Town Cruisers

Town Cruisers

Town cruisers were designed for long-range trade protection as well as operations with battle fleets. Between 1910 and 1916 twenty British cruisers named after towns or cities were built.

The first five town cruisers built carried two 6-inch and ten 4-inch guns, but later the secondary armament was replaced by more main guns. By 1914 town cruisers had a speed of 28 knots.

During the First World War only two town cruisers, Falmouth and Nottingham, were lost. Both of these ships were sunk by torpedoes in 1916.

Town-class cruiser (1910)

The Town class was a group of twenty-one light cruisers built for the Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN). These vessels were long-range cruisers, suitable for patrolling the vast expanse covered by the British Empire. These ships, initially rated as Second Class Cruisers, were built to a series of designs, known as the Bristol (five ships), Weymouth (four ships), Chatham (three RN ships, plus three RAN ships), Birmingham (three ships, plus one similar RAN ship) and Birkenhead (two ships) classes - all having the names of British towns except for the RAN ships, which were named after Australian cities.

Classic American Aesthetics

The History Of Cruiser Motorcycle Style

As the motorcycle came into being, the industry evolved at a rapid rate, giving way to increasingly sophisticated and high-performance two-wheeled offerings. The main genres of motorcycles would evolve as well, and from the 1940s through 1960s, different regions would begin cementing their own respective styles and interpretations of bikes, including the US, with its golden-era big-bore V-Twin age, thanks to models from manufacturers like Crocker, Indian, Excelsior, and Harley-Davidson.

US-based motorcycle companies would not only employ these designs throughout the mid-1900s but said designs would also go on to serve as much of the visual inspiration for the lion’s share of production motorcycles that were subsequently released—a trend that remains to this day and one that has afforded American-made motorcycles their own highly-distinctive appearance. Alongside cruiser bike’s relaxed riding position, ample torque, and conduciveness to touring, their quintessentially American aesthetics play a large role in distinguishing the genre from other styles of bike and represent a major selling point for throngs of bikers. That’s not to say that overseas manufacturers haven’t attempted to emulate the style, or put their own unique spin on the genre, though as a whole, cruisers are American at heart.

Photo: Triumph Rocket 3

Town Cruisers - History

The Best Light Cruisers of World War II

After the adoption of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, light cruisers (CL) with 6" guns inherited the roles of the earlier protected cruiser, which were to scout for the battle fleet, patrol the seas, enforce blockades, shadow enemy capital ships, show the flag on distant stations and enforce colonial rule. Light cruisers were able to bring greater firepower to bear than any of the vessels they were likely to encounter on distant stations (pirates, armed merchant cruisers, gunboats, destroyers, torpedo boats and the like). As the 20th Century progressed and ever more capable scout and patrol aircraft entered service, independent cruiser operations decreased in importance and light cruisers increasingly assumed the role of screening capital ships (especially aircraft carriers) and vital, especially troop carrying, convoys against enemy air and surface threats.

The Washington Treaty established 10,000 tons standard displacement as the maximum size for all cruisers and 6.1" (155mm) main battery guns as the maximum for light cruisers and 8" (203mm) guns as the maximum for heavy cruisers (CA). Thus, the terms "light" and "heavy" pertained to main battery gun armament, rather than the size/displacement of the ship. Heavy cruisers essentially replaced armored cruisers in the major powers' fleets and light cruisers were generally viewed as smaller, less expensive and less heavily armored than heavy cruisers.

However, as time went by, the difference in size between the largest of the two types essentially vanished in the USN, both types being designed to the 10,000 treaty limit. The largest Royal Navy cruisers, whether heavy or light, also displaced around 10,000 tons standard.

Perhaps the ultimate example of this interchangeability of light and heavy cruiser design was the Japanese Mogami class, which were commissioned as light cruisers armed with 15-6.1" guns in five triple turrets in order to conform to the Washington Naval Treaty. When war became imminent, they were rearmed as heavy cruisers simply by exchanging the triple 6" turrets for twin 8" turrets, which by design shared the same size turret rings. The Mogami's were, in fact, among the most powerful and capable of all WW II heavy cruisers and graphically demonstrated that there was no longer any practical difference, in terms of hull size or displacement, between light and heavy cruisers.

