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View Full Version : HMS Belfast - Pics I took today (Quite a lot!)



Ant__.
10-15-2007, 03:04 PM
I was in London business today and I knew I was going to where the magnificent HMS Belfast is moored on the Thames as a floating museum so I took my camera. I've included an .avi film of the ship too. I didn't have time to board her, but next time I'll plan my meetings more carefully so I can!

Some history and background first for you all:

The Town class cruisers were constrained to less than 10,000 tons by the Washington Naval Treaty. The original design included quadruple 6-inch gun mountings, but, due to problems with construction, improved versions of the triple mountings fitted to the earlier ships of the class were fitted instead. These were lighter than those planned, and the weight saved was used to improve the ship's armour and anti-aircraft defences.

Belfast was launched on St Patrick's Day in 1938 at Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast by Anne Chamberlain, the wife of the then Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. At that time, the budgeted overall cost of the ship was £2,141,514, of which £75,000 was for the guns and £66,500 for aircraft. She was commissioned in August 1939 under the command of Captain G A Scott DSO and assigned to the 18th Cruiser Squadron.

At the start of the Second World War the 18th Cruiser Squadron was part of the British effort to impose a naval blockade on Germany. As part of this squadron, Belfast intercepted the German liner Cap Norte on 9 October 1939 as the liner was trying to return to Germany disguised as a neutral ship.

At around 1:00 a.m. on 21 November 1939 she was seriously damaged as she left the Firth of Forth, with twenty-one men injured, by a magnetic mine laid on 4 November by the German submarine U-21 under the command of Kapitšnleutnant Fritz Frauenheim[1]. The mine broke the keel and wrecked the hull and machinery to such an extent that repairs at Devonport took nearly three years.

She returned to service in the Home Fleet in November 1942 under the command of Captain Frederick Parham. Improvements had been made to the ship during repairs, notably bulged amidships to improve her longitudinal strength and stability, and fitting the latest radar and fire control; her displacement had risen from 11,175 to 11,553 tons, making her Britain's heaviest cruiser.

In June 1944 she took part in the bombardment of enemy positions at the beginning of Operation Neptune, the landing phase of the D-Day landings, as flagship of bombardment Force E. Part of the Eastern Naval Task Force, with responsibility for supporting the British and Canadian assaults on Gold and Juno beaches, Belfast was one of the first ships to fire on German positions at 5:30 a.m. on 6 June 1944.

The rest you can read here at the HMS Belfast wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Belfast_(C35))

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast29.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast3.jpg

Tower Bridge in the background:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast32.jpg

Camo paint detail on the bridge:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast27.jpg

These 4 inch forward guns could hurl a shell 14 miles, and they did in anger against German positions in Normandy, France - Where she's moored today, she could hit anywhwere in London
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast20.jpg

Detail of side armament and bridge:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast19.jpg

Camo paint and close up view:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast26.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast27.jpg

Tower of London (just!) HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast32.jpg

Stern detail:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/HMSBelfast46.jpg

I have more photo's, but here is an .avi file sweep from bow to stern and back again of this now famous London landmark. I'd like to thank my Father for taking me onto HMS Belfast all those years ago here to see her. I remember running up and down the decks and ladders and climbing all over the gun turrets, trying to hang from the 4 inch barells. Little did I know I'd be back many years later today. I hope you've all enjoyed these. Thanks Dad http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

24 second film:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/th_HMSBelfast25.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/?action=view&current=HMSBelfast25.flv)

Karl_Donitz_Jr
10-15-2007, 03:09 PM
At around 1:00 a.m. on 21 November 1939 she was seriously damaged as she left the Firth of Forth, with twenty-one men injured, by a magnetic mine laid on 4 November by the German submarine U-21 under the command of Kapitšnleutnant Fritz Frauenheim[1]. The mine broke the keel and wrecked the hull and machinery to such an extent that repairs at Devonport took nearly three years.

Course the RN actually considered scrapping her. The time of repairs against time to build a new cruiser and the cost of repairs against the cost of a new cruiser was very close.

The only thing that swayed it as I remember was as a "being repaired" hulk she could be used as an AA bettery whereas a new ship couldn't.

andy3536
10-15-2007, 03:41 PM
Nice pics RJ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

In future your meetings must be better planned, mabee ask if you can have them on board http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Happen to know that the victorian sloop HMS Gannet can be hired out for public functions in Chatham http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Only if the meetings brief though i suppose.

GerritJ9
10-15-2007, 04:12 PM
I visited HMS Belfast many years ago, in 1982....... spent nearly all of my time in the boiler room and engine room (only one of each was open to the public then, perhaps both boiler and engine rooms are open now?).

PhantomKira
10-15-2007, 04:31 PM
What's with the "scaffolding" along her sides, in the water (two "platforms" on her port side)? I don't recognize those from when I visited three years ago.

andy3536
10-15-2007, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by PhantomKira:
What's with the "scaffolding" along her sides, in the water (two "platforms" on her port side)? I don't recognize those from when I visited three years ago.


I believe thier called 'dolphins' made of wood and designed to stop the ship moving about too much when the river gets choppy.
Keeps her in place http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Heinrich505
10-15-2007, 09:33 PM
RJ,
Really nice pictures. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed them, and having the bridge in the background is neat too. A really fine looking ship. I'm glad she was preserved.

All I got to see was Heathrow, and some aerial views when I flew into London. No time to leave the airport.

Heinrich505

Goose_Green
10-15-2007, 10:47 PM
Great pics RJ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Thanks for sharing http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Obviously taking advantage of the opportunity while at work http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Celeon999
10-16-2007, 02:07 AM
Very good pics and very interesting RJ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

VikingGrandad
10-16-2007, 05:55 AM
Thanks for sharing your photos RK http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It's been a long time since I saw HMS Belfast (I think last time was when I went on a visit with Scouts when I was a kid!)

Good to see she's being looked after well http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

pmh273
10-16-2007, 06:45 AM
Quality pictures there mate, and a good bit of history. I've not been on board for many years now, but I'm often in London on the South Bank and HMS Belfast has always been one of my favourite sites!

Goose_Green
10-16-2007, 07:36 AM
I think it's time I revisited HMS Belfast, last time I did so I was very young, only problem is getting into London, may coincide a visit to the Imperial War Museum, not been there for over ten years - a trip to London it is then.

Thanks for the inspiration RJ - you really have an interesting job these days http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

mariuszj1939
10-19-2007, 01:25 AM
Thank you RJ, http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

U301
10-20-2007, 08:23 AM
Thanks RJ.
A most excellent post!
I saw her in '95 I think it was, I was on a racing cycle heading for Great Yarmouth so I only got a glimpse of her.
Well worth another visit to London just to see her.
Thanks again RJ. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif
KUrtz.