- Nicholls, Bob
- Colonial navies, History - general
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- December 2002 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
They then considered the Royal Navy forces then on the Australia Station. These consisted of but three cruisers, only one of which, the large armoured cruiser HMS Powerful, had any military significance.
In a letter written at the time by a Lieutenant Commander who was the gunnery officer on board USS Connecticut the following assessment appeared.
‘These vessels were, with the exception of the Powerful, small and unimportant, and though frequent conversations were held with the officers, the comparative inattention given to Gunnery on the Australia Station rendered the information available of no value and of little interest. Among the British officers this is known as the Society Station and by tacit consent little work is done’.
Remarking on relations between British officers on the Station and the inhabitants of Australia and New Zealand the writer went on:
‘It may be stated that the feeling among the British officers on this Station and the Australians and New Zealanders is not the best, the latter in many cases regarding the officers as snobbish, while they in turn evince a feeling of suppressed disdain toward the general class of the inhabitants. This feature was very frequently remarked on, particularly by the middle classes . . . they often mentioned the democratic qualities in American officers in comparison with the aristocratic airs of the officers of the Royal Navy.’
(To be concluded in the next edition of the Review, which will also contain a list of suggested further reading)