As relatively expensive ships intended to be capable of independent operations, cruisers were typically built to heavier and more durable standards, with heavier scantlings, machinery and double bottoms, than large destroyer (DL) types, which were nipping at the heels of the smaller light cruisers in terms of size and firepower. Long range was important to cruiser operations and this greater range also differentiates cruisers from destroyers. In addition, unlike most destroyer types, the vitals of light cruisers were usually armored to protect against destroyer caliber shells and, in some cases, against 6" shellfire. The need for greater longevity, durability, armor, fuel and stores naturally made light cruisers bigger than large destroyers.

In the 1930's, a theory arose that a big cruiser armed with a large number of 6" guns (usually 12 to 15) might overwhelm a heavy cruiser armed with fewer and slower firing 8" guns at short to medium range. What followed was a mini naval arms race centered on the 6" gun cruiser. There was nothing "light" about these powerful vessels. In the U.S., the Brooklyn class (CL, 15-6" guns) and Wichita (CA, 9-8" guns), commissioned in 1938-1939, were built on the same hulls with a similar layout.

During World War II, the need for smaller light cruisers arose. This resulted in the the Italian Capitani Romani class, the Royal Navy's Dido and Bellona classes and the USN's Atlanta class. These small cruisers were armed, respectively, with 5.31" (135mm), 5.25" and 5" main battery guns and were designed to counter enemy aircraft and large destroyers.

In this article, we will examine the ultimate light cruisers of the major naval powers: Germany, Japan, France, the United States, Great Britain and Italy. The ships' specifications that follow were taken from Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922-1946.

Cruiser Nurnberg. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Nurnberg, commissioned in 1935, was the last light cruiser completed for the Reichsmarine. Six scout cruisers of the "M" class (7800 tons, 8-150mm guns) were proposed and construction was started on three of these ships, but the outbreak of war diverted the necessary strategic materials to other purposes and they were never completed.

After WW I, Germany had no distant colonial empire to protect and the German navy concentrated on relatively short range and lightly built cruisers primarily suitable for Baltic and North Sea operations. German light cruisers were armed with eight or nine 5.9" (150mm) main battery guns and had standard displacements of less than 7000 tons. Only six German light cruisers were completed between 1925 and 1945 and none of them had particularly inspiring war records. By the middle of the war, the surviving light cruisers were used mainly as cadet training vessels. Late in the war, they provided fire support along the Baltic coast against advancing Red Army troops.

Nurnberg and her half sister Leipzig make an interesting comparison to Allied light cruisers. Their hulls were extensively electrically welded, a ship construction technique pioneered in Germany, and they were powered by a combination of steam turbines and diesel engines to increase their range. They had three propeller shafts, the outer shafts being powered by geared steam turbines and the center shaft by four MAN diesel engines. When cruising, the diesels would supply all the motivating power, the outer propellers merely turned at idling speed by electric motors to reduce their drag. For high-speed runs, all three shafts would be driven. The center propeller had variable pitch blades for maximum efficiency.

The main battery guns were mounted in three triple turrets, situated in the A, X and Y positions. This meant that six guns could fire directly astern and only three guns forward, the reverse of most warship layouts. This made them well suited for engaging pursuing enemy cruisers while retreating from a superior enemy force. (The French navy, considered to be Germany's most likely potential opponent, was substantially larger than the German navy in the 1930's.) The main battery turrets allowed 40-degrees of elevation. A heavy torpedo battery, with six tubes in two triple mounts per side, was also useful for dissuading pursuit from astern. Here are the specifications for Nurnberg.

  • Displacement: 6520 tons standard, 8380 tons deep load
  • Dimensions: 557' 9" wl, 594' 10" loa, 53' 2" beam, 16' (18' 8" max.) draft
  • Machinery: 3 shafts. Parsons geared turbines, 8 Navy boilers, 60,000 shp = 31 kts. (outer shafts) 4 double-acting 2-stroke 7-cylinder MAN diesels, 12,400 bhp = 18 kts. (center shaft) 32 kts. all three
  • Armor: Belt 6"-0.75", deck 0.75", turrets 3.25"-0.75", CT 4"-1.25"
  • Armament: 9-150mm/60 (3x3), 8-88mm/45 (4x2) DP, 8-37mm AA (4x2), 8-20mm AA, 12-533mm TT (4x3), 2 float planes
  • Complement: 896
  • Commissioned: 1935

Nurnberg was torpedoed by a British submarine in 1939 during a mine laying operation in the North Sea and was being repaired while most of the Reichsmarine was supporting the invasion of Norway, the one great German naval victory of the war. After completing repairs, she served as a cadet training ship, alternating for a time as part of the fleet in Norwegian waters.

