HMS Repulse (1916)
HMS Repulse was a Renown-class battlecruiser of the Royal Navy built during the First World War. Laid down as an improved version of the Revenge-class battleships, her construction was suspended on the outbreak of war because she would not be ready in a timely manner. Admiral Lord Fisher, upon becoming First Sea Lord, gained approval to restart her construction as a battlecruiser that could be built and enter service quickly; the Director of Naval Construction, Eustace Tennyson-D'Eyncourt produced an new design to meet Admiral Lord Fisher's requirements and the builders agreed to deliver the ships in 15 months. They did not quite meet that ambitious goal, but the ship was delivered a few months after the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Repulse, her sister HMS Renown, were the world's fastest capital ships upon completion. Repulse participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917, she was reconstructed twice between the wars. Repulse accompanied the battlecruiser HMS Hood during the Special Service Squadron's round-the-world cruise in 1923–24 and protected international shipping during the Spanish Civil War in 1936–39.
The ship spent the first months of the Second World War hunting for German raiders and blockade runners. She participated in the Norwegian Campaign of April–June 1940 and searched for the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. Repulse escorted a troop convoy around the Cape of Good Hope from August to October 1941 and was transferred to East Indies Command, she was assigned in November to Force Z, supposed to deter Japanese aggression against British possessions in the Far East. Repulse and her consort Prince of Wales were sunk by Japanese aircraft on 10 December 1941 when they attempted to intercept landings in British Malaya. Admiral Lord Fisher first presented his requirements for the new ships to the Director of Naval Construction on 18 December 1914, before the ships had been approved, he wanted a long, flared bow, like that on the pre-dreadnought HMS Renown, but higher, four 15-inch guns in two twin turrets, an anti-torpedo boat armament of twenty 4-inch guns mounted high up and protected by gun shields only, speed of 32 knots using oil fuel, armour on the scale of the battlecruiser Indefatigable.
Within a few days, Fisher increased the number of guns to six and added two torpedo tubes. Minor revisions in the initial estimate were made until 26 December and a preliminary design was completed on 30 December. During the following week the DNC's department examined the material delivered for the two battleships and decided what could be used in the new design; the usable material was transferred to the builders who had received enough information from the DNC's department to lay the keels of both ships on 25 January 1915, well before the altered contracts were completed on 10 March! Repulse had an overall length of 794 feet 2.5 inches, a beam of 89 feet 11.5 inches, a maximum draught of 29 feet 9 inches. She displaced 26,854 long tons at 31,592 long tons at deep load; the Brown-Curtis direct-drive steam turbines were designed to produce 112,000 shaft horsepower, which would propel the ship at 32 knots. However, during trials in 1916, Repulse's turbines provided 118,913 shp, allowing her to reach a speed of 31.73 knots.
The ship carried 1,000 long tons of fuel oil, but had a maximum capacity of 4,289 long tons. At full capacity, she could steam at a speed of 18 knots for 4,000 nautical miles; the ship mounted six 42-calibre BL 15-inch Mk I guns in three twin hydraulically powered gun turrets, designated'A','B', and'Y' from front to rear. Her secondary armament consisted of 17 BL 4-inch Mark IX guns, fitted in five triple and two single mounts. Repulse mounted a pair of QF 3-inch 20 cwt anti-aircraft guns mounted on the shelter deck abreast the rear funnel, she mounted two submerged tubes for one on each side forward of ` A' barbette. Repulse's waterline belt of Krupp cemented armour measured 6 inches thick amidships, her gun turrets were 7 -- 9 inches thick. As designed the high-tensile-steel decks ranged from 0.75 to 1.5 inches in thickness. After the Battle of Jutland in 1916, while the ship was still completing, an extra inch of high-tensile steel was added on the main deck over the magazines. Repulse was fitted with a shallow anti-torpedo bulge integral to the hull, intended to explode the torpedo before it hit the hull proper and vent the underwater explosion to the surface rather than into the ship.
