Origins and Design Notes Edit
The Crusader class was developed in parallel with the contemporary Prince Consort-class heavy cruisers within King Roger III's initial naval armaments program, as the RMN's Bureau of Ships had already recognized that the Prince Consorts were unsuitable for flagship duties due to the many compromises made during their design process.
The Crusaders were intended to complement the Prince Consorts in the area the other, more numerous class was more handicapped: flag and squadron command. For this, the Crusaders were based upon a modified Prince Consort design, trading one graser and two missile launchers in each broadside to mount dedicated flag command and associated staff facilities, and the RMN planners intended the Crusaders to be built simultaneously with the Prince Consorts at a rate of 1-to-7, thus producing heavy cruiser squadrons based upon the Prince Consorts and led by a Crusader flagship.
However, the Crusader building program and naval planning failed to take into account the eventual need for refits and yard time throughout the ships' lifetimes, and therefore the number of available Crusaders for flag duty fell twenty-five percent short of the Navy's estimations.
In addition, the class did not enjoy Edward Janacek's appreciation during his first tenure as First Lord of Admiralty. Due to Janacek's – and the Conservative Association's – distaste for foreign, "imperialistic" adventures which collided with their view of the Navy as a purely defensive force with an additional role in commerce protection, the suitability of the Crusaders as ready flagships for heavy cruiser squadrons that could be deployed to far stations in an exercise of "gunboat diplomacy" were less than welcome.
One of Janacek's decisions as First Lord was to cut funding for the Crusader-class for almost seventy percent, thus reducing the number of available ships and increasing every individual ship's price tag. Eventually, the number of available Crusaders was insufficient to meet the demands of flagships for the Prince Consort-equipped squadrons, thereby forcing the Navy to employ the newer Star Knight-class vessels instead. (HH7)
Technical Specifications Edit
Known Ships Edit
- HMS Crusader – lead ship of the class
- HMS Alexius
- HMS Eleanor
- HMS Frederick
- HMS Iberiana
- HMS LaFroye
- HMS Philip
- HMS Richard
- HMS Tancred
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