Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The RAN in WWI – Part 2

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Last time we covered the formation the Royal Australian Navy and their involvement in the opening months of the war. We looked at operations around the Bismarck Sea to capture German wireless stations, where Australia’s first World War I casualties were suffered, including the loss of the AE1, which made up half of the Australian submarine fleet.

We then joined the convoy taking the first contingent of Australian troops to war and the battle between HMAS Sydney and the German raider Emden. Fresh from its victory, Sydney rejoined the convoy as they sailed into Colombo.

Now, with the AIF safely delivered across the Indian Ocean, the RAN was free to undertake other duties. Some stayed to support the AIF during the Gallipoli Campaign while others went to join the wider war.

So, from Colombo the roles of HMAS Sydney and Melbourne came to an end and they were each ordered onto other duties. Sydney headed off to Malta where she took part in about eighteen months of uneventful patrolling. Melbourne similarly headed off for uneventful patrolling, but she plied the coast of America from New York to Brazil and back up again.

Eventually though, both ships were ordered back to European waters by the end of 1916, and we’ll pick them up again when we get to that bit. You may also recall from the last episode the HMAS Australia was hunting for Admiral von Spee around the Falkland Islands. When Von Spee was finally sorted out in December 1914, Australia was ordered to Devonport as well, and we’ll catch up with her again later as well.

So basically, while the AIF was training in Egypt, the ships of the RAN were out and about in other parts of the world, patrolling and escorting. Which meant that when Australian soldiers first went into battle on 25th April 1915 at Gallipoli, a seaborne landing, the RAN played very little part and so the navy doesn’t really get mentioned when the “ANZAC” spirit is mentioned, at least as it relates to the Gallipoli campaign.

But the RAN was represented both on the first day of the campaign and also a bit later on. But we’ll cover the day of the Landing first. With the threat to shipping around the Australian coast more or less neutralised, it was agreed by the British Admiralty and the RAN that submarine AE2 would be of more use in the European Theatre. So, when the second AIF convoy left Albany on 31 December 1914, the AE2 was taken under tow and so was in the right general area when the Dardanelles campaign was proposed. Now I’m no expert on such things, but I’d assume when a vessel is taken under tow, most of the crew would still be required to remain on board to keep things, ‘ship shape’ so to speak, or maybe to be ready to go solo should weather conditions or enemy activity require the cutting of the tow line. I can only imagine how cramped and uncomfortable such a journey would be in one of those early submarines. Those early submariners were certainly cut from a different cloth to the rest of us.

She arrived in Egypt on 28 January 1915 and began patrolling around the Mediterranean in preparation for the upcoming Dardanelles campaign as part of the British 2nd Submarine Flotilla. The Campaign was initially intended as a solely maritime operation. The powers that be, led by Winston Churchill were of the opinion that they could just sail a few old battleships up the Dardanelles Strait, wave the Union Jack off the coast of Constantinople and Turkey would somehow surrender with nary a shot fired. But in what became a feature of the whole Gallipoli fiasco, they’d totally underestimated the Turkish will and their ability to defend their country. Basically, by the end of 18 March, the Allied attempt to force the Straits turned around with heavy losses.

Fortunately for the crew of the AE2 they weren’t involved on that day. On 10th March they were returning to Malta after a patrol. Normally the harbour lights were turned on to aid in navigation. But on the 10th, they were turned off. Nobody had thought to tell the AE2s commander, Lieutenant Henry Stoker that the lights would be off and so he promptly ran aground, apparently lacking the ability to see in pitch blackness and find his way with absolutely no navigational aids whatsoever as Higher Command apparently expected him to.

So as a result, the submarine was towed to Malta for repairs and so wasn’t available for the 18th March disaster. She was however, back in the game to play her role when troops were landed to try and take out the Turkish gun positions which had hampered the Fleet’s mine clearing efforts on the 18th.

While the surface vessels were transporting troops, AE2 embarked upon her own date with destiny. Strangely enough though, it wasn’t until the end of the war that Australia got to learn of what AE2 got up to. It was widely reported that at the time that she was the only vessel to make it through the Dardanelles, but the details had to wait until Commander Stoker was released from captivity at the end of the war.

I’ll quote the first few of paragraphs from his account of the first part of his adventure and then I’ll raise a couple of points.

