HMS Sussex Postcard

This week’s postcard depicts the County Class cruiser HMS Sussex in a painting that looks to date from the late 1930s:skmbt_c36416092711290_0001HMS Sussex was one of the London sub-class of the County-class heavy cruisers in the Royal Navy. She was laid down by R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Company, Limited, at Hebburn-on-Tyne on 1 February 1927, launched on 22 February 1928 and completed on 19 March 1929. She displaced 9750 tons, with an overall length of 633 feet. She had a top speed of 32 knots, with eight admiralty three drum boilers, exhausting through three funnels, the two central exhausts being trunked into a central thicker funnel:skmbt_c36416092711290_0001-copy-2Her main armament consisted of eight 8inch guns in four turrets, two fore and two aft:skmbt_c36416092711290_0001-copy-3When first introduced the class featured a new design of forward superstructure incorporating the navigating bridge, wheelhouse, signalling and compass platforms and gunnery director in a single block. This advance considerably rationalised the separate armoured conning tower and myriad of decks and platforms of older designs.skmbt_c36416092711290_0001-copy-4Moving the fire-control equipment from the mast negated the need for a heavy tripod, and light pole masts sufficed for signalling yards and the spread of wireless antennae.skmbt_c36416092711290_0001-copy-5She was initially equipped with a single aircraft, but this was later increased to three:skmbt_c36416092711290_0001-copyHMS Sussex had a distinguished wartime career serving in the Atlantic, during 1940 she was in Glasgow undergoing repairs to her turbine blades when she was struck by bombs, these caused serious damage and she did not rejoin the fleet until 1942, in 1943 she deployed to the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the Indian Ocean. She spent the rest of the war in the Pacific and accepted the surrender of the Japanese garrison at Singapore in September 1945. She was finally paid off in 1949 and sold for scrapping the following year.

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