HMAS Brisbane (1915)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other ships of the same name, see HMAS Brisbane.
HMAS Brisbane
HMAS Brisbane shortly after completion in 1916
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Brisbane
Builder: Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney
Laid down: 25 January 1913
Launched: 30 September 1915
Commissioned: 31 October 1916
Completed: 12 December 1916
Decommissioned: 24 September 1935
Motto: Conjunctis Vibrus
Latin: "With United Strength"
Honours and
Battle honours:
Indian Ocean 1917
Fate: Sold for scrap in 1936
General characteristics
Class & type: Town class light cruiser (Chatham subtype)
Displacement: 5,400 tons (standard)
Length: 456 ft 8 38 in (139.202 m)
Beam: 49 ft 10 in (15.19 m)
Draught: 19 ft 11 in (6.07 m) (maximum)
Propulsion: Parsons turbines, 4 screws, 25,000 horsepower
Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) (design)
25.6 knots (47.4 km/h; 29.5 mph) (speed trials)
11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph) (cruising)
Range: 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
Complement: 31 officers, 454 sailors
Armament: 8 × BL 6-inch (152.4 mm) Mk XI* guns
1 × QF 3-inch (76 mm) anti-aircraft gun
1 × 12-pounder field gun
4 × 3-pounder (47-mm, 1.9-in) quick-firing Hotchkiss guns
8 × 0.303-inch (7.7 mm) Lewis machine guns
2 × 0.303-inch (7.7 mm) Maxim machine guns
2 × submerged 18-inch (450-mm) torpedo tubes

HMAS Brisbane was a Town class light cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Built in Sydney between 1913 and 1916 to the Chatham subtype design, Brisbane operated in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Australian coastal waters during World War I.

Following the end of the war, the cruiser was decommissioned and recommissioned on several occasions, and was reclassified as a training ship in late 1925. In 1935, Brisbane was reactivated to transport personnel for the new cruiser HMAS Sydney to Britain, after which she was decommissioned and sold for breaking up as scrap.

Design and construction[edit]

Brisbane was built by Cockatoo Island Dockyard to the Chatham subtype of the Town class cruiser design.[1] Laid down on 25 January 1913, the cruiser was launched on 30 September 1915 by the wife of Andrew Fisher; Prime Minister of Australia on three occasions.[2] Brisbane was commissioned into the RAN on 31 October 1916, although she was not completed until 12 December.[2] The ship cost A£746,624 to build.[2]

She was 456 feet 8 38 inches (139.202 m) long overall, with a beam of 49 feet 10 inches (15.19 m) and a maximum draught of 19 feet 11 inches (6.07 m).[1] The cruiser had a standard displacement of 5,400 tons.[3] Her ship's company consisted of 31 officers and 454 sailors.[2]

Brisbane was propelled by Parsons steam turbines, which provided 25,000 shaft horsepower (19,000 kW) to four propellers.[2] Although designed with a maximum speed of 25 knots (46 km/h), Brisbane once reached 25.67 knots (47.54 km/h) during full speed trials.[3] Her standard cruising speed was 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h), which could be maintained for 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km).[1] The ship was fuelled by a combination of coal (1,196 tons at full load) and oil (260 tons).[2]


6-inch gun practice on Brisbane during World War I

The cruiser's primary armament consisted of eight BL 6-inch (152.4 mm) Mk XI* guns, arranged in single mountings behind open-backed gunshields.[3] A single quick-firing 3-inch (76 mm) gun was used to protect the ship from air attack.[3] Brisbane carried a 12-pounder field gun for ashore deployment.[3] Four 3-pounder (47-mm, 1.9-in) quick-firing Hotchkiss guns were used as saluting guns.[3] Ten .303-inch machine guns were carried for close defence work (eight Lewis guns and two Maxim guns).[3] Two submerged 18-inch (450-mm) torpedo tubes were fitted: one on each side, firing broadside.[3]

Operational history[edit]

On 13 December 1916, Brisbane departed on a voyage to the Mediterranean.[2] After reaching Malta on 4 February, the cruiser was recalled to the Indian Ocean to help search for the German raiders Wolf and Seeadler.[2]

In 1917, a Sopwith Baby seaplane was acquired from HMS Raven II; the first aircraft to be used by a RAN ship.[2] This remained aboard until June, when Brisbane was sent back to Australia with orders to patrol the Western Australian coast.[2] From October 1917 to January 1918, the cruiser was assigned to operations in the Western Pacific Ocean, after which she returned to Australian waters.[2] On 30 October 1918, Brisbane departed for the United Kingdom, and was en route when World War I ended.[2] The battle honour "Indian Ocean 1917" recognises the cruiser's wartime service.[4][5]

HMAS Brisbane in 1919

The cruiser remained in British waters until 17 April 1919, when she departed from Portsmouth for home.[2] During the return trip, she caught up with the submarine depot ship HMAS Platypus and the six J class submarines transferred from the Royal Navy to the RAN after the war.[2] J5 was experiencing problems, and Brisbane took the boat under tow: the two vessels reached Sydney on 27 June.[2] The cruiser operated in Australian waters until 4 August 1922, when she was decommissioned into reserve.[2]

Brisbane was reactivated on 14 April 1923.[2] From February until August 1925, the ship served with the Royal Navy's China Squadron.[2] The cruiser was placed back in reserve on 7 October, underwent a refit, and recommissioned on 17 November as a training ship attached to Flinders Naval Depot.[2] A longer period of decommissioning and refit ran from 30 October 1926 until 28 June 1928, when she resumed training duties.[2] In August 1928, Brisbane visited Hawaii, and was present for celebrations commemorating the 150th anniversary of the islands' discovery.[2] The cruiser was again decommissioned, on 16 August 1929.[2]


Brisbane was commissioned for the final time on 2 April 1935, for the specific purpose of conveying the ship's company of the new cruiser HMAS Sydney to their ship in Britain.[2] Brisbane reached Portsmouth on 12 July 1935, and was decommissioned on 24 September.[2]

On 13 June 1936, Brisbane was sold to Thomas Ward & Company for A£19,215 to be broken up.[2] The cruiser was scrapped at Briton Ferry, Wales.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Cassells, The Capital Ships, pp. 35–6
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Cassells, The Capital Ships, p. 36
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Cassells, The Capital Ships, p. 35
  4. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 


  • Cassells, Vic (2000). The Capital Ships: Their Battles and Their Badges. East Roseville, NSW: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7318-0941-6. OCLC 48761594. 

External links[edit]