Submarines in Sydney Harbour during WW2 – 22 February

During the Second World War every country tried to have a secret weapon that would give them an edge.

Germany had the V1 and V2 rockets, jet planes and blitzkrieg. Britain had RADAR, the Spitfire and Winston Churchill. The USA had the ultimate secret weapon – the atomic bomb. Japan had submarines that could launch planes and carry midget submarines that provided both stealth and surprise. No other navy had this capability.

What happened when three of these midget submarines breached inadequate defences and entered Sydney Harbour is a good example of how people react to the unexpected.

Japanese midget submarines recovered from Sydney Harbour.
Photo: (SLV Picture Collection H98.104-898)

If you thought that the USA misinterpreted and ignored warnings, then was slow to react to the attack on Pearl Harbour, wait until you hear how Australia handled the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour.

Former industrial engineer Mervyn Rosen is an active volunteer and guide at the Maritime Museum. Having presented the story of the Krait and Operation Jaywick to Society members last April, at our next meeting Mervyn will tell the story of the midget submarine attack on Sydney in May 1942 .

Meeting at Herb Greedy Hall, 79 Petersham Road, Marrickville, Saturday 22 February 10.15 for 10.30 am.