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Pennant Number: 83
Notes: The SOUTHAMPTON class were larger than the preceding ARETHUSA class and more in line with light cruisers being built by other navies. The 6" triple mountings were capable of 45° elevation. The armored belt was raised to the upper deck as in the PERTH class light cruisers, but was more extensive along the waterline (although it did not cover the 6" ammunition spaces). There was a hangar behind the bridge which could store two aircraft, and an athwartships catapult was mounted. Tactical diameter was 780 yards at 14 knots. During World War II, all of the class had their AA armaments augmented, and all except SOUTHAMPTON (which had been sunk in 1941) had their "X" turret removed and replaced with additional AA guns.
At the beginning of World War II, SOUTHAMPTON was serving with Home Fleet; she was soon transferred to the Mediterranean. On 10 January, 1941, while about 200 miles east-southeast of Malta, SOUTHAMPTON was attacked by German Ju-87 dive bombers. She was hit by at least two (and possibly three) 550-pound bombs, which started fires in the after superstructure and the forward boiler room. The fires quickly got out of hand, and soon SOUTHAMPTON lost both power and water to fight the fires. After her crew abandoned ship, SOUTHAMPTON was sunk the next day by a torpedo from GLOUCESTER and four torpedoes from ORION. 81 of her crew were killed in action.