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Ships of Commonwealth

Ships of Commonwealth

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The "Commonwealth of Nations" was born in the early 20th century during the waning years of the British Empire. Officially formed in December 1931 via the Statute of Westminster, the original seven member states were the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and Newfoundland. Today, it is made up of 52 sovereign states that span the globe, and currently includes nations that had no previous political or economic ties to the United Kingdom or the British Empire.


Several of the various nation-states that comprise the Commonwealth deploy their own military forces. Collectively, they are represented in World of Warships under a single flag, but each navy has its own history and traditions.


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The Royal Canadian Navy was created on 4 May 1910.



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HMAS Perth, Tier VI cruiser
With the vast majority of its population spread along the long coastlines of the country, Australia relied upon detached units from the Royal Navy to provide naval defense for over a hundred years. This remained the status quo until 1909, when talks began of a dedicated naval unit to be deployed to Australian waters. It was decided between the British Admiralty and the Australian Government that Australia would purchase a "fleet unit" consisting of six destroyers, three cruisers, three submarines, various auxiliaries, and a battlecruiser. The first two ships, HMAS Yarra and HMAS Parramatta, reached Australian waters in November 1910, and on 10 July 1911 King George V granted the title of Royal Australian Navy to the Commonwealth Naval Forces. By 1913, the completed Australian fleet — led by battlecruiser HMAS Australia — entered Sydney Harbour for the first time.


The RAN served on the frontlines of World War I, supporting Australian landings in the invasion of the German New Guinea colonies and attacking the Ottoman Navy in the Sea of Marmora during the Gallipoli campaign. HMAS Sydney faced off alone against SMS Emden in the middle of the Indian Ocean and won — earning the RAN's first victory at sea — while HMAS Australia was later involved in the Battle of Jutland. After the war, the RAN like many other navies was forced to make changes as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, losing their only battlecruiser, but gaining several pre-war submarines and destroyers.

During the inter-war period, older ships were sold for scrap while newer heavy cruisers, light cruisers, submarines, destroyers, and a seaplane carrier found their way into RAN service. Hampered by the inter-war disarmament policies due to shifting economic and political situations, the RAN rose once again to fight in World War II. Throughout 1940, the RAN distinguished itself in the Mediterranean with the famous destroyers of the "Scrap Iron Flotilla". RAN units returned to defend the Australian homeland when war broke out in the Pacific and enemy ships prowled Australian waters, fighting against the encroaching Empire of Japan as close to home as the Coral Sea.

Since the end of the Second World War, the Royal Australian Navy has served in operations from the Korean Theatre to East Timor, focusing on protecting Australia’s interests in the southwestern Pacific region and peacekeeping around the globe with a 50-strong fleet of modern destroyers, frigates, submarines, and auxiliaries.


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The existing New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy was christened Royal New Zealand Navy by King George VI on 1 October 1941.

Destroyers

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III Vampire  Doubloons
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VII Haida  Doubloons

Cruisers

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VI Perth  Doubloons
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