List of ships sunk by Axis warships in Australian waters

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The U.S.-registered Liberty Ship Starr King sinking after being attacked near Port Macquarie on 10 February 1943.

This is a list of Allied ships sunk by Axis warships operating in Australian waters during the Second World War.

Fifty four Axis surface raiders and submarines (both German and Japanese) carried out these attacks, sinking 53 merchant ships and three warships within the Australia Station, resulting in the deaths of over 1,751 Allied military personnel, sailors and civilians. A further 88 civilians were killed in air raids.

The definition of "Australian waters" used in this list is the area designated the Australia Station prior to the outbreak of war. This vast area consisted of the waters around Australia and eastern New Guinea, and stretching south to Antarctica. From east to west, it stretched from 170° east in the Pacific Ocean to 80° east in the Indian Ocean, and from north to south it stretched from the Equator to the Antarctic.[1]

A full account is given in Axis naval activity in Australian waters

Ships sunk by surface raiders[edit]

The six German and three Japanese surface raiders that operated within Australian waters sank 18 ships and killed over 826 sailors.

Ships sunk by submarines[edit]

The following table has been adapted from Appendix V of A Critical Vulnerability: The impact of the submarine threat on Australia's maritime defence 1915 - 1954 by David Stevens. Stevens' appendix lists all known Axis submarine activity in Australian waters during World War II and includes data on unsuccessful submarine attacks on Allied shipping, attacks made in Papuan and Netherlands East Indies waters and Japanese patrols in Australian waters which did not result in any attacks on Allied ships.

The 28 Japanese and German submarines that operated in Australian waters between 1942 and 1945 sank a total of 30 ships with a combined tonnage of 151,000 long tons (153,000 t); 654 people, including 200 Australian merchant seamen, were killed on board the ships attacked by submarines.[2]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ G. Herman Gill (1957). Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 2 – Navy. Volume I – Royal Australian Navy, 1939–1942. Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Pages 52–53.
  2. ^ Jenkins (1992). Pages 286–287.
  3. ^ A Very Rude Awakening Pg60
  4. ^ Battle Surface: Japan's Submarine War Against Australia 1942-44 by David Jenkins (pages 254, 256, 257)
  5. ^ National Nine News WWII steamer to get heritage listing. 5 August 2006.
  6. ^ Battle Surface: Japan's Submarine War Against Australia 1942-44 by David Jenkins (page 268)
  7. ^ Australians at War The sinking of the Wollongbar II
  8. ^ Battle Surface: Japan's Submarine War Against Australia 1942-44 by David Jenkins (page 287)
  9. ^ Hackett, Bob; Sander Kingsepp (2003). "HIJMS Submarine I-502: Tabular Record of Movement". Imperial Submarines. www.combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  10. ^ Gill, G Herman. "19: Submarine's Swansong" (PDF). Official Histories – Second World War: Volume II – Royal Australian Navy, 1942–1945 (pdf). Australian War Memorial. pp. 552–3. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  11. ^ Battle Surface: Japan's Submarine War Against Australia 1942-44 by David Jenkins (page 287)
  • Battle Surface: Japan's Submarine War Against Australia 1942-44 by David Jenkins (1992, Random House, NSW Australia) ISBN 0-09-182638-1