De Ruyter-class cruiser

This cruiser was the first to be built after the Java - class. The navy felt the need to always have 2 cruisers operational, also when a cruiser was in drydock for maintenance or repairs. A third cruiser was needed, but this one was built in a time when the world fell into a large economical depression, so the government didn't want to spend much money on the Defence Department. The first designs really felt the impact of this decision, and was only equipped with 6 guns, not 8 as is assumed by most people. This design met heavy resistance and the design was improved, now carrying 7 guns, but still inferior to the light cruisers of other nations. When compared with other cruisers of the same time ( like British Leander-class ), it showed that her main battery lacked firepower, and her armour wasn't impressive either. On the other hand, her merits were a very good firecontrol system for her main battery, and a very advanced AA-battery of 10 40 mm Bofors, probably the most effective medium AA gun of it's time. This battery was directed by a very advanced AA-fire control system and was just like the fire control system of her main battery, a Dutch product of Hazemeyer Signaal. The first trials showed that her stackcap wasn't satisfactory, and was replaced by another one. Furthermore, she was assigned flagship of the Netherlands East Indies Squadron, but her bridge was not very well suited for that task. After May 1940, more money was spent on the navy, and a plan was designed to alter it, but due to the invasion of Japan and the sinking of De Ruyter in the Java Sea, this plan was never carried out.

De Ruyter design scheme (note the German-like conning tower)

Construction details
Name De Ruyter
Dockyard Wilton Feijenoord, Rotterdam
Dockyardnumber 652
Ordered August 1 1932
Laid down September 16 1933
Launched May 11 1935
Commissioned October 3 1936
Status Sunk in the Battle of the Java Sea, February 27/28 1942


Displacement 6442 tons standard / 7822 tons full load
Crew 437
Dimensions 170,92 (oa) x 15,70 (max) x 5 m
Armament 7 x 150 mm Bofors No. 9 and 10
10 x 40 mm Bofors L/60 No.3
8 x .50 MG
Fire control system For main battery and AA one Hazemeyer type each.
Aircraft 2 Fokker C 11 W floatplanes with a Heinkel K 8 catapult

Armour details
Deck 33 mm
Turrets 33 mm sides
100 mm front side
Belt 30 - 51 mm
Tower 33 mm
Bulkheads 33 mm

Propulsion details
Boilers 6 Yarrow
Machinery 3 Parsons geared steam turbines
Performance 66000 SHP (75000 SHP for short periods of time)
Max speed 32 knots *
Cruising speed 17 knots
Bunkerage 1300 t oil
Range 6800 nautical miles @ 12 knots
Shafts 2
* De Ruyter reached 32,84 knots on her trials after a major boiler repair job in 1941. On her trials, the engine output was 68.910 SHP for 33,56 knots
** built under license by dockyard "De Schelde", Vlissingen

Related Links

Photos of De Ruyter (including 2002-2003 wreck photos)

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