Having proceeded from the anchorage of Tenedos, I lay at entrance to the Dardanelles until the moon set, and about 2:30am on April 25 entered the straits at about 8 knots. Searchlights from White Cliffs, Kephez Point and Chanak were sweeping the straits. Weather calm and clear. As the order to run amok in the Narrows precluded all possibility of making the passage unseen, I decided to hold on the surface as afar as possible. As I proceeded, the searchlights at White Cliffs, sweeping the lower reaches of the strait, forced me to edge towards the northern shore. At about 4:30am being then not quite abreast of Swandere River, a gun opened fire at about 1 ½ miles range from the northern shore. I immediately dived and at a depth of 70 to 80 feet proceeded through the minefield. During the ensuing half hour or so the scraping of wires against the vessel’s sides was almost continuous, and on two occasions something caught up forward and continued to knock for some considerable time before breaking loose and scraping away aft. Having risen twice for observation in the minefield (which I considered necessary, as E15 had run ashore in this vicinity) on arising the third time I found the vessel in good position, rather over to the northern side of the straits, and approaching the Narrows, some two miles distant.’

So from this passage you get a good idea of just how primitive these early subs were. The only way Stoker could be 100 per cent sure of his location, was to pop up to the surface and have look. This obviously has a couple of downsides. One, if you pop up in the wrong spot, an eagle-eyed Turkish gunner might have the chance to lob a shell right onto you. But honestly that’s the least of your problems. Remember he said he had to surface in the middle of the minefield, and he was sailing under the mines. Chose the wrong time to come up and he could quite possibly hit one of those mines, sending them all to the bottom to die horribly. On the other hand, not knowing his exact location could result in running aground, getting stuck or damaging the sub keeping all on the bottom to die horribly. Tough choice.

And there was the almost continuous scraping of wires against the vessel’s side thing. Keep in mind, those wires were attached to mines. If one of those wires snagged on something it could quite possibly drag a mine down onto the sub. And, as Stoker noted, on two occasions, something did snag. But what can you do? Can’t just jump outside and untangle it can you? You just have to push forward, hope for the best and remember you have clean underwear available in your trunk for when all this is over.

Obviously they did make it through the minefield and into the Narrows. Now was the time to carry out the aforementioned orders to “run amok”. At a depth of about 20 feet, Stoker looked through his periscope for a target. Sounds pretty easy, but by this stage the sun was up and a moving vertical stick poking out of the sea didn’t go unnoticed by the Turkish gunners who commenced a pretty accurate fire. As Stoker said, this made observation through the periscope rather difficult. But he did find a target.

He saw an old hulk he believed may have been dropping mines into the Narrows and so he decided to attack it. But as he was lining up he saw a small destroyer come out from behind the hulk. Judging that ship more likely to be dropping mines Stoker lined it up instead. At about 300 – 400 yards he fired a torpedo and then promptly ordered his crew to dive to 70 feet to avoid another destroyer which was trying to ram them from the port side (that’s the left for you land lubbers out there). As this destroyer passed close overhead, the crew could hear the explosion as the torpedo hit its target to their front. That ship was in all likelihood beginning to sink and as it was still directly in Stoker’s direction of travel, he ordered a hard starboard (right) turn to avoid it.

It was about here that Stoker had his first real ‘oops’ moment. As he was trying to get back on course and back up to 20 feet so he could use his periscope again, he found a spot where the bottom was rising. He slid up the bank a little way and ended up with a significant portion of his conning tower sticking above water, right under Fort Anatoli Medjidieh. The guns at the fort were so close, that when they fired, the flash from the muzzle almost reached AE2’s periscope. They quickly managed to re-float, slammed it into reverse, dropped the clutch and burnt rubber getting out of there.

Shortly after he ran aground again on the Gallipoli shore. They were stuck there for about five minutes. Stoker noticed the vessel was inclined towards the front and so he ordered full speed ahead. They slowly started to move down the bank and eventually had enough water under them to continue, but on the way down they bumped heavily onto the bottom. Stoker was pretty sure that bump did some considerable damage, affecting her fighting ability. But he considered that his main mission was to show that a passage could be forced through the straits and so he decided to push on regardless.

By this stage their presence was well and truly known and a number of enemy vessels were carrying out search operations. Stoker made the decision to dive to 90 feet and set course for the Sea of Marmora. Having calculated that he’d arrived, he again ascended to have a look through the periscope and confirmed that he had made it to his objective and could see the pursuing vessels looking for him to the south. But again his periscope was spotted and the shore batteries opened up, so he dived to 90 feet and sat there for half an hour while the search went on above him.

