Jap Midget Sub Found Off Sydney Harbour.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by filthyphil, Nov 26, 2005.

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  1. Documentary screening Nov 28 on Fox8 (Australia) will supposedly show the discovery of the Japanese midget sub that escaped the raid on Sydney Harbour. For those not aware, three subs entered the harbour, one fired torpedoes at a Yank cruiser, which missed and struck a ferry used to accommodate naval ratings. Dead included Aussie, Kiwi and British sailors. Two subs were destroyed, one has remained missing up until now.
  2. Fascinating!!!!!!! I wonder will it be on Sky?
  3. Wasn't there a Japanese attempt to attack/invade northern Australia during the Second World War? - I recall that Darwin was bombed (perhaps even shelled by the IJN?).
  4. Did they find any evidence of the midgets?
  5. I visited the old Australian RSA in 1997 and one of the veteran volunteers who was showing us around the coastal artillery complex told the story of the subs. He was on duty the night of the fracas, as a signaller at Manly. Apparently the coastal guns couldn't be brought to bear but the USN cruiser saw the subs off with its secondary armament of six inch guns. The cruiser was a Brooklyn class ship and the Aussie ex-gunner thought that it might have been later sold on to Argentina where it was renamed the...Belgrano. Obviously its sub-hunting days were long behind it by 1982!

    As far as the bombing of Darwin goes, if you visit the HQ of the Aussie Army in Sydney there is a memorial to those killed whilst on the Northern Territories expedition at the beginning of the war with Japan. There was a very serious chance of invasion up until 1943 which of course we westerners were unaware of. Franly I've been to Queensland and the NT - if the Japs really want it, let them have it...
  6. The Belgrano was a Brooklyn class ok. She was originally the USS Phoenix.
  7. One of the mother subs actually shelled Sydney (Rose Bay was the suburb) and Newcastle. One man interviewed was the pilot of a seaplane launched by one of the mother subs. He spent over 50 minutes flying recce over Sydney harbour, at altitudes as low as 30 metres but was not fired on as the gunners mistook him for a seaplane launched from the U.S cruiser. Say what you like about the Japs, but this bloke had a huge pair. I will have both the original doco and the discovery of the missing sub on vhs.
    The two subs caught\destroyed in the harbour were assembled into one complete specimen, and are on display at the War Memorial, Canberra, along with other artefacts recovered. The War Memorial is worth a visit, the museum takes a good two days to see fully.
  8. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Agree with Phil, the War Memorial is very well done and to be fair about the only thing worth visiting in Canberra.

    I was lucky enough to get inside the gun batteries at Middle Head earlier this year and it is a serious fortification. Heard a story that there was this one opportunity to fire the guns and because they couldn't get hold of an officer to authorise fireing (all on the pish - typical Aussies :D) they never shot at the subs.
  9. I believe they already have it and will takl eover the rest within 10yeras! Enjoy !

    PS learn japanese
  10. USS Phoenix (as the belgrano was) wasn't in Sydney

  11. The version of this story I read was that the Japanese seaplane attacked something and everyoine ignored it assuming it was just typical american friendly fire or routine Friday night collateral damage. No one knew until after the war had ended that the japanese had cflown around Sydney harbour.
  12. It is this kind of apparently useless but vitally important to us information that makes Arrse so damn brilliant. Thanks CAB, it makes my informant less windswept and interesting but I think it was a genuine error. He was a nice old boy and didn't even rift me when I pulled out of the car-park and ran over one of the fifty remaining rare marsupials that had been sitting under my car!
  13. Interesting anecdote about the man from the copastal artillery, but the idea that Austrialia was at great risk of invasion is very debatable.

    Australia wasn't in the Japanese plans. They knew they didn't have the troops to occupy a continent -and so did we. Just been reading Alanbrooke's diary and at several points he is quite scathing about how the Australians wewre in a flap wanting every Australian back to devfend against what Alanbrooke reckned at the time wasn't any great threat.

    The Japanese carrier raid in 1942 was in the context of preventing the allies from resupplying the Ducth East Indies. The raids in 1942-43 were, as far as I recall reading, a deception plan to divert attention from PNG and the Solomons.
  14. The Japs sent thousands of allied PWs to the belt of islands close to Oz in order to build a network of airfields. Although the Nips insisted that they were intended as a launching point for an invasion of Oz, most of the PWs realised that the frequency of unchallenged Liberator flights over the islands could only mean that the airstrips had become part of a defensive plan instead.

    Our blokes made sure that although they were obliged on pain of death to build these runways, they planted coconuts just below the surface so that the whole effort unravelled during the following rainy season.

    Amusing sabotage aside, the effectiveness of the USN blockade meant that the death rate in these camps was around 50%.
  15. Chicago was the same class of cruiser as Phoenix, so an easy mistake to make I guess.

    I'll keep my mouth shut from now on.