Light cruiser HSM Belfast First, let’s learn some naval ship history. As we all know, England ruled the seas during the era of tall ships. In the late 1800s, the era of steam and motor-powered ships made of steel began. The vessels were built larger and larger and the battle ship cannons bigger and bigger. But even then, England continued to rule the oceans. No other world maritime nation has built so many battle ships as Great Britain. Today, time has passed by the large battle ships with cannons. The last battle ships were built during the World War II. Instead of them, the seas are now dominated by aircraft carriers and submarines.

HMS Belfast is a light cruiser dating back to the Second World War. It has functioned as a museum since 1971 and is moored on the River Thames between Tower Bridge and London Bridge. The Tower of London stands on the opposite side of the river. The vessel’s displacement is slightly over 11,000 tons, compared to over 40,000 tons of the largest battle ships. Its main armaments are twelve six-inch (152 mm) and twelve four-inch (102 mm) guns. The six-inch guns are located in four triple turrets, whilst the four-inch guns are in six twin mounts. HMS Belfast has participated in numerous battle assignments during the World War II, including the invasion of Normandy, or the “D-Day”.

At the end of the war, the cruiser was transferred to the Far East waters, where HMS Belfast also participated in the Korean War and other operations. In 1962, it was brought back to European waters and was soon thereafter taken out of active service. It has served as a museum for the past 40 years.


HMS Belfast — 2 Comments

  1. This is one of the best attractions for us big boys! The ship has quite a history and has been around the world defending the fame of the British Empire. You can almost believe you are a marine, aiming at the enemy with the massive guns on board. HMS Belfast is very conveniently positioned near to the Tower of London, which I believe is on every tourist’s sightseeing list, so at least a short visit is in order to honor those that fought for our freedom.

  2. OK, we have to admit it, Britain really has a great war history behind it. This ship is one example of the power of the British Empire at its hey days and thus a must for all war historians. It is also a nice place to take your male kids, no doubt they will be thrilled of having a chance to get on board and feel like a member of its legendary crew. Other great war-related sights in London are also the Churchill War Rooms and Imperial War Museum.

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