HMS Belfast

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Rank VI USA | Premium | Golden Eagles
A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
HMS Belfast
GarageImage HMS Belfast.jpg
HMS Belfast
5.7 5.7 5.7
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The Town-class, HMS Belfast (C35), 1959 is a premium rank IV British light cruiser with a battle rating of 5.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.93 "Shark Attack".

The Belfast is a modified Southampton-class (more popularly known as the Town-class) light cruiser, and is a sister-ship of the Southampton and Liverpool. She is depicted in her post-war reconstruction form, as the ship appears in the present day, moored on the River Thames as a museum ship. As such, she does not have the torpedo armament originally fitted to all Southampton-class cruisers, but has much improved anti-aircraft armament and a distinctive modified bridge and lattice masts.

General info

Specification Information
Crew (Complement): 956
Displacement: 14,900 tons
Length: 613 ft 6 in (186.99 m) overall
Beam: 63 ft 4 in (19.3 m)
  • 18 ft 3 in (5.56 m) forward
  • 19 ft 9 in (6.02 m) aft
  • Main belt: 4.5 inches (114 mm)
  • Main turrets: Up to 4 inches (102 mm)
  • Decks over magazines: 3 inches (76 mm)
  • Decks over machinery: 2 inches (51 mm)
  • Bulkheads: 2.5 inches (63.5 mm)
Installed power: 80,000 shp (60,000 kW)
  • 4 × Admiralty oil-fired 3-drum boilers
  • 4 × Parsons single reduction geared steam turbines
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h)
Other: Flagship of 10th Cruiser Squadron

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Citadel64 / 114 / 51 mm
Main fire tower102 / 51 / 51 mm
Hull25 mm (steel)
Superstructure8 mm (steel)
Number of section8
Displacement14 900 t
Crew956 people

The Belfast's basic armour protection is almost identical to that of her sister ships. She has a 114.5 mm belt protecting her engine citadel, 63.5 mm on the bow and stern ends, and 36.5 mm on the deck. Belfast's machinery space is thus fairly well-protected against destroyers and most light cruisers when angled. The magazine protection is also identical, which serves to prevent magazine detonations from other cruisers' AP shells. However, that the Belfast has to expose a lot of her broadside in order to unmask the rear turrets, essentially negating the Belfast's belt armour if all main guns are to be used.

Like her sister ships, the Belfast's main gun turrets are also decently armoured, with 102 mm of armour at the front and 50.8 mm elsewhere. This mostly protects them against light cruiser HE shells and weaker AP shells from the front. However, she retains the same weakpoint shared by almost all British cruisers: the open bridge. This has some 12 mm protection around parts, but is still essentially unarmoured and very vulnerable to nearby explosions and any sizeable shell hits.

The Belfast has a respectably sized crew complement at 956 men. However, the crew compartments are almost entirely located near the deck, which means the ship will lose a lot of crew when a sizeable HE shell hits them and from any subsequent fires. The close proximity of the crew compartments and the shell rooms can also help the fire to spread to them, possibly causing ammunition detonations.


Speedforward / back
AB70 / 29 km/h
RB60 / 24 km/h

The HMS Belfast has 80,000 shaft horsepower on its screws. This power is provided by four Admiralty oil-fired 3-drum boilers. The four propellers are driven by four Parsons single reduction geared steam turbines. This gives the Belfast a maximum forward speed of 32 knots (60 km/h) in RB, and 38 knots (70 km/h) in AB. Her acceleration and manoeuvrability are quite good and she answers the helm fairly quickly for a cruiser.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 70 29
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 60 24

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB5 903 Sl icon.png
RB6 496 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts800 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 500 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 340 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 450 / 600 / 50 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 190 / 190 / 190 % Rp icon.png
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Mods new ship screw.png
Propeller Replacement
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
Mods ship damage control crew.png
Damage Control Division
Mods ship fire control crew.png
Fire Division
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Mods ship venting.png
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Mods new aa caliber turrets.png
Anti-Air Armament Targeting
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods new aux caliber turrets.png
Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Mods he frag dist fuse ship.png
Mods he frag dist fuse ship.png
Mods new main caliber turrets.png
Primary Armament Targeting
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Mods he frag dist fuse ship.png
Mods he frag proxi fuze ship.png


Primary armament

4 х Turret3 x 6 inch/50 BL Mark XXIII cannon
Ammunition600 rounds
Vertical guidance-5° / 45°

The Belfast comes with twelve 6 inch/50 BL Mark XXIII guns in four triple turrets. These turrets are housed in an A-B-X-Y layout, with two at each end, one superfiring over the other. This gives te Belfast a broadside of 12 guns, and a forward and rear salvo of 6. Each gun has a maximum rate of fire of 8 rounds/minute, for a maximum theoretical shell output of 96 rounds/minute with a fully upgraded crew.

