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Newspaper clippings relating to HMAS AE2 in the Dardanelles

Date: 14 May - 8 october 1915
Dimensions:
Overall: 366 x 217 mm
Medium: Cardboard, ink
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Jennifer Smyth
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Scrapbook
Object No: 00015828
Place Manufactured:London

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    Description
    Newspaper clippings relating to the submarine HMAS AE2 and its activity in the Dardanelles in 1915. The clippings were compiled by Mrs Haggard, mother of the first Lieutenant on board, Geoffrey Haggard.
    SignificanceThe successful entering of the Sea of Marmora by the HMAS AE2 was a major accomplishment by an Australian vessel in WWI. Despite its subsequent scuttling and imprisonment of her crew, the story and bravery of those involved on the AE2 was a significant morale and strategic point in the war.
    HistoryAfter an initial attempt by Lieutenant Brodie on April 17 in the submarine E15 failed, HMAS AE2 under Commander Henry Stoker was order to get through the Dardanelles and into the Sea of Marmara to 'run amuck', to severely hamper Turkish troop and supply movements to the Peninsular and Gallipoli and also allow the Allies a supply route direct to Russia.

    On April 25, AE2 made its second attempt at the Dardanelles Strait and successfully negotiated the minefields, avoiding shelling from shore fortifcations and pursuit by enemy ships. Having made this initial progress, 26 April saw the submarine relatively undeterred although the enemy was still searching for it and it did suffer an attack by anti-submarine vessels. Over the next two days AE2 managed to avoid the ships hunting from above. On 29 April, now in the Sea of Marmara, Stoker encountered HMS E14 that had also successfully passed through the Dardanelles behind AE2.

    On the morning of April 30 AE2 surfaced too close to a Turkish torpedo boat, SULTANHISAR. It was immediately spotted and fired upon. During what must have been a desperate half hour, AE2 could not stabilize. The engine room was hit and holed in three places. Commander Stoker focused on saving the crew and ensuring AE2 did not fall into enemy hands. He ordered all men on deck. Assisted by Lieutenant Haggard, the Commander opened all tanks and scuttled the submarine, six kilometres north of Kara Burnu.

    All members of the AE2 crew survived that final encounter and the scuttling of their vessel. They were subsequently imprisoned in a Turkish prisoner of war camp for the next 3 1/2 years where four crew members lost their lives through illness.

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