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ROYAL NAVY SOUTH ATLANTIC COMMAND - ROYAL NAVY N P Q R SHIPS

2)NEWCASTLE (LIGHT CRUISER)



Photo. www.merchantnavyofficers.com



Completed: 1937


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


Length: 558 ft


Beam: 61 ft 9 in


Draught: 21 ft 6 in


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


Armament: Original Configuration:, 12 × BL 6 inch Mk XXIII naval gun (152 mm) in triple turrets (one aft turret later removed for 8 × 40 mm Bofors guns), 8 × 4 in (102 mm) guns, 8 × 40.5 mm guns, 8 × 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine-guns, 6 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes (later removed)


Speed: 32 kts


Aircraft: Two Supermarine Walrus aircraft (Removed in the latter part of WWII)


Complement: 748


When operating against blockade runners in the South AtlanticNewcastle spotted German Merchant Erlangen on 25 Jul 41 off Uruguayan coast. The German crew before imminent capture scuttled their ship. 54 crewmembers and 6 passengers were rescued by HMS Newcastle.



German ship Erlangen. Photo. Copyright; John H. Marsh Maritime Collection,

Iziko Maritime Centre Cape Town.


Following that action, Newcastle remained in patrol in the south Atlantic until she was sent to the East and then re-deployed to the Mediterranean as part of Operation Vigorous from Alexandria to Maltain June 1942.


Four days out (of Alexandria), HMS Newcastle was torpedoed by an E-boat blowing a complete hole through the bows. The crew saved the ship, which returned at 4 knots to Alexandria where she could not be repaired but was offered facilities to make own repairs. This meant building an additional wooden bulkhead strengthened by concrete behind the damage. This had to be continually replaced at ports in India, Ceylon, South Africa, and Brazil, finally arriving in late October at Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York where new bows were built during the next ten weeks.


 

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