- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armament
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Town-class, HMS Liverpool (C11), 1952 is a squadron rank IV British light cruiser with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Red Skies".
The Liverpool is a member of the Gloucester sub-class of the so-called 'Town' class light cruisers. As such, she features some improvements to her overall protection compared to her sister ship, the Southampton. She is depicted in her late/post-war configuration, where her 'X' turret was removed and, in exchange, her anti-aircraft armament was substantially improved.
Survivability and armour
As with the other Town-class light cruisers, the Liverpool's hull is considerably well-protected, especially when compared to the British heavy cruisers that ironically have much worse citadel armour. With 114.5 mm of citadel belt armour on the side, 63.5 mm on the bow and stern, and 36.5 mm on the deck, the Liverpool's machinery space is highly resilient to internal damage, especially when angled. The magazine protection is also identical to that on the Southampton and Belfast, which serves to prevent magazine detonations from other cruisers' AP shells. It is important to note, however, that the Liverpool has to expose a lot of her broadside in order to unmask the rear turret, essentially negating the Liverpool's belt armour.
For the first time in a British cruiser, the 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 Liverpool also does not have a very large crew complement at 748. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the Liverpool's crew compartments were 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.
With one main turret removed, the Liverpool is somewhat lighter and thus marginally faster than her sister ship Southampton, though her mobility and handling remain average.
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Modifications and economy
The Liverpool's main armament consists of nine BL 6-inch Mark XXIII guns mounted in three triple turrets, two in the bow, and one in the stern. With one less turret compared to Belfast and Southampton, the Liverpool's burst damage is considerably worse than her sister ships'. However, sitting at a BR where less-protected cruisers and destroyers are common, Liverpool's armaments is a perfect weapon within her range, although easily outclassed by the more advanced cruisers when uptiered. The guns have a very short reload time for their calibre at 7.5 seconds with the best possible crew, which allows her to pump out shells consistently, especially at closer ranges. These guns have a significant amount of horizontal dispersion and are thus quite poor at long range shooting.
The Liverpool has four shell choices: a basic HE shell with 3.96 kg of TNT equivalent, the CPBC semi-AP 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. Due to the lack of an AP shell, the Liverpool will struggle to deal damage at longer ranges against well-protected cruisers.
It is important to note that the Liverpool's 'Y' turret has a fairly poor turret traverse arc, which means it is difficult to use her firepower to its fullest without exposing a lot of the ship to damage.
The Liverpool has eight QF 4-inch Mark XVI cannons, mounted in four dual mounts behind her second funnel, two on each side of the ship. Since the main gun has a very high rate of fire, her secondary armament will not be needed as much against coastal craft and destroyers. It thus mainly serves as a long-range anti-aircraft battery, and can be quite effective once the HE-VT shell is available.
The Liverpool's anti-aircraft suite is mostly identical to the Belfast's, with twelve 40 mm Bofors Mark V cannon in six twin mounts. However, during her wartime refit, one of her rear turrets was removed in exchange for more space and topweight available to mount four more single 40 mm Bofors Mark VII autocannons. The 40 mm Bofors is one of the best naval medium range anti-aircraft guns, both in real life and in the game, thus the Liverpool can quite effectively defend herself against air attack, especially with good aim under manual control. The Bofors guns can also be deadly to coastal craft that get within range.
The Liverpool has two triple torpedo tubes mounted on each side of the ship. These fire the 21-inch Mark IX torpedo, which has a range and speed of 9.34 km and 67 km/h (12.35 km and 56 km/h with the torpedo mode installed). It carries a hefty 340 kg warhead.
Usage in battles
The Liverpool relies on her high rate-of-fire and CPBC semi-AP round to damage and overwhelm enemy ships. The 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.
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. The Liverpool 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.
All of these features, combined with the rather poor dispersion of the main guns, mean that the Liverpool is most effective at medium/close ranges, where the dispersion is less of an issue. The Liverpool also carries torpedoes with large warheads, allowing her to pose a threat to even battleships if she can get within effective torpedo range.
Pros and cons
- Thick belt armour and magazine protection.
- Main guns have a high rate-of-fire for their calibre.
- Large explosive filler and adequate penetration for the CPBC semi-AP shell.
- Reasonable main gun turret protection.
- Highly effective anti-aircraft armament.
- Carries torpedoes with large warheads.
- Restricted rear turret traverse arc.
- Inadequate penetration at longer ranges.
- High horizontal dispersion, especially at long ranges.
- Low crew complement.
- Open bridge with inadequate armour protection.
- Can be matched against battleships.
After completing the Leander-class and Arethusa-class cruisers in the early 1930s, the Royal Navy aimed to build more similar cruisers to meet its target of fifty cruisers. The problem was, by 1933, the foreign navies had started developing larger cruisers: Japan was constructing the Mogami class weighing more than 11,000 tons, and the United States had decided to build the 10,000-ton Brooklyn class, putting the smaller Leander and Arethusa at a significant disadvantage.
