- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armament
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Dido-class, HMS Dido (37), 1941 is a rank III British light cruiser with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic".
One of the first British cruisers (alongside HMS Enterprise), HMS Dido is a Dido-class anti-aircraft light cruiser armed with 5.25-inch dual-purpose guns instead of the more usual light cruiser armament of 6-inch guns. She is similar in design concept to the USS Atlanta.
Survivability and armour
The Dido's hull features 76 mm of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) plating over the sides of the machinery spaces with 25 mm of RHA covering the ends and the machinery deck. This plating covers the boilers and the parts of propeller shafts that are above the waterline. The steering gear is protected by 25.4 mm RHA plating all around. The main gun turrets and barbettes are also protected by 25.4 mm RHA, as is helm located in the central shaft leading down from the bridge.
The ammunition magazines are very well-protected against other light cruisers' and destroyers' main guns. They are located below the waterline and there is 50.8 mm RHA deck plating over the main gun magazines, as well as covering the bow and stern-facing ends of the magazines. The sides of the magazines are protected by 19.05 mm of anti-fragmentation armour. In addition, there are fuel tanks on each side of the magazines. This means that only plunging fire from high calibre guns can be expected to reach the magazines.
The rest of the hull is entirely unprotected by anything other than the standard 25 mm steel plating of light cruisers. The bridge, in particular, is open and quite vulnerable to getting disabled by even destroyers.
There is also 12.7 mm hardened armour plating facing the front of the 20 mm Oerlikon mounts.
The Dido's mobility is rather standard for a light cruiser. She is not quite as fast or as nimble as the Enterprise, but her mobility is adequate for most needs.
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Modifications and economy
The Dido's primary armament consists of ten QF 5.25-inch dual-purpose guns. These are most comparable to the 5"/38 guns carried by most American destroyers and the USS Atlanta. The 5.25-inch gun's rate-of-fire is much lower (10 rounds/minute vs. 22 rounds/minute), firing generally heavier shells.
All of the main gun turrets are capable of full 360° traverse and elevating up to 70°, allowing them to engage aircraft effectively. They also have a relatively fast traverse rate compared to other light cruisers, although a bit on the slow side for engaging aircraft.
The ammunition types available consist of HE, SAP, and HE-VT. HE-VT is broadly superior to standard HE, especially against aircraft. Despite the heavier shells, both contain less explosive filler than the HE shells of the American 5"/38. The SAP is superior to the Common shells of the American 5"/38, having better penetration and more explosive filler. It is capable of penetrating light cruisers, and even heavy cruisers at close range.
The Dido's designated secondary armament is the two quadruple 2-pdr 'pom-pom' guns mounted amidships. These are primarily anti-aircraft guns, although they can be effective against lighter targets such as destroyers and coastal craft at close ranges.
The Dido's designated anti-aircraft armament consists of five single 20 mm Oerlikon mounts. These are lethal against coastal craft and aircraft that dare to approach within range.
The Dido is armed with two triple 21-inch torpedo tubes located next to the aft funnel, one on each side of the ship. Unlike on British destroyers, these torpedo tubes have wide traverse arcs. They are armed with the Mk. IX torpedo, which has a powerful 340 kg TNT warhead and long range (9.67 km) even without the torpedo modification.
Usage in battles
The Dido's unusual main gun battery makes her very specialised as an anti-aircraft and anti-destroyer ship. She is very well protected against destroyer guns, and in return, a single salvo from her ten 5.25-inch guns will inflict a great deal of damage to them.
Conversely, the Dido will struggle against even light cruisers at medium to long ranges, having to rely on whittling down the crews using fires and HE. At close range, her SAP is effective against light cruisers, and the high rate-of-fire compared to cruiser 6-inch guns can be used to disable and then overwhelm them. However, the Dido's armour can be penetrated relatively easily by the 6-inch guns of most light cruisers, so engaging in straight-up trading fights will usually result in taking extensive damage, even if the Dido emerges victorious. The Dido is mostly helpless against heavy cruisers and battleships other than getting close enough to torpedo them.
Once the HE-VT shells have been unlocked, the 5.25-inch gun is quite effective against aircraft, though the relatively low rate-of-fire makes it less than ideal in the role compared to other true dual-purpose guns such as the British 4.5-inch or the American 5"/38 guns. The 'pom-poms' and 20 mm Oerlikons mostly function as back-up to the main guns. They should not be relied upon to shoot down aircraft except at close ranges.
Pros and cons
- Well-protected ammunition magazines and machinery spaces.
- Primary armament dispersed across 5 turrets (3 bow, 2 stern).
