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Postwar European cruisers

uk 75

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As a kid I spent a lot of time browsing through Janes Fighting Ships in our local library.
One of my favourite group of ships were the big cruisers which were the hallmark of major European navies.
The most modern of these were the helicopter carrying Terrier armed ships of the Italian navy plus the Garibaldi which still had tubes fitted for Polaris missiles!
The Netherlands had the Terrier equipped De Zeven Provincien. I am not sure if the other ship De Ruyter was intended to get missiles.
France had the smart looking Jeanne D'Arc helicopter ship. The little Heller kit of this still boasted a Masurca forward. Its two gun cruisers were modern looking anti aircraft ships. Colbert getting Masurca in the 70s.
The only two funnel ships were Sweden's Gota Lejon and Spain's Canarias, which survived for a while as cadet ships.
Finally, Germany had the cruiser style training ship Deutschland which cried out for a missile launcher.
The Brits meanwhile had the three Tigers. In comparison with the Europeans and the County class they looked like dinosaurs.
I suppose now as I leaf through a modern Janes in the same Library the modern destroyers and frigates dont do it for me in the same way.
 

CNH

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Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 

Foo Fighter

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Nor is access to Jane's. My local library has not even thought of them for decades.
 

JFC Fuller

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The Netherlands had the Terrier equipped De Zeven Provincien. I am not sure if the other ship De Ruyter was intended to get missiles.
According to multiple publications, including Jane's Fighting Ships 1961 and Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947-1982 De Ruyter was to have been given the Terrier conversion too but this didn't happen for budgetary reasons.
 

Arjen

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Budgetary reasons, but also
- limited remaining useful life for the cruisers
- preparations well under way for F801 Tromp and F806 De Ruyter with Broomstick and other much more capable equipment
 

JFC Fuller

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Budgetary reasons, but also
- limited remaining useful life for the cruisers
- preparations well under way for F801 Tromp and F806 De Ruyter with Broomstick and other much more capable equipment
In retrospect, neither of those are particularly compelling. The De Zeven Provincien class were relatively young ships and the Peruvians, albeit with significantly reduced sea days, kept the them going until the 1990s. Terrier certainly kept them relevant and the US Navy used the system all the way through to the late 1980s. The converted De Zeven Provincien was available to the Dutch Navy a full decade before HMNLS Tromp and her withdrawal from service just capped the Dutch medium range SAM equipped surface fleet at two ships for another decade until the Jacob van Heemskerck class were completed.

I suspect the real reasons for their mid-1970s withdrawal were more economic. Compared to the frigates the cruisers and their steam plants had very large complements and lower availability due to the need for longer refits. That is still a sensible reason for retiring them though. It would also be interesting to understand the total cost of De Seven Provincien's conversion, it can't have been cheap.
 
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Arjen

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As you say, operating cost as well as conversion cost: the cruisers needed bigger crews - 900 against 300 for the frigates. C801 without Terrier had outlived its usefulness to the Dutch Navy, 1973 saw its sale to Peru. The converted C802 was originally meant to serve alongside F801 and F806 which entered service in 1975 and 1976. The economic downturn of the early 70s scuppered the plan to retain it; sale to Peru in 1976 but not before C802 had its Terrier gear removed and receiving a hangar and flight deck.

I hesitate to go into the utility of cruisers for South American navies.
 

Arjen

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Marineschepen.nl (site in Dutch) states the USA provided the Terrier installation which otherwise would have cost the Dutch Navy 120 million guilders. Conversion of C802 cost 40 million guilders. Rate of exchange at the time was ± 2.5 guilders to 1 US dollar.
 

starviking

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The Brits meanwhile had the three Tigers. In comparison with the Europeans and the County class they looked like dinosaurs.
I don’t know about that. To my eye the Tigers’ black barreled main guns and the angular mountings of both the 6- and 3-inchers exuded menace.
 

uk 75

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Thanks everyone. The two Dutch cruisers with Terriers would have been an impressive force.
 

uk 75

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The Brits meanwhile had the three Tigers. In comparison with the Europeans and the County class they looked like dinosaurs.
I don’t know about that. To my eye the Tigers’ black barreled main guns and the angular mountings of both the 6- and 3-inchers exuded menace.
I was into missiles but you are right.
 

starviking

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The Brits meanwhile had the three Tigers. In comparison with the Europeans and the County class they looked like dinosaurs.
I don’t know about that. To my eye the Tigers’ black barreled main guns and the angular mountings of both the 6- and 3-inchers exuded menace.
I was into missiles but you are right.
Though the other European cruisers had a more graceful look
 

Arjen

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I found some pictures of Tre Kronor and Göta Lejon. Both ships had their original bridge structures replaced by block structures in the early 50s. Some images from Wiki, others from pinterest.
 

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Arjen

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Chapayev-class Kuibyshev (reddit) and Sverdlov-class Mikhail Kutuzov (shipspotting.com) - currently a museum ship in Novorossiysk.
Giusseppe Garibaldi + Amerigo Vespucci (reddit)
 

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Archibald

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France heavy cruisers, pre-war and post-war...

De Grasse, Colbert and Jeanne d'arc were NOT sisterships but lightly related to each others.

Basically De Grasse was a pre-war hull having survived by some miracle all the horrors endured by the french anvy during the war.
It hull however was too old-fashioned to become a guided missile cruiser. So Colbert was build a brand new, much improved De Grasse hull that would get large SAMs.
Jeanne d'Arc went a step further adding helicopters.

The funny thing is, that, in some way
- De Grasse was the last french cruiser with guns
- Colbert was the first french cruiser with SAMs
- Jeanne d'Arc was the first french cruiser with helicopters.
 
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