Entering service between 1937 and 1939, the ten British Town class cruisers were
the most modern vessels of their type in the Royal Navy when World War II began.
Built in response to large 6-inch gunned cruisers in the U.S. and Japanese
navies and primarily designed for the defense of trade, they saw arduous service
in a wide range of roles, playing a decisive part in victories such as the
Battle of the Barents Sea and the destruction of the German Navy's Scharnhorst
at the North Cape. The cost was heavy: four of the ships were lost and the other
six all survived heavy damage, in