The Belfast has four shell choices: a basic HE shell with 3.96 kg of TNT equivalent, the SAPBC shell with a large filler (1.87 kg TNT equivalent) that can deal significant damage against cruisers within 7 km, but loses its effectiveness at longer ranges, and HE-TF and HE-VT shells for long-range anti-aircraft purposes (these have the same filler as the basic HE shell).

It is important to note that the Belfast's X and Y turret have fairly poor turret traverse arcs, which means it is difficult to use her firepower to its fullest without exposing a lot of the ship to damage.


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
1,000 m 2,500 m 5,000 m 7,500 m 10,000 m 15,000 m
6 inch HE HE 37 37 37 37 37 37
6 inch CPBC SAPBC 197 172 137 110 90 67
6 inch HE-TF HE-TF 37 37 37 37 37 37
6 inch HE-VT HE-VT 37 37 37 37 37 37
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
6 inch HE HE 841 50.8 0 0.1 3.96 79° 80° 81°
6 inch CPBC SAPBC 841 50.8 0.025 7 1.7 48° 63° 71°
6 inch HE-TF HE-TF 841 50.8 0 0.1 3.96 79° 80° 81°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
distance (m)
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
6 inch HE-VT HE-VT 841 50.8 0 0.1 240 16 3.96 79° 80° 81°

Secondary armament

4 х Turret2 x 4 inch/45 Mark XVI cannon
Ammunition400 rounds

The Belfast has eight 4 inch/45 Mark XVI cannons, mounted in four dual mounts behind her second funnel, two on each side of the ship. It mainly serves as a long-range anti-aircraft battery, and can be quite effective once the HE-VT shell is unlocked. An SAP shell is also available for use against surface targets.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
1,000 m 2,500 m 5,000 m 7,500 m 10,000 m 15,000 m
4 inch HE HE 20 20 20 20 20 20
4 inch SAP SAP 102 85 64 48 38 30
4 inch HE-TF HE-TF 20 20 20 20 20 20
4 inch HE-VT HE-VT 20 20 20 20 20 20
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
4 inch HE HE 811 15.88 0 0.1 1,550 79° 80° 81°
4 inch SAP SAP 811 17.35 0.015 5 600 47° 60° 65°
4 inch HE-TF HE-TF 811 15.88 0 0.1 1,550 79° 80° 81°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
distance (m)
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
4 inch HE-VT HE-VT 811 15.88 0 0.1 274 18 1,550 79° 80° 81°

Anti-aircraft armament

6 х Turret2 x 40 mm QF Mark V gun
Ammunition4000 rounds
Belt capacity4 rounds
Fire rate156 shots/min
Main article: QF Mark V (40 mm)

The Belfast carries a fairly potent anti-aircraft battery consisting of twelve QF Mark V Bofors guns in dual mounts. These guns have a greater effective range than the QF 2-pounder 'pom-pom' gun found on most British cruisers and are highly effective against aircraft thanks to their high sustained rate of fire. They can also be deadly to small coastal craft that get within range.

Usage in battles

The Belfast plays similarly to her sister-ships in the British naval tech tree, the Southampton and Liverpool. As a light cruiser, she relies on her fast rate of fire to overwhelm enemies, especially destroyers and slower-firing cruisers. The 6 inch CPBC round combines reasonably good penetration with a much larger filler than the AP rounds found on most contemporary light cruisers. It is highly effective against other light cruisers and larger destroyers, inflicting serious damage on internal components. At close ranges, it is even capable of penetrating heavy cruiser belt armour. With HE-VT shells on her secondary and main guns and the twelve Bofors 40 mm guns, the Belfast is also quite effective at providing anti-aircraft cover for allied ships.

