HMAS Nizam

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HMAS Nizam
HMAS Nizam.jpg
Navy photo
Name HMAS Nizam
Owner Royal Australian Navy
Builder John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank, Scotland
Launched early 1940
Completed 19 Dec 1940
Out of service 17 Oct 1945
In service 18 Oct 1945 (Royal Navy)
Out of service 1956
Fate scrapped in UK during 1956
General characteristics
Type N Class Destroyer
Tonnage 1,760 tons
Length 356 feet, 6 inches (108.66m)
Beam 35 feet, 8 inches (10.87m)
Depth 16 feet, 4 inches (4.98m)
Propulsion turbines 40,000HP
Speed 36 knots
Capacity 226 crew


One of five N Class Destroyers produced in British yards for the RAN. Commissioned on 19 Dec 1940 she underwent trials before joining the Scarpa Flow fleet where she undertook convoy protection duties in the north Atlantic between January and March 1941. This was followed by a circumnavigation of Africa, ending up in the Mediterranean. In May 1941 she landed Commandos in Greece and came under heavy aircraft attack without suffering damage. She was next involved in evacuating troops from Crete to Alexandria when the British and Australian troops could not contain the German attackers. During her work near Crete it came under continuous air attack.

HMAS Nizam was involved in 14 eventful trips to and from Tobruk while it was under siege. On one trip she damaged her bow on a wreck in Tobruk harbour and on another she sustained damage from a bomb's near miss. During October and November 1941 she acted as an escort for convoys to Malta. In January 1942 she was based at Trincomalee in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) before transferring to Mombasa in Africa for a time, and then back to the Mediterranean where she again worked with Malta convoys. She was involved in the capture of Madagascar from the Vichy French during September 1942.

Following a boiler clean in Simonstown, South Africa, she returned to the Indian Ocean until July 1943 when submarine activity off the Cape of Good Hope forced her to join with other ships based in the South Atlantic. Soon after she returned to Australia for a refit before serving in the northern Indian Ocean escorting convoys, and with the odd other supplementary task, she remained on shipping protection work in the Indian Ocean until November 1944.

HMAS Nizam was to join the newly formed British Pacific Fleet in late 1944 after a refit in Melbourne. However, on her way to Melbourne on 11 Feb 1945, at a position twelve miles off the Cape Leeuwin Light, and while altering course, the ship struck a freak wave and rolled very heavily, 75 to 80 degrees to port. Ten of her crew were lost overboard and could not be retrieved. During March 1945 she was back in Sydney, and with the other 'N' Class destroyers she was ordered to joint the British Far East Fleet at Leyte Gulf. In May 1945 HMAS Nizam was operating in Japanese waters, escorting an aircraft carrier operating against Japan itself.

She was present for the surrender in Tokyo Bay, and spent much of September as part of an American Fleet operating south of Japan before being ordered back to Australia, where she arrived in Sydney on 5 Oct 1945. On 17 Oct 1945, she returned to, and resumed duty with the British Navy. She was scrapped in 1956.

Battle Honours

  • Libya 1940-41
  • Mediterranean 1940-43
  • Crete 1941
  • Malta Convoys 1941-42
  • Indian Ocean 1941-45
  • Pacific 1941-45
  • Okinawa 1945

Crew members