Originally named HMS Apollo and built in Devonport, England, and launched on October 9, 1934, the HMAS Hobart was a Perth-class light cruiser that displaced 7,105 tons and 9,150 tons fully loaded. Her maximum rated speed was 32.5 knots driven by a power plant of four boilers and four steam turbines that turned four propellers. Her armament included eight 6-inch guns in four dual-mounted turrets, four 4-inch guns singly mounted, four 3-pounders, and eight 21-inch torpedo tubes in two quad-mounts. She carried a crew complement of 570 officers and enlisted personnel.
After completing construction on January 13, 1936, the Apollo steamed in North American and West Indies waters until mid 1939. When the Royal Navy transferred the light cruiser to the Australian Navy, her new masters renamed as the HMAS Hobart in late September 1938. The cruiser steamed to Australian water before World War II began one year later.
The Hobart cruised off Australia, the East Indies, and the Indian Ocean to protect troop convoys bound for war zones and from German surface raiders. She went to the Red Sea and battled the Italian Navy for several months. The cruiser was in the Mediterranean Sea for the latter months of 1941.
However, Australia needed every ship it could get its hands on when the Japanese attacked Allied bases in December. She steamed for Australian waters and served in the Pacific for the rest of World War II. During 1942, the cruiser participated in the Battle of Coral Sea in May and invasion of Guadalcanal in August.
The Hobart continued to operate in the Coral Sea guarding Allied convoys and protect the sea-lanes from Japanese surface warships. She was in a task force with the Australia and three American destroyers on July 20, 1943 when a Japanese submarine torpedoed her and badly damaged her after hull. The damaged was too severe for her to continue in combat. So she had to go to Sydney for extensive repairs and not able to serve until December 1944.
The light cruiser returned to duty to serve in the Philippines and East Indies while supporting the landings on Cebu Island in March 1945 and Borneo in April-July. The Hobart was in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945 to witness Japan’s surrender. She continued to serve during the Allied occupation of that country.
The Australian Navy decommissioned the cruiser in December 1947 and placed her in reserve. They subsequently converted her into a training cruiser in 1953. Nevertheless, the Navy cancelled her mission in 1956 and placed her once more in reserve status. Six years later, the navy sold her for scrap. The ship ended her existence being taken apart in Japan.