Weymouth Class Cruiser (1910)

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The four light cruisers of the Weymouth Class (sometimes called Improved Bristol Class) were completed by 1912.

They were sometimes treated as the second sub-type of an encompassing "Town Class" which included the five earlier Bristol and following six Chatham, four Birmingham class and two Birkenhead class cruisers.

The Weymouths consolidated the mixed battery used in the preceding Bristol class into a uniform battery of eight 6-in guns.

Overview of 4 vessels
Citations for this data available on individual ship pages
Name Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
Dartmouth Vickers 19 Feb, 1910 14 Dec, 1910 Oct, 1911 Sold 13 Dec, 1930
Falmouth William Beardmore & Company 21 Feb, 1910 20 Sep, 1910 Sep, 1911 Sold 19 Aug, 1916
Weymouth Armstrong, Whitworth & Company 19 Jan, 1910 18 Nov, 1910 Oct, 1911 Sold 2 Oct, 1928
Yarmouth London & Glasgow 27 Jan, 1910 12 Apr, 1911 Apr, 1912 Sold 2 Jul, 1929

Binoculars

In September 1914, the ships were allowed five additional pairs of Pattern 343 Service Binoculars.[1]

Fore Top

In late 1913, there was some doubt as to whether the sides of the fore top in these ships needed to be raised, and indeed there was some confusion as to how high the sides were in various units. It was mentioned that altering them to a height of 4 feet would allow a seated observer to do his work.[2]

Boats

The ships were ordered in July 1914 to surrender one of their two 30-foot drop-keel gigs.[3]

Armament

6-in Guns

  • Eight 6-in guns on P. VI mountings; 3 on each broadside and 2 on C.L. fore and aft

These mountings were the first transferable mountings to be hydraulically worked in elevation. In this class with its quick motion, it proved too cumbersome for continuous aim. Three of the ships had hydraulic training added in 1914, but reports on it were mixed.[4]

Torpedoes

The ships had two 21-in submerged broadside tubes forward depressed 2 degrees, 4 feet 7 inches below load waterline with the axis of the tube 1 foot 5 inches above the deck.[5]

Fire Control

Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter

By 1920, the three surviving ships were equipped with Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter Mark II*s with Evershed Bearing Transmitters, apparently the earliest light cruisers to be given such equipment.[6] The installations generally consisted of placing one on each side of the foretop, driven by flexible shafting from a gearbox on the director tower's Evershed rack.[7]

Supplies of these devices began in June 1918.[8]

Range Dials

In 1918, it was ordered that these and ten other classes of light cruisers should receive "range instruments for concentration of fire". Presumably, this meant range dials.[9]

As of 1920, the three surviving ships were each equipped with a Range Dial Type B and a Type C.[10]

Rangefinders

By June 1918, it was determined that the "Town" class cruisers would probably eventually carry two 12-foot and one 9-foot rangefinders.[11]

Evershed Bearing Indicators

This equipment was unlikely to have been fitted for gun or searchlight control.[12]

Gunnery Control

Directors

In 1916, it was approved that the ships of this class should be retrofitted with directors as time, resources and opportunity permitted.[13] This intention was reiterated in 1917.[14]

The Elevation Receivers on the guns were 6-in P. VIII Type with electrical tilt correctors, Pattern F.C. 6, capable of 15 degrees elevation. The Small Type Training Receivers on all were pattern number 20 on #1, P2, P3, S2 and S3, whereas P4, S4 and #5 had pattern number 21.[15]

Transmitting Stations

There was a T.S. forward.[16]

Dreyer Table

These ships had no fire control tables.[17]

Fire Control Instruments

Fire Control Navyphones[18]

In 1909, it was planned that all four ships in this class were to be completed with the latest Vickers Mark II F.T.P. Fire Control Instruments, but soon after Mark III is indicated, as follows:[19][20][21]

  • Range Transmitters: 2 (P & S)
  • Deflection Transmitters: 2 (P & S)
  • Range Receivers: 8
  • Deflection Receivers: 8
  • C.O.S.: none
  • Vickers Fire Gongs: 8 with 2 keys

In February 1913, it was decided that the Weymouth and Bristol class light cruisers (except Falmouth) should have improved voice pipes installed for fire control upon their next refit.[22]

In mid-1913 it was approved that these ships receive a Mark III Dumaresq, Pattern 760.[23]

By 1915, a 4-way C.O.S. had been added to permit some freedom in assigning the CL guns to either broadside group:[24]

  1. both on port
  2. both on starboard
  3. fore on port, aft on starboard
  4. aft on port, fore on starboard

In addition, Pattern 2464 navyphones in the control platforms addressing telaupads at the guns supported a finer control by breaking each broadside down into 2 groups, fore and aft. 3-way change-over (fore, after, separate) switches dictated which navyphones addressed which guns. The aft navyphones were in the aft control platform. The fore navyphones could be either in the fore control platform or plugged in in the T.S., though the image from 1914 provided shows these remoted to the conning tower. Curiously, two guns per broadside (only) were also given Pattern 2464 phones. A pair of 2463s and 2465s in the T.S. were provided, and a stray 2464 appears that it might be on a searchlight platform.[25]

The centre line guns fore and aft could be joined to either broadside battery by two-way switches located in the T.S. and the control platforms (when the control platform switches are used, the T.S. switches are left "off". In the other case, plugs were removed at the control platform switches).[26]

None of the ships had Target Visible or Gun Ready signals.[27]

By mid-1918, it had been approved to issue these ships, along with several other classes of light cruisers range repeat receivers for their fore bridge and control positions so that their captains and control officers could know the gun range. Additionally, the "Town" class cruisers were to receive two "Graham type" bearing transmitters in their spotting tops.[28]

Torpedo Control

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. Additionally, those with submerged tubes were to be equipped with gyro angle and order instruments from fore bridge (and after control position, if present) to the tubes. Weymouth class already has (or will have) Barr and Stroud for this purpose.[29]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 331 of 8 Sep, 1914.
  2. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 627 of 7 Nov, 1913.
  3. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 131 of 10 July 1914.
  4. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 4, Part 34. p. 16.
  5. Addenda (1911) to Torpedo Manual, Vol. III., 1909, p. 155.
  6. Manual of Gunnery (Volume III) for His Majesty's Fleet, 1920. p. 35.
  7. Manual of Gunnery (Volume III) for His Majesty's Fleet, 1920. p. 35, 37.
  8. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 25-6.
  9. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 376. (C.I.O. 3492/18, N.S. 11226/18).
  10. Manual of Gunnery (Volume III) for His Majesty's Fleet, 1920. p. 45.
  11. Grand Fleet Gunnery and Torpedo Orders. 21/6/1918, p. 116.
  12. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 29.
  13. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 175.
  14. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 229.
  15. The Director Firing Handbook. pp. 144-146.
  16. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 65.
  17. absent from list in Handbook of Capt. F.C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, p. 3.
  18. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. Plate 99.
  19. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1909. pp. 57, 60.
  20. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 65.
  21. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1910. p. 148.
  22. The National Archives. ADM 182/4. 7th Feb., 1912, p. 4.
  23. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 283 of 6 June, 1913.
  24. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 65.
  25. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. Plate 99.
  26. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 65.
  27. Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. p. 11.
  28. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 230.
  29. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 146.

Bibliography

  • 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 (1914). Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1914. G. 01627/14. C.B. 1030. Copy 1235 at The National Archives. ADM 186/191.
  • 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.


Weymouth Class Light Cruiser
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