London file photo [3534]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassCounty-class Heavy Cruiser
BuilderHM Dockyard, Portsmouth, Britain
Laid Down23 Feb 1926
Launched14 Sep 1927
Commissioned31 Jan 1929
Decommissioned3 Jan 1950
Displacement9,840 tons standard; 13,315 tons full
Length633 feet
Beam66 feet
Draft21 feet
Machinery8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, Parsons (Brown-Curtis in Berwick) geared steam turbines, 4 shafts
Power Output80,000 shaft horsepower
Speed31 knots
Range8,000nm at 10kts, 2,300nm at 30kts
Armament4x2x203mm, 4x102mm, 4x40mm 2pdr, 2x4x12.7mm, 2x4x533mm torpedoes
Armor3.5in main belt, 1.25-1.5in lower deck, 1-4in main box citadels, 1in turrets


ww2dbaseLondon was a County-class heavy cruiser of the London-subclass. Until Mar 1939, she served with the 1st Cruiser Squadron, including time as the flagship of the squadron. During the Spanish Civil War, she assisted in the evacuation of civilians from Barcelona. During WW2, she participated in the Royal Navy's hunt for the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941, and then served on Russian convoy escort duties until Nov 1942. In the latter years of the war, she served with the Eastern Fleet based in Ceylon. After the war, London served in China, and was involved in the Yangtze Incident alongside of frigate Amethyst as Communist Chinese forces bombarded British ships on the Yangtze River. She was broken up at Barrow-in-Furness in 1950.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: May 2007

Heavy Cruiser London Interactive Map


Waves splashing onto the bow of cruiser London, circa early 1942, probably as she hunted for German battleship TirpitzUSS Tuscaloosa in Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom while she was operating with the British Home Fleet, April 1942. The British heavy cruiser HMS London is in the background.USS Wichita and HMS London escorting Allied convoy PQ-17, Jun 1942King George VI of the United Kingdom aboard HMS London at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom, 16 Aug 1943
See all 5 photographs of Heavy Cruiser London

London Operational Timeline

31 Jan 1929 London was commissioned into service.
5 Jun 1941 British cruiser HMS London and destroyer HMS Brilliant, using Ultra intercepts, intercepted and attacked German tanker Egerland 700 miles southwest of Cape Verde islands. Egerland's crew scuttled the ship; all 94 aboard survived.
22 Sep 1941 British cruiser HMS London departed Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom with Lord Beaverbrook and Averell Harriman aboard for Archangel, Russia for Lend-Lease discussions. She was escorted by Soviet and British destroyers.
27 Sep 1941 HMS London arrived in Archangel, Russia with Lord Beaverbrook and Averell Harriman aboard.
14 Sep 1942 HMS Cumberland joined HM Cruisers Sheffield, Suffolk and London to cover passage and landing of Norwegian party at Spitzbergen, Norway (Operation Gearbox. Note: This deployment also covered passage of Russian Convoy PQ18.).
21 Mar 1944 HMS Cumberland carried out offensive sweep in Indian Ocean with HM Battleships Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, HM Battlecruiser Renown, HM Aircraft Carrier Illustrious, HM Cruisers London, Gambia and Ceylon screened by fleet destroyers. (Operation Diplomat).
8 Sep 1944 HMS Cumberland exercised with HM Battleship Howe, HMS London and HMS Gambia.
17 Oct 1944 HMS Cumberland bombarded airfields on Nicobar Islands with HM Cruisers London, Suffolk and Fleet destroyers as Task Group 63.2 (Operation Millet. Note: This was a diversionary operation during the US assault on Leyte and included attacks on Japanese positions).
8 Apr 1945 HMS Cumberland joined Task Group 63.2 with HMS Queen Elizabeth, French Battleship Richelieu and HMS London screened by 5 Fleet destroyers to cover air reconnaissance flights by HM Escort Aircraft Carriers Empress and Khedive at Port Swettenham (now Port Klang) and Port Dickson, Malaya (now Malaysia). (Operation Sunfish).
3 Jan 1950 London was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Mike lunn says:
1 Nov 2015 04:51:21 AM

I have a photo album with many historic pictures of HMS London however it has been in my procession for many years and felt that it may be of interest to someone who may have served on her or had some connection with her .
2. Anonymous says:
27 Nov 2016 11:16:17 AM

hello I am desperate to know if anybody has any records of
J.simmonds h.m.s London 1929-1930 div.two. Med.fleet ?????
3. George Teece says:
10 Mar 2017 11:35:00 PM

I would be interested in discussing with anrone who had connections with London as I inherited family medal for Yangtze
4. Martin Owens says:
25 Jul 2017 04:53:27 PM

Hi My Grandpa William George Owens served onboard HMS London throughout WW2 & afterwards including the Yangtze incident. He served as a stocker or stockers mate.
He came from Penlan, Swansea. West Glamorgan South Wales. He was married to Lucy Doreaen & had 4children ( Tom my Dad, Gladys, Diane & Christine) if anyone has any information regarding him & his service details I would be eternally grateful. Grandpa died in1973 just 55yrs old of stomach cancer.
Thank you,
Martin Owen
5. Anthony Thorne says:
18 Feb 2018 10:53:05 AM

My father William (Bill) Henry Walter Tho \\rne served on HMS London during WW2 and the Yangste Incident and would like to know more about him. He also served on HMS Belfast and possibly HMS Birmingham
6. Kerry ogara says:
11 Nov 2018 03:59:05 AM

My grandad Derek Rothon is looking for and would like to get in touch with anyone who is still around that served on the HMS London in the Yangtze incident in 1949. Any information would be greatly received.
7. Martin Owens says:
7 Jan 2019 01:26:09 PM

Hi Mike lunn
My name is Martin Owens, I am the grandson of William George Owens (Stoker) on HMS London, he served all his War service on London (C69)
Also he continued his Naval career on HMS London after the war along with the ship & her ships company served on her during the Yangtse incident in 1949 where she was damaged and had to return to Hong Kong the Far East base for repairs. Then returning to the UK in 1950-51where she was laid up & deemed to expensive to repair in the Fal estuary, where the decision was to lay her up to be scrapped. I'm extremely interested in purchasing the album that you are happy to pass onto someone with connections with my Grampa's ship. My email is listed above.
Thank you very much
8. Andy Barker says:
3 Nov 2019 01:27:24 PM

Hi my dad served on HMS London during the yangtze incident in 1949 he was a radar operator and his name was Richard Henry Barker sadly he passed away in 1988 Unfortunately I cant find any record of this he was born on 22 August 1928. Any one remember him.
9. Karen Landles says:
3 Jan 2021 04:26:51 AM

My sister and I are looking for photos or information about Albert (Bert) Landles who served on London around 1946 and 1950. He worked in communications. Any information would be gratefully received thank you. Karen
10. Matthew Blake says:
21 Jul 2022 07:04:52 AM

My Father was an artificer on HMS London at the time of the Yangtze Incident, James sadly passed away in 2018 , I'm sure my dad would have known most if not all the crewman down below as the engine room was his main station.
11. Anonymous says:
14 Jan 2023 05:34:11 AM

Messers Barker Landles and Blake were not injured in the Yangtse incident according to a casualty list I have.

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Event(s) Participated:
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» Battle of Denmark Strait
» Arctic Convoys
» Operation Cockpit and Operation Transom

Heavy Cruiser London Photo Gallery
Waves splashing onto the bow of cruiser London, circa early 1942, probably as she hunted for German battleship Tirpitz
See all 5 photographs of Heavy Cruiser London

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