- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armament
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Hawkins-class, HMS Hawkins (D86), 1942 is a rank IV British heavy cruiser with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.93 "Shark Attack".
Originally commissioned as 'large light cruisers', the Hawkins-class became the prototype for treaty-era heavy cruisers; as such, the Hawkins can be considered to be the oldest heavy cruiser in the game. Because of this, she features some rather antiquated features more reminiscent of World War I-era cruisers as opposed to other more modern heavy cruisers present in the game.
Survivability and armour
The Hawkins has a distributed armour scheme that protects large parts of the hull from HE and light shells, similar to the contemporary British light cruiser HMS Enterprise. The maximum thickness of the belt is 76 mm surrounding the machinery spaces, thinning out to 63 mm, 50.8 mm, and 38 mm towards the bow, and 63 mm and 57 mm towards the stern. This is enough to protect against most HE shells from destroyers and cruisers, and when angled can also protect against destroyer and light cruiser AP shells. There is also an upper 50.8 mm strake of armour above the machinery main belt, which merges with the 50.8 mm bow belt. The decks are thinly protected by only 13 mm of armour, making the Hawkins quite vulnerable to plunging fire and aircraft weapons.
The ammunition magazines are further protected by armoured boxes with 13 mm sides and 25 mm roofs. However, the ready racks for the main guns are located outside these boxes. Hits to the ready racks may detonate the ready-use ammunition, which is not immediately fatal to the ship but will still cause heavy damage.
Hawkins' main guns are only lightly protected by 25 mm open-backed shields, typical of World War I-era cruisers. These guns can be disabled by nearby explosions if they occur behind the mounting. Unlike most cruisers, the Hawkins' fixed torpedo tubes are protected by armour plating. The underwater torpedo tubes are practically impossible to detonate, but the upper tubes can be vulnerable to shells that land on the 13 mm deck above them.
Unlike almost all British cruisers, the Hawkins has a relatively significant amount of armour protecting the bridge, consisting of 76.2 mm on the front and sides. However, the roof of the bridge is unprotected, so overhead explosions can potentially damage or disable the bridge.
The Hawkins has a crew complement of 749, considerably more than that of the other 5.0 British cruisers, Enterprise, Dido, and Arethusa, and above average compared to those of other nations, except notably the Soviet cruisers Krasny Kavkaz and Krasny Krym.
The Hawkins is the slowest British cruiser currently in the game, with a fully upgraded top speed of only 55 km/h. She is also quite long and bulky, making her handling and turning performance very poor, comparable to a battleship's mobility.
|Game Mode||Upgrade Status||Maximum Speed (km/h)|
Modifications and economy
The Hawkins is armed with seven BL 7.5-inch Mark VI guns distributed in single mounts. Two of these are located amidships besides the second funnel, thus the Hawkins can only bring a maximum of six guns to bear on a broadside. These guns have a fairly high rate-of-fire for their calibre, each main gun mounting capable of up to 6 rounds/minute with the 10-round ready-use ammunition, dropping down to 5 rounds/minute once the ready-use ammunition has been expended. They have quite low horizontal dispersion, but noticeable vertical dispersion, which tends to lead to a lot of straddles even with accurate ranging.
There are two ammunition types available, HE and SAPC. The HE shell has a large explosive filler (8 kg TNTeq), is highly effective against lightly armoured targets such as destroyers, and will break the hulls of light patrol craft with a direct hit. The SAPC shell also has a large 4.29 kg TNTeq explosive filler, and is most effective against armoured targets such as cruisers. However, it has a low penetration power, making it ineffective at long ranges and against heavily armoured targets.
The 'X' mount (second stern-most mount) has significantly worse traverse arcs than the other main gun mounts because of some superstructure in the way. To fully unmask the maximum six-gun broadside requires exposing a lot more of the ship's broadside.
The Hawkins' secondary armament consists of four QF 4-inch Mark V guns. These guns are primarily meant for anti-aircraft defence, although they can also engage surface targets. However, their small number (only two per side), low rate of fire, and relatively weak shells limit their effectiveness against both surface and air targets. They also do not have access to HE-VT shells, unlike most secondary guns on other British cruisers, further restricting their ability against air targets.
An important part of the ship's armament responsible for air defence. Anti-aircraft armament is defined by the weapon chosen with the control
Select anti-aircraft weapons. Talk about the ship's anti-air cannons and machine guns, the number of guns and their positions, their effective range, and about their overall effectiveness – including against surface targets. If there are no anti-aircraft armaments, remove this section.
The Hawkins is fitted with a total of six 21-inch torpedo tubes, three on each side of the ship. However, these are fixed torpedo tubes, thus requiring the whole ship to turn in order to aim them and making them very hard to use. Four of these are located under the aft mast and above the main armour belt, while another two are located underwater below the bridge.
These tubes fire 21-inch Mark V torpedoes. Without the torpedo mode installed, they have a range of only 4.57 km, severely restricting their usefulness as anything other than last-ditch close quarters weapons. With torpedo mode installed, the range extends to a more usable 12.34 km, at the cost of much reduced speed.
Usage in battles
The Hawkins' main strength lies in its main guns. The BL 7.5-inch guns are very powerful for the battle rating, doing huge damage compared to the 6-inch (and smaller) guns of light cruisers. She also has the highest rate-of-fire of any of the 4.7–5.0 heavy cruisers (triple that of the Kako and 50% more than the USS Northampton). Both the HE and SAPC shells have very potent explosive fillers capable of causing lethal damage to destroyers and cruisers. At this battle rating, many cruisers and destroyers do not have fully enclosed main gun mountings, and it is not uncommon for a single HE shell from the Hawkins to disable multiple open gun mounts at a time. However, Hawkins' inefficient World War I-era layout means that she can only bring six guns to bear at most on a target, even though she has seven main guns.
