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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Australian Colonial Navies: Queensland

The ships used by the colonial navy of New South Wales included:

Paluma (Gunboat):

  • 412 tons; 55 crew; 1 x 8-inch BLR Gun; 1 x 6-inch BLR Gun; 2 x 1.5-inch Nordenfelt QGF Guns; 1 x 0.45-inch five-barrelled Machine Gun; 1 x 1" four-barrelled Machine Gun
  • In service from 1884 until 1916. Rearmed between 1899 and 1901 with a 4.7-inch QF Gun aft and 2 x 5-inch QF Guns in place of the original 8-inch BLR Gun. At the same time her Nordenfelt Guns were replaced by Maxim Machine Guns. Sold in 1916 to the the Victorian government, who used her as a bout tender until she was scrapped in 1951.
Gayundah (Gunboat):

  • 412 tons; 55 crew; 1 x 8-inch BLR Gun; 1 x 6-inch BLR Gun; 2 x 1.5-inch Nordenfelt QGF Guns; 1 x 0.45-inch five-barrelled Machine Gun; 1 x 1-inch four-barrelled Machine Gun
  • In service from 1884 until 1922. Used as an unarmed survey vessel from 1884 until 1894. Rearmed between 1899 and 1901 with a 4.7-inch QF Gun aft. At the same time her Nordenfelt Guns were replaced by 2 x 12 pdr QF Guns. The 8-inch BLR Gun was removed in 1914 when her bow was built up. She was sold in 1922 and used as a barge until she was scuttled in 1958. Her remains are still visible.
Mosquito (Torpedo boat):

  • 10 tons; 7 crew; 1 x Spar torpedo (replaced by dropping gear for 2 x 14-inch torpedoes in 1884)
  • In service from 1884 until 1910.
Miner (Coastal minelayer):

  • 65 tons; 5 crew
  • In service from 1886 until 1901 when she was transferred to the government dredger fleet. Scuttled as a breakwater in 1953, and demolished in 1991.
Midge (Torpedo boat):
  • 12 tons; 2 x 1-inch two-barrelled Nordenfelt Guns; Dropping gear for 2 x 14-inch torpedoes
  • In service from 1888 until she was sold for conversion into a yacht in 1913.

2 comments:

  1. I always find the postwar / post service career of such minor illustrious boats very sad - scuttled, broken up, used as breakwaters - but at least some are still visible such as the Gayundah.
    There is a superbly elegiac book called Lost Ships of The West Country by Martin Langley and Edwina Small (Stanford Maritime 1988) with excellent photographs - one or two small MTBs amongst them but mostly small river ketches, luggers etc. Worth getting out of your local library or secondhand.

    Which (fictional) country will your opposition be for your naval Wargame against these Australian Colonial navies?

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    Replies
    1. MIN Man of Tin,

      It is always a sad day when a ship is scrapped, but sometimes it is better than being allowed to remain as a rusting, unused, and unloved hulk.

      I think I have seen a copy of the book you mention, or something similar to it. It was very interesting.

      The Australian Colonial navies could be pitted against each other or combined to counter a Russian, Japanese, or even a South American threat. All are plausible ... and a Russian raid or invasion was taken quite seriously. So a fictional Russian-like country would be an ideal opponent.

      All the best,

      Bob

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