None of the German light cruisers had illustrious careers, but Nurnberg managed to survive the war. After the war, she was ceded to the USSR as reparations and served the Red Navy's Baltic Fleet as the Admiral Makarov into the middle 1950's.

IJN Yahagi. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Pre-war Japanese heavy cruisers were generally designed to achieve qualitative superiority over those of the UK and USA, since they knew they could not match those powers in numbers. A Pacific Ocean navy, the IJN preferred heavy cruisers to light cruisers, generally designing and using their light cruisers to serve as scouts or leaders of destroyer, submarine or escort flotillas. This required smaller light cruisers than those favored by most other navies.

The Agano class of four ships was probably the best balanced and most successful of the Japanese light cruisers. They were relatively small cruisers, at 6,652 tons standard displacement, and carried 6-6" main battery guns in twin turrets (two forward and one aft). They also carried eight centerline (2x4) launching tubes for the famed 24" Long Lance torpedoes, the best anti-ship torpedo of the war, and an exceptionally heavy battery of AA guns. Unlike most light cruisers, they carried depth charges to attack submarines. Here are their basic specifications.

  • Displacement: 6652 tons standard, 7590 tons trial, 8534 tons full load
  • Dimensions: 564' 4" wl, 571' 2" loa, 49' 10" beam, 18' 6" draft
  • Machinery: 4-shaft geared turbines, 6 boilers, 100,000 shp = 35 kts. Oil 1405 tons
  • Armor: Belt 2.2" over machinery and 2" over magazines, deck 0.7", turrets 1"
  • Armament: 6-6"/50 (3x2), 4-3"/65 AA (2x2), 32-25mm AA, 8-24" TT (2x4), 16 DC, 2 aircraft

Like practically all WW II cruisers, the light AA armament was increased with experience. The number of light 25mm AA guns was increased to 46 by January 1944, to 52 by March 1944 and to 61 by July 1944. Three of these ships (Agano, Noshiro and Yahagi) were lost in action, while the fourth (Sakawa) survived the war to be expended in the Bikini atom bomb test. Agano was sunk by a U.S. submarine, while her two sisters were lost to U.S.N. carrier planes. Yahagi was sunk along with the super battleship Yamato on the last sortie by major IJN warships U.S. flyers stated that she was almost as much trouble to sink as the battleship!

Visually, these were flush deck, low silhouette ships with a tower bridge and a single smoke stack. They presented a long, sleek appearance and, from what I have read, were good ships. Their main battery of only 6-6" guns would have put them at a disadvantage in a daylight gun battle against the other cruisers included in this article. However, their heavy, long range torpedo battery served as a potential equalizer in night engagements.

Cruiser Georges-Leygues. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The La Galissonniere class of six cruisers represented the best French light cruiser design. They were medium size cruisers armed with 9-6" guns in three triple turrets, two forward and one aft. The 6" guns fired a 54.3kg (120 lb.) shell a distance of 21,500 meters (23,292 yards).

They were, by all reports, seaworthy ships with efficient machinery. Designed for a maximum speed of 32.5 knots, they exceeded 35 knots on trials at over 100,000 shp. Their range was 7000nm at 12 knots, 5500nm at 18 knots and 1650nm at 34 knots.

  • Displacement: 7600 tons standard, 8214 tons normal, 9100 tons full load
  • Dimensions: 564' 3" pp, 588' 11" loa, 57' 4" beam, 17' 7" draft
  • Machinery: 4-shaft Parsons geared turbines, 4 Indret boilers, 97,600 shp = 32.5 kts. Oil 1559 tons
  • Armor: main belt 4", bulkheads 2.5", longitudinal bulkheads 0.75", main deck 1.5" turrets 4" faces, 2" sides, backs and roofs CT 3.75" with 2" hood
  • Armament: 9-6"/50 (3x3), 8-3.5"/50 AA (4x2), 8-37mm AA (4x2), 12-13.2mm AA, 4-21.7" TT (2x2), 4 aircraft
  • Complement: 540 (peace), 764 (war)
  • Completed: 1935-1937

The light AA armament of the surviving ships was progressively increased as the war continued, ultimately reaching 24-40mm (6x4) and 16-20mm (16x1) guns on the three ships refitted in the USA during the war for use by the Free French navy (Gloire, Montcalm and Georges Leygues). By 1945, at a full load displacement of 10,850 tons, they could still achieve a top speed of 32 knots.