Despite these additions, the ship was still felt to be too vulnerable to plunging fire and Repulse was refitted in Rosyth between 10 November 1916 and 29 January 1917 with additional horizontal armour, weighing 504 long tons, added to the decks over the magazines and over the steering gear. Repulse was the first capital ship fitted with a flying-off platform when an experimental one was fitted on'B' turret in the autumn of 1917. Squadron Leader Frederick Rutland took off in a Sopwith Pup on 1 October. Another platform was built on'Y' turret and Rutland took off from it on 8 October. One fighter and a reconnaissance aircraft were carried. Repulse was laid down by John Brown, Scotland on 25 January 1915; the ship was launched on 8 January 1916 and completed on 18 August 1916, after the Battle of Jutland. Her construction cost £2,82
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is primate city of the Western Cape province, it forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The Parliament of South Africa sits in Cape Town; the other two capitals are located in Bloemfontein. The city is known for its harbour, for its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, for landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is home to 64% of the Western Cape's population, it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. In 2014, Cape Town was named the best place in the world to visit by both The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town, as the oldest urban area in South Africa, was developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa and the Far East.
Jan van Riebeeck's arrival on 6 April 1652 established Dutch Cape Colony, the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony; until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa. Cape Town is not just the city centre area, its suburbs and non-urban areas extend from the South Peninsula to beyond Mamre in the north and as far east as Gordon's Bay; the earliest known remnants in the region were found at Peers Cave in Fish Hoek and date to between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago. Little is known of the history of the region's first residents, since there is no written history from the area before it was first mentioned by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, the first European to reach the area and named it "Cape of Storms", it was renamed by John II of Portugal as "Cape of Good Hope" because of the great optimism engendered by the opening of a sea route to India and the East.
Vasco da Gama recorded a sighting of the Cape of Good Hope in 1497. In the late 16th century, French, Danish and English but Portuguese ships stopped over in Table Bay en route to the Indies, they traded tobacco and iron with the Khoikhoi in exchange for fresh meat. In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck and other employees of the Dutch East India Company were sent to the Cape to establish a way-station for ships travelling to the Dutch East Indies, the Fort de Goede Hoop; the settlement grew during this period, as it was hard to find adequate labour. This labour shortage prompted the authorities to import slaves from Madagascar. Many of these became ancestors of the first Cape Coloured communities. Under Van Riebeeck and his successors as VOC commanders and governors at the Cape, an impressive range of useful plants were introduced to the Cape – in the process changing the natural environment forever; some of these, including grapes, ground nuts, potatoes and citrus, had an important and lasting influence on the societies and economies of the region.
The Dutch Republic being transformed in Revolutionary France's vassal Batavian Republic, Great Britain moved to take control of its colonies. Britain captured Cape Town in 1795, but the Cape was returned to the Dutch by treaty in 1803. British forces occupied the Cape again in 1806 following the Battle of Blaauwberg. In the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814, Cape Town was permanently ceded to Britain, it became the capital of the newly formed Cape Colony, whose territory expanded substantially through the 1800s. With expansion came calls for greater independence from Britain, with the Cape attaining its own parliament and a locally accountable Prime Minister. Suffrage was established according to sexist Cape Qualified Franchise; the discovery of diamonds in Griqualand West in 1867, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush in 1886, prompted a flood of immigrants to South Africa. Conflicts between the Boer republics in the interior and the British colonial government resulted in the Second Boer War of 1899–1902, which Britain won.
In 1910, Britain established the Union of South Africa, which unified the Cape Colony with the two defeated Boer Republics and the British colony of Natal. Cape Town became the legislative capital of the Union, of the Republic of South Africa. In the 1948 national elections, the National Party won on a platform of apartheid under the slogan of "swart gevaar"; this led to the erosion and eventual abolition of the Cape's multiracial franchise, as well as to the Group Areas Act, which classified all areas according to race. Multi-racial suburbs of Cape Town were either purged of unlawful residents or demolished; the most infamous example of this in Cape Town was District Six. After it was declared a whites-only region in 1965, all housing there was demolished and over 60,000 residents were forcibly removed. Many of these residents were relocated to the Cape Lavender Hill. Under apartheid, the Cape was considered a "Coloured labour preference area", to the exclusion of "Bantus", i.e. Africans. School students from Langa and Nyanga in Cape Town reacted to the news of
HMAS Encounter (1902)
HMAS Encounter was a second-class protected cruiser of the Challenger class operated by the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy. She was built by HM Dockyard Devonport and completed at the end of 1905. Encounter spent the first six years of her career operating with the RN's Australia Squadron, before being transferred to the newly formed RAN. During World War I, the cruiser became the first ship of the RAN to fire in anger when she bombarded Toma Ridge. Encounter operated in the New Guinea, Fiji-Samoa, Malaya areas until 1916, when she returned to Australian waters; the ship spent the rest of the war patrolling and escorting convoys around Australia and into the Indian Ocean. In 1919, Encounter was sent to evacuate the Administrator of the Northern Territory and his family following the Darwin Rebellion. Encounter was paid off into reserve in 1920, but saw further use as a depot ship until being decommissioned in 1929. In 1932, the cruiser was scuttled off Sydney. Challenger class vessels had a standard displacement of 5,880 tons, a length of 376 feet 1.75 inches overall and 355 feet between perpendiculars, a beam of 56 feet 2.125 inches, a draught of 21.25 feet.
