Been some great designs so far, big fan of Hood's especially. Anywho, here's my take, think of it as existing in an au of an au. If I have time I might try for a top-down view, but that's not likely given uni starts in a week and I'm still flat-chat at work. Also, I've pilfered quite a few bits and bobs, and taken a fair bit of inspiration, from some other drawings and designs. The propshafts are from one of Shigure's excellent cruiser designs, the 3-inch mounts are from the existing Worcester drawing, and Huehen's Admiral Kruz design served as a large dose of inspiration for the decision to use macks. The hull also takes a fair bit of inspiration from the Prinz Eugen, as I was staring at a rather shodily built model of it for a good few hours before starting.
HMWS Westralia (II)
With the Royal Westralian Navy's lease on an Atlanta-class cruiser (Westralia
I) set to expire before the foreseeable end to the global conflict, the Westralian Naval Committee examined options for its future replacement. A key requirement was established of a larger design with heavier armament, following a number of engagements in which RWN vessels were heavily outgunned, some of which resulted in the vessels loss (including the RWN's first ships HMWS Swordsman
). A limitation to any potential design however was the need to be able to use the 670ft (204m) graving dock under-construction in Henderson. The fledgling naval design bureau soon got to work on their biggest design so far, eventually emerging in 1945 with a 198m long heavy cruiser fitted with nine Mk15 8-inch guns in an all-forward arrangement similar to that of the battleships HMS Nelson
, just capable of squeezing into the Henderson drydock. However, by this point, the war was virtually at an end, and the design was shelved before construction began.
However, a post-war program was soon started that examined the replacement of the capability lost with the Atlanta-class cruiser as well as doing away with a number of beleaguered wartime destroyers, in support of a reduction of size of the hugely expanded Westralian military. The end result was the decision to construct a single heavy cruiser, HMWS Westralia (II)
, and two large destroyers, these forming the Kalgoorlie
class. The cruiser design from two years prior was dug up in 1947 and reconfigured and modified, receiving a new superstructure and armament. Six MK16 guns in two triple turrets (identical to that being used in the under-construction Des-Moines) would be fitted in an all forward arrangement, to help reduce weight and allow fitment within the constrained dimensions of the existing hull design. Twelve 5-inch guns in six MK38 twin mounts and twelve 3-inch guns in six MK33 mounts would make up the secondary and anti-air armament. Armour was reduced somewhat to help save on weight also. Construction on the cruiser began in 1947, with the destroyers not being anticipated as needed until into the early-mis 1950s they would begin construction later. The progress was slow, despite receiving significant assistance from the US shipbuilding industry, given that Westralia had never constructed a vessel of this size and complexity before. It was not until late-1951 that HMWS Westralia
was launched, and a further two years until she was completed and commissioned into the RWN. The destroyers followed six years later.
Displacement: 11,963 t
Range: 9,800nmi at 15kts
Machinery: 4 shaft General Electric turbines, 4 boilers, 120,000 shp
Armour: 100-130mm belt, 60mm deck, 51-203mm turrets, 160mm barbettes, 150mm conning tower
Armament: 6 x 203mm Mk16 (2 x 3), 12 x 127mm Mk12 (6 x Mk38 twin mounts), 12 x 76mm Mk22 (6 x Mk33 twin mount), 8 x 20mm Oerlikon (4 x 2)
Even at Westralia's
commissioning, many didn't expect her to have a long service life, many correctly perceiving the age of the cruiser to be well and truly over. Right from the get go, she was an expensive asset to maintain, and she constituted the single biggest draw on manpower resources in the entire RWN. After only 8 years in service, in 1961, plans were drawn up for her retirement and decommissioning, with this expected to happen in 1963-1964 timeframe. However, an unexpected development to the north saw this decision reversed. With Indonesia purchasing the former Ordzhonikidze
, a Sverdlov-class cruiser, from the USSR; the RWN saw Westralia
as the perfect counter, being the only other cruiser in the region and certainly the only regional vessel capable of challenging and ably defeating the now renamed KRI Irian
in a surface action. This prolonging of Westralia's
service life also saw her receive her first and only significant refit, with the two rear-most 5-inch guns being replaced by a Mk13 launcher for RIM-24 Tartar, and the radar, EW, and communications suites suitably upgraded. This occurred in 1965, and was seen as a test-run for the future refit of the Kalgoorlie's
in the near future.
However, the threat posed by KRI Irian
did not last long. By 1972, it had been sold to Taiwan for scrap, and Westralia
was no longer necessary as a counter to it. She continued to serve for a small time, before being decommissioned in 1976. Some called for her to be preserved, however, these calls fell on deaf ears, and she was sold for scrap in 1981.