Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Expensive mice

by
September 2008, no. 304

The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, spies and spin by Peter Yule and Derek Woolner

CUP, $59.95 hb, 364 pp

Expensive mice

by
September 2008, no. 304

Operating submarines has been a very expensive part of Australian naval history. The first two boats (submarines are referred to as ‘boats’ rather than ‘ships’) were lost in wartime operations: AE1 with all hands off Gape Gazelle (New Guinea) in 1914, and AE2 in the Sea of Marmara (Turkey) in 1915. After World War I, Australia was given six ‘J’ Class submarines by Britain, but lacked the personnel and funds to maintain them. They were soon scrapped. Two submarines acquired in the late 1920s – Oxley and Otway – were decommissioned during the Great Depression. Thirty-five years later, the RAN took delivery of the first Oberon Class submarines built in Scotland. All six boats served with distinction during the Cold War, several engaging in highly classified ‘special operations’. By the mid 1980sthe RAN’s ageing submarine fleet needed replacing. Australia was about to learn that submarines were even more costly to build. Although submarines had been refitted and extensively modernised in Australia, none had been built from plans.

Tom Frame reviews 'The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, spies and spin' by Peter Yule and Derek Woolner

The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, spies and spin

by Peter Yule and Derek Woolner

CUP, $59.95 hb, 364 pp

From the New Issue

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.