When he once again came up to 20 feet, he noticed two tugs heading his way, one on either side, with a wire hanging between them. He assumed that under that wire was some kind of net, in which they were hoping to snare him. So, back down to 90 feet.

Now Stoker began to have another issue. While under water, the AE2 ran on battery power. The battery could only be charged while running under diesel power on the surface. All this time underwater was seriously draining the battery. But with the pursuit going on overhead, he couldn’t surface. So his only real option was to run her aground underwater and sit tight while only running the absolutely necessary equipment. They stayed like this for a couple of hours while Turkish ships scurried around overhead. But the Turks weren’t stupid. They weren’t just sailing around willy nilly, hoping that by some stroke of luck they’d make contact. They were in fact carrying out a systematic, grid by grid search pattern and using various methods to try and hit AE2, such as the netting mentioned previously, and by dragging heavy objects across the sea floor to see if they could hit them.

And they did. The crew heard a number of heavy impacts as they lay there, and by 11am Stoker figured it was time to move to a better position. But the last bump had caused a leak in the hull and a fair amount of water collected in the bilges, throwing the trim characteristics out of whack. They had little choice but to sit there until dark, where they could rise to the surface, drain the water and charge their batteries.

It was while on the surface that Stoker was able to radio back their location to the main force. It was about that time that the Commanders at Anzac were considering the possibility of evacuation. News that AE2 had made it through the straits was one of the things which General Sir Ian Hamilton had used as his justification to issue the directive that the men at Anzac merely had to ‘dig dig dig until you are safe.’

The night of the 25th passed quietly on board AE2. She’d taken some damage throughout the day but was still operational and still a massive threat to Turkish shipping in the area. Around dawn on the 26th while still on the surface Stoker noticed a number of ships ahead and dived to attack. This attack didn’t go so well. The first ship successfully dodged the torpedo and the second ship was too close to allow time to reload another one, so Stoker held his fire. Stoker admitted the attack failed due to, ‘his personal error in overdoing an unseen attack’.

It was then that he decided it was time to head out into the Sea of Marmora to do some damage. But the 26th was a bit of a fizzer really. On sailing into the Sea of Marmora he noticed a number of vessels, but they were flying no flags so Stoker couldn’t tell if they were military vessels or just ordinary merchant ships going about their business. He only had eight torpedoes when he entered the Straits the previous day and had already fired off two. He needed to make sure that those he had left would actually assist the troops on the ground.

He decided to investigate the ships a little closer and found no sign of troops on the nearest one, but then, as he sailed past, rifle fire came from the deck, aiming for the periscope and flags were run up. He dived again and fired a torpedo at the second ship but missed. Unable to catch the other ships, he disengaged and spent the rest of the day on the surface, charging his batteries and as he put it, investigating fishing boats.

The 27th was almost a mirror image of the 26th. They sighted a ship being escorted by two destroyers. This was obviously a military target, so they had a crack. They fired a torpedo at the second of the destroyers, but the torpedo’s engine failed to fire and so basically just floated to the bottom of the sea. The destroyer was attempting to ram AE2 so there was no chance of getting off a second shot. Stoker dived down and spent the rest of the day sitting on the bottom, allowing his crew a chance to rest.

On the 28th they again had a shot at a destroyer and missed. They then lay low until the evening when they moved to the Gallipoli shore in hope of getting a wireless message to the Allied navy. It appears they were successful as a rendezvous was organised for the following day with the E14. Prior to that vessels arrival, Stoker made himself visible to the enemy shipping and lured them out into the Sea of Marmora where he dived and attacked one of the gunboats, but again, the torpedo narrowly missed its target. He then went to the rendezvous. The commander of E14 ordered Stoker to another rendezvous point for 10am the following morning.

On 30th April, after making repairs to an exhaust tank valve, they proceeded to the allocated point. Upon arrival Stoker saw a torpedo boat heading his way and dived to avoid it. He noticed some smoke off in the distance and went to investigate, but while heading that way AE2’s nose rose suddenly, and she broke the surface about a mile from the torpedo boat. Stoker ordered the front tanks to be flooded but she refused to dive. Until all of a sudden, she did. The depth gauge only went to 100 feet, but the vessel kept diving long past where the gauge stopped. Frantic efforts were made to regain control, but as the dive stopped, they speared back towards the surface, stern first, at a great rate of knots until she broke through again. Sitting on the surface she was hit three times by fire from the torpedo boat.

