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HMAS Anzac (D59)

Destroyer Warship

Naval Warfare / Ships

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Image from the Public Domain; Part of the Australian War Memorial.

HMAS Anzac D-59 was a Cold War-era Australian Royal Navy stalwart, operating from 1951 until 1974 in both combat and training roles.

Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited: 8/16/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Battle-class group of destroyers was a British Royal Navy (RN) development of the early Cold War period (though they saw design during World War 2 proper). The class eventually numbered twenty-six ships in all and these went on to serve beyond the RN under the national flags of the Australia, Iran and Pakistan. The Battle-class succeeded the Weapon-class warships of the World War 2 period and were, themselves, succeeded by the Daring-class emerging in the late-1940s / early-1950s. HMAS Anzac (D59) was completed as one of the Battle-class and was laid down by Williamstown Naval Dockyard on September 23rd, 1946. She was launched on August 20th, 1948 and was commissioned on March 14th, 1951. During her time at sea, the warship served under the motto of "United We Stand".

Being built to an existing British standard lowered procurement costs for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and made her construction much easier. As built, the vessel displaced 2,435 tons and held an overall length of 379 feet, a beam of 41 feet and a draught of 21 feet. The shallow draught allowed the warship to work coastal areas while also being designed for blue water service. Power was from 2 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers feeding 2 x Parson geared steam turbines developing 50,000 horsepower to 2 x Shafts under stern. Maximum speed (in ideal conditions) reached 31 knots and range out to 4,400 nautical miles. Her crew complement numbered 320 personnel.

Armament consisted of 4 x QF 4.5" /45 (113mm) Mark V turreted deck guns arranged as a pair of twin-gunned turrets over the forecastle. This was backed by 12 x 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns positioned in three twin-gunned mountings and six single-gunned mountings about the ship. 2 x 21" 5-tube Pentad torpedo launchers were also carried as was the "Squid" anti-submarine mortar weapon.

Her profile consisted of tow-forward-mounted primary turrets and an elevated bridge set as part of the centralized superstructure over midships. The deck line ran unobstructed until about midships to which point it was decidedly reduced in height heading towards the stern.

Acceptance trials for the ship were had in 1951 and, in July of that year, the vessel was already relocated to the Korean theater as part of the Korean War (1950-1953). Her guns were used for the first time in September of that year to shell suspected enemy positions around Haeju. A blockade of Wosan then followed. HMAS Anzac completed two full tours during the conflict where further missions saw her undertake additional shelling of the enemy and general patrolling actions as well as fleet support for both the British and American navies.

Her next commitment came in the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) and this deployment lasted from 1956 until 1959 (as part of the "Far East Strategic Reserve" force). In March of 1961, the warship was finalized as a training platform now outfitted to carry just 169 crew and up to 109 trainees. The second 4.5" gun turret was removed as well. Escort actions and training cruises greeted the rest of her career in Australian naval service.

She was decommissioned on October 4th, 1974 and sold off for scrapping in November of 1975. For her service, she was awarded two battle honors: "Korea 1951-1953" and "Malaya 1956".


Ship Class [ Australian Battle-class ]
Ships-in-Class [ 26 ] Ship Names: HMAS Anzac D59); HMAS Tobruk (D37)
National flag of Australia Australia (decommissioned)
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
- Hunter
- Direct-Attack
379 ft (115.52 m)
Width / Beam:
41 ft (12.50 m)
Height / Draught:
22 ft (6.71 m)
Displacement (Surface):
2,435 tons
2 x Admiralty three-drum boiler units feeding 2 x Parson geared steam turbines developing 50,000 horsepower to 2 x shafts.
Speed (Surface):
31 kts (36 mph)
4,401 nm (5,065 miles; 8,151 km)
4 x 4.5" /45 caliber (113mm) QF Mark V main guns (in two twin-gunned turrets).
12 x 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircaft (AA) guns (three in twin-gunned mountings and six in single-gunned mountings).
2 x 21" Pentad torpedo tubes (five-tubed groups)
"Squid" Anti-Submarine (AS) mortar system

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