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HMS Cairo in Pedestal Op, 1942, a cry for help


MagisterMan
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Good day everyone!

Highly inspired by @robgizlu builds of HMS Calcutta and HMS Colombo I've failed to resist the wish to add a C-class AA cruiser to the collection.

The choice was made to convert Trumpeter's HMS Calcutta 1940 to HMS Cairo as she was during the Operation Pedestal in 1942.
Unfortunately, there is almost NO detailed pictures of her, though I've managed to find a couple more or less close to the period needed (attached below), so ANY information about her would be really, really appreciated!

For now the main questions being asked are: what her HACS directors are (Mk. IV or other?), how many oerlikons were fitted and what colours was she painted in?

Many thanks in advance lads!

 

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9 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

There's colour cine film of HMS Cairo during Pedestal. I need to rehost a still from it since VillagePhotos.com has apparently gone south, so it'll be tomorrow.

While I was looking through numerous British Pathe short documentaries, I watched tons of moments with HMS Nelson, aircraft carriers, Dido's and destroyers with not a single capture of Cairo, which made me curious whether she really participated 😅

Jamie, if you really have such a footage, it would be a great contribution to the build!

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5 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Here's a still. It's a short scene and you'll find it on Roland Smith's Royal Navy in Colour DVD :)

 

Many thanks Jamie! A great pic, now at least one question is off!

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The last 4 C class AA cruiser conversions, Cairo, Carlisle, Curacao and and Calcutta, received HACS Mk.III

 

The Oerlikon position is trickier. Raven & Roberts British Cruisers, my usual ref source for this kind of thing, says this "No armament changes listed, but it is probable that at least five single 20mm were fitted in 1942."

 

By way of comparison, Curacao had 5x20mm by Sept 1942. Carlisle 7x20mm by April 1942 replaced by 5 twins in Nov 1942. So my best guess for Cairo in Aug 1942 would be 5 singles in the same locations as Carlisle's twins ie one pair sided abreast fore funnel, a second pair sided just aft of mainmast and the final one aft of X gun on the shelter deck. But that is a guess.

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7 hours ago, EwenS said:

The Oerlikon position is trickier. Raven & Roberts British Cruisers, my usual ref source for this kind of thing, says this "No armament changes listed, but it is probable that at least five single 20mm were fitted in 1942."

Gidday, I've got a photocopied page from a book that says that too, verbatim. I didn't record the name of the book but it's probably what @EwenS refers to above.

I'm not an expert on these ships but given the date and the threat that aircraft had amply displayed by then I think it unlikely she wouldn't have had them fitted by the time of Pedestal. I must stress that this is a guess on my part too.

     That same reference I have says of HMS York "No armament changes known or listed". But I believe that York had her original single pompoms removed, later quad 50cals mounted alongside the superstructure and single 20mm Oerlikons fitted to the top of 'B' turret and the quarterdeck. So the fact that no changes were listed for HMS Cairo doesn't mean they didn't happen. HTH. Regards, Jeff.

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17 hours ago, EwenS said:

The last 4 C class AA cruiser conversions, Cairo, Carlisle, Curacao and and Calcutta, received HACS Mk.III

 

The Oerlikon position is trickier. Raven & Roberts British Cruisers, my usual ref source for this kind of thing, says this "No armament changes listed, but it is probable that at least five single 20mm were fitted in 1942."

 

By way of comparison, Curacao had 5x20mm by Sept 1942. Carlisle 7x20mm by April 1942 replaced by 5 twins in Nov 1942. So my best guess for Cairo in Aug 1942 would be 5 singles in the same locations as Carlisle's twins ie one pair sided abreast fore funnel, a second pair sided just aft of mainmast and the final one aft of X gun on the shelter deck. But that is a guess.


Hey!
Yes, that seem to be logically correct. There is a plenty of high-resolution pics of HMS Carlisle (I even thought of building her instead of HMS Cairo when the kit had arrived), so there won't be any problem to get the positioning of oerlikons if this way is chosen.
So very good guess anyway, thanks!

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10 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

I'm not an expert on these ships but given the date and the threat that aircraft had amply displayed by then I think it unlikely she wouldn't have had them fitted by the time of Pedestal

 

Hi Jeff!
I completely agree, a British cruiser in the Mediterranean really needed strong (relatively, taking into account the limited ability to strenghen it) AA defence weapons due to air menace.
 So oerlikons will it be, now's the time to decide, how many and where. I'd like to judje by the photos ans the most evident and clear source, but it is impossible with HMS Cairo. 
Well, there is always a possibility of someone holding unpublished unique pictures to show up and save me (like @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies saved me with the colours), but till that moment I'll have to stick to the guessings 😁

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  • 3 weeks later...

Confucius he say "When modeller makes best judgement of positioning equipment in the face of no substantive evidence, evidence proving it wrong will materialise after model is finished!"

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14 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Confucius he say "When modeller makes best judgement of positioning equipment in the face of no substantive evidence, evidence proving it wrong will materialise after model is finished!"


Oh God...
Despite my joy for the future modellers who'll be in a more advantageous position when decided to built Cairo...
I'll be really, really upset with my own positioning mistake 😁

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great! I think you can see at least three in the first photo you posted - either side of the fwd funnel and the single one aft of 'X' turret. The ones by the mast are harder to see. But the searchlights are not there anymore, there just seems to be one in the middle. So something must have replaced them. 

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  • 3 months later...

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