The Vichy French cruisers La Galissonniere, Jean De Vienne and Marseillaise refused to join the Allies after the fall of France and were scuttled at Toulon in 1942 to avoid falling into German hands. Gloire, Montcalm and Georges Leygues served with the Free French navy during the latter part of the war and survived to become part of the post-war French navy. Montcalm served as an accommodation ship from 1958 to 1970, when she was broken-up, while her two sisters were sold to the breakers in 1958-1959.

USS Cleveland. Official U.S.N photo.

From at least the mid-1920's onward, the USN favored heavy cruisers over light cruisers. This is evident by the disparity in the number of classes of each type built through 1945: 6-CA and 3-CL, including the small anti-aircraft light cruisers (CLAA) armed with 5" DP guns of the Atlanta class. The only American 6" cruiser classes were the Brooklyn's (9767 tons, 15-6" guns, 1938-1939) and the Cleveland's (11,744 tons, 12-6" guns, 1942-1946). It is the latter class that we will deal with here, as they benefited from wartime experience.

The Cleveland class was the most numerous of all WW II light cruisers, with 29 uints completed. Designed with Pacific Ocean operations in mind, they had a very long cruising range. There was considerable variation in the details of the various units of the class, as they entered service over a five-year period (1942-1946) and the later ships were modified to benefit from experience gained with the earlier ships.

Like all WW II U.S.N cruisers, the Cleveland's were not equipped with torpedo batteries, an oversight that was to cost the Navy dearly in numerous night battles with Japanese warships. Here are the specifications for the USS Biloxi, which was commissioned in 1943

  • Displacement: 11,744 tons standard, 14,131 tons full load
  • Dimensions: 600' wl, 610' 1" loa, 66' 4" beam, 24' 6" full load draft
  • Machinery: 4-shaft GE turbines, 4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, 100,000 shp = 32.5 kts. Oil 1507-2100 tons, range 11,000nm at 15 kts.
  • Armor: Belt 5"-3.5" armored deck 2" bulkheads 5" barbettes 6" turrets 6.5" face, 3" top, 3" sides, 1.5" rear CT 5" with 2.25" roof
  • Armament: 12-6"/47 (4x3), 12-5"/38 DP (6x2), 28-40mm AA (4x4, 6x2), 10-20mm AA (10x1), 4 aircraft
  • Complement: 1285
  • Commissioned: 1943 (Cleveland class 1942-1946)

The U.S. was the only major power that continued to build very large light cruisers throughout the war all the other powers reverted to building more modest light cruisers. The Cleveland's were very heavily armed and armored against 6" (105 pound) shells striking at a 90-degree angle between 9400-21,700 yards. This, along with constantly increasing electronic, ECM and radar gear, created problems with top weight and stability, which by 1945 had become severe.

Nine Cleveland class hulls were converted into light carriers during construction in 1942 and these ships served effectively during the war. None of the ships completed as cruisers were sunk by enemy action and most were retained into the 1960's.

Six ships were rebuilt as guided missile cruisers long after the war and these served into the 1970's, the last (Oklahoma City) was stricken from the Navy list in 1979. The Cleveland's were the most powerful light cruisers of the war in either an AA or surface engagement, but perhaps not the best all-around ships.

HMCS Ontario. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The UK built both small and large cruisers during WW II. In fact, between 1900 and 1939, when the war began, the UK had built more cruisers than any other country, so they knew a thing or two about cruiser design. The Swiftsure class (Swiftsure and Ontario) were middle size cruisers, mounting 9-6" guns in three triple turrets. This was one triple turret less than the previous Fiji class, but the AA armament was increased. Aircraft had become a greater danger than enemy surface ships by the time these cruisers were launched in 1943.

Here are Swiftsure's initial specifications.