The cruisers were propelled by a Keyham 4-cylinder triple expansion steam engine, which provided 12,500 horsepower to two propeller shafts, allowing her to reach speeds just over 21 knots. Her economical cruising speed was 10 knots, which allowed the ship to travel 5,436 nautical miles before exhausting her 1,314 tons of coal. In British service, the ship's company stood at 450, but while operated by the RAN, this was reduced to 29 officers and 269 sailors, she was among the first ships of the Royal Navy to receive water-tube Dürr boilers. As completed, the ship's armament consisted of eleven BL 6-inch Mk VII naval guns, nine QF 12-pounder 12 cwt naval guns, six 3-pounder guns, three machine guns, two 18-inch torpedo tubes mounted broadside. By the 1920s, the 6-inch and 12-pounder guns had been reduced to three and four although a 12-pounder field gun was added to the ship's arsenal. A single QF 3-pounder Hotchkiss gun replaced the six 3-pounders, while the original three machine guns were supplanted by four Maxim guns and two Lewis guns.
Encounter was laid down for the RN by HM Dockyard at Devonport in Plymouth on 28 January 1901. The ship was launched on 18 June 1902, when the naming ceremony was performed by Lady Sturges Jackson, wife of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Sturges Jackson, Admiral-Superintendent of Devonport Dockyard, she was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 21 November 1905, completed on 16 December 1905. The ship sailed for Australia on 31 December. From April 1906 to June 1912, Encounter served as part of the RN Australia Squadron. Herbert Wilson, a petty officer aboard Encounter, published his personal log covering 1910–1912, including an account of the British expeditions to Vavaʻu for the total solar eclipse of 28 April 1911. On 1 July 1912, the ship was commissioned into the RAN on loan, for use until HMAS Brisbane was completed. Assigned to the Pacific Station during 1914–15, Encounter was part of the force which occupied German New Guinea. In the course of these operations she captured the steamer Zambezi on 12 August and, on 14 September, bombarded Toma Ridge to support the Australian Military and Naval Expeditionary Force, besieging the town.
She covered the landing at Madang on 24 September. In October, the ship was sent to the Fiji-Samoa area. During a patrol of the region on 25 April 1915, Encounter captured the German sailing vessel Elfriede. In 1915, Encounter underwent refit in Sydney sailed on 21 July to transport a garrison to Fanning Island. Sometime in 1915, the ship sustained hull damage from a coral reef at Johnson Island. Temporary repairs were made at Suva; the cruiser operated in the Malay archipelago during early 1916, but was recalled to Australian waters on 11 February 1916, as all other RAN ships had been deployed elsewhere. In July 1916, during a visit to an unnamed island off the coast of Western Australia, two bronze cannons were discovered by Encounter officers Commander C. W. Stevens and Surgeon Lieutenant W. Roberts; the latter described: 25 paces from the water’s edge, we saw the two carronades protruding, through the sand 2/3rds of each being exposed so that they were lifted out. They were... 6 feet apart and had the appearance of leading marks... a large number of the ship’s company landed and next day, shifted sand over the whole area for a considerable depth.
