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Tiburon Class

Line drawing of CLV  Tiburon

Displacement10,500 tons
Armament 2 x 3 6" + AA
Aircraft 24
Speed32.5 knots
VTS Rating(s) 0   0   7 (1)
In 1931 the US Navy studied a hybrid light cruiser/carrier design similar to the illustration. Most called it a 'timid cruiser' that would run from surface engagements. Others could see its value as a convoy escort or commercer raider. American negotiators successfully put forth a provision in the London Naval Treaty of 1930 to allow one-fourth of a nation's 10,000-ton cruisers to carry attack aircraft. Japan replied with the Sagami class but the Americans dropped the idea. The US Navy, unlike the Japanese, didn't appreciate the possibilities of a 'scout cruiser' that would free up a fleet CV's decks for strictly attack aircraft. Instead, they incorporated scouting squadrons equipped with bombs into their big CVs' own arsenal. This policy almost ended in disaster at Midway as the USN's attack was delayed due to the neccessity of landing the returning scouts back on board. It proved itself successful in the battles around the Solomons where stealthy scout bombers made impromptu hits on Japanese carriers.

In "Grand Fleet" the USN decides to adopt the idea of the flight-deck cruiser. The two CLV's ( Tiburon and Belvedere ) make handy raiders that can chase down and sink unescorted patrolling cruisers or add flexibility to the otherwise 'bonus-4-or-nothing' American CV response to Japanese moves.

Belvedere's aircraft sank two U-boats while escorting convoys to Russia but was sunk by German four-engined torpedo bombers (He-211) from Norway. Tiburon had a stellar career in the Pacific and took the first 'Skyraider' attack aircraft to raid ports in the Japanese homeland, blasting Nibai in Kure.

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