  • Displacement: 8800 tons standard, 11,130 tons deep load
  • Dimensions: 538' pp, 555' 6" loa, 63' beam, 20' 8" deep load draft
  • Machinery: 4-shaft Parsons geared turbines, 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 72,500 shp = 31.5 knots. Oil 1850 tons
  • Armor: Belt 3.5"-3.25", bulkheads 2"-1.5", turrets 2"-1", ring bulkheads 1"
  • Armament: 9-6"/50 Mk. XXIII (3x3), 10-4"/45 QF/DP (5x2), 16- 2 pdr pompom (4x4), 6-21" TT (2x3)
  • Complement: 855 (normal), 960 (war)
  • Completed: 1944-1945

Upon completion in 1944, one of the two Swiftsure class was transferred to the Canadian Navy and named Ontario. As with all cruisers during WW II, the light AA armament was progressively increased on these ships. Swiftsure first received 22-20mm light AA in 1945 these were removed and replaced by 13-40mm single mounts. Ontario was similarly upgraded, but retained six of her 20mm guns, as well.

The Swiftsure class was not as well armed as the American Cleveland's, but they were more seaworthy, carried less top weight and were probably better overall ships. More importantly, they were generally more capable than the Axis light cruisers, with the possible exception of the Italian Abruzzi class, which had been neutralized by the time the Swiftsure's went into service. Neither ship was sunk in action and both served the Royal Navy post-war. Ontario was sent to the breakers in 1960, followed by Swiftsure in 1962.

Cruiser Abruzzi. Regiamarina photo.

The two ships of the Abruzzi class represented the newest Italian 6" gun cruisers to serve in WW II. The follow-on Costanzo Ciano class (two ships), ordered in 1939-40, was cancelled before being laid down.

Since the end of the First World War, Italian light cruisers had been gradually transitioning from very fast, but not very capable, destroyer killers into good all-around cruisers. The Luigi Di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzzi and Giuseppe Garibaldi were the final step in that evolution.

At a standard displacement of 9440 tons, they were big enough to carry 10-6" guns in four turrets, a twin turret in the "B" and "X" positions superfiring over a triple turret in the "A" and "Y" positions. They also were armored to contemporary cruiser standards, had a good AA battery and adequate range for Mediterranean (or even Atlantic) operations. Here are the specifications for Abruzzi.

  • Displacement: 9400 tons standard, 11,575 tons full load
  • Dimensions: 563' 7" pp, 613' 6" loa, 62' beam, 22' 4" mean full draft
  • Machinery: 2-shaft Parsons geared turbines, 8 Yarrow boilers, 100,000 shp = 34 kts. Oil 1700 tons
  • Armor: belt 100mm + 30mm, bulkheads 100mm + 30mm, decks 40mm-30mm, barbettes 100mm-30mm, turrets 135mm, CT 100mm-30mm, communications tube 30mm, funnel uptakes 50mm-20mm
  • Armament: 10-152mm/55 (2x3, 2x2), 8-100mm/47 DP (4x2), 8-37mm AA (4x2), 10-20mm AA (5x2), 6-533mm TT (2x3), 80-108 mines, 2 aircraft
  • Complement: 640 (designed) 692 (war)

These were attractive, well-balanced, twin funnel ships with a long forecastle. Their main battery guns could elevate to 45-degrees and lob a 110 pound shell some 27,000 yards. Rate of fire was 4-5 rounds per minute. Maximum sea speed in wartime conditions was about 31 knots.

Seldom given the credit due outside of Italy, the Abruzzi class were possibly the finest light cruisers to serve in the Second World War. They lacked fire control radar and therefore were at a great disadvantage against Allied cruisers at night or in conditions of low visibility, but had Italy won the war, this would have been corrected.

Both ships were surrendered intact to the Allies when Italy changed sides in the war. They were returned to the Italian navy after the war and became the backbone of the new Italian fleet. Abruzzi was stricken in 1961, but Giuseppe Garibaldi was converted into a guided missile cruiser during 1957-1961 and served until 1972.

Our Story

In 1904, Thompson Bros. Boat Manufacturing Co. made its first home in the small, northern town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin starting the legacy of a family boat-building business.

Always thinking big in terms of the craft and durability they brought to the boat industry, the second generation of Thompson's started building wood lapstrake outboard cabin cruisers in Oconto, Wisconsin in the early 1950s.

The first known Cruisers, Inc. catalog debuted in 1956. Prior to that, the company was building 14' and 16' boats under the Thompson Bros. label

In 1965 wood boats were replaced with fiberglass as the new technology was wreaking havoc with the wood boat business.

In 1971 Cruisers, Inc. was sold to Mirro Aluminum Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It wasn't until 1979, when Roy Thompson retired, that someone other than a Thompson ran the company.