Realising the AE2’s adventure was all over, Stoker ordered all hands on deck, opened the tanks to flood the vessel and AE2 sank to the bottom. The crew were picked up by Turkish ships, without loss of life and that was that. They spent the next four years in Turkish prisons.

Now it may sound as though the AE2’s mission over those few days was pretty unsuccessful. It appears they only hit one ship and if that was your measure of success then you’d be fair in saying it was a total failure.

But it wasn’t. Over those five days, AE2 caused a lot of concern for the Turkish authorities. They couldn’t risk sending troops from the Asiatic side of the Dardanelles to Gallipoli with a rouge submarine lurking. Many of the reinforcements to oppose the Landing would need to take the longer, land-based route. It’s quite possible that this delay gave the Anzac troops a small window of opportunity to establish some kind of rudimentary defensive position. And you can’t really underestimate the morale boosting value of knowing an Australian vessel was on the other side of the Peninsula causing the Turks some headaches.

They may not have inflicted much damage, but the efforts of Stoker and his crew, certainly needs to be recognised as one of the few successful operations of the Gallipoli campaign.

And so that brings us to the other Naval unit to be involved during the Gallipoli operation. How many of you have heard of the 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train? Don’t be embarrassed if you haven’t. Until I started researching this topic I had never heard of them either. So I’ll give a wee bit of back ground.

After the earlier operations around Rabaul that I covered last time around, the role of the Naval Reserves appeared to be over. The war in Europe had devolved into trench warfare and so there wasn’t much for a naval reserve unit in Australia to do. And so, on 8th February 1915 the Navy Board sent a memo to the Minister of Defence proposing that the officers and men of the reserve be offered to the Home Government (meaning England) as a Bridging Train. Now in this context a Bridging Train basically means a pioneer unit. This unit, although maintaining naval ranks and ratings, would be paid, organised, equipped and trained under military supervision.

So the upshot was, they’d still be in the navy, but would carry out their duties as required on land. They wore the same uniforms as the soldiers, with puttees, khaki tunics and slouch hats. The only real distinguishing trait was that instead of a rising sun badge on their hats, they had an anchor.

When considering who would lead this unit, the Naval Board went with two officers who had distinguished themselves during the Rabaul operations. Overall command was given to Lieutenant Bracegirdle with the 2IC Lieutenant Bond.

Now it was all well and good to create this new unit and to say it will be able to build bridges and pontoons etc, but another thing to actually make it happen. By 12th March 1915, the 115 men who would made up the first draft of the Bridging Team were encamped at the Domain in Melbourne, none of them with any experience whatsoever in building pontoons or bridges. Nor did they have anything to train with until the middle of May. And being naval men, they had no real experience in using horses for carrying the pontoon materials when they did arrive.

It was only about two weeks after any sort of training equipment arrived at the Domain that, on 3rd June, 7 officers, 278 petty officers and men and 412 horses boarded the transport ship Port Macquarie and headed off to England.

But as they were on the water the plans for the August Offensive at Gallipoli were beginning to take shape. Part of that attack was to be a new landing to the North of Anzac Cove at a place called Suvla Bay. I won’t go into detail about the Suvla landing as this episode is about the Navy, but by way of a very basic background, here goes.

As the Australians attacked at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair, the plan was for the British to land at Suvla, push forward into the hills and then to the south to link up with the Australians. In short it was a debacle. The man in charge was General Stopford, who was basically dragged out of a pleasant retirement and given command due to his seniority, never having commanded men in battle. The best description I’ve ever come across was in Les Carlyon’s book, Gallipoli. He said that when Stopford submitted an article of his life in a magazine, he stated he’d had a good innings. Carlyon stated, he may have had a good innings, but judging by his performance at Suvla, you have to wonder if he knew why he’d been sent into bat.

Anyway, it was the fate of the Bridging Train to be assigned to assist the landings at Suvla Bay. With only five days’ worth of instruction on building pontoons, the Train would be responsible for constructing a pontoon pier, after the initial infantry waves had landed, to allow subsequent ships to come as close to shore as possible to unload further troops and equipment. But such was the confusion on that first day that upon landing the best the Train could do was secure some barrels and build a rough pier at ‘A’ Landing.