- Main gun turrets have unrestricted traverse arcs and high elevation arcs.
- Access to HE-VT shells.
- High rate-of-fire for the main guns' calibre.
- Low horizontal gun dispersion.
- Lightly armoured main gun turrets and unarmoured bridge.
- Low penetration and individual shell damage output compared to 6-inch guns.
- Low rate-of-fire compared to other dual-purpose main guns.
- Relatively small close/medium-range anti-aircraft battery.
- High vertical gun dispersion.
HMS Dido (37) was a British AA cruiser and the lead ship of her class, a series of 16 ships built in the late 1930s to the early 1940s. Designed for fleet air defence, the ships were armed with a 5.25-inch (133 mm) main battery capable of engaging both ships and naval vessels. Dido was commissioned in 1940 and deployed to the Mediterranean, serving there for the large part of the Second World War. She later deployed to the Arctic, and in 1945 accepted the surrender of the Kriegsmarine. Dido was present at the Coronation review of 1953 as the flagship of the Reserve fleet, and was scrapped in 1957.
Design and development
Following the four ships of the Arethusa class, the British navy decided to construct a new class of light cruiser for anti-aircraft duties - the Dido class. Displacing 6850 tons on full load, the ships were small even for a light cruiser. Their armour was also scarce, the main belt being just 3 inches (76 mm) thick. The Dido's main armament comprised 10 5.25-inch (133 mm) guns in five dual-purpose turrets, which served as the primary anti-ship and anti-aircraft armament. Her anti-aircraft armament was initially weak (quite surprising given her role), composed of three quad pom-poms and five single Oerlikon cannons; this was improved over the course of the Second World War. Dido was initially laid down in 1937, and was commissioned by 1940.
Immediately after her commissioning, the Dido was sent to Scapa Flow, and spent the next couple months in training. However, she was soon dispatched to the British fleet in the Mediterranean, and soon began operating as part of the British East Mediterranean fleet. She ran supplies to Malta, and later helped move 7 million dollars of Gold away from the conflict-torn lands of Greece. She participated in several runs to the besieged island of Crete and was later damaged by bombs while escorting a troop convoy to Alexandria. She was later bombed again, but quickly repaired as she made up a significant portion of the ship-starved British East Mediterranean fleet.
Dido spent the greater part of 1942 and 1943 in the Mediterranean, though she travelled back to the UK on several occasions for various reasons. In 1944, she was recalled to the UK and began convoy operations in the Arctic, and thereafter stayed in the northern Atlantic to lay mines and provide fire support. In May of 1945, she fired the last naval shot in Europe as she accepted the surrender of the Kriegsmarine; she then escorted the cruisers Prinz Eugen and Nurnberg to internment at Wilhelmshaven. Following the cessation of hostilities, Dido was reduced to reserve; she took part in the 1953 Coronation review of Queen Elizabeth II as the flagship of the reserve fleet. She was eventually sold for scrap in 1957.
The Dido-class light cruiser was designed in the 1930s as convoy escorts and destroyer leaders, intended for operations in the Mediterranean. As such, ships of the Dido-class had to be both large enough to operate in rough waters as well as fast and manoeuvrable enough in order to keep up with destroyers, whilst at the same time remaining relatively cheap to produce in large numbers.
HMS Dido, the lead ship of her class, was laid down in October 1937. In July 1939, Dido was completed and commissioned into service a year later. HMS Dido's early service life was marked with convoy escort duties in the Atlantic, before joining the Eastern Mediterranean Fleet in April 1941.
As part of the Royal Navy's Mediterranean forces, HMS Dido took part in numerous major operations, including the landings at Sicily and mainland Italy as well as southern France. During her service in the Mediterranean, HMS Dido performed various roles, from doing supply runs over evacuating troops to bombarding shorelines.
By 1944, HMS Dido briefly returned to Great Britain, before being sent off on escort duties as part of the Arctic convoys. In 1945, HMS Dido was sent to Copenhagen, where the warship fired the last naval shot as part of the war in Europe, however not in anger, but in celebration of the surrender of the German Kriegsmarine.
Sometime after the end of WW2, HMS Dido joined the ranks of the Royal Navy reserve fleet, remaining in service for another good decade. In 1957 however, HMS Dido was decommissioned from service and sold for scrap.
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.
- Mason, G. B., & Smith, G. (2004). HMS Dido, British AA Cruiser. Retrieved January 07, 2021, from https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-06CL-Dido.htm
- Helgason, G. (1995). Uboat.net. Retrieved January 07, 2021, from https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/4010.html
|Britain light cruisers|
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