The only other object found was a small portion of a brass bound chest. You can imagine the disappointment of the matelots who had visions of buried treasure Since these guns were erroneously thought to be carronades, the place was named "Carronade Island". On 12 January 1917, Encounter was ordered to New Zealand, where she met a convoy of Australian and New Zealand troopships; the cruiser remained with the convoy until a rendezvous point in the Indian Ocean, where responsibility was handed over to ships of the East Indies Station. On 6 July, Encounter assisted SS Cumberland. In August, the cruiser assisted in the search for the missing merchantman SS Matunga; the ship visited Mopelia Island in September 1917, to search for the wreck of the German raider Seeadler. From December 1917 until April 1918, Encounter underwent refit in Sydney returned to Western Australia; the ship travelled between Sydney several times before the end of the war. The cruiser's wartim
Federation of Australia
The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia. Fiji and New Zealand were part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. Following federation, the six colonies that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia as states kept the systems of government that they had developed as separate colonies, but they agreed to have a federal government, responsible for matters concerning the whole nation; when the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia. The efforts to bring about federation in the mid-19th century were dogged by the lack of popular support for the movement. A number of conventions were held during the 1890s to develop a constitution for the Commonwealth.
Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, was instrumental in this process. Sir Edmund Barton, second only to Parkes in the length of his commitment to the federation cause, was the caretaker Prime Minister of Australia at the inaugural national election in 1901 in March 1901; the election returned Barton as prime minister, though without a majority. This period has lent its name to an architectural style prevalent in Australia at that time, known as Federation architecture, or Federation style. A serious movement for Federation of the colonies arose in the late 1880s, a time when there was increasing nationalism amongst Australians, the great majority of whom were native-born; the idea of being "Australian" began to be celebrated in poems. This was fostered by improvements in transport and communications, such as the establishment of a telegraph system between the colonies in 1872; the Australian colonies were influenced by other federations which had emerged around the world, such as the United States and Canada.
Sir Henry Parkes Colonial Secretary of New South Wales, first proposed a Federal Council body in 1867. After it was rejected by the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Duke of Buckingham, Parkes brought up the issue again in 1880, this time as the Premier of New South Wales. At the conference, representatives from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia considered a number of issues including federation, Chinese immigration, vine diseases and uniform tariff rates; the Federation had the potential to ensure that throughout the continent and interstate commerce would be unaffected by protectionism and measurement and transport would be standardised. The final push for a Federal Council came at an Intercolonial Convention in Sydney in November and December 1883; the trigger was the British rejection of Queensland's unilateral annexation of New Guinea and the British Government wish to see a federalised Australasia. The convention was called to debate the strategies needed to counter the activities of the German and French in New Guinea and in New Hebrides.
Sir Samuel Griffith, the Premier of Queensland, drafted a bill to constitute the Federal Council. The conference petitioned the Imperial Parliament to enact the bill as the Federal Council of Australasia Act 1885; as a result, a Federal Council of Australasia was formed, to represent the affairs of the colonies in their relations with the South Pacific islands. New South Wales and New Zealand did not join; the self-governing colonies of Queensland and Victoria, as well as the Crown Colonies of Western Australia and Fiji, became involved. South Australia was a member between 1888 and 1890; the Federal Council had powers to legislate directly upon certain matters, such as in relation to extradition, regulation of fisheries, so on, but it did not have a permanent secretariat, executive powers, or any revenue of its own. Furthermore, the absence of the powerful colony of New South Wales weakened its representative value, it was the first major form of inter-colonial co-operation. It provided an opportunity for Federalists from around the country to exchange ideas.
The means by which the Council was established endorsed the continuing role that the Imperial Parliament would have in the development of Australia's constitutional structure. In terms of the Federal Council of Australia Act, the Australian drafters established a number of powers dealing with their "common interest" which would be replicated in the Australian Constitution section 51; the individual colonies, Victoria excepted, were somewhat wary of Federation. Politicians from the smaller colonies, in particular, disliked the idea of delegating power to a national government. Queensland, for its part, worried that the advent of race-based national legislation would restrict the importing of kanaka labourers, thereby jeopardising its sugar cane industry; these were not the only concerns of those resistant to federation. Smaller colonies worried about the abolition of tariffs, which would deprive them of a large proportion of their revenue, leave their commerce at the mercy of the larger states.
