HMS Superb

Vessel name on Arrival: HMS Superb

HMS Superb

Original Builder: Swan, Hunter, & Wigham Richardson, Wallsnd on Tyne

Original Yard No: 1683

Official Number:

Vessel Type: cruiser

GRT: 8885

Year Built: 1944

Arrival Date: 15/05/1961

Breakup Started: 08/01/1962

Date First Beached: 15/05/1961

Date Breakup Completed: 29/08/1962

Draught For’d: 3' 6"

Draught Aft: 10' 9"

Name Changes:

Other Information:

Minotaur-Class Light Cruiser HMS SUPERB for the Royal Navy                         Pennant No. 25


23-06-1942  :   Keel Laid Down                    Dimensions  :   169.3 metres  x  20.0 metres  x  5.26 metres

31-08-1943  :   Launched                               Tonnage  :   8,885 tons  /  11,480 tons

16-11-1945  :   Completed                             Quadruple-Screw Propulsion


MDevelopmment and career oachinery :  4  x  Parsons Steam Turbines serviced by 4  x  Admiralty design 3-Drum Watertube Boilers


Engine Output & Vessel Speed  :   72,500 SHP   /    32 knots


Ranges  :   2,000 nautical miles @ 30 knots mean speed  /  8,000 nautical miles @ 16 knots mean speed


Complement  :   867 men



3  x  Triple 6 inch Mk. 23 Guns

5  x  Dual 4 inch QF Mk. 16 HA Guns

4  x  Quadruple 2-pounder Guns

6  x  Single 40mm A.A. Guns

2  x  Triple Torpedo Tubes


+  Vessel de-commissioned in 1957

+  Arrived Dalmuir, Clydeside, for initial breaking by Arnott Young, Shipbreakers, on 08-08-1960

+  Vessel arrived for final breaking at Troon's West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company on 16-05-1961




HMS Superb was the last of the Minotaurs to be built, and was completed to a slightly different design to that of the previous members of the class, with a foot more beam than her immediate predecessor HMS Swiftsure, which had introduced Type 274 lock and follow radar directors for surface action.


With HMS Superb, the first Type 275 sets, modified versions of the lock and follow radar, were introduced to also control anti aircraft fire of the twin four inch mounts. Unfortunately the versions of 275 fitted were the British glasshouse director version, which had higher tolerances and less reliability than the American versions of the set, which were reserved for the latter Battle class destroyers and carriers HMS Eagle and HMS Ark Royal under construction and in particular the last battleship, HMS Vanguard for its secondary armamment.


Construction on her unfinished sisters was halted after the end of the war and they were later scrapped, or converted into the new HMS Tiger class automatic gun cruisers. HMS Superb was involved in the Corfu Channel Incident in 1946, but otherwise had an unremarkable career, spending some time as the flagship of Rear Admiral Sir Herbert Packer, and was decommissioned in 1957.


She was sold three years later and arrived at the Dalmuir yards of Arnott Young on 8 August 1960 to be scrapped. Although HMS Superb was the latest of the line of 6-inch gun cruisers to be completed, (the 1943 Minotaur class followed directly from the 1938 Colony and 1936 Town classes), she was also one of the first of this type to be broken up.


Plans for her modernisation were abandoned after the Duncan Sandys 1957 defence review. No more cruiser modernisations were approved, with new guided missile ships to take precedence. Pre-war ships lasted longer, showing the difference between peacetime and wartime building standards.