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ROYAL NAVY SOUTH ATLANTIC COMMAND - ROYAL NAVY A B SHIPS

28)BIRMINGHAM (CRUISER)



Photo. www.wikipedia.org



Completed:  1937


Displacement: 9,100 tons standard, 11,350 tons full load


Length: 558 ft


Beam: 61,8 ft


Draught: 21,6 ft


Propulsion: Four-shaft Parsons geared turbines, Four Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 75,000 shp


Armament: 12× BL 6 inch Mk XXIII naval guns  triple mounts], 8 × 4" [double mounts]
4 × 3 pdr., 8 x 2 pdr. [quadruple mounts], Torpedo tubes: 6 × 21".


Complement: 748


Speed: 32 kts


On March 1st 1941, HMS Birmingham  arrived at Freetown with WS6A.On 6th she sailed from Freetown as Convoy WS6 Ocean Escort during passage to Cape Town with HMS PHOEBE and HMS CATHAY. On 21st   she was detached from WS6 on arrival at Cape Town. Joined 18th Cruiser Squadron for trade defence duties in South Atlantic.


After a brief period in North Atlantic, on June 4th  she was transferred to South Atlantic as Flagship for ships engaged in trade defence. Nominated as Ocean Escort for Middle East WS military convoy during passage to Durban from Clyde. On 7th Joined Convoy WS9A with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser DUNOTTAR CASTLE. On 14th  at Freetown with Convoy WS9A. On 20th  she  sailed from Freetown for Cape of Good Hope with WS9A.


On July 2nd  at Cape Town. On 5th took passage to Durban as WS9A Ocean Escort. On 9th  was  detached from WS9A on relief by HM Cruiser HAWKINS. On 12th  was  deployed for commerce  raider interception and  trade  defence. On August  interception patrols and convoy defence deployment in southern oceans to December.


In 1942 January   HMS Birmingham was deployed off Falklands with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS ASTURIAS after Japan entered war to deter any possible attack. On February  went under refit by HM Dockyard Simonstown, South Africa. 20mm Close Range AA armament fitted and Radar Type 284 for 6in main armament, fire control installed. Surface warning Type 286M Radar replaced by improved RN British equipment (Type 291) using rotating aerial instead of 'fixed' type used with Type 286.


After the end of hostilities HMS Birmingham continued in service to 1952 and in  1953 took part in United Nations naval operations off the west coast of Korea. She was put on the Disposal List and broken up in 1960 at Inverkeithing. This name continued in naval use when given to a Type 42 Destroyer which entered service in 1976 and maintained the close association with the City.


By www.naval-history.net  


 

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