HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association


HMS Ajax VII Cruiser General

ajax crest 1


Some archive papers, undated, shows the following information:

6,840 tons ~ 680 crew increased eventually to 840

2x Seafox aircraft. Main armament (in addition to above) ~ 1941, captured Italian 'Breda' 20mm cannon and later in 1943 with 40mm 'Bofors' AA guns ~ 2x quadruple Whitehead 21" Mk8 torpedoes.

Ajax was decommissioned in February 1948 and initially intended to be sold to the Chilean Navy but this deal did not take place as Winston Churchill thought that the history of such an important vessel would be better preserved by being broken up. She ended up at Cashmore Ship Breakers in Newport, South Wales, on 18 November 1949.

Ajax 1935 - 1949 Itinerary

This document is a scanned replica of a document held within the Association's archives. Its source is unknown but contains some comments by previous Association Officers

HMS Ajax Cruiser Particulars


Displacement (as built): light - 7259 tons; ½ Oil - 8626 tons; Deep - 9512 tons

Displacement (Oct 1942): light - 7379 tons; ½ Oil - 8768 tons; Deep - 9653 tons

By Oct 1945 full load displacement recorded as 9650 tons



Length: 552ft (pp); 554ft (oa)

Beam: 56ft



6 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

4 sets of Parsons inputs/reaction turbines

Single-reduction geared turbines

4 shafts

72,000shp = 32½ knots (31 knots full load)


Oil Fuel: 1800 tons


Endurance: 10300 miles @ 12 knots; 6300 miles @ 20 knots;

2200 miles at max continuous sea speed


Armour & Protective Plating

Crowns to magazine: 2ins NC

Sides to magazine: 3.5ins NC

Crowns to engine rooms: 1.25ins DI

Sides to engine rooms: 3ins NC on 1ins DI

Crowns to boiler rooms: 1.25ins DI

Sides to boiler rooms: 3ins NC on 1ins DI

Turret roofs: 1ins NC


Complement: 570 (as private ship)



Eight 6ins Mk XXIII on four twin MK XVI mountings (200 rpg)

Four 4ins Mk V on four single Mk IV mountings (250 rpg)

Three 0.5ins on quadruple Mk II mountings

Eight 21ins torpedo tubes on two quadruple mountings QR IV


Fire Control Equipment

One Director Control Tower (for 6ins guns) and one HACS Mk III (for

4ins guns) on bridge

Ajax 1935 - 1949 Itinerary