The 23 chapters in Volume 1 mainly refer to the historical developments of Australian submarines from AE1 and AE2 in 1914 up to the current Collins class. The 33 appendices in Volume 2 contained detailed material about aspects of these submarines and the Australian, NZ and British submarine personnel and their lives and careers – information that has never before been published. Michael White’ssecond edition of ‘Australian Submarines: A History’ builds on and brings up-to-date the work in his first edition (pri vately published by the author in 1992). It commences with a discussion of the policy issues as to whether Australia needed submarines and then the decision to buy AE1 and AE2. It then goes through their coming to Australia, the tragic loss of AE1 in New Guinea on 14 September 1914 and the bravery and daring of the AE2 crew in penetrating the Dardanelles on Anzac Day in 1915. The history then goes on to deal with the J-Class submarines that came to Australia in 1919, the first Oxley and Otway (which went to the RN in the Depression in 1931), and the fact that in World War Two, Australia had no submarines except for the Dutch K IX whose career ended with a battery explosion in 1944. Then the period of the RN Fourth Submarine Squadron based in Sydney is dealt with, including some of the happy memories of those who served in it. The book sets out the story of the new RAN submarine arm from 1963. When Oxley (S 57) arrived in Neutral Bay, Sydney, in 1967, so began the new Australian era of submarines. The basic dates of the O Boats are outlined, along with the building and basic dates of the Collins class. The book deals with some of the issues about the intelligence patrols, about the Future Submarine and also records the numerous plaques, services, memorials and museums in Australia and overseas dedicated to Australian submarines and Australian and New Zealand submariners. There is a detailed chapter on special submarine craft such as the X-Craft in which some of the submarine heroes like Max Sheean, Henty Henty-Creer and Ken Briggs served, and in some cases died.
AUSTRALIAN SUBMARINES: A HISTORY Volume I and Volume II
This two-volume set, covers the Australian submarine history from the first Government policy debates in 1910 through the many classes of submarine and the numerous people who served in them up. A work of massive proportion that represents the lifelong research of its author and the support of at least four other primary researchers who have exceptional knowledge of Australian submarine operations. It is an outstanding source book of pertinent information. Some of the operational narratives are exceptional. The work of AE2 in the Dardanelles, although well known, is well worth repeating. The unlucky K9 is an interesting story of endurance despite the obstacles, and the remarkable bravery of the X-Craft men is a story of courage and professionalism.