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HMS Sirius (C82) underway leaving Portsmouth on June 17th 1942.

The Dido-class was a class of sixteen (including the Bellona sub-class) light cruisers built for the Royal Navy. The design was influenced by the Arethusa-class light cruisers. The first group of three ships was commissioned in 1940, the second group (six ships) and third group (two ships) were commissioned in 1941–1942. The Bellona-class ships commissioned between 1943 to 1944. Most members of the class were named after figures of Greek mythology.

Like the American designed Atlanta and Japanese Katori classes, they were designed as fleet escorts to protect heavier units from both light surface forces and aircraft. The enthusiasm felt for them by the Board of Admiralty was borne out by good results in action and the only real problem with the type was shortage of 5.25" gun-mountings and a need to stiffen them forward to take the weight of the forward turrets. The Dido-class would ultimately be equipped with the QF 4.5"/45-caliber Mk.III/IV dual purpose naval guns instead.


  • Type: Anti-aircraft Light Cruiser
  • Service Period: 1940-1966
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 512 feet (156.06 meters)
    • Beam: 50 feet 6 inches (15.4 meters)
    • Draft: 15 feet (4.57 meters)
    • Displacement: 5,900 tons (Standard); 7,600 tons (Full Load)
  • Crew: 530
  • Propulsion: 4 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 4 x Parsons steam turbines, 4 x shafts, 62,000 shp
  • Range: 4,240 nautical miles (7,853 kilometers) at 16 knots (29.63 km/h)
  • Speed: 32.25 knots (59.73 km/h)
  • Armament:
    • 10 x QF 4.5"/45-caliber Mk.III/IV dual purpose naval guns (5x2)
    • 12 x Bofors 40mm/60-caliber anti-aircraft guns (3x4)
    • 12 x Oerlikon 20mm anti-aircraft cannons (6x2)
    • 12 x .50-caliber Vickers Mk.III machine guns (3x4)
  • Armour:
    • Belt: 3-inches (76.2 mm)
    • Deck: 1-inch (25.4 mm)
    • Magazines: 2-inches (50.8 mm)
    • Bulkheads: 1-inch (25.4 mm)

Unit Run[]


  • HMS Bonaventure (C31)
  • HMS Cleopatra (C33)
  • HMS Dido (C37)
  • HMS Euryalus (C42)
  • HMS Phoebe (C43)
  • HMS Argonaut (C61)
  • HMS Hermione (C74)
  • HMS Sirius (C82)
  • HMS Charybdis (C88)
  • HMS Naiad (C93)
  • HMS Scylla (C98)


  • HMS Bellona (C63) - transferred to New Zealand as HMNZS Bellona
  • HMS Black Prince (C81) - transferred to New Zealand as HMNZS Black Prince
  • HMS Diadem (C84) - transferred to India as HMIS Babur
  • HMS Royalist (C89) - transferred to New Zealand as HMNZS Royalist
  • HMS Spartan (C95) - transferred to India as HMIS Jahangir