"Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews" PROVIDED BY - Rob Jerrard

H.M.S. Lion 1960 (The Last Lion) C34.

H.M.S Lion, 1st Commission 1960 - 1962 (12th July 1960 - 31st July 1962)

I have 64 Photographs which will be displayed, please return from time to time and look at a new one. If you have any please forward scanned images - GIF or JPEG.

H.M.S Lion, (A Tiger Class Cruiser) @ 1962

Concordant nomine facta" (Our Deeds agree with our name)

Laid down June 24th 1942, launched, September 2nd 1944, with the original name of "Defence"; Commissioned 20th July 1960. These Ships were originally to be the second group of the Minotaur Class (Swiftsure & Minotaur). HMS Superb was the only one completed - others formed the Tiger Class.

Captain John Scotland DSC.


Tiger Class Light Cruisers

Displacement: 9,550 tons standard ; 11,700 tons full load Dimensions: 538 pp, 555.5 oa x 64 x 18 feet Propulsion: 4 shaft Parsons geared turbines, 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 80,000 shp. = 31.5 knots Range: 2000 miles at 30 knots, 6,500 miles at 12 knots ; 1,940 tons fuel oil Complement: 716 Armament: 2 dual 6-inch / 50 Mk 26 DP rapid-fire ; 3 dual 3-inch / 70 Mk 6 DP rapid-fire Armour: 3.25 to 3.5 inch belt ; 2 inch deck ; 1 to 2 inch turrets ; 1.5 to 2 inch bulkheads Radars: Air Search - Type 960 ; Surface/Low-level Air Search - Type 992 ; Height Finding - Type 277Q ; Gunnery - Type 903 (MRS3 director) per mount

Helicopter Cruiser conversion as above except: Displacement: 9,500 tons standard ; 12,080 tons full load Dimensions: 538 pp, 556.6 oa x 64 x 18 feet Complement: 885 Armament: 1 dual 6-inch / 50 Mk 26 DP rapid-fire, 1 dual 3-inch / 70 Mk 6 DP rapid-fire, 2 quad GWS22 Seacat SAM launchers Aircraft: 4 Wessex / Sea King HAS Radars: Air Search - Type 965 ; Surface/Low-level Air Search - Type 992Q ; Height Finding - Type 278; Gunnery - Type 903 (MRS3 director) per Mount

These three ships were laid down as Group 2 Swiftsures with (HMS Superb, 1943 - 1960). All were suspended at the end of war, work not restarting until the mid 1950's. They were then completed to a modified design utilising the new 6-inch and 3-inch rapid-fire DP guns designed for the abandoned 'Minotuar' class. These guns gave the class the greatest fire-power of any cruiser the Royal Navy had ever built, with the water cooled 6-inch and 3-inch guns capable of firing 20 and 90 rounds per minute per gun respectivly (although this rate of fire would empty the magazines in a few minutes). Unfortunately the guns suffered reliability problems.

Shortly after entering service, Tiger & Blake were converted to ASW Helicopter Cruisers embarking 4 Sea King or Wessex anti-submarine helicopters, with the aft 6-inch twin turret replaced by a hanger and light deck and the two amidships 3-inch twin turrets replaced by Seacat point defense SAMs. Due to the high manpower they required all three ships spent several years in reserve, with Lion only serving 4 years before being paid off.

Blake was the last cruiser in the Royal Navy and in December 1979 ended a 100 year tradition of RN Cruisers. I am proud to have served on Lion during one of her commissions before it all ended. My regret is I was too late for Battleships, I remember as a 15-year-old going on H.M.S Vanguard in Portsmouth harbour.

HMS Tiger (C20)

Two Cats together, Tiger left, Lion right, at Leros Greek Island

H.M.S Tiger, at Leros, between April & Oct 1961

(ex Bellerophon) Built by John Brown, Clydebank. Laid down 1 October 1941. Launched 25 October 1945. Completed 18 March 1959. Converted to Helicopter Cruiser at Devonport, 1968-1972. Paid off April 1978. Disposal list 1980. Broken up by Desguaces Varela, Spain, 1986.

HMS Lion

Commisioning Ceremony at Swan Hunter, Wallsend.

(ex Defence) Built by Scotts, Greenock. Laid Down 24 June 1942. Launched 2 September 1944. Renamed 1957. Completed 20 July 1960 by Swan Hunter, Wallsend. Paid off 1965. In reserve 1965-1972, then placed on disposal list. Broken up by Ward, Inverkeithing, 1975.

HMS Blake (C99) (ex Tiger, ex Blake) Built by Fairfield, Govan. Laid Down 17 August 1942. Launched 20 December 1945. Completed 18 March 1961. Converted to Helicopter Cruiser at Portsmouth, 1965-1969. Paid off December 1979. Placed on disposal list 1981. Borken up by Shipbreaking (Queenborough) Ltd., Cairnryan, 1982.


Calling all Lions, Tigers & Blakes. Neil McCart has written a book on these 3 Tiger Class Cruisers.

Tiger, Lion & Blake 1942-1986 The Navy's Last Cruisers", by Neil McCart. Excellent photos - I provided 7 of them from my Lion collection of about 58


HMS Lion at Malta

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Royal Navy & Maritime Book Reviews, Copyright 2008 Rob Jerrard