In 1980 the fiberglass product line of Mirro Marine Division (Cruisers) was sold to T.J. Bogard (the former President of Mirro Marine Division) and T.A. Lisle (formerly of Eaton Corporation).

In the early 1990s K.C. Stock, who was born and raised in the Oconto area, saw the potential for opportunity. In 1993, Stock's KC International Inc. purchased the company and changed the name to Cruisers Yachts.

The Cantius series was born with the launch of the 48 Cantius.

In 2015, Cruisers Yachts unveiled its largest yacht by introducing the 60 Cantius. That following year, they introduced the 60 Fly.

Connect with us on our social media pages! We’ll keep you updated on new products, upcoming boat shows, and more. To find a dealer near you, click here.

Cruisers Yachts
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British Town Class Cruisers &ndash Design, Development & Performance &ndash Southampton and Belfast Classes, Conrad Waters

The Town Class cruisers were the most modern cruisers in British service at the outbreak of the Second World War, falling into the slightly odd category of large Light Cruiser, combining the 6in guns of a treaty light cruiser with the maximum allowed displacement of around 10,000 tons. They weren&rsquot really a type of ship the Royal Navy had wanted to build, hoping instead to convince the other naval powers to build a larger number of smaller ships, but once it became clear that wouldn&rsquot happen, the British had to build their own 10,000 cruisers.

The section on the design process covers the original debates and early designs that led up to the first ships in the class, and the differences between the three main sub-types. I was interested to note that the second batch of Town class cruisers were given an enclosed bridge, but this was then removed on the last batch as it had proved to be unpopular with the officers! The design sections are supported by many plans, including the impressive colour plans produced when they were being constructed. As a result we get a really good idea of the layout of these ships. This is followed by a look at the many wartime changes, which included the almost compulsary increase in anti-aircraft firepower, and an ever increasingly complex array of electronics, including a series of radar sets.

I was particuarly impressed with the wartime operations chapter, which includes a good history of each ship&rsquos wartime career along with a detailed examination of each occasion on which they were suffered damage. All four of the ten Town class cruisers were lost during the war, three of those four were scuttled by the Royal Navy, in some cases in rather controversial circumstances. These ships actually emerge as being impressively robust, with HMS Newcastle surviving despite having both sides of the hull torn away by stormy weather while crossing the Indian Ocean on her way to be repaired!

This is an excellent examination of these famous ships, beautifully illustrated, and very detailed. Perhaps its best feature is the examination of how well they actually performed, ranging from a look at the accuracy of their gunfire to the detailed studies of how well they absorbed damage.

1 &ndash Class Origins
2 &ndash The Design Process
3 &ndash From Construction to Delivery
4 &ndash Design Description
5 &ndash Wartime Improvements
6 &ndash Wartime Operations & Performance
7 &ndash Post-War Requirements & Repair
8 &ndash Post-War Operations & Disposal
9 &ndash Evaluation

1 &ndash Camouflage and Appeareances
2 &ndash Supermarine Walrus
3 &ndash Battle Honours

Author: Conrad Waters
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Publisher: Seaforth
Year: 2019

Top 5 Cruisers

Only the most powerful modern navies operate cruisers. These are the heaviest surface combatants in use today, except aircraft carriers. These warships are not numerous.

So which is the most powerful cruiser in the world? Which is the greatest modern cruiser and why? Our Top 5 analysis is based on the combined score of offensive and defensive capabilities, size, displacement, sensors, stealthiness and some other features.

This list only includes cruisers that are currently in service.

Currently top 5 cruisers in the world are these:

The Zumwalt class cruisers are new multi-role ships of the US Navy. These stealthy guided missile cruisers have superior offensive capabilities. The lead ship was launched in 2013 and commissioned with the US Navy in 2016. Originally 32 ships of the class were planned. However only 3 ships will be built due to high unit price.

Although the Zumwalt class warships are officially called "destroyers", in terms of size, displacement and armament these warships are clearly cruisers. These stealthy warships are actually larger than US Ticonderoga class cruisers China's Type 055 class cruisers and Russian Slava class cruisers. Only Russian Kirov class cruisers are larger. Most likely that the Zumwalt class warships are called destroyers for political reasons.

These new warships are optimized for land attack operations, but also possess great anti-aircraft and anti-submarine capability.