But their story really began on the following day. They were finally able to bring their pontoons ashore and constructed an operational pier in record time, which allowed the disembarkation to be completed later that night. But while they were building that pier, word came that the transports for taking the wounded off couldn’t get close enough to shore. No worries said the Train. They prepared some pontoons and superstructure on their own vessel, the Itria, and then rowed it two miles to A Beach, under fire the whole way, and within 20 minutes of their arrival a pier 120 yards long was in place and wounded were finally being loaded.

One of the major issues at Suvla Bay was the lack of water. There were no water supplies on land and so it all had to be bought in from the sea. By day two, the troops were so thirsty that they would gather in large groups waiting for the water supply to be carted in in old petrol tins. This gave the Turks a beautiful target and may troops were lost.

It was decided that the Bridging Train would be responsible for the whole supply of water from ship to shore, on top of their other duties of constructing and maintaining the piers and the disembarkation of other supplies. They decided to take a number of their pontoons and dig them into the ground at the end of the beach, to be used as tanks. They then ran fire hoses from the supply ships to the tanks and using the fire fighting pumps, they pumped the water ashore. But the thirsty troops punched holes in the canvas hoses to help themselves to the water. Sentries were posted by it wasn’t until metal piping was installed that the tanks could really be filled reliably.

In his account of the Bridging Train’s duties Bracegirdle wrote a list of typical duties for the Team: “water supply, care of landing piers, discharging of stores from store ships and transports, lighterage of the same to the shore, salving of lighters and steamboats wrecked during gales, assisting in salving of T.B.D Louis, disembarking of troops with their baggage on all beaches and munitions and stores. Control and issue of all engineer and trench stores and materials, care and issue of trench bombs and demolition stores, erection of high explosive magazines, dug-outs, cookhouses and galleys, assembly of hospital huttings, construction of iron frames for front line wire entanglements and the manning and control of the steam-tug Daphne.

All this was carried out under the constant threat from Turkish snipers and artillery, without the ability to fight back. They were an engineer unit, not a combat unit. On occasion, British infantry would be required to provide assistance to the Bridging Team. It was reported that the Poms were relieved to get back to the comparative safety of the front line trenches.

Charles Bean paid a visit to the Suvla area to see how things were progressing. While there he saw what the Bridging Train was up to. He wrote in the official history, “There they are today, in charge of the landing of a great part of the stores of the British army. They are quite cut off from their own force; they scarcely come into the category of the Australian Force, and scarcely into that of the British; they are scarcely army and scarcely navy. Who it is that looks after their special interests, and which is the authority that has the power of recognising and good work they have done I do not know. If you want to see the work you only have to go to Kangaroo Beach, Suvla Bay, and look about you. They have made a harbour.”

But all in all it was for nothing. The August offensive was a dismal failure and when winter started to close in later in the year, evacuation was ordered. The Bridging Train got to work constructing more piers for the embarkation of the troops. Extra huts were constructed to house the troops coming back from the front lines before they embarked. all the other duties such as supply of water and controlling of stores still had to be undertaken and from 12th December to the 16th December, they were at it 24 hours a day. Their turn for evacuation came at 2am on 18th December. It was only upon arrival at Mudros that Bracegirdle reported sick with jaundice and malaria.

After Gallipoli and a period of recuperation, the Bridging Train took part in the Sinai-Palestine campaign. As the Allies pushed the Turkish army back along the coast, the Bridging Train was following along, constructing bridges and piers as required. They were also used for constructing tracks between adjacent bridgeheads each evening, by dragging a heavy wooden roller with two horses. First thing the next morning, an officer would ride along this track to see if there were any tracks made in it overnight. The object being to confirm if any Turks had managed to cross that track, leaving behind footprints of men or horses. Any signs of activity would put the Garrison on alert and the appropriate action taken.

So that just about covers Gallipoli and the RAN’s involvement. For most of the RAN, the war now moved to Europe. But before we get to that there is one other interesting tale to tell. That of the HMAS Psyche.

At the outbreak of war, Psyche was actually part of the New Zealand Navy and took part in the early operations to capture German held territory in Samoa. It also formed part of the escort bringing New Zealand troops to Albany before they sailed for Egypt. But she was an old tub by that stage and was decommissioned on 22 January 1915.

