus 1941 IWM FL 5242.jpg
Euryalus at a buoy on completion, June 1941
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Euryalus
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 21 October 1937
Launched: 6 June 1939
Commissioned: 30 June 1941
Decommissioned: 19 September 1954
Fate: Scrapped, Arrived at Blyth on 18 July 1959 to be scrapped by Hughes Bolckow.
General characteristics
Class and type: Dido-class light cruiser
  • 5,600 tons standard
  • 6,850 tons full load
  • 485 ft (148 m) pp
  • 512 ft (156 m) oa
Beam: 50.5 ft (15.4 m)
Draught: 14 ft (4.3 m)
  • Parsons geared turbines
  • Four shafts
  • Four Admiralty 3-drum boilers
  • 62,000 shp (46,000 kW)
Speed: 32.25 knots (60 km/h)
  • 1,303 nmi (2,414 km) at 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)
  • 3,685 nmi (6,824 km) at 16 kn (30 km/h; 18 mph)
  • 1,100 tons fuel oil
Complement: 480
  • Original configuration:
  • Belt: 3 in (76 mm)
  • Deck: 1 in (25 mm)
  • Magazines: 2 in (51 mm)
  • Bulkheads: 1 in (25 mm)
Notes: Pennant number 42

HMS Euryalus was a Dido-class cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built at Chatham Dockyard UK, with the keel being laid down on 21 October 1937. She was launched on 6 June 1939, and commissioned 30 June 1941. Euryalus was the last cruiser that Chatham Dockyard built.


Mediterranean service[edit]

The cruisers HMS Edinburgh, HMS Hermione, and HMS Euryalus, steaming in line abreast whilst they escort a convoy as part of Operation Halberd, - convoy not visible.

11 November 1941 jointed 15th Cruiser Squadron at Alexandria for service in Mediterranean Fleet. 24th of this month deployed with HMS Ajax, HMS Galatea, HMS Naiad and HMS Neptune, Force "B", in search for convoys on passage to Benghazi. On 15 December 1941 left the 15th cruiser squadron (RAdm. P. L. Vian), with the cruisers HMS Naiad, HMS Euryalus and eight destroyers the harbour of Alexandria to escorting the freighter Breconshire bound to Malta. On 17 December 1941 joining with Force "K", comes from Malta, to escort the Breconshire back to the Island. The 15th cruiser squadron with HMS Euryalus sailed to Alexandria the next day. 23 January 1943 with HMS Cleopatra and the destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Nubian and HMS Kelvin bombardment of the german-italian forces at Zuara.

Second Battle of Sirte[edit]

HMS Cleopatra throws out smoke to shield the convoy as HMS Euryalus elevates her forward 5.25-inch guns to shell the Italian Fleet at the Second Battle of Sirte, 22 March 1942

Malta convoys[edit]

17 September 1941 jointed escort for convoy WS. 11X. From 24 to 30 September 1941 Convoy Operation "Halberd", to supporting the Island of Malta. Nine fast freighters, escorted by three battleships (HMS Prince of Wales, HMS Nelson, HMS Rodney), the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, five cruisers (HMS Kenya, HMS Edinburgh, HMS Sheffield, HMS Euryalus and HMS Hermione) and eighteen destroyers started from Gibraltar, two days later spotted from Italian scouting planes. 27. September begins the first Italian air attacks started from Sardinia, one torpedo hits the battleship Nelson north of the Island La Galite, in the evening of the same day they destroying the freighter Imperial Star north of Cape Bone. 1 October now part of Force "W", Gibraltar.

12 February 1942 part of the force "B" (R Adm. Vian) to cover convoy MW. 9, with HMS Naiad, HMS Dido and eight destroyers. On the 14th heavy german bomber attacks against MW. 9, the mechant ship Clan Chattan scuttled. Vians ships are back at Alexandria on the morning of 15 February. 12 till 16 June 1942 Operation "Vigorous", a Malta supplying convoy, starting at Alexandria, Port Said and Haifa. The Royal Navy takes for that a lot of ships: HMS Centurion, a old ship of the line, the cruisers HMS Cleopatra (RAdm. Vian), HMS Dido, HMS Hermione, HMS Euryalus, HMS Arethusa, HMS Newcastle (RAdm. W. G. Tennant), HMS Birmingham, the anti-air cruiser HMS Coventry, 19 destroyers, 9 escort destroyers, 4 corvettes, 2 Minesweepers, 2 tugs and 4 MTB's On 16 June HMS Hermione was successfully attacked by the german submarine U-205 (KLt. Reschke) and sunk.

