Author(s): John Blake
A familiar sight on the Thames at London Bridge, HMS Belfast is Royal Navy light cruiser, one of a group of ten Town-class cruisers, built in Belfast and launched in March 1938. Commissioned in early August 1939 shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, Belfast was initially part of the British naval blockade against Germany. In November 1939 she struck a German mine requiring repairs that lasted two years.
She returned to action in November 1942 with improved firepower, radar equipment, and armor, and saw action escorting Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union and played an important role in the Battle of North Cape, assisting in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst. In June 1944 Belfast supported the Normandy landings in Operation Overlord and in 1945 she was redeployed to the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet.
After the war she saw action in the Korean War and a number of other overseas actions before entering reserve in 1963. She has been part of the Imperial War Museum since 1978, receiving more than 250,000 visitors annually.
This little book comprises a series of documents that give information on the building of the ship, her wartime service history, and life on board.