Ship Details


County Class Heavy Cruiser



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scrapped on 3/1/1950


Following the Second World War, and being the Royal Navy's only modernised 8-inch gun cruiser, London was refitted for further service in early 1946 to allow her to serve in the postwar fleet. Following the refit she sailed for the far east in 1946 and served there for the next three years on the China Station.
Main article: Amethyst Incident
In the spring of 1949 the frigate Amethyst became trapped by advancing Communist Chinese forces up the Yangtze River. London sailed up the river as a show of strength in an attempt to help free the frigate. The Communist forces were not intimidated and took the cruiser under fire. London returned fire with her 8-inch and 4-inch guns, firing several hundred rounds, but was hit several times. Her two forward 8-inch turrets and "X" turret aft were damaged and rendered inoperable, and her bridge sustained several hits. London retreated down river and returned to Hong Kong for repairs which lasted until the end of July.
London remained in Chinese waters until August 1949, when she was relieved by HMS Kenya, and she returned to the UK in the autumn of 1949. London was surveyed to determine if an extensive repair and refit for further service was feasible, but the condition of her machinery (dating back to 1928 and not replaced during her rebuild in the 1930s), as well as the large crew she required made her too expensive a proposition, given Britain's post war financial difficulties. She was retired to reserve in the River Fal until sold for scrapping in 1950. (accessed on 23/3/2018)



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