Invasion of Sicily[edit]

10 July 1943 part of the allied amphibious landings on Sicily (Operation Husky). In this time join the 12th cruiser squadron with HMS Aurora, HMS Penelope, HMS Cleopatra, HMS Sirius and HMS Dido. Assignment was to cover the attack forces, together with the other parts of the powerful Force "H" (VAdm. Willis) with four battleships, two aircraft carriers (HMS Formidable and HMS Indomitable) and three destroyer flotillas with 18 destroyers. The reserve force with the battleships HMS Howe, HMS King George V. and six destroyers further the bombardment and supporting forces: three monitors, four cruisers, four AA ships, 47 destroyers, 20 submarines, 327 landing ships and 715 landing boats of all kind, 296 minor vessels and 155 transport vessels. From the USN five cruisers, 48 destroyers, 190 landing ships, 510 landing boats, 510 other vessels and 66 transport vessels, further 31 warships from Netherland, Poland, Belgium, Norway and Greece (9 DD, 3 SS, 16 AP/AK and other).

Operation Avalanche[edit]

HMS Euryalus was involved on the amphibious landings to Salerno on 9 September 1943 as part of the TF 88 (RAdm. Vian). This Task Force must cover the attack area with the aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn, the escort carriers HMS Attacker, HMS Battler, HMS Hunter and HMS Stalker, the cruisers HMS Scylla, HMS Euryalus, HMS Charybdis and eight British destroyers and the Polish escort destroyer ORP Krakowiak.

Service in the Far East[edit]

January 45 part of the 4th Cruiser Squadron, Trincomalee, Ceylon, main Base of the British Eastern Fleet. 24 January Operation Meridian I, to cover carrier attacks of refineries at Pladjoe, Sumatra. 2 February 1945 called at Fremantle, Australia, to change to the British Pacific Fleet (BPF).

British Pacific Fleet[edit]

11 February 1945 arrived at Sydney, Australia. 28 February passage to British Forward Base at Manus. Join the British Pacific Fleet (BPF). 7 March arrived at Manus to await approval of US Chiefs of staff for RN ships to join US Navy operations in south-west Pacific. 17 March took passage to US Navy Assembly area at Ulithi, to join USN operations. 20 March arrived at Ulithi to join 5th US Fleet for operations against Japan and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). 23 March sailed from Ulithi as part of CTU. 6 with the 25th, 27th and 4th RAN destroyer Flotillas join US operations of the Sakishima Gunto islands group, Operation Iceberg 1. 1 April transferred with TF 57 carriers to cover air attacks on Formosa. 12 April Operation Iceberg Oolong, provided covered during attacks on Shinchiku and Matsugama. On the next day rejoined US ships off Sakishima Gunto. Deployed with TF 57 during final strike of Phase 1 of Sakishima Gunto attacks. 1 May Rejoin US TF 45 with TF 57 carriers to continue the attacks on Sakishima Gunto. Three days later beginning of Iceberg 2, the Sakishima Gunto attacks continued.

27 May with other ships of the Royal Navy transferred to US TF 37, when US Command changes were made in organization of the US Fleet. 4 June at Brisbane for repair and maintenance, then journey at Manus. 6 July sailed from Manus for operations in preparation for landings in Japan (Operation Olympic). 17th deployed as TF 37 and jointed ships of US TF 38 to provide cover during air attacks on targets in Tokyo - Yokohama area, including airfields and seaplane base at Kitaura. 24 July covered TF 37 carriers during air attacks on Osaka and Katori as well as during shipping strikes. 9 August covered the same Task Force during attacks on airfields and shipping in north Honshu and Hokkaido. 12 August took passage to manus due to shortage of fuel oil from british support tankers.

15 August transferred to RN control after Japan surrendered. 18th arrive at Manus- 27th sailed as TU.111.2 with carrier vessel HMS Indomitable, escort carrier HMS Venerable, the cruisers HMS Swiftsure, HMS Black Prince, and the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt, HMS Ursa, HMS Whirlwind for re.occupation of Hong Kong. 29 August 1945 entered Hong Kong with HMS Swiftsure and landing ship HMCS Prince Robert.

Post-war service[edit]

Euryalus was the last original Dido operational in Royal Navy, until 1954, mainly on the South Atlantic station. The ship was the most modernised of the original Didos, having been extensively updated from October 1943 to June 1944 at John Brown on the Clyde with new light anti-aircraft armament of 20 mm, 40 mm and 2-pounder mountings and a generally new radar suite with Type 293 radar the standard post war Royal Navy target indicator and close range air and surface search, Type 272 heightfinders and surface warning and new navigation radar. After the end of World War II Euryalus spent 18 further months in the Pacific Fleet operating from Sydney, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong before returning to the UK for a year-long modernisation at Rosyth in 1947-48. By this time the long range airwarning radar on Euryalus was the late war Type 279b/281, the precursor of the post-1945, Type 960. Photos reveal that Euryalus's 5.25-inch (133 mm) turrets were also modified externally in the same way as Vanguard's and Royalist's with the insertion in the turret for operators of a large perplex sighting windows. In the early 1950s a major modernisation was planned for the last two Dido-class cruisers in commission, Euryalus and Cleopatra,[2] refitting them in a similar pattern to Royalist with the further improvement of new boilers, similar to those of the Daring class. The $4.5 million cost of Royalist's update to a 1950s carrier fleet picket standard ruled this out.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Dido Class Cruisers, Raven and Lenton, p7
  2. ^ N. Friedman. British Cruisers. Two World Wars and After. Barnsley. Seaforth (2010)


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