CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide

In the Pool of London

Town-class

Ship's bell

Looking aft

Once enemies, now friends

Load them guns

Anchor's aweigh

Starboard amidships

Clean clothes

Meow

Art

Woodworking

Sick bay

Root canal

Switches

Galley

Soup?

Hot cross buns

Transmitting station

Forward steering position

Gyro compass

Hot water

Pipes, tubes and ducts

Engine room floor

Maze

Not hot, right now

Furnace

Lucky 7

Full speed ahead

Throttles

Gears!

Reduction gear

Not exactly an LCD

Canteen

Yo, ho, ho

Hammock Town

Sleep where you eat

Armory

Up elevator

VHF and UHF equipment room

Not bad for some

Radar

The bleeps, the sweeps and the creeps

High tech

Compass platform

The view upriver

Boat deck

From the Tower

The HMS Belfast served her country for 24 years, including firing on the beaches before the D-Day invasion, helping sink the German battleship Tirpitz, and more. It's now a museum ship. For the full story, check out: Take a tour of the HMS Belfast.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The walk across the gangplank from the South Bank of the river Thames gives you a good sense of the size. It’s a light cruiser, so it’s a lot smaller than other WWII vessels you can tour.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

One of the first things you see when you board the Belfast is the solid silver ship's bell.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Down the length of the ship, Tower Bridge downriver.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The ship docked alongside the Belfast on one of my tour days was the German cruise ship Berlin. If that’s not a sign of time and the world moving on, I don’t know what is.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Inside the front turret. The shells are lifted from far below (which we’ll see later).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

A serious anchor.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Like most museum ships, many passageways are filled with other exhibits. Here, a replica of one of the torpedoes the Belfast carried.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The laundry room from the 1950s refit. Before then the crew washed their laundry in buckets.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Yep, that’s a cat. These soulless killing machines were kept on board to do what they did best: kill things. Specifically, mice.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

There was an art exhibit called "The Tourists" going on when I was there. It was some kind of take on Mardi Gras. It was freaky.

From this room music was piped through the ship.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Ships need to be able to repair themselves, to an extent, while on tour. Here you can see the shipwright’s room.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Recovery cots dead ahead, operating room to the right.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Can’t escape the need for a dentist at sea.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

There is something so cool, and sort of menacing, about exposed and massive switches like these.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The quite sizeable galley. It continues back farther about three rooms this size.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Soup, anyone? Soup, everyone.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Fancy a biscuit? Yep, it’s a bakery.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The mechanical computers here calculated where to aim the guns.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Different from what you'd expect, the main steering wheel is actually inside the ship. No windows.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

This gyro compass always points north, to aid navigation in high seas.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

This washroom is close to the engine room, so hot water didn't have to get piped around the ship (much).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The forward engine room. On the right is one of the huge fans to feed the boilers.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

A rare open space in the engine room. The boilers are on the right.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Imagine, there were many men who knew where every one of these pipes went and what it carried.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Pre-heated fuel oil got atomized here, to get sent through those tiny holes...

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

...to the furnace to make steam. The steam was used for a variety of things, including turning generators for electric power.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Up to seven of the "oil fuel registers" were used on each boiler.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Literally.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Three separate controls: one for ahead, one for astern and one for efficient cruising.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

I saw this awesomeness on the far side of the engine room. Any guesses?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

This is one of the huge reduction gears connected to the propeller shaft.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

These gorgeous analog dials gave the engineers everything they needed to keep the engines running.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

I thought they did a great job stocking the canteen with cans and goods that would have been found while the ship was in service.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

A still. No joke, British sailors got rations of grog.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

There were few crew quarters on the Belfast. Sailors instead had hammocks stretched above areas that had other uses.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Not a lot of daily variety.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Deep inside the ship is the armory.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Ignore the creepy sailor mannequin. The shells would be loaded into elevators and raised into the turrets.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The gear here, along with antennas outside, allowed the Belfast to communicate with other vessels, the shore and so on.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The officers got far better accommodations, with little things like "beds" and "a window."

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Radar would have been cutting-edge naval technology in the Second World War, but of course the Belfast saw service afterwards and was kept up to date.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

I didn't detect any enemy aircraft. I might have been reading it wrong.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Here an incredibly lifelike mannequin worked to figure out what caused a blue screen of death. I guess Win98 was terrible in the '60s too.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The bridge (or compass platform, as it was called), was exposed prior to the 1950s refit.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Rumor has it the guns are fixed on a gas station on the M25, the motorway that rings London.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

A variety of small boats were stored here, along with a Supermarine Walrus.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

If you're headed to the Tower of London, or Tower Bridge, you can't miss the Belfast, and if you're a fan of WWII ships, you shouldn't.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison
Published:
Up Next
Sony A7R III photos and full-resolu...
15