In May 1915 she was loaned to the RAN as a training vessel and was commissioned into the RAN on 1 July.  Now, by mid-1915 the war was stretching its tentacles further out into the world. While the main action was taking place in Europe, there were doings-a transpiring around the sub-continent, particularly India and Burma. The Germans had been active in the area since at least 1911, stirring up discontent among the locals towards British rule. It was believed that through their embassy in Washington, German agents were smuggling arms and propaganda into that area.

Now this was obviously nowhere near as important as blockading the German High Seas fleet or escorting troops ships and so the top-of-the-line modern vessels couldn’t really be diverted to this region to patrol for smugglers.

But the Pscyhe could. No longer a training ship she was sent to the region with HMAS Fantome. She may no longer have been a training ship officially, but most of her crew were still under training and many of the petty officers had very little real experience. Nevertheless, she left Sydney on 16 August and headed to Asia under the command of Commander Henry Feakes.

Psyche joined other ships in the Burma Coast Patrol. A typical patrol lasted 10 to 12 days after which the ships would return to Rangoon to re-coal for 3 or 4 days. While on patrol all the training requirements were undertaken so the crew were kept busy. The conditions on board were far from perfect and the extreme heat in the north and severe storms in the south of the patrol area pushed the crew to their limits.

Between 14 October and 2 November an unidentified illness began affecting the ship. 12 crew members were hospitalised and 14 more remained on board despite coming down with the illness.

In January the Burma Coast Patrol was disbanded, as the activity in that area had collapsed and Psyche was ordered to Penang on the Malay Peninsula. 8 Crew members were sent back to Australia, being deemed unfit for tropical service. But the illness and deteriorating condition of the crew was probably due more to the unsuitableness of Psyche for tropical conditions.

There was very little ventilation below decks and none of the modern conveniences enjoyed by newer ships. The work was hard and unrelenting in the tropical heat. Eventually the crew members had had enough.

On 12 February, while in Port at Kelang seven stokers refused duty and were court martialled. The thing which really set the whole thing of it seemed was the food. Virtually from the time they sailed from Sydney, the crew were constantly complaining about the poor quality of the food. Complaints ranged from green or rotten meat, rotten eggs and fish from tins and very little in the way fresh fruit and veg.

Stoker Albert Hummerston was the first to refuse to mount duty in protest and was subsequently arrested. Six more refused duty in support of Hummerston and were also placed under the charge of a sentry. They were all found guilty of wilful disobedience of a lawful command and received sentences varying for 12 months to two years imprisonment and dismissal from the RAN.

These men were replaced by a draft of ten replacements from Australia and put to sea again to continue patrols around the Gulf of Siam. The heavy workload continued in heavy seas and tropical heat for about two months and when the ship docked at Hong Kong on the 2 July for inspection and refit, six officers and 70 crew were sent to hospital with various illnesses, while 40 more remained on board for treatment. This meant that around half of the ship’s crew were incapacitated due to illness. The ship’s surgeon submitted a report stating that the crew was in urgent need of a spell in a cold climate.

In August Psyche put to sea again patrolling the southern coast of China, based at Hong Kong. The health of the crew improved somewhat, possibly due to the cooler conditions off the Chinese coast. She stayed in that region, patrolling as usual until October where she was again ordered back to Singapore to begin patrol activities in the Bay of Bengal and off the coast of Sumatra.

In March 1917 she detached to perform escort duties for military transports between Burma and India before finally, on 16 July 1917 she returned to Singapore where she was to be relieved by HMS Suffolk and then she headed home to Sydney arriving in September. She was decommissioned on 16 October.

She’d spent more than two years on active service without firing a shot in anger. The work was tedious, un-relenting and took a toll on the health of the crew. It was also probably the closest the RAN has come to a mutiny. But in the end she had performed a thankless task which nonetheless proved important in keeping the Asian region under control and allowing the more modern, better equipped ships to focus on the main goal of containing the German navy. 

So with the almost forgotten story of HMAS Psyche now told and the Gallipoli venture at an end, we’ll move on to operations around Africa and Europe. But I think that’s material for next time. So join me next then and we’ll look at the blockade of the German High Seas Fleet, the raid at Zeebrugge and anything else which may pop up as I’m delving into those subjects.

Related story: The RAN in WWI – Part 1

Other military items by the author, Warwick O’Neill, can be found at:
You can read more about the author, Warwick O’Neillhere.


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