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Australia's flag

Australia's Birmingham class Cruiser

Photos

HMAS Adelaide:
HMAS Adelaide
Australian War Museum, 300081

Design

The HMAS Adelaide was originally part of a class of ships that had their design started in 1908.1 By the time HMAS Adelaide was completed she was obsolete.1

Built completely in Australia it did take seven and a half years to complete the Adelaide as there were delays in getting the machinery from Great Britain.1 She was sometimes called HMAS Long-Delayed as a result.1

Ships

HMAS Birmingham

  • Manufacturer: Cockatoo Island Dockyard1,3
  • Cost: £1,271,7823
  • January 19153, November 20, 1917: Laid down.1
  • July 19183, July 27, 1918: Launched.1,2,3
  • August 19223, August 4, 1922: Completed.1 Became training ship.1
  • April 1924: Joined Royal Navy's Special Service Squadron for world cruise.1
  • April 1925: Returned to Australia.1
  • June 27, 1928: Put into reserve in Sydney.1
  • 1937: 12 pdr gun removed.1
  • 1938 - 19392,3, 1938 - March 13, 1939: Refit at Cockatoo Island.1 Forward coal fired boilers and forward funnel removed.1,2,3 One 6" gun removed and three 4" anti-aircraft guns added.1 Torpedo tubes removed.1,2
  • September 1, 1939: Recommissioned.1
  • December 1939 - January 1940: Based in Freemantle.1
  • February - April 1940: Refit at Sydney.1
  • 1940 - May 1942: Patrolled around Australia.1
  • May - July 1942: Refit at Garden Island.1 Six 20 mm guns added.1
  • July 1942: Based at Freemantle for patrolling the Indian Ocean.1
  • November 28, 1942: Sank German blockade runner Ramses while escorting convoy OW1.1
  • June - September 1943: Refit at Willamstown Dockyard.1 One 6" and one 4" gun removed.1 Depth charge launchers added.1
  • February 26, 1945: Put into reserve in Sydney.1
  • May 19, 1945: Became tender to Penguin.1

 

Usage

Primarily did escort and patrolling duty around Australia.1

Specifications

  Birmingham class after 1939 refit
Crew 4701,3
Displacement 5,100 tons3, 5,550 tons1
Displacement - Loaded 6,100 tons1,2
Physical Characteristics  
Length 426' 9"1, 462' 8"3
141.1 m1
Length - Between Perpendiculars 430'1
131.1 m1
Length - Water Line  
Beam 49' 10"3, 50'1
15.2 m1
Draft / Height 15' 9"3, 16'1
4.9 m1
Draft / Height - Maximum 17' 9" - 19'3
Performance  
Speed 24.3 knots1, 25.5 knots3
Range at 10 knots  
Armament 6": 81
6" L/50: 83
Anti-Aircraft 4": 31,3
3 pdr: 43
Armor  
Belt - Main 3"1,3
Control Tower 4"1
Deck 1.5"1, 2"3
Engines  
Boilers Yarrow3
Shafts 23
Turbines Parsons3
HP 23,5001, 25,0003
Oil 1,412 tons3, 1,420 tons1,2

Sources:

  1. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site