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Cruisers

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Wars and warfare

Battlecruiser

The battlecruiser, or battle cruiser, was a type of capital ship of the first half of the 20th century. They were similar in size, cost, and armament to battleships, but they generally carried less armour in order to attain faster speeds. The first battlecruisers were designed in the United Kingdom in the first decade of the century, as a development of the armoured cruiser, at the same time as the dreadnought succeeded the pre-dreadnought battleship. The goal of the design was to outrun any ship with similar armament, and chase down any ship with lesser armament; they were intended to hunt down slower, older armoured cruisers and destroy them with heavy gunfire while avoiding combat with the more powerful but slower battleships. However, as more and more battlecruisers were built, they were increasingly used alongside the better-protected battleships.

 
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Heavy cruiser

The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range and high speed, armed generally with naval guns of roughly 203mm calibre of whose design parameters were dictated by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930. The heavy cruiser can be seen as a lineage of ship design from 1915 through the early 1950s, although the term 'heavy cruiser' only came into formal use in 1930. The heavy cruiser's immediate precursors were the light cruiser designs of the 1900s and 1910s, rather than the armoured cruisers of before 1905. When the armoured cruiser was supplanted by the battlecruiser, an intermediate ship type between this and the light cruiser was found to be needed—one larger and more powerful than the light cruisers of a potential enemy but not as large and expensive as the battlecruiser so as to be built in sufficient numbers to protect merchant ships and serve in a number of combat theaters.

 
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HMS Repulse (1916)

HMS Repulse was a Renown-class battlecruiser of the Royal Navy built during the First World War. Originally laid down as an improved version of the Revenge-class battleships, her construction was suspended on the outbreak of war because she would not be ready in a timely manner. Admiral Lord Fisher, upon becoming First Sea Lord, gained approval to restart her construction as a battlecruiser that could be built and enter service quickly. The Director of Naval Construction (DNC), Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt, quickly produced an entirely new design to meet Admiral Lord Fisher's requirements and the builders agreed to deliver the ships in 15 months. They did not quite meet that ambitious goal, but the ship was delivered a few months after the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Repulse, and her sister HMS Renown, were the world's fastest capital ships upon completion.

 
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Cleveland-class cruiser

The Cleveland class was a group of light cruisers built for the U.S. Navy during World War II, and were the most numerous class of light cruisers ever built.

 
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Light cruiser

A light cruiser is a type of small- or medium-sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck. Prior to this smaller cruisers had been of the protected cruiser model, possessing armored decks only. While lighter and smaller than other contemporary ships they were still true cruisers, retaining the extended radius of action and self-sufficiency to act independently across the world. Through their history they served in a variety of roles, primarily as convoy escorts and destroyer command ships, but also as scouts and fleet support vessels for battle fleets.

 
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Virginia-class cruiser

The Virginia-class nuclear guided-missile cruisers, also known as the CGN-38 class, were a series of four double-ended nuclear-powered guided-missile cruisers commissioned in the late 1970s to 1980, which served in the United States Navy until the mid-to-late 1990s. They were the final class of nuclear-powered cruisers completed.

 
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Mogami-class cruiser

The Mogami class (最上型) were four cruisers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the 1930s. They were initially classified as light cruisers under the weight and armament restrictions of the London Naval Treaty. After Japan refused to comply any longer with that agreement, all four ships were rearmed with larger guns and were reclassified as heavy cruisers. All four fought in World War II and were sunk.

 
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Armored cruiser

The armored cruiser was a type of warship of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was designed like other types of cruisers to operate as a long-range, independent warship, capable of defeating any ship apart from a battleship and fast enough to outrun any battleship it encountered. Varying in size, it was distinguished from other types of cruiser by its belt armor—thick iron plating on much of the hull to protect the ship from shellfire much like that on battleships. The first armored cruiser, the Imperial Russian Navy's General-Admiral, was launched in 1873 and combined sail and steam propulsion. By the 1890s cruisers had abandoned sail and took on a modern appearance.

 
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Omaha-class cruiser

The Omaha-class cruisers were a class of light cruisers built for the United States Navy. The oldest class of cruiser still in service with the Navy at the outbreak of World War II, the Omaha class was an immediate post-World War I design.

 
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HMS Sheffield (C24)

HMS Sheffield was one of the Southampton sub class of the Town-class cruisers of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. She took part in actions against several major German warships. Unlike most Royal Navy ships of her time, her fittings were constructed from stainless steel instead of the more traditional brass. This was an attempt to reduce the amount of cleaning required on the part of the crew. Her nickname, the "Shiny Sheff", stemmed from this. A prototype radar system was placed into service in August 1938 on the Sheffield. It was the first vessel in the Royal Navy to be so equipped.

 
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Protected cruiser

The protected cruiser is a type of naval cruiser of the late 19th century, so known because its armoured deck offered protection for vital machine spaces from fragments caused by exploding shells above. Protected cruisers were an alternative to the armoured cruisers, which also had a belt of armour along the sides.

 
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Tone-class cruiser

The two Tone-class cruisers were the last heavy cruisers completed for the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Tone-class cruisers were originally envisaged as the 5th and 6th vessels in the Mogami class. However, by the time construction began, serious weaknesses in the Mogami-class hull design had become clear following the Fourth Fleet incident in 1935. As Japan no longer was obligated to abide by the limitations of the London Naval Treaty, a new design was created and new means of construction were utilized. Though the external dimensions were close to the Mogami class, the design was quite different, with all the main battery of guns placed forward of the bridge, reserving the entire stern area as a large seaplane operations deck. Unlike the U.S. Navy, the Japanese did not have a dual role attack/scout aircraft, nor did they assign any of their carrier aircraft to a reconnaissance role. Little emphasis was placed on this aspect of carrier warfare. Instead the Japanese reserved all of their carrier aircraft for attack roles. Reconnaissance then was relegated to the float planes carried by cruisers. The Tone and the Chikuma were intended to provide the long range reconnaissance needed for Japan's carrier Air Fleets.

 
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Japanese cruiser Mogami (1934)

Mogami (最上) was the lead ship in the four-vessel Mogami class of heavy cruisers in the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was named after the Mogami River in Tōhoku region of Japan. The Mogami-class ships were constructed as "light cruisers" with five triple 6.1-inch dual purpose guns. They were exceptionally large for light cruisers, and the barbettes for the main battery were designed for quick refitting with twin 8-inch guns. In 1937 all four ships were "converted" to heavy cruisers in this fashion. Mogami served in numerous combat engagements in World War II, until she was sunk at the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944.

 
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Aircraft cruiser

The aircraft cruiser is a warship that combines the features of the aircraft carrier and a surface warship such as a cruiser or battleship.

 
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Myōkō-class cruiser

The four Myōkō-class cruisers were built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1920s. Three were lost during World War II.