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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. By the time HMAS Adelaide was completed she was obsolete.

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. She was sometimes called HMAS Long-Delayed as a result.

Ships

HMAS Birmingham

  • Manufacturer: Cockatoo Island Dockyard
  • Cost: £1,271,782
  • January 1915, November 20, 1917: Laid down.
  • July 1918, July 27, 1918: Launched.
  • August 1922, August 4, 1922: Completed. Became training ship.
  • April 1924: Joined Royal Navy's Special Service Squadron for world cruise.
  • April 1925: Returned to Australia.
  • June 27, 1928: Put into reserve in Sydney.
  • 1937: 12 pdr gun removed.
  • 1938 - 1939, 1938 - March 13, 1939: Refit at Cockatoo Island. Forward coal fired boilers and forward funnel removed. One 6" gun removed and three 4" anti-aircraft guns added. Torpedo tubes removed.
  • September 1, 1939: Recommissioned.
  • December 1939 - January 1940: Based in Freemantle.
  • February - April 1940: Refit at Sydney.
  • 1940 - May 1942: Patrolled around Australia.
  • May - July 1942: Refit at Garden Island. Six 20 mm guns added.
  • July 1942: Based at Freemantle for patrolling the Indian Ocean.
  • November 28, 1942: Sank German blockade runner Ramses while escorting convoy OW1.
  • June - September 1943: Refit at Willamstown Dockyard. One 6" and one 4" gun removed. Depth charge launchers added.
  • February 26, 1945: Put into reserve in Sydney.
  • May 19, 1945: Became tender to Penguin.

 

Usage

Primarily did escort and patrolling duty around Australia.

Specifications

  Birmingham class after 1939 refit
Crew 470
Displacement 5,100 tons, 5,550 tons
Displacement - Loaded 6,100 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 426' 9", 462' 8"
141.1 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 430'
131.1 m
Length - Water Line  
Beam 49' 10", 50'
15.2 m
Draft / Height 15' 9", 16'
4.9 m
Draft / Height - Maximum 17' 9" - 19'
Performance  
Speed 24.3 knots, 25.5 knots
Range at 10 knots  
Armament 6": 8
6" L/50: 8
Anti-Aircraft 4": 3
3 pdr: 4
Armor  
Belt - Main 3"
Control Tower 4"
Deck 1.5", 2"
Engines  
Boilers Yarrow
Shafts 2
Turbines Parsons
HP 23,500, 25,000
Oil 1,412 tons, 1,420 tons

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