Her thick belt armour and magazine protection, conversely, mean that she is quite hard to knock out quickly by other light cruisers, and destroyers will struggle to inflict much damage beyond knocking out the open bridge, especially at range. Unlike most British cruisers, the Belfast also has a reasonable amount of turret armour, which allows her to more comfortably engage at closer ranges than other British cruisers without worrying too much about getting her turrets knocked out. The Belfast also has a relatively large crew complement for a British cruiser, and can thus take a bit more crew attrition.

All of these features, combined with the rather low penetration and long shell flight time at longer ranges, mean that the Belfast is most effective at medium/close ranges, where the main guns are most effective. However, unlike her sister ships, she does not have any torpedo tubes, so she is completely helpless against battleships.

Pros and cons


  • Main guns have high rate of fire
  • Access to HE-VT shells for both main and secondary guns
  • Decent top speed and mobility
  • Effective anti-aircraft battery


  • No proper armour-piercing round, will struggle to damage armoured targets at long ranges
  • Restricted turret traverse arcs, forcing her to show the vulnerable boardsides
  • No torpedo armament, restricting her damage output
  • Unarmoured bridge, fire control room, and crew compartments, prone to taking crew damage


HMS Belfast (C35) at Kure in 1950.

HMS Belfast (C35) was a Town-class cruiser of the Royal Navy built just before the Second World War. Designed as a counter to the Japanese Mogami class, Belfast carried a substantial main armament and had an improved anti-aircraft armament compared to the previous Town-class cruisers. Belfast had a storied service career, almost sunk by a naval mine in 1939 but returned to service later in the Second World War after a three-year refit. This upgrade resulted in her being the heaviest and best armoured of all the Town-class cruisers. She served in the Arctic theatre, where she escorted convoys and assisted in the destruction of the battleship Scharnhorst. Belfast later participated in the Korean War and received numerous refits to her armament and sensors. She was retired in 1963, and is now a museum ship moored on the Thames in London, UK.

Design and development

After the construction of the Japanese Mogami class, the British urgently needed a modern light cruiser to complement their older Arethusa and Leander-class cruisers. As such, they designed a new class of light cruiser, which would become the Town class, named after various towns and cities in the United Kingdom. A total of three subclasses would be designed - the Southampton, Gloucester and Edinburgh subclasses. Belfast was the second of two Edinburgh - class cruisers, the other being HMS Edinburgh herself. Compared to the other Towns, they had a longer hull, which was intended to house a new quadruple turret allowing for a total of sixteen main guns. However, this idea was eventually shelved due to difficulties in producing an effective turret. As a result, Belfast retained the twelve-gun main armament scheme of the previous Towns, but carried an additional pair of 4-inch dual AA guns as well as several more 40 mm Pom Pom guns.

Belfast displaced 11 550 tons standard and almost 15 000 tons full. Her crew complement initially consisted of 881 crewmembers, though this number varied depending on time. Belfast carried a main armament of twelve 6-inch (152) mm guns in four triple turrets, two fore and two aft; firing at up to 8 rounds per minute (RPM) each, the ship was capable of firing 96 RPM using all main guns. Belfast was initially equipped with twelve 4-inch (102 mm) secondary DP guns, sixteen 40 mm Pom Pom guns in two octuple mountings along with two quadruple Vickers machine guns for anti-aircraft defence - this armament was improved over the course of her service career. Belfast also carried two triple 533 mm torpedo tubes. Powered by steam turbines developing 80 000 shaft horsepower, she was capable of 32 knots (59 km/h).

Operational history

After her commissioning on August 5th 1939, Belfast joined the Home Fleet, and was soon involved with the naval blockade of Germany following the start of the Second World War. She intercepted two German blockade runners, earning her crew members a substantial amount of prize money. However, on November 10th 1939, Belfast struck a mine during exercises in the Firth of Forth. The explosion killed one crewmember and wounded 20, and caused serious damage to the ship itself. Most importantly, her keel had been severely damaged and bent upwards. The massive repairs would take almost two and a half years to complete; during this time, Belfast had her anti-aircraft armament strengthened with 18 20 mm Oerlikon cannons, and received additional armour plating.

