Written by D-Mitch
|USS Worcester, lead ship of theWorcester class cruisers|
Warships with the size of a battleship and armament of a light cruiser, the Worcester class anti-aircraft cruisers of the United States Navy were the ultimate all-gun light cruisers. With a full displacement of approximately 18,000 tons and a length of more than 207 meters (!), they were larger and heavier than any light or heavy cruiser of WWII and post-war cruisers (and their missile conversions) with only very few exceptions such as the Russian Sverdlov class (they were 3 meters longer but displaced 1,500 tons less..), the American heavy cruisers Des Moines which were the culmination of US navy gun-cruiser design and entered in service the same year with the Worcesters, the American nuclear-powered missile cruiser Long Beach and of course the modern gigantic Russian Kirov class nuclear-powered missile cruisers which are actually considered battlecruisers. All four classes will be analyzed thoroughly in future posts. It is worth of mention, that there was only one cruiser in both World Wars that exceeded the size of the post-war Worcesters; this was the Prinz Eugen of the German Hipper class heavy cruisers, which was 207.7 m long (only.. 0,6m longer!) and with the clipper bow, her overall length was 212.5m. Furthermore, her full displacement was 19,050t, slightly larger than of the Worcesters.
|USS Roanoke, second vessel in the Worcester class cruisers, underway in San Francisco Bay, |
California, at the time of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz' review of the First Fleet, 13 June 1957.