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Printed From: The Gallipoli Association
Category: Research
Forum Name: Submarines Research
Forum Description: This sub-forum is for research matters with regards to submarine warfare at Gallipoli/Dardanelles.
Printed Date: 20 Oct 2019 at 13:34
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 10.12 -

Topic: HMAS AE2
Posted By: Mal Murray
Subject: HMAS AE2
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2010 at 17:06

HMAS AE2">HMAS AE2 Sydney.jpg
HMAS AE2, in dock in Sydney, circa 1914
Career (Australia (RAN))
Builder: - Vickers Armstrong
Laid down: 10 February 1912
Launched: 18 June 1913
Commissioned: 28 February 1914
Honours and
Battle honours:
Rabaul 1914
Dardanelles 1915 - [1] - [2]
Fate: Scuttled 29 April 1915
General characteristics
Class and type: - British E-class submarine
Displacement: 660 tons surfaced
800 tons submerged
Length: 181 ft (55 m)
Beam: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
Draught: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m)
Propulsion: 2 x 8 cylinder diesels, 1,750 hp surfaced,
battery-driven electric motors, 550 hp submerged
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h) surfaced
10 knots (19 km/h) submerged
Range: 3,225 nmi (5,973 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced
25 nmi (46 km) at 5 knots (9 km/h) submerged
Complement: 35
Armament: 4 x 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes

HMAS AE2 (originally known as AE2) was an - E class submarine of the - Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She was commissioned into the RAN at - Portsmouth on 28 February 1914 and was scuttled little more than a year later in the - Sea of Marmara after being hit by enemy shellfire during the - Battle of Gallipoli .


Construction and acquisition

AE2 was laid down on 10 February 1912 by - Vickers Armstrong at - Barrow-in-Furness , England, and launched on 18 June 1913. She was commissioned into the RAN at - Portsmouth , England, on 28 February 1914 under the command of Lieutenant Commander - Henry H.G.D. Stoker , RN. - [3]

Accompanied by - AE1 , her sister boat and the other of the RAN's first two submarines, AE2 reached Sydney from England on 24 May 1914, manned by - Royal Navy (RN) officers with a mixed crew of sailors drawn from the RN and RAN. - [3]

Operational history

Outbreak of World War I

On the outbreak of World War I in September 1914, AE2 proceeded with AE1 to capture - German New Guinea as part of the - Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force . With the simple surrender of the Germans complete, although with the loss of AE1, in October, AE2 sailed first to - Suva , - Fiji , then to Sydney and on to,_Western_Australia - Albany, Western Australia .

On 31 December 1914, AE2 was towed from Albany by - SS Berrima as part of a troop convoy across the - Indian Ocean , arriving at - Port Said , Egypt, on 28 January 1915. AE2 was ordered to join the - British 2nd Submarine Flotilla on the island of - Tenedos and proceeded to take part in patrols. - [4]

Dardanelles Campaign

As part of the - naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign , AE2 made her first attempt to navigate the - Dardanelles straits on 24 April; she penetrated 6 nautical miles (11 km) before being forced back with mechanical problems. - [4] At 0230 hours on 25 April 1915, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Stoker, AE2 again attempted to force her way through the straits. At approximately 0430 hours, Stoker dived the boat in response to fire from the Turkish guns. By 0600 hours, AE2 reached - Chanak , the narrowest part of the strait, and then proceeded to torpedo the Turkish gunboat Peyk I Sevket while simultaneously taking evasive actions to avoid an enemy destroyer. During the evasion, Stoker ran the boat aground directly under a Turkish fort, but fortunately the fort was unable to lower its guns onto AE2. After four minutes of being exposed on the bank, AE2 slid back into deeper waters. - [4]">">

Shortly after grounding a second time, the periscope of AE2 was sighted by a Turkish battleship firing over the peninsular at British positions, causing it to retreat to a safe position. AE2 continued to make a steady advance toward the - Sea of Marmara . At 0830, Stoker decided to rest the boat on the ocean bottom, waiting for the safety of dark. On surfacing, he sighted no enemies and proceeded into the Sea of Marmara, becoming the first Allied submarine to pass through the Dardanelles Strait. - [4]

Stoker signaled his success to his commanders. The commanders were discussing the possibility of re-embarking the land force, which had encountered difficulties during the - landing at Anzac Cove , but the news of AE2’s success changed the mood of the conversation and talk of a withdrawal was ended. News of the success of AE2 was spread among - ANZAC troops to encourage them, while AE2 was ordered to generally run amok; Stoker intended to give the impression that there were multiple submarines in the area. Due to mechanical problems, AE2, though making repeated attacks, managed no further hits on Turkish vessels. On 30 April, AE2 began to rise uncontrollably and surfaced around 1-nautical-mile (2 km) from the torpedo boat - Sultanhisar . While attempting to avoid the torpedo boat, AE2 dived below her safe diving depth; frantic attempts to correct this caused the submarine's stern to break the surface, which was immediately fired on by Sultanhisar. Stoker ordered his crew to abandon ship. All members of the crew survived the attack, although three died during the three and a half years in captivity. AE2’s achievements showed others that the task was possible, and within months the Turkish communications line had been badly disrupted. - [4]

Search and discovery

Since 1995, Selçuk Kolay, director of the - Rahmi M. Koç Museum in - Istanbul , had searched for the remains of AE2. - [5] In 1996, he discovered what he believed to be the wreck lying in 86 metres (282 ft) of water. With the assistance of an Australian diving team, it was determined in October 1997 that the wreck was that of an old steamer. - [3]

After a further thorough side-scan sonar and magnetometric survey of the reported scuttling site of the AE2, Kolay located the submarine in June 1998, lying in 72 metres (236 ft) of water, and was first dived upon the following month. An Australian dive team again visited Turkey in October 1998, with further dives confirming the identification of AE2. - [3]

On 9 September 2007, Australian and Turkish naval authorities began an undersea investigation to determine if AE2 could be raised and restored. - [6] The survey team identified that significant damage to the wreck had occurred since the 1998 inspection dives. - [7]

In March 2010, following an overhaul of the RAN - battle honours system, AE2 was retroactively awarded the honours "Rabaul 1914" and "Dardanelles 1915". - [1] - [2]


  1. ^ - a - b - "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours" . Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. - . Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  2. ^ - a - b - "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" . Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. - . Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  3. ^ - a - b - c - d - "HMAS AE2" . Sea Power Centre - Australia. - . Retrieved 15 September 2007. 
  4. ^ - a - b - c - d - e David, Stevens (2001). The Royal Australian Navy - A History. Oxford University Press. - ISBN - 0195555422 . 
  5. - ^ - "The discovery of the WW1 Australian submarine" . Heritage Council of NSW. - . 
  6. - ^ Brenchley, Fred (10 September 2007). - "Gallipoli's valiant sub poised to surface from the depths of history" . The Sydney Morning Herald. - . Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  7. - ^ Bevan, Scott (11 September 2007). - "Looking beneath the surface of the Gallipoli campaign" . News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). - . Retrieved 9 December 2008. -

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