The Zumwalt class cruisers are stuffed with cutting-edge technology, including new electric propulsion system, and are stealthy to radars. Despite their size the Zumwalt class cruisers have radar signatures of fishing boats. Also these warships have low acoustic and infrared signature. Noise levels are comparable to Los Angeles class submarines.

These warships are fitted with 80 advanced modular vertical launch cells for various missiles. These stealthy cruisers can carry a mix of various missiles, including Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles (1 per cell), ASROC anti-submarine missiles (1 per cell), Standard surface-to-air missiles, and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) surface-to-air missiles (4 per cell). Also there are two 155 mm naval guns and two 57 mm guns in stealthy gun mounts.

The Zumwalt class warships are fitted with AN/SPY-3 active electronically scanned array radar. It is an improved version of the AN/SPY-1 radar, used on Ticonderoga class cruisers and Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Basically it is the most sophisticated air defense system in the world.

These warships have a flight deck and a hangar for up to two medium-lift helicopters such as SH-60 or MH-60R Seahawks.

These stealthy cruisers have the highest level of automation of any US Navy surface warships and are operated by less sailors than comparable ships. The USS Zumwalt is run by a crew of only around 140 sailors. It is half the crew of comparable Arleigh Burke class destroyer.

In 1977 Soviets launched the largest warship other than aircraft carriers built by any nation since World War II. In appearance and firepower Kirov is more like a battlecruiser than a normal missile cruiser. It has the world's largest missile battery, at 352 missiles, though weapons and systems vary from ship to ship.

The lead ship was commissioned in 1980. Four of these cruisers were completed. However due to funding problems Russian Navy operates only a single Kirov class cruiser. Furthermore there are signs that Russia struggles to maintain it.

Planned initially to find and engage enemy missile submarines, it became a much more capable warship when it was equipped with the long-range P-700 Granit (Western reporting name SS-N-19 or Shipwreck) anti-ship missiles. These missiles have a range of 625 km and carry a 750 kg high explosive warhead or nuclear warhead with a yield of 0.5 Megaton.

Area air defense is provided by vertical launch S-300F Fort (SA-N-6) long-range surface-to-air missiles, housed in a total of 96 launchers.

There are ten 533 mm torpedo tubes for 20 heavy torpedoes or Vodopad (SS-N-16 Stallion) torpedo-carrying missiles.

Up to five Ka-27 helicopters can be accommodated in the hangar, though a normal complement is three. The helicopters are a mix of anti-submarine warfare and missile-guidance/electronic intelligence variants

Its powerplant is unique in being a combined nuclear and steam system. Two reactors are coupled to oil-fired boilers.

Until the late 1980s China's navy was largely a riverine and littoral force. For a long period of time China had no money, resources or technology do develop and produce large warships. During the 1990s and early 2000s China still lacked gas turbine propulsion technology, anti-submarine warfare helicopters, electronic counter measures systems, naval air defense missiles and anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, sonars, radars, communication systems, electronics, and other vital technologies that were required to create large and modern surface combatants. H owever over time China developed, obtained, or received access to the required technology. In around 2009 an indigenous programme was launched. It called for a new cruiser.

The lead ship of the new Type 055 class (Western reporting name Renhai class) was commissioned with the China's navy in 2019. Four more Type 055 class cruisers are being built at 2 shipyards and are nearing completion. Two more cruisers are planned. These new cruisers will form a core of Chinas naval battlegroups.

Even though these warships are officially called "destroyers", the Type 055 class is actually larger in terms of size and displacement than US Ticonderoga class cruisers and similar to the Russian Slava class cruisers. Most likely that these warships are called destroyers for political reasons. The Type 055 class warships are larger and have nearly twice the displacement of the latest China's Type 052D class destroyers. Furthermore firepower of the Type 055 class increased exponentially comparing with the Type 052 class. These new cruisers have superior offensive capabilities.

The Type 055 class uses a new universal vertical launch system that supports 4 different types of missiles. It resembles that of the US Navy's Mk.41 VLS. There is a total of 112 launch cells with 64 cells forward and 48 cells aft. It can use a mix of different missiles, including HHQ-9 long-range air defense missiles, JY-18 anti-ship missiles, CJ-10 land attack missiles, CT-5 missiles with anti-submarine torpedoes. Also there are enclosed launchers for unspecified torpedoes and anti-submarine rocket launchers.

There is a single landing spot and hangar for two helicopters. Some sources report that the Type 055 class carries Z-18F anti-submarine warfare helicopters.

