HMAS Perth joins World of Warships
Australian players of World of Warships have been clamouring for some of Australia’s famous ships to make an appearance in the game for quite some time and now that wish has been fulfilled.
HMAS Perth is the first Australian battleship to join the game and has been lovingly recreated in the virtual world. The ship is available now and it boasts quite an effective arsenal including eight 152mm guns, torpedos and the ability to deploy a smoke stream to hide her tracks.
For more info on HMAS Perth check out the fact list below and to see her in action make sure you watch the announcement trailer.
The History of HMAS Perth
HMAS Perth was a modified Leander-class cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy. Commissioned as the cruiser Amphion at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard in England on 15 June, 1936, she began life in the service of the British Royal Navy.
Amphion spent two years in South Africa before returning to Portsmouth for a refit, during which she was given a new catapult to accommodate a Supermarine Seagull flying boat. She was subsequently sold to the Australian government and transferred to the Royal Australian Navy as in June 1939. She was then renamed HMAS Perth.
She saw a short period of peacetime service, during which she and her crew visited New York, representing Australia at the August 1939 World’s Fair. She was meant to return to Australia by the year’s end, but escalating tensions resulted in her being deployed on escort and patrol duties in the West Indies and Western Atlantic. There, she guarded oil tankers plying the routes between Trinidad and Venezuela, and intercepted German ships leaving the Caribbean Islands for Germany. By far, these would be the most peaceful months of her service in the Royal Australian Navy.
In January 1941, while docked at Malta, she came under attack from German aircraft, suffering damage that was repaired by the month’s end. Two months later, in late March of 1941, she saw her first major battle at The Battle of Cape Matapan.
In February 1942, HMAS Perth and USS Houston survived the Battle of the Java Sea where the Allies suffered a disastrous defeat at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). They docked at Tanjung Priok on 28 February to resupply, before sailing out that evening after receiving orders to sail with HNLMS Evertsen through Sunda Strait to Tjilatjap.
They had not anticipated any contact with the Imperial Japanese Navy, but by a stroke of unfortunate coincidence, they encountered the Japanese forces in Bantam Bay and came under attack from twelve destroyers and five cruisers of IJN.
However, despite being demoralised by defeat, low on supplies, and severely outnumbered, the crew of HMAS Perth and USS Houston put up a brave fight to the finish. Salvo after salvo of shells and torpedoes put the two cruisers out of action, sending them to the bottom of the Sunda Strait.
Of HMAS Perth’s 681 crew, 353 perished. Most of the 328 survivors were taken captive, and many died in captivity. At the end of World War 2, just 214 personnel were repatriated to Australia.