The Spartan was a part of the Bellona subclass of the Dido class cruisers. They had one less main gun turret, but had more AA guns. Their bridge was also lowered by one deck and the funnels were more upright compared to earlier Didos.
Manchester had a relatively short yet active career, and was scuttled on the 13th of August, 1942 after being disabled by Italian motor torpedo boats during Operation Pedestal.
Her commanding officer, Captain Harold Drew, was court marshalled for this, as the Admiralty believed that Manchester was still able to reach port. While he was found to be guilty, the decision remains controversial. Many of the Manchester’s crew supported Captain Drew’s assessment of the situation and subsequent decision.