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SMS PLANET in Farm Cove

Date: 1 June 1913
Medium: Emulsion on nitrate film.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Nitrate negative
Object No: 00023864
Related Place:Sydney Harbour, Farm Cove,

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    Description
    SMS PLANET was one of four German navy survey ships producing surveys of Germany's Pacific island possessions in the period 1897-1913. They visited Australian ports such as Sydney for refits and stores.
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, warships, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.
    HistoryThe survey ship SMS PLANET, in conjunction with SMS MOWE, CONDOR and CORMORAN, produced surveys of Germany's Pacific island possessions in the period 1897-1913. 0n 7 October 1914 PLANET was scuttled at the entrance to Yap harbour to prevent the colony being captured by the advancing Japanese forces. Yap was a major German naval communications centre and was successfully occupied by the Japanese during this period.

    The crew of the Kaiserliche Marine (German Imperial Navy) ship PLANET were picked up by the CORMORAN, which continued to operate against Allied shipping in the Pacific until fuel shortages sent her into internment at the American colony of Guam in December 1914.

    PLANET - a Planet class survey ship - was launched by Weserwerft Bremen on 2 August 1905 with a crew of 102. It was 49 m in length, had a beam of 9.8 m and a draught of 2.8 m; tonnage was 650. Maximum speed was 9.5 knots and the ship was armed with 3 x 3.7 cm machine guns. According to the German website deutsche-schutzgebiete.de PLANET was lifted from its position at the entrance to the Yap harbour in 1916 by the Japanese and scrapped. However, the Missing Air Crew Project believed they had located it in 2008.

    PLANET undertook the following surveys 1906-1913:
    north-east New Guinea and neighbouring islands Aug-Nov 1910, Jan-Feb 1913;
    Admiralty & Purdy Island in western Bismarck Archipelago Sept 1906, Aug-Sept 1908, Aug-Sept 1911; New Ireland (formerly Mecklenburg) and others in eastern Bismarck Archipelago Sept 1906, Oct 1907, Aug 1908, March & July 1910, July 1913; Ponape Island and Truk Atoll Jan 1911; Palau Islands, Saipan and Yap Aug 1909; coastal waters of Tsingtao and Kiachow Bay, China March 1912. The records of these and other German surveys are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC.

    In April 1910 PLANET was in Brisbane taking on stores; and on 12 June 1911 it arrived in Brisbane from Sydney having undertaken a refit.

    NOTE: SMS = Seiner Majestät Schiff (His Majesty's Ship)
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: MAN-O-WAR

    Web title: SMS PLANET in Farm Cove

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