HMS Encounter

HMAS Encounter was a Challenger class second class cruiser that spent most of the First World War on the Australian station. She had been given to the new Royal Australian Navy in 1912. In August 1914 the Australian government decided to attack German New Guinea, and organised a military expedition. The Encounter was part of the squadron led by the battlecruiser HMAS Australia which escorted the invasion fleet from Rossel Lagoon at the eastern end of New Guinea to Rabaul and then to Freidrich-Wilhelm Harbour. In early October the squadron then put to see in case the German squadron under Admiral von Spee turned towards Australia. By the start of November the Encounter, along with the Australia and the Montcalm were at Suva, expecting orders which never came to chase von Spee across the Pacific.

Other than a short spell on the China station in 1915-1916, the Encounter spent the rest of the war on the Australia station, operating under the direct orders of the government at Melbourne. After the war she was used as a receiving ship at Sydney (1919-1923), then as a submarine depot ship (1923-1929) under the name Penguin. She was finally paid off in 1929 and scuttled in 1932.



Top Speed


Armour – deck

1.5in – 3in

 - conning tower


 - gunshields


 - engine hatches





Eleven 6in quick firing guns
Nine 12pdr quick firing guns
Six 3prd quick firing guns
Two 18in submerged torpedo tubes

Crew complement



18 June 1902


21 November 1905


Captain C. La P. Lewin (1914)
Captain Stevenson (1917)



Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 November 2007), HMS Encounter ,

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