Class: Edinburgh Class (Modified Southampton Class) Cruiser
Launched: March 17, 1938 (St. Patrick’s Day)
At: Harland & Wolff Shipyard, Belfast Northern Ireland
Commissioned: August 5, 1939
Length: 613 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 69 feet
Draft: 19 feet, 9 inches
Displacement: 11,553 tons
Armament: (1959) twelve 6-inch guns in four triple turrets; eight 4-inch HA/LA guns ; twelve 40 mm Bofors AA (six twin mounts).
London SE1 2JH
(44) 207-940-6300 (international), 0207-940-6300 (U.K.)
Fax: (44) 207-403-0719 (international), 0207-403-0719 (U.K.)
Latitude: 51.506582, Longitude: -0.081427
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HMS Belfast offers the visitor a unique opportunity to experience how sailors lived, worked and fought onboard a Royal Navy cruiser during the Second World War.
Permanently moored in the Thames close to London Bridge, HMS Belfast was commissioned into the Royal Navy in August 1939. In late 1942 she was assigned for duty in the North Atlantic where she played a key role in the battle of North Cape, which ended in the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst. In June 1944 HMS Belfast led the naval bombardment off Normandy in support of the Allied landings of D-Day. She last fired her guns in anger during the Korean War, when she earned the name “that straight-shooting ship”. HMS Belfast is now part of the Imperial War Museum.
A tour of HMS Belfast takes approximately two hours, giving visitors the opportunity to discover all nine decks of this historic warship. Visitors can explore from the captain’s bridge all the way down to the massive boiler and engine rooms well below the ship’s waterline, including the hammock-slung mess decks, six-inch gun turrets, galley, operations room, sick bay, punishment cells and more. Scale models, photographs, audio-visual displays and sound effects, and specially created smells all help to bring the ship to life. And, of course, having emerged from below decks, visitors can enjoy light refreshments onboard, visit the shop ashore, or just relax on the upper deck and enjoy the busy river scene.