- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- Ship design and development
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- December 1980 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Recently an article concerning the Bathurst class mine-sweepers was featured in this Review. For completeness a few minor points that were not covered are now mentioned.
With regard to the armament of the class there were very many combinations and the general notation of ‘one four inch gun’ in this case is misleading.
Some of the early units mounted a four inch gun from first commissioning, whilst others carried a 12 pounder 12 cwt quick firer. In the case of the early units the four inch gun carried was a low angle, high velocity breech loader, usually a BL 4 inch Mark IX on CP1 mounting.
This mounting was only capable of 30° elevation and was unsuitable for AA fire. The QF 12 pounder 12 cwt gun was usually mounted on a HA mounting and was capable of AA fire.
Many of the 12 pounder armed Bathursts replaced these weapons with a QF 4 inch Mark XIX on a Mark XXIII dual purpose mounting.
This was the famous Woolworth gun, low velocity but dual purpose. A number of Bathursts received the QF Mark XVI gun on a Mark XX mounting. This particular weapon was a high velocity dual purpose gun, a single version of the twin 4 inch carried by the cruisers and Tribals.
We find then that there were three different types of 4 inch guns carried, as well as the 12 pounder (which was a 3 inch gun).
In regards to close range armament, there were many different outfits. Some of the earlier Bathursts were very badly armed in this area.
It is on record that at least one unit sailed with a low angle BL 4 inch gun and one .303 inch Vickers gun as AA armament. A few units received a single 2 pounder pom-pom and others did not receive anything heavier than the 20mm Oerlikon, as close range defence.
In post war years the standard outfit for the Bathurst class was one QF 4 inch, a single 20mm in either bridge wing, and a 40mm Bofors aft.
As a last point, Castlemaine recorded a mean speed of 15.76 knots on a four hour full power trial in November 1944.