Dido Class, British Antiaircraft Cruisers

Photograph of Dido class cruiser

Wikipedia Commons


Tonnage 5750 tons standard
Dimensions 512'2" by 50'6" by 17'9"
156.11m by 15.39m by 5.41m
Maximum speed     
32.5 knots
Complement 487
Armament 4x2 5.25"/50 dual-purpose guns
5x4 2pdr AA guns
11x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
2x4 0.50 machine guns
2x3 torpedo tubes
Protection 670 tons:
3" (76mm) NC belt
1" (25mm) D steel deck over machinery and steering
2" (51mm) NC deck over magazines
4-shaft Parsons geared turbine (62,000 shp)
4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers
Bunkerage 1100 tons fuel oil
Range 4140 nautical miles (7700km) at 16 knots
4850 nautical miles (9000km) at 11 knots
Type 279 radar
Type 281 radar
Type 284 radar
Type 285 radar
Some units completed with only 4 5.25" turrets due to shortages.

Light antiaircraft armament steadily increased. By 1944 some units had as many as 3x4 40mm Bofors AA guns and 6x2, 4x1 20mm guns.

The Didos were modern antiaircraft cruisers just coming into service when war broke out in the Pacific. Designed for fleet air defense at a time when aircraft were rapidly becoming more capable, they were built under the assumption that the traditional scouting role of small cruisers would now be filled by seaplanes. Their machinery, originally designed for 58,000 shp, was found capable of putting out 62,000 shp, allowing a significant speed increase in spite of the design turning out slightly overweight. They had a battery of five dual 5.25" dual-purpose gun turrets, three of which were tiered in front of the bridge and necessitated a distinctive high bridge profile. The design proved somewhat unstable and flimsy for a battery badly needing stability for accurate fire.

Units in the Pacific:

Phoebe arrived 1944-3
Argonaut arrived 1944-11
Euryales arrived 1944-12
arrived 1945-1?


Gogin (2010; accesssed 2012-12-19)

Whitley (1995)

Worth (2001)

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