Dido-class cruiser

The Dido class was a class of sixteen (including the Bellona sub-class) light cruisers built for the Royal Navy. The design was influenced by the Arethusa-class light cruisers. The first group of three ships was commissioned in 1940, the second group (six ships) and third group (two ships) were commissioned in 1941–1942. The Bellona-class ships commissioned between 1943 to 1944. Most members of the class were given names drawn from classical history and legend.


Dido-class cruiser
Class Ship
Type Cruiser
Manufacturer Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company
Production Period 1937 - 1942
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1939
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Pakistan 1940 1966 View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1940 1966 View
New Zealand 1940 1966 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Chatham Dockyard 1937 1939 1 View
Alexander Stephen and Sons 1937 1939 1 View
HMNB Portsmouth 1938 1940 1 View
Vickers-Armstrongs 1939 1942 1 View
Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries 1939 1942 1 View
Hawthorn Leslie and Company 1937 1940 2 View
Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company 1937 1942 2 View
Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company 1937 1942 3 View
Cammell Laird 1937 1941 3 View

Ships in Class

  • HMS Bonaventure (31)
  • HMS Cleopatra (33)
  • HMS Dido (37)
  • HMS Euryalus (42)
  • HMS Phoebe (43)
  • HMS Argonaut (61)
  • HMS Bellona (63)
  • HMS Hermione (74)
  • HMS Black Prince (81)
  • HMS Sirius (82)
  • HMS Diadem (84)
  • HMS Charybdis (88)
  • HMS Royalist (89)
  • HMS Naiad (93)
  • HMS Spartan (95)
  • HMS Scylla (98)

In World War II, the Dido class saw much action, including the battle of Cape Matapan, the Second Battle of Sirte, Operation Torch, Operation Overlord and the battle of Okinawa, as well as many other duties in the Mediterranean and Pacific. The class lost five ships during the war (Bonaventure, Charybdis, Hermione, Naiad, and Spartan); in addition the Scylla was badly damaged by a mine and declared a Constructive Total Loss. The post-war survivors continued in service; all were decommissioned by the 1960s. Bellona, Black Prince and Royalist were lent to the Royal New Zealand Navy post-World War II. In 1956, Diadem was sold to Pakistan and renamed Babur.

Name: Dido-class cruiser
Operators:  Royal Navy
 Royal New Zealand Navy
 Pakistan Navy
Preceded by: Town class
Succeeded by: Crown Colony class
Subclasses: Dido
Bellona
In commission: 1940-1966
Completed: 16
Lost: 5
General characteristics
Type: light cruiser
Displacement: Standard: 5,700 to 5,900 tons
Full load: 6,900 to 7,600 tons
Length: 512 ft (156 m) overall
Beam: 50 ft 6 in (15.39 m)
Draught: Dido class: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Bellona class: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Propulsion: Four Admiralty 3-drum boilers
Four Parsons steam turbines
Four shafts
62,000 shp (46 MW)
Speed: 32.25 knots (59.73 km/h; 37.11 mph)
Range: 1,100 tons fuel oil
2,414 km (1,500 mi) at 30 knots
6,824 (4,240 miles) at 16 knots
Complement: Dido class: 480
Bellona class: 530
Armament: Dido class designed:

Ten QF 5.25-inch (133 mm) guns in five dual mounts,
Two quadruple 0.5 inch Vickers machine gun mounts,
Two quadruple QF 2-pounder (40 mm) pom-pom mounts.
Two triple 21 inch (533 mm) torpedotubes.

Bellona class as designed:
Eight QF 5.25-inch (133 mm) gunsin four dual mounts,
Six twin 20 mm gun power-operated mounts,
Three quad mount QF 2 pdr (40 mm) pom-poms,

Two triple mount 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes.

End notes