New South Wales, traditionally free-trade in its outlook, wanted to be satisfied that the federation's tariff policy would not be protectionist. Victorian Premier James Service described fiscal union as "the lion in the way" of federation. A further fundamental issue was how to distribute the excess customs duties from the central government to the states. For the larger colonies there was the possibility (which never became
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, became responsible for defence of the region. Britain's Royal Navy’s Australian Squadron was assigned to the Australia Station and provided support to the RAN; the Australian and New Zealand governments helped to fund the Australian Squadron until 1913, while the Admiralty committed itself to keeping the Squadron at a constant strength. The Australian Squadron ceased on 4 October 1913, when RAN ships entered Sydney Harbour for the first time; the Royal Navy continued to provide blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of World War II. Rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many smaller warships.
In the decade following the war, the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of, decommissioned in 1982. Today, the RAN consists of 48 commissioned vessels, 3 non-commissioned vessels and over 16,000 personnel; the navy is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the South Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The current Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral Michael Noonan; the Commonwealth Naval Forces were established on 1 March 1901, two months after the federation of Australia, when the naval forces of the separate Australian colonies were amalgamated. A period of uncertainty followed as the policy makers sought to determine the newly established force's requirements and purpose, with the debate focusing upon whether Australia's naval force would be structured for local defence or whether it would be designed to serve as a fleet unit within a larger imperial force, controlled centrally by the British Admiralty.
In 1908–09, the decision was made to pursue a compromise solution, the Australian government agreed to establish a force that would be used for local defence but which would be capable of forming a fleet unit within the imperial naval strategy, albeit without central control. As a result, the navy's force structure was set at "one battlecruiser, three light cruisers, six destroyers and three submarines". On 10 July 1911, King George V granted the service the title of "Royal Australian Navy"; the first of the RAN's new vessels, the destroyer Yarra, was completed in September 1910 and by the outbreak of the First World War the majority of the RAN's planned new fleet had been realised. The Australian Squadron was placed under control of the British Admiralty, it was tasked with capturing many of Germany's South Pacific colonies and protecting Australian shipping from the German East Asia Squadron. In the war, most of the RAN's major ships operated as part of Royal Navy forces in the Mediterranean and North Seas, later in the Adriatic, the Black Sea following the surrender of the Ottoman Empire.
In 1919, the RAN received a force of six destroyers, three sloops and six submarines from the Royal Navy, but throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, the RAN was drastically reduced in size due to a variety of factors including political apathy and economic hardship as a result of the Great Depression. In this time the focus of Australia's naval policy shifted from defence against invasion to trade protection, several fleet units were sunk as targets or scrapped. By 1923, the size of the navy had fallen to eight vessels, by the end of the decade it had fallen further to five, with just 3,500 personnel. In the late 1930s, as international tensions increased, the RAN was modernised and expanded, with the service receiving primacy of funding over the Army and Air Force during this time as Australia began to prepare for war. Early in the Second World War, RAN ships again operated as part of Royal Navy formations, many serving with distinction in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, off the West African coast.
Following the outbreak of the Pacific War and the virtual destruction of British naval forces in south-east Asia, the RAN operated more independently, or as part of United States Navy formations. As the navy took on an greater role, it was expanded and at its height the RAN was the fourth-largest navy in the world, with 39,650 personnel operating 337 warships. A total of 34 vessels were lost during the war, including four destroyers. After the Second World War, the size of the RAN was again reduced, but it gained new capabilities with the acquisition of two aircraft carriers and Melbourne; the RAN saw action in many Cold War–era conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region and operated alongside the Royal Navy and United States Navy off Korea and Vietnam. Since the end of the Cold War, the RAN has been part of Coalition forces in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, operating in support of Operation Slipper and undertaking counter piracy operations, it was deployed in support of Australian peacekeeping operations in East Timor and the Solomon Islands.
The strategic command structure of the RAN was overhauled during the New Generation Navy changes. The RAN is commanded through Naval Headquarters in Canberra; the professional head is the Chief of Navy. NHQ is responsible for implementing policy decisions handed down from the Department of Defence and for overseeing tactical and operational issues that are the purview of the subordinate commands. Beneath NHQ are two subordinate commands: Fleet Command: fleet comma
Asian and Pacific theatre of World War I
The Asian and Pacific theatre of World War I consisted of various naval battles and the Allied conquest of German colonial possessions in the Pacific Ocean and China. The most significant military action was the careful and well-executed Siege of Tsingtao in what is now China, but smaller actions were fought at Bita Paka and Toma in German New Guinea. All other German and Austrian possessions in Asia and the Pacific fell without bloodshed. Naval warfare was common; these fleets operated by supporting the invasions of German-held territories and by destroying the East Asia Squadron of the Imperial German Navy. Tsingtao was the most significant German base in the area, it was defended by 3,650 German troops supported by 100 Chinese colonial troops and Austro-Hungarian soldiers and sailors occupying a well-designed fort. Supporting the defenders were a small number of vessels from the Imperial German Navy and the Austro-Hungarian Navy; the Japanese sent nearly their entire fleet to the area, including six battleships and 23,000 soldiers.
