HMS Cumberland was laid down when Great Britain truly ruled the waves, by the time she decommissioned in 1959, Britannia’s rule over the oceans had almost gone. Her story in many ways mirrors the changing fortunes of the Royal Navy from the time of Empire through the savagery of World War Two and into the nuclear era.
She served in all theatres of the war and was present as the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled at the end of the Battle of the River Plate in 1939. Later she would serve with distinction in the Arctic convoys, the Mediterranean, European theatres and in the closing stages of the Second World War in the fight against Japan. A period as a trials ship followed in peacetime.