Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sunken submarine restoration efforts continue

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ABC News
April 30, 2005


The AE2.

Efforts are continuing to protect the wreck of the Australian submarine AE2 which sank near Gallipoli 90 years ago today.

New South Wales Assistant Planning Minister, Dianne Beamer, has praised the work being done by maritime archaeologist Tim Smith from the state's Heritage office.

She says his team hopes to visit Turkey again next year to continue site mapping and to initiate 3D imaging of the underwater terrain at Anzac Cove.

Ms Beamer says the project is aimed at protecting remains such as beach jetties, breakwaters and Army stores that form part of Gallipoli's battlefield heritage.

The "AE2" Ending Story
From February 1915 the Australian E-type submarine, named AE2, was operating in the eastern Mediterranean. On 25 April 1915, while Australian troops were landing on the nearby Turkish coast, the submarine entered the straits of the Dardanelles to attack enemy shipping and create a minor diversion.

It was a perilous journey. The small submarine bumped along the bottom, ran aground, felt the shock of bursting shells and the rattle of shrapnel of its hull, and scraped numerous mine cables.

It torpedoed a Turkish vessel and the following morning reached the Sea of Marmora. Over the next two days the AE2 engaged the enemy but with little success; it eluded Turkish gunboats, and sometimes, hoping to undermine enemy morale, deliberately advertised its presence.

The end came suddenly on 30 April; while under attack from a torpedo boat the submarine became uncontrollable – “like a floundering whale” – and was then hit a number of times. The men were ordered to quickly abandon the boat, which was scuttled. The crew was captured by the Turks and became prisoners; four of them would later die in captivity.


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