To counter the new cruisers from other leading fleets, the Admiralty revised the new design to increase displacement for twelve 6-inch guns and extra protection against 8-inch shells. The design was crystallized in 1934 as "Town"-class cruisers named after British cities. Ten ships of this class were laid down and completed from 1935 to 1939, including the one original variant class (Southampton class) and two modified variants (1935 Programme cruisers & Edinburgh class).
HMS Liverpool (C11) was one of three 1935 Programme cruisers. The overall configuration of this group is similar to the Southampton class, but extra armour was added to main gun turrets (4 inches, compared to 2 inches on Southampton class) and deck over the machinery to increase deck protection to 1/4 inch (1 inch on Liverpool's sister ship Gloucester). Furthermore, an additional director control tower was placed aft to separate fire control for the main and secondary armaments. These modifications increased the total displacement from 9,110 tons to 9,600 tons. To maintain stability, the beam of the cruiser was increased by 0.8 inches to balance the increasing weight. Besides, the propulsion power was raised from 75,000 shp on the Southampton class to 82,000 shp.
Liverpool was ordered on 11 November 1935 at Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. The ship was laid down on 17 February 1936, and launched on 24 March 1937. During her trials, Liverpool lost all engine power for short periods on two occasions caused by water in the fuel pump, delaying her commission to 2 November 1938.
All three cruisers of the 1935 Programme were initially deployed to East Indies Station. When the war broke out, she escorted British convoys on the Indian Ocean. On 14 November 1939, Liverpool transferred to Hong Kong to join the 5th Cruiser Squadron for trade defense duties and intercepting German blockade runners in Eastern waters. On 21 January 1940, she intercepted Japanese ocean liner Asama Maru, carrying German adults suitable for military service, just 35 nautical miles off the Japanese coast at the southern tip of the Boso Peninsula. The liner refused to stop until Liverpool fired a blank shell by her 3pdr saluting gun and took 21 German nationals onboard. The Japanese government officially protested the action as a violation of Japanese neutrality. As a result, nine of the Germans were returned, while the Japanese government promised not to offer passage as a way home for German citizens overseas.
HMS Liverpool and her sister ship Gloucester transferred to Mediterranean in May 1940. After Italy declared war on 10 June 1940, Liverpool and Gloucester bombarded Tobruk on 12 June, and sunk armed trawler Giovanni Bert.
On 27 June 1940, three Italian destroyers - Espero, Zeffiro, and Ostro - departed Taranto with supplies to Tobruk. British scout planes spotted them around noon the next day. HMS Liverpool, part of the 7th Cruiser Squadron (7CS), covering British convoys at the time, was ordered to alter course to intercept. At 18:31 local time, Liverpool spotted the Italian destroyers and engaged with her main guns.
These high-speed (credited with 37 knots) destroyers proved challenging targets with smoke screens and falling visibility at dusk. The British cruisers did not score a hit until 19:30, when Espero was damaged and slowed by a 6inch shell. The Italian destroyer bravely turned against the British fleet to cover her fellow ships by sacrificing herself. Espero was immobilized at 20:00 and sunk 40 minutes later. The British only picked up fifty survivors.
The 7CS suffered a minor loss, with no casualties and only Liverpool being hit by one 4.7-inch shell. The shell hit her armour belt, knocking off a chip of armour and causing some splinters.
On 9 July 1940, HMS Liverpool, together with 7CS, participated the first fleet battle between the Royal Navy and Regia Marina, the Battle of Punta Stilo, which is result of convoy escorts from both sides. However, limited by her main guns' horizontal range, Liverpool hadn't achieved a hit by the time the Italian fleet was forced to retreat.
On 29 July, a single Italian 250 lb bomb hit HMS Liverpool during a high-altitude attack around 14:20. The bomb hit the bridge's front deck, penetrated 'B' gun deck and the forecastle deck, and stopped in the senior petty officer's pantry on the upper deck. Fortunately, the fuse in the bomb's tail was damaged when it penetrated the bridge structure and was not functional. On 30 July, Liverpool reached Alexandria, where her crews fixed up small holes with wood. Then, on 5 August, the cruiser returned to patrol duties.
Liverpool stayed in her station for convoy escort and fleet operations until 14 October 1940. At around 18:55 local time, on her way to Alexandria with the Mediterranean Fleet, Liverpool was attacked by the Italian Air Force and hit by an aircraft torpedo at the fore-end of her starboard side, damaging the aviation fuel tank in the forward section. The volatile aviation fuel leak started to accumulate in the fore storage areas; then, an electrical failure ignited the vapour and detonated the aviation fuel tank containing 5,700 gallons of fuel at 19:20. The explosion caused a huge flame to envelop the forward sections of Liverpool and blow away the 'A' turret roof. Fortunately, the forward magazine had been flooded to prevent further explosion. However, the bow's construction was severely damaged by the blast and beginning to separate from the ship. Two destroyers HMS Decoy and HMS Hereward, came to assist the firefighting efforts, and cruiser HMS Orion, covered by two anti-aircraft cruisers, attempted to tow Liverpool back to Alexandria. On the following day, the fire onboard was under control. The hanging bow of the cruiser acted as a rudder until it broke away at 14:35 on 15 October. On 16 October, Liverpool and her escorts finally reached Alexandria.
