The history of the Royal Australian Navy can be traced back to 1788 and the colonisation of Australia by the British. During the period until 1859, vessels of the Royal Navy made frequent trips to the new colonies. In 1859, the Australia Squadron was formed as a separate squadron and remained in Australia until 1913. During the period before Federation, each of the six Australian colonies operated their own colonial naval force; these amalgamated in 1901 as the Commonwealth Naval Forces. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was established in 1911, and in 1913 the fleet steamed through Sydney Heads for the first time.
The Royal Australian Navy has seen action in every ocean of the world during its short life. The RAN first saw action in World War I, and distinguished itself in three oceans. Between the wars the RANs fortunes shifted with the financial situation of Australia: experiencing great growth during the 1920s, but forced to shrink in the 1930s. Entering World War II the RAN was not in the situation it was in 1914. During the war the size of the RAN grew to over 300 vessels of virtually all classes. After World War II the RAN saw action in Korea, Vietnam, and other smaller conflicts. Today the RAN fields a small but modern force, widely regarded as one of the most powerful forces in the Asia Pacific Region.
Read more about History Of The Royal Australian Navy: Pre-Federation Navies, Formation, World War I, The 1918–19 Influenza Pandemic, Between The Wars, World War II, Cold War, Battle Honours, Women in The RAN, The Current Navy, The Future of The RAN
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