The British sent two military units to the battle from their garrison at Tientsin, numbering 1,500, the Chinese who were unoccupied by the Germans sent over a few thousand troops on the side of the allies. The bombardment of the fort started on October 31. An assault was made by the Imperial Japanese Army on the night of November 6; the garrison surrendered the next day. Casualties of the battle were 703 on the German side and some 3,600 POW. One Allied protected cruiser was sunk by a German torpedo boat and when defeat was certain, the Germans and Austro-Hungarians scuttled their squadron. One of the first land offensives in the Pacific theatre was the Occupation of German Samoa in August 29 and 30 1914 by New Zealand forces; the campaign to take Samoa ended without bloodshed after over 1,000 New Zealanders landed on the German colony, supported by an Australian and French naval squadron. Australian forces attacked German New Guinea in September 1914: 500 Australians encountered 300 Germans and native policemen at the Battle of Bita Paka.
A company of Australians and a British warship besieged the Germans and their colonial subjects, ending with a German surrender. After the fall of Toma, only minor German forces were left in New Guinea and these capitulated once met by Australian forces. In December 1914, one German officer near Angorum attempted to resist the occupation with thirty native police but his force deserted him after they fired on an Australian scouting party and he was subsequently captured. By 1915, the only uncapitulated German force was a small expedition under the command of Hermann Detzner which managed to elude Australian patrols and hold out in the interior of the island until the end of the war, for which he became a figure of some renown. German Micronesia, the Marianas, the Carolines and the Marshall Islands fell to Allied forces during the war; when war was declared on Germany in 1914, the German East Asia Squadron withdrew from its base at Tsingtao and attempted to make its way east across the Pacific and back to Germany.
After concentrating the majority of its force at Pagan Island, the fleet raided several Allied targets as it made its way across the Pacific. Detached cruisers raided the cable station at Fanning and rejoined with the squadron; the German forces would attack Papeete where Admiral Maximilian von Spee with his two armoured cruisers sank a French gunboat and a freighter before bombarding Papeete's shore batteries. The next engagement was fought off Chile at the Battle of Coronel on November 1, 1914, Admiral Spee won the battle by defeating a British squadron, sent to destroy him, his two armored and three light cruisers sank two Royal Navy armored cruisers and forced a British light cruiser and auxiliary cruiser to flee. Over 1,500 British sailors were killed; the victory did not last long as the German fleet was soon defeated in Atlantic waters at the Battle of the Falklands in December 1914. Spee himself went down with his own flagship SMS Scharnhorst; the only German vessels to escape the Falklands engagement was the light cruiser Dresden and the auxiliary Seydlitz.
Seydlitz fled into the Atlantic before being interned by neutral Argentina, while Dresden turned about and steamed back into the Pacific. The Dresden attempted to act as a commerce raider, without much success, until March 1915 when its engines began to break down. Without means of getting repairs, the German light cruiser sailed into neutral Chilean waters at the island of Mas a Tierra where it was cornered by British naval forces. After a short battle in which four of her crew were killed, the Dresden was forced to scuttle and her crew was interned by Chilean authorities. SMS Emden was left behind by Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee when he began his retreat across the Pacific; the ship won the Battle of Penang, in which the Germans sank a Russian cruiser and a French destroyer. Emden harried merchant vessels of the Allies and destroyed over thirty of them, she went on and bombarded Madras, causing damage to British oil tanks and sinking an Allied merchant ship. The attack caused widespread panic in the city and thousands of people fled from the coast, fearing that the Germans may have begun an invasion of India as a whole.
After a successful career as a merchant raider, Emden was engaged by HMAS Sydney at the Battle of Cocos, where the German vessel was destroyed. A group of sailors under the command of Hellmuth von Mücke managed to escape towards the Arabian peninsula, part of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of th