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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

WARSHIPS OF THE PAST: Tiger class cruisers of the Royal Navy

Written by D-Mitch

HMS Blake as a helicopter cruiser
Laid down in 1941-42, the three cruisers of the Tiger class were originally to have been sister ships to Superb, an improved variant of the Swiftsure class cruisers (also known as the Minotaur class), a modified version of the Crown Colony class cruisers, but their construction was slowed down. Finally, the ships were launched in 1944-45 and they were left incomplete until their future had been decided. It was not until 1951 that a plan was agreed under which the three ships would be completed as advanced gun-cruisers due in large part to the perceived threat of the new powerful Soviet Sverdlov class 210-meter cruisers. Their completion took significant amount of time and they joined the fleet between 1959 and 1961, nearly two decades after they have been laid down. The Tiger class cruisers were the last class of all gun cruisers completed for the British Royal Navy. With the three “new” cruisers entering the fleet, the Royal Navy decommissioned their half-sister, Swiftsure and Superb, and both were scrapped by 1962.

HMS Swiftsure - outside Sydney Harbour 20 December 1945
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