The Hawkins has a fairly adequate AA armament, though it pales in comparison to its German and American rivals. The secondary armament is unremarkable, with just four 4-inch guns, and only two on a broadside. It's best not to rely on them. They also do not have access to HE-VT shells, which considerably limits their anti-aircraft capabilities. The Hawkins also has torpedo tubes, but these are fixed tubes that require the whole ship to turn in order to aim them. This considerably complicates their usage, especially in a close quarters fight, although their high speed (without torpedo mode installed) and powerful warheads somewhat make up for this. With the torpedo mode, they have a 12.34 km range but a much lower speed.
The Hawkins' armour layout is also more reminiscent of a World War I cruiser. The distributed armour can be difficult for destroyers and light cruisers to contend with, especially using HE, but the deck armour is dreadful. Bombs and rockets are especially dangerous. Turret protection is also non-existent and highly vulnerable to HE shells. The ready-use main gun ammunition is also located in exposed positions, and this can be detonated to cause heavy damage to the ship.
The Hawkins is slow, even for a heavy cruiser, doing just 55 km/h even when fully upgraded. This makes repositioning very difficult, and she is thus very unresponsive when facing quickly-changing situations. Her manoeuvrability is also very poor, which makes it very hard to evade shell salvos or torpedoes.
Altogether, the Hawkins tends to perform poorly at close ranges because of her poor handling and weak main armament protection. At medium ranges, she can take advantage of her powerful shells, while her own armour is capable of blocking damage from lighter shells, and it is much harder for enemies to aim at the main guns to disable them. At long ranges (10+ km), the thin deck armour may be an issue, as she will start to receive plunging fire that hits the deck plating more than the belt. Her accuracy and SAP penetration are also quite poor at these ranges.
Pros and cons
- High rate of fire for the main gun calibre
- Large explosive filler in shells
- Above average close-range anti-aircraft armament
- Well-distributed hull armour protection against light AP shells and HE
- Fast and powerful close-range torpedoes
- Protected bridge
- Poor speed and manoeuvrability, even for a heavy cruiser
- Thin deck protection and exposed ready-use ammunition
- SAPC shells have low penetration
- Poor secondary armament
- Thin main gun protection in open-backed mountings
- Fixed torpedo tubes
HMS Hawkins (D86) was the lead ship of the Hawkins-class of heavy cruisers. Launched in 1917, the ship would go on to serve as the flagship of the 5th Light Cruiser squadron based in the Eastern theatre, as well as the flagship of the 2nd Wing based in the Atlantic. In 1930, she was decommissioned, had her armament removed and became a training ship. However, she was recommissioned in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War. Hawkins served as a convoy escort ship and participated in the D-Day naval bombardment. In early 1945, Hawkins was placed in reserve; she served as a cadet training ship and a target ship, and was scrapped in mid-1947.
Design and Construction
The Hawkins was the lead ship of the Hawkins-class of five heavy cruisers. Designed during the first half of WWI, the ships were designed as a series of fast, lightly-armoured heavy cruisers capable of hunting down similar German cruisers and commerce raiders of its era. By 1915, the design had been finalized, despite there being no need for a cruiser of its configuration due to the eradication of German commerce raiders.
The ship was 184 metres long and displaced 12,190 tons full load. Main armament consisted of seven 7.5-inch (190 mm) guns in single mounts - five were mounted on the centreline while two were mounted at the sides. The ships initially carried a mix of 76 mm and 2-pounder (40 mm) AA guns, but these were removed in later refits. Hawkins was also initially armed with a pair of triple torpedo tubes, but these were removed in 1937. The ship had light armour protection with a maximum thickness of 3 inches (76 mm), and could make 30 knots (55 km/h).
Five ships of the Hawkins-class were ordered: Hawkins, Raleigh, Frobisher, Effingham and Cavendish. However, Cavendish was reconstructed during construction as an aircraft carrier and entered service as HMS Vindictive. HMS Hawkins was laid down on June 3rd 1916 and launched on October 1st 1917. She was completed and commissioned in July 1919.
Following the completion of sea trials, Hawkins served as the flagship of the 5th Light Cruiser Fleet, based in the China Sea. She served in the Eastern Theatre until 1928, when she was transferred back to the Atlantic as the flagship of the 2nd Wing. In 1930, she was decommissioned and placed in reserve, where she was used by cadets of the Royal Navy for training purposes. In 1937, she had her 7.5-inch guns and torpedo tubes removed, as required by the London Naval Treaty.
Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, Hawkins was recommissioned and had her main guns reinstalled. She was immediately deployed to the southern Atlantic, serving convoy escort duties. She served in the Indian ocean between 1942 and 1944, and captured many Axis merchantmen and freighters. She also served in the naval bombardment preceding the D-Day invasions.
In August of 1944, Hawkins was again relegated to cadet-training units. She was placed into reserve and 1945, and served as a cadet training ship for an additional year. In 1947, she was used as a target ship for RAF bomb-dropping tests and was scrapped shortly thereafter.
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.
- D-Day Encyclopedia. (n.d.)
- Alvama. (1970)
- D-Day Encyclopedia. (n.d.). HMS Hawkins - Battle of Normandy. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.dday-overlord.com/en/material/warships/hms-hawkins
- Alvama. (1970, January 01). British heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (D86) 1916-1947. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from http://warshipsresearch.blogspot.com/2017/05/british-heavy-cruiser-hms-hawkins-d86.html
|Britain heavy cruisers|
|County-class||HMS Kent · HMS London · HMS Norfolk|