The damage to Liverpool was serious. She lost her entire bow in front of the 'A' turret; the 'A' turret itself needed the gunhouse replaced and the turret ring repaired (as well as a new roof); much of the electrical and engineering equipment was also damaged. Resources in Alexandria were far from enough to repair such damage, while the route to Gibraltar or the British Isles was too dangerous for the badly damaged cruiser. Luckily, as the United States agreed to repair British vessels, Liverpool could travel east and receive the permanent repairs at US ports. Even so, Liverpool would need a temporary bow to make the long voyage. Unfortunately, the limited resource and local workforce delayed the application of the bow. In the end, it took six months to collect enough material and install a temporary bow for Liverpool to begin sailing east on 30 April 1941. The cruiser steamed via Aden, Colombo, Singapore, Manila, and Honolulu. Finally, on 16 June 1941, she reached her destination at Mare Island, California, where she would receive repairs in the following four months. Once the work was finished in October, she departed for the British Isles through the Panama Canal. Liverpool arrived in the UK in December 1941, and took a refit to install a series of radar systems, including surface warning radar (Type 273), air warning radar (Type 281), and fire control radar for main guns & secondary armaments (Type 284/285). Liverpool rejoined the Home Fleet in April 1942. In the following two months, she participated escorts for Arctic convoys. In June 1942, she was re-deployed to Mediterranean to reinforce Operation Harpoon for supplying Malta.
On 14 June 1942, when Liverpool was escorting convoys with Force W, the fleet was attacked by Italian torpedo bombers. At 14:20 local time, on the starboard of the convoy, Liverpool was targeted by four bombers. She successfully evaded three torpedoes, but the last one hit her starboard, right in the 'B' engine room beneath the rear mast. The torpedo made a 24 ft x 19 ft hole in the starboard, destroying turbine generators in the 'B' engine room, left two shafts on the starboard out of function. The water soon flooded in the 'B' engine room and kept entering into nearby sections such as the entire 'B' boiler room, therefore making the inner shaft on the port side inoperative as well. The unbalanced power output turned the cruiser 270° to starboard. Before the flooding was under control, it was estimated over 2,600 tons of water entered the ship, creating a list to 7°.
The situation for Liverpool was critical. She could only maintain 3 to 4 knots with the one remaining shaft while more airstrikes were on their way. The Italian Air Force in Sardinia shifted their focus on Liverpool instead of the convoy. Two destroyers, HMS Antelope and HMS Westcott came to tow Liverpool and support air defense. The small fleet was ordered to return Gibraltar. At 16:40 local time, a wave of Italian fighters dropped bombs on Liverpool. Two bombs nearly hit the starboard side, increasing the list to 9.5° and draught to 27ft 8in (standard draught for Liverpool is 20ft 7in). At 18:00, a coordinated attack of 11 high-altitude bombers and seven torpedo bombers attempted to sink the damaged cruiser. Luckily, the attack scored no hits on Liverpool. The Italians continued their attack for the rest of the day. A group of high-altitude bombers attacked at 20:15, and six torpedo bombers dropped their torpedoes from long range against Liverpool at 22:30. None of the attacks achieved further damage to Liverpool, while she brought down at least one bomber using her main guns.
In the afternoon of the 17th, Liverpool and her guarding destroyers safely reached Gibraltar, where she received some emergency repairs. On 5 August 1942, Liverpool was transferred to Rosyth for permanent repairs. Due to the significant damage, it would require a lot of time and resources to repair Liverpool fully. Therefore, the priority of repairing was lower than patching up slightly damaged ships. In 1944, modifications to adapt Liverpool to the Pacific area was added to the work. An anti-air battery replaced one aft turret, and more advanced radars were applied on the ship. In August 1945, Liverpool was ready for service, but at this time, it was too late for her to gain more Battle Honours. She was the only survivor of the three 1935 Programme cruisers.
Liverpool continued her service as flagship of the 15th Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean Fleet after the war. In 1953, she was reduced to Reserve Fleet, where she was kept until 1957 and moved to Disposal List. In 1958, Liverpool was sold for breaking up by P&W MacLellan at Borrowstounness.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
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.
- Brown, David K.. Nelson to Vanguard: Warship Design and Development, 1923–1945 (Chatham's Distinguished Design) (p. 175). Pen & Sword Books.
- Waters, Conrad. British Town Class Cruisers: Design, Development & Performance: Southampton & Belfast Classes (p. 168).
- Waters, Conrad. British Town Class Cruisers: Design, Development & Performance: Southampton & Belfast Classes (p. 213). Pen & Sword Books.
- Waters, Conrad. British Town Class Cruisers: Design, Development & Performance: Southampton & Belfast Classes (p. 216). Pen & Sword Books.
|Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company|
|Britain light cruisers|
|Town-class||HMS Belfast · HMS Liverpool · HMS Southampton|