These cruisers are equipped with advanced radars. It uses a Type 346B radar, which is similar in function to a US SPY-1 Aegis radar. It can detect air targets at significant ranges and track numerous targets simultaneously. It looks like this radar can also detect and track ballistic missiles.

Designed as an advanced area-defence platform, the Ticonderoga class has evolved over the years into what was possibly the most advanced warships ever built. The USS Ticonderoga was originally designated as a destroyer, but was redesignated as a cruiser in 1980. The lead ship was commissioned in 1983. A total of 22 Ticonderoga class anti-air warfare cruisers were built. The last warship of the class entered service in 1994. These cruisers were built to support and protect US carrier battle groups, amphibious assault groups, perform interdiction and escort missions. Since its introduction the class has seen action in most US Navy operations.

The Ticonderogas were the first surface combatant ships equipped with the AEGIS weapon system. It was the most sophisticated air defence system in the world. The heart of AEGIS is the SPY-1A radar. Two paired phased array radars automatically detect and track air contacts to beyond 322 km. When it was fielded in the early 1980s this radar was the first of its kind and ahead of anything at the time. At some point a capability to detect and track ballistic missiles was added. The AEGIS was designed to defeat attacking missiles by providing quick-reacting firepower and jamming resistance against any aerial threat expected to be faced by a US Navy battle group.

The 127-cells vertical launch systems can be loaded with Standard surface-to-air missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, ASROC anti-submarine missiles and Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles, giving later vessels the ability to engage targets above, on and below the surface.

This warship can accommodate two SH-60B Seahawk helicopters.

The Slava class cruisers were designed as less expensive complement to the massive Kirov class battlecruisers. These ocean-going warships were designed to operate in battlegroups and travel over significant ranges. The lead ship was laid down in 1976 and was commissioned in 1982. Initially at least eight and as many as 20 cruisers were planned. However with the collapse of the Soviet Union the Russian Navy virtually went bankrupt and only 3 of these cruisers were ever commissioned. These 3 cruisers are in service with the Russian Navy. At some point all of them were overhauled in order to extend their service life. There is one more incomplete Slava class cruiser that belongs to Ukraine. This warship was never completed due to limited funding. Ukraine has no requirement for such a powerful ocean-going warship. For a number of years this 4th cruiser of the class is awaiting for its disposal.

The Slavas are primarily surface action vessels. Their primary weapons are 16 P-500 Bazalt (SS-N-12 or Sandbox) anti-ship missiles. These missiles have a range of 550 km and carry a 1 000 kg high explosive or warhead or nuclear warhead with a yield of 350 kT. These warships also possess great anti-aircraft and anti-submarine capability.

There is an S-300F Fort long-range air defense system (naval version of the S-300). It has 64 launchers with missiles.

The Slava class cruisers are fitted with ten 533 mm torpedo tubes for heavy torpedoes that can be launched against hostile ships and submarines.

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Little Known Black History Fact: History of Town Criers

A town crier is defined as “an officer of the court who makes public announcements and royal proclamations.” As early as the 15th and 16th century, the town crier was the main news source of the townspeople.

One of the first official American Town Criers was Peter Logan, a black slave who purchased his family’s freedom in the late 18th century. The former slave and ship carpenter set up a home for his family and became a respected member of society as Town Crier.

Logan’s family lived in their home with five other freed slaves. In addition to serving as Town Crier, Peter Logan operated his own boot and shoe black business. He also served as the Town Piper during Christmas.

In London, the first two Town Criers of the Forest City area to serve the townspeople were part of the 1830’s settlement of blacks. They have been identified as George Washington Brown and Don Kean, both black freemen.

Delivering news to the people by messenger was started with Spartan Runners in the early Greek Empire. As European colonization spread, the position of town crier was distinguished as a way to serve news to the illiterate. The Criers were dressed in elaborate colonial clothing. The safety of the town crier was ensured by the court, which issued a “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” law. The law came into affect to protect the criers who delivered unfavorable news.

The job of town crier in Britain can be traced back as far as 1066, with the news of Britain’s invasion by King William I after the Battle of Hastings. The tradition of town crier is still alive in Hastings, with the annual town criers’ competition. The official sound of the town crier is “Oyez!” which translates as “Hear This!” The outcry is accompanied by the ringing of a bell to gather the crowd’s attention.

Watch the video: C-Town Cruisers 732020 at The Canal