Following her recommissioning in November of 1942, Belfast was made the Flagship of the 10th Cruiser Squadron, tasked with escorting Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union. In December of 1943, Belfast was escorting convoy JW 55B when they encountered the battlecruiser Scharnhorst. After a long night engagement, Scharnhorst was sunk by gunfire from the battleship Duke of York. Belfast played an important role in this engagement, shadowing the Scharnhorst using her radar to allow for her interception and eventual destruction by the British task force.

HMS Belfast with HMS Ocean in 1952.

In 1944, Belfast participated in the D-Day landings, providing artillery support at Gold and Juno beaches. She received a refit in April of 1945, with two of her dual 4-inch turrets removed in exchange for more anti-aircraft guns and advanced radar systems. She sailed to the Pacific to join the British Pacific Fleet, and was serving as the flagship of the British 2nd Cruiser Squadron when the Japanese surrendered. After the war, Belfast remained in the Pacific with the British Far East squadron at Hong Kong, and was visiting Hakodate, Japan when the Korean War broke out.

With the outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula, Belfast joined the Allied forces and provided fire support as well as carrier escort abilities. By the end of the Korean war in 1953, she had fired over 8,000 rounds from her 6-inch guns and steamed 130,000 km within the Korean combat zone. After returning home from the Korean conflict, Belfast was modernized one final time, revising her anti-aircraft armament to twelve 40 mm bofors guns in six dual mounts. Serving with the East Indies fleet until 1963, Belfast was expected to be scrapped, but was saved by the HMS Belfast Trust, an organization composed of former crewmembers and other individuals. On Trafalgar Day, October 21st 1971, she was formally opened to the public; she was purchased by the Imperial War Museum in 1978, and remains a museum ship today, anchored on the Thames in London near Tower Bridge.


The light cruiser 'Belfast' was the next big step in shipbuilding design, following the Manchester cruisers, and, according to experts, this vessel (tied together with her sister ship, the cruiser Edinburgh) was the most advanced light cruiser in the Royal Navy of Great Britain during WWII. Belfast was laid down in 1938, and a year later, the cruiser came into service. The ship initially played a part in the British naval blockade against the German forces during WWII, however, in November 1939, the Belfast struck a mine and spent three years undergoing repairs, during which she also received a number of upgrades.

The modernised light cruiser was then deployed to escort Arctic convoys heading to the USSR, where she fought the German fleet for the first time. In June 1944, the Belfast provided cover for the US landing troops on the well-known D-Day, which took place in Normandy. At the end of World War II, Belfast was sent to the Pacific Ocean, where she joined the British Pacific Fleet. The next combat action the light cruiser saw was the Korean War, in which she participated from 1950 to 1952.

After taking part in a number of military operations and missions in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, the old war dog finally retired from the battlefield in 1963. The era of those ships was over and it seemed that the Belfast was essentially doomed to become scrap metal. However, fortune favoured the cruiser, as a group of enthusiastic war historians, among whom was a former Belfast commander, persuaded the British government to use the ship as a museum of war history. Since 1978, light cruiser Belfast has served as a branch of the Imperial War Museum and is permanently moored on the Thames in London.



See also

Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the ship;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


  • (2020). Historic Ships. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from
  • Mason, G. B., RN. (2004). HMS Belfast, British Light Cruiser. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from

Harland & Wolff
Whitby-class  HMS Blackpool
Light Cruisers 
Town-class  HMS Belfast
Courageous-class  HMS Glorious

Britain light cruisers
Emerald-class  HMS Enterprise
Dido-class  HMS Dido
Leander-class  HMNZS Leander
Arethusa-class  HMS Arethusa
Town-class  HMS Belfast · HMS Liverpool · HMS Southampton
Tiger-class  HMS Tiger
Abdiel-class*  HMS Abdiel

Britain premium ships
Motor torpedo boats  MTB-1(2) · MTB-422 · Fairmile D (5001) · HMS Gay Archer
Motor gun boats  MGB-75 · SGB Grey Goose
Gunboats  HMS Spey
Sub-chasers  LÉ Orla
Frigates  HMS Whitby
Destroyers  HMS Montgomery · HMS Valhalla · HMS Verdun · ORP Garland · HMS Jervis · HMCS Haida · HMS Mohawk · HMS Cadiz · HMS Diamond
Light cruisers  HMS Belfast
Battleships  HMS Iron Duke