HMS Perth, Hobart, Sydney
The Australian light cruisers
These three light cruisers (Perth, Hobart, Sydney) were built specifically for the Australian Navy. They were largely inspired by the Leander, but were distinguished by their two funnels reflecting another arrangement of boilers rooms. The armament was the same and they carried a reconnaissance seaplane. Their AA was modified in 1939: HMAS Hobart and Perth would receive four more modern twin 4-in dual-purpose turrets.
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Their career was very active. In the Indian Ocean at first, searching for German raiders. It was during such a meeting that Sydney confronted KMS Kormoran, certainly the most powerful of these auxiliary cruisers of the Kriegsmarine. The fight began with a torpedo fired by the Germans in close quarters, hitting the forward turrets. Sydney replied with her aft turrets, still at close range. But the Kormoran unleashed a full broadside of her 150-mm guns, while Sydney retaliated with more artillery fire, including DP and AA, launched her torpedoes, and sent the corsair by the bottom. But at this point she was burning from stern to stem, listing and sinking, so she was evacuated and sank some time later. HMAS Perth was sunk in March 1942 during the battle of Sunda Strait, with the remains of the ABDA force. Another victim of seemingly invincible Japanese cruisers. HMAS Hobart sank after she took a torpedo in July 1943, and stayed 17 months in repairs. But she survived and soldiered on until the end of the war, and with the cold war RAN until 1962.
HMAS Sydney in 1941, shortly before his fight against the German raider Kormoran
Displacement: 7 200 t. standard, 9 500 t. Fully Loaded
Dimensions: 171,37 m long, 17,27 m beam, 5,80 m draft
Machinery: 4 shaft Parsons turbines, 4 Admiralty boilers, 72,000 shp
Top speed: 32,5 nœuds
Amor (max, belt): 90 mm.
Armament: 4×2 152mm (6 in), 4×2 102mm (4 in), 2×4 40 mm AA Bofors, 2×4 533 mm TTs (21 in), 1 seaplane