Feature Histories


Title Summary Authorsort descending Year
Battle of the Coral Sea In early 1942 as the list of military defeats and reversals for the Australian, British, American and Dutch military and naval forces began to mount the feeling in the general populace of Australia was one of depression and a general expectation that the Japanese would invade at any moment... 1942
The British Pacific Fleet After the fall of Singapore and the subsequent raids on Ceylon in early 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) had expelled the Royal Navy (RN) from the Pacific and effectively restricted British naval operations to the fringes of the Indian Ocean... 1942
Tobruk - The Lifting of the Siege Commander Peter Poland OAM RN (Rtd) 1941
German U-Boat Operations in Australian Waters Dr David Stevens 1944
The Australian Corvettes The corvettes were handy and reliable, and in addition to minesweeping, patrol and escort work they were employed on an endless variety of tasks including the carrying of troops and stores, participation in bombardments and assault landings, surveying and towing operations. Dr David Stevens 1939
Australians at Guadalcanal, August 1942 Whereas most Australians are familiar with the determined resistance and subsequent counter-offensive by Australian soldiers along the Kokoda Track, the concurrent actions of Australian sailors at Guadalcanal are often forgotten, Dr Gregory P. Gilbert 1942
Borneo 1945 - An Amphibious Success Story Sixty years ago Australian forces successfully led the Allied liberation of Borneo, the world's third largest island, from Japanese occupation in the OBOE series of operations. Dr Nial Wheate and Dr Gregory P. Gilbert 1945
Battle of Savo Island - Loss of HMAS Canberra On the morning of the 9 August 1942 the Royal Australian Navy's heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra was sunk after being severely damaged during a naval battle off Savo Island in the Solomon Islands group... J.H. Straczek 1942
The Invasion of Sicily - Operation Husky Throughout the dark days of 1940 and 1941 ships of the RAN were present in the Mediterranean operating alongside the Royal Navy and supporting Army operations... J.H. Straczek 1940
RAN in the Second World War From the outbreak of the Second World War until the cessation of hostilities in August 1945 the men, women and ships of the Royal Australian Navy served in every theatre of operations, from the tropical Pacific to the frigid Russian convoys... J.H. Straczek 1939
Japanese Midget Submarine Attack on Sydney Harbour On 31 May 1942 the Japanese launched an audacious midget submarine raid on Sydney Harbour... John Perryman 1942
The Yachtsman and the Mighty Hood On 24 May 1941, the pride of the Royal Navy, the battle cruiser HMS Hood, was sunk with the loss of 1415 men. Among that number were four members of the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve who enlisted in Britain's time of need under the Dominion Yachtsmen Scheme. John Perryman 1941
60 Years On. Leyte Gulf 1944 Following the initial Japanese advance in late 1941 and early 1942, and the halting of the offensive in the Solomons and New Guinea, the United States, supported by its allies, began its trans-Pacific assault. Jozef Straczek 1944
The Great Amphibious Invasion: D-Day, 6 June 1944 One of the clearest demonstrations of sea power occurred on 6 June 1944, when the Allies landed in German-occupied Normandy in the greatest sea-borne invasion in history. Jozef Straczek 1944
New Guinea WW2 – A Maritime Campaign To most Australians the campaign fought against the Japanese in New Guinea during WW2 is typified by images of Australian diggers and ‘fuzzy-wuzzy angels’ struggling along the Kokoda Track or fighting hand to hand at Milne Bay. Jozef Straczek 1942
USN Submarines Based in Brisbane during World War II Following the Japanese advance throughout S.E. Asia and the Pacific during WWII the US made a strategic decision to base a number of its submarines in Australia. From those bases a determined submarine offensive was launched against Japanese sea lines of communication. Mr John Perryman 1942
Fixed Naval Defences in Darwin Harbour 1939 - 1945 Between late 1941 and early 1942 Darwin underwent a significant metamorphosis, rapidly emptying of civilians and becoming an almost solely military town... Pat Forster 1939
Krait and Operation Jaywick On 2 September 1943, a captured Japanese motor sampan set out from Exmouth in Western Australia bound for Singapore, well inside Japanese controlled waters. Petar Djokovic 1943
RAN Beach Commandos The Naval Beach Commandos hold a unique place in Australian naval history. From 1942 to 1945, around 1000 Royal Australian Navy (RAN) sailors trained in amphibious warfare alongside their compatriots from the army and air force, and large numbers of United States (US) servicemen... Petar Djokovic 1942
The RAN’s Chinese Coastal Steamers With the onset of World War II in September 1939, the RAN began requisitioning merchant vessels to supplement the fleet and release warships for operational duties around the world. Petar Djokovic 1939
Australian Sailors in the Battle of the Atlantic The Battle of the Atlantic is one of the most well known campaigns of World War II. Yet, it does not refer to a single battle, engagement or action... Petar Djokovic 1939
Operation RIMAU: The tragic sequel to JAYWICK The 2009 Defence White Paper noted the need for the ADF to maintain a strategic strike capability to carry out ‘operations against various strategic and operational military targets’... Petar Djokovic 1943
HMAS Yarra and Operation Marmalade During 1941 a number of Australian ships were serving overseas under British Admiralty control, including the escort sloop HMAS Yarra under Commander Wilfred Hastings Harrington RAN. Petty Officer Peter Cannon 1941
Petty Officer Humphries and the George Medal The George Medal was established by King George VI in September 1940 primarily to honour civilian acts of courage. However it also served to recognise service personnel for acts of great bravery not conducted in the face of the enemy... Petty Officer Peter Cannon 1940
RAN in the Pacific War In the morning of 8 December 1941 Japanese troops commenced landing in Northern Malaya. This assault was co-ordinated with the Japanese strike against the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour (7 December, local time). As a consequence of these actions the Royal Australian Navy found itself facing a new enemy and fighting a new war... R.H. Pelvin and J.H. Straczek 1941