I originally had conceptions of posting multiple suggestion threads for the Bathurst class, as of the 60 vessels constructed there were varying armaments and equipment that definitely constitute adding numerous vessels of the type, perhaps as an Australian coastal sub-tree in the UK tech tree. However I have decided to group the class in to one thread to allow the choice of selection based on best fit.
Three solid suggestions would however be HMAS Bathurst (I) J158, as introduced and the class’ namesake. The earlier armament would provide a good lower BR entry point, perhaps around the 2.0 mark.
The HMAS Ipswich (I) J186, noteworthy for perhaps being the only one to have claimed both a naval victory (sinking of Japanese submarine RO-110 in the Bay of Bengal), and an aerial victory (credited with shooting down a twin engine bomber at Syracuse in July 1943). Its armament also represents one of the more common loadouts of the class, and would sit as a mid BR option for the Bathursts perhaps around 2.3.
The HMAS Geraldton (I) J178, would appear to have at one stage been the most heavily armed Bathurst, with 1x 4inch gun, 1x40mm Bofors, 6x20mm Oerlikons (although possibly 4 at the time the 40mm was installed) along with the 2x depth charge throwers and 4x depth charge chutes. A higher BR of 2.7 or so.
As a side note the HMAS Junee J362 only had the 1x4inch gun and 1x 40mm Bofors making it the weakest armed version. Again presenting the range of options available for tech tree additions. And lastly I want to post this link in the intro, it is a PDF format book directly from the Australian Navy’s website and covers literally everything I think you could want to know about the class. At 260 pages it’s far more detail than I can include in this post, from technical specs, to camos, histories, and even comparisons to similar vessels such as the Flower Class.
So with that all said, on to the brief summary.
The Bathurst class’s origins trace back to 1937 when Australia identified the need for a Boom Defence vessel and, by 1938 a Local Defence Vessel. The concept for the Local Defence Vessel conceived by RAN Director of Engineering, Rear Admiral Percival McNeil, known as HMAS Kangaroo, more resembled a sloop than a local defence vessel. While this vessel was ultimately never built, the overall versatility of the design attracted interest, and after the outbreak of war in 1939 a new procurement order resulted in the development of this original concept to what would become the Bathurst class.
A total of 60 Bathurst class were constructed, 56 for the Royal Australian Navy and 4 for the Royal Indian Navy.
The Bathurst performed many tasks and served with distinction, performing roles in minesweeping, anti-submarine, escort, troop and supply transport, bombardment, assault landings support, survey and hydrography mapping, and providing aid to disabled ships. They saw action in local Australian waters, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and, albeit briefly, the Atlantic Ocean. They were also present in Tokyo Bay for the surrender of Japan.
The first Bathurst, HMAS Bathurst, was laid down in February 1940, and the class served until 1960 when the last Bathurst in service, HMAS Wagga, was decommissioned.
Dimensions (HMAS Bathurst)
Displacement: 665 tonnes (standard) to around 1000 tonnes (full warload)
Propulsion: Triple expansion engine, 2 shafts, 2000hp
Speed: 15 knots (28km/hr)
Standard Crew Compliment: 85
Primary: 1x QF 12-pounder Mk I, II and V versions or 1x 4-inch/45 BL Mk IX on CP Mk I Mounting or 1x QF 4-inch Mk XIX on CP Mk XXIII mounting or 1x 4-inch Mk XVI
Secondary: 1x 2-pdr QF Mk VIII and/or 3-6x 20mm Oerlikon and/or 1x 40mm Bofors QF Mk III and/or various mountings of 0.303 caliber Vickers, Lewis and Bren machine guns
and 40x depth charges for 2x chutes and 4x throwers
For mountings, positions, ammunition, please refer the link posted in my intro.
If you spot any errors, let me know and I will edit. Naval vessels, with their ever changing layouts during their service life, I find are hard to describe.