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Australian Sub AE1 Located After 103 Years

Discussion in 'Military History' started by The_Historian, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Excellent work.
    "Australia’s first submarine HMAS AE1 has been found, ending a 103 year maritime mystery.
    The fate of 800 ton AE1 and her 35 crew members has remained one of the persistent mysteries of Australia’s military history.
    It was the first loss for the Royal Australian Navy and the first Allied submarine loss in World War I; a significant tragedy felt by our nation and our allies.
    The Royal Australian Navy submarine was lost off Rabaul on 14 September 1914 with all personnel aboard.
    An expedition to locate the submarine took place in waters off the coast of the Duke of York Island group in Papua New Guinea this week. The search vessel ‘Fugro Equator’ located an object of interest in over 300 metres of water. Upon further inspection, confirmed the object to be AE1.
    The first images captured by the expedition show the vessel is remarkably well preserved and apparently in one piece.
    The Royal Australian Navy teamed up with a range of search groups in this latest expedition, funded by the Commonwealth Government and the Silentworld Foundation, with assistance from the Submarine Institute of Australia, the Australian National Maritime Museum, Fugro Survey and the Papua New Guinea Government. The expedition was embarked on the survey ship Fugro Equator which is equipped with advanced search technology.
    Following the discovery of the submarine, a small commemorative service was held by those on-board the survey vessel to remember those officers and sailors who lost their lives 103 years ago. Efforts are being made to contact the descendants of the crew.
    The Australian Government will work closely with the Papua New Guinean Government to consider a lasting commemoration and recognition of the crew of AE1 and to preserve the site."
    ‘FOUND’ - Australian Navy Submarine HMAS AE1 located after 103 years
     
    lwd and CAC like this.
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    The AE2 took part in the Gallipoli campaign...did well.
    The E from memory means England...then the A was added for Australia after purchase from the poms...we bought just two.
    The speculation is that they decided to practice a dive and something went wrong.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  3. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Remarkable and moving story. I would have presumed that warm tropical waters would have severely degraded the stell of the sub. . Glad it was discovered and ended the mystery. RIP from the crew. ......................Gaines
     
  4. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    *bumped for an update*

    "An expedition has returned after uncovering new clues about what happened to Australia's first submarine, HMAS AE1.
    The vessel disappeared in September 1914, with all 35 crew on board, and its fate was Australia's greatest naval mystery until December last year, when the submarine wreck was found near Duke of York Island in Papua New Guinea's east coast.
    Australian National Maritime Museum Archaeologist Dr James Hunter said AE1 disappeared while on patrol with HMAS Parramatta.
    "They were on patrol for German war ships, this is shortly after the allied assault on what was German New Guinea," he told PM.
    "There was an expectation that there might be some German naval vessels and gun boats lurking around, so Parramatta and AE1 were part of a contingent of vessels that were sent out to patrol various areas around Rabaul," he said.
    AE1's loss was the first Royal Australian Navy, and allied, submarine loss of World War I.
    Dr Hunter said it was also a huge blow to a young country.
    "It was a massive hit to morale, because it was two of the most state-of-the-art weapons that Australia had in its military arsenal," he said.
    There have been plenty of theories over the years as to what happened to the submarine, including that it was sunk by a German ship, or even that HMAS Parramatta accidentally hit it and sunk it.
    But what is most likely is that the AE1 ran into trouble on a dive and was crushed from the water pressure, sending it to the ocean floor.
    Using a research vessel owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, a joint US-Australian expedition sent a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), armed with high-definition cameras, to the wreck to gather evidence.
    Expedition co-ordinator Rear Admiral Peter Briggs said what they found shocked them.
    "Amazingly, the stern cap, the opening on the rear torpedo tube is fully opened, we didn't expect that at all.
    "It's certainly a deliberate action from the crew, it requires quite a few turns on a hand wheel to physically open it, it's the first step in preparing a torpedo tube for firing," RADM Briggs said.
    But the team doesn't think the crew took any other steps towards firing a torpedo.
    Instead, they believe the tube was open in case they came across a German ship, or as part of an exercise."
    Pictures of long lost Australian WWI submarine reveal clues about its fate
     
  5. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    It was an E class submarine, a common Royal Navy type during WWI. They were numbered E-1, E-2, etc. Those built for Australia were AE-1 and AE-2.
     

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