HMAS Derwent (CLA-1912 (1934-mod))


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The Derwent class cruisers were the Australis Navies clones of the successful scout cruisers of the Royal Navy Boadicea class. The difference between completion dates for the various classes built in Australis to Royal Navy designs was quite simple. The Australis yards were slower and not in an arms race with the Germanic States. The RN Boadiceas completed in 1909/10 while the 4 Derwents completed in 1912-13. These were the first cruiser type vessels built for the Australis Navy with turbine equipment for the propulsion units in place of the previous triple-expansion engines. Light and fast for their time they gave a glamour to the Australis Navy of fast ships pounding out of harbour on mysterious journeys the average man could only dream about. "Join the navy and see the world!!"

Like all ships of the pre-WW1 era, it depended on their war service as to wether they would survive past 1930, and to what the ships would become in whatever new duties they would be assigned. The Derwents had had an easy war in the Eastern Mediteranean with none receiving any battle damage despite being under fire from Turkish shore batteries. From 1916 they were used as convoy escorts from Port Said to Perth which was some of the cushiest assignments you could get. The only action during this time was arriving to help Bendigo rescue survivors from the Germanic States raider Kormorant, Bendigo had just sunk.

From 1930 the ships were given new assignments to be used and re-armed as anti-aircraft cruisers. To this end the ships were finally converted from coal to oil firing, fitted with a new bridge structure and given 6 of the new 4.5" guns in single open mountings. Some thought had been given to fitting them with the new twin 4.5" turrets but the cost was exorbitant for what was to be a minor duties ship.


Displacement 3200 tons std, 4,100 tons full load
Length 405 ft
Breadth 41 ft
Draught 12 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 19,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 4500 miles at 12 knots
Armour 2" side, 1" deck
Armament 6 x 4.5" (6x1)

4 x 20mm (1x2 2x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 320
Notes HMAS Derwent (1912)

HMAS Rubicon (1912)

HMAS Tamar (1913)

HMAS Styx (1913)


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