Naval Studies Group

Founded in May 2016, the Naval Studies Group (NSG) is part of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) at UNSW Canberra. The NSG's goal is to provide leadership in the study and understanding of Australian and global naval history. A key aspect of the NSG's work is identifying and encouraging collaboration between individuals, academic institutions and community organisations.

The NSG currently consists of former naval officers who have written extensively on naval history and have a long-term association with UNSW. The founding members are:

  • Allan Du Toit - Visiting Fellow (retired Rear Admiral)
  • Adjunct Professor James Goldrick (retired Rear Admiral)
  • Adjunct Professor Peter Jones (retired Vice Admiral)
  • Dr Jack McCaffrie - Visiting Fellow (retired Commodore), and
  • Dr David Stevens (retired Commander).

In promoting the study of naval history, the NSG will hold regular Naval History Workshops for those interested in naval history and those who are already active contributors. Through these workshops a network of researchers and projects will be established and developed.

The NSG is undertaking a number of initiatives including:

  • Producing accurate and well-researched posts, articles and lengthier works in a variety of media
  • Mentoring and offering advice on naval historical study
  • Networking and collaborating both within Australia and internationally, and
  • Provide authoritative advice and guidance on issues of Australian and international naval history when required.


Australian Naval History Video and Podcast Series

These programs are produced by the Naval Studies Group in conjunction with the Submarine Institute of Australia, the Australian Naval Institute, Naval Historical Society and the RAN Seapower Centre. The programs discuss notable events in the history of the Royal Australian Navy.

To provide feedback and comments on each episode email: navalstudiesgroup@gmail.com

Episode Name

Release Date

Description & Further Reading

Series One

S1E1

Midget Submarine Attack on Sydney Harbour

Oct 12, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel discuss the 1942 Japanese Midget Submarine Attack on Sydney Harbour. The panel consists of Rear Admiral Peter Briggs, Dr David Stevens and Vice Admiral Peter Jones.

Further Reading:

  • · Carruthers, SL, Japanese Submarine Raiders 1942: A Maritime Mystery, Casper Publications, 2006.
  • · Gill, GH, Royal Australian Navy 1942-1945, Collins, Melbourne, 1968.
  • · Jones, PD, Australia's Argonauts: The Remarkable Story of the First  Class to enter the Royal Australian Navy, Echo Books, 2016.
  • · Lind, LJ, The Midget Submarine Attack on Sydney, Bellrope Press, 1990.

S1E2

Battle of the Coral Sea

Oct 23, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel of the 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea. The panel consists of Rear Admiral James Goldrick, Vice Admiral Peter Jones and Lieutenant Commander Desmond Woods.

Further Reading:

  • Carlton, M, Flagship: The Cruiser HMAS Australia and the Pacific War on Japan, William Heinemann, 2016.
  • Gill, GH, Royal Australian Navy 1942-1945, Collins, Melbourne, 1968.
  • Jones, PD, Australia's Argonauts: The Remarkable Story of the First  Class to enter the Royal Australian Navy, Echo Books, 2016.

S1E3

Oberon Class Submarines in RAN Service:

Their origin and early years. (Part 1 of 3)

Oct 31, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel discuss the acquisition of the Oberon class submarines for the RAN and their initial service. The first episodes on the Oberon class covers the reasons for the Oberon class acquisition and their introduction into service. The panel consists of Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall, Rear Admiral Peter Briggs, Commodore Terry Roach, Commodore Mark Sander and Commander David Nicholls.

Further Reading:

  • White, MWD, Australian Submarines: A History, Australian Teachers of Media, 2015.

S1E4

Oberon Class Submarines in RAN Service:

Getting New Ears and Teeth  (Part 2 of 3)

Nov 6, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel discuss the service of the RAN Oberon class submarines. This second episode covers the Submarine Weapons Upgrade Program. The panel consists of  Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall, Rear Admiral Peter Briggs, Commodore Terry Roach, Commander Peter Horobin, and Commander David Nicholls.

Further Reading:

  • White, MWD, Australian Submarines: A History, Australian Teachers of Media, 2015.

S1E5

Oberon Class Submarines in RAN Service:

Go West and Living Hard  (Part 3 of 3)

Nov 14, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel discuss the service of the RAN Oberon class submarines. This final episode covers the move of the Oberons to Fleet Base West in Western Australia and life in a Oberon submarine. The panel consists of Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall, Commodore Rick Shalders, Commander Mike Carew, Commander David Nicholls and Warrant Officer Gary Wight.

Further Reading:

  • White, MWD, Australian Submarines: A History, Australian Teachers of Media, 2015.

S1E6

HMAS Australia Court Martial

Nov 21, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel discuss the famous 1942 HMAS Australia Court Martial. The panel consists of Mr Mike Carlton, Rear Admiral James Goldrick, Associate Professor David Letts and Associate Professor Cameron Moore.

Further Reading:

  • Carlton, M, Flagship: The Cruiser HMAS Australia and the Pacific War on Japan, William Heinemann, 2016.
  • Goldrick, JVP, The Australia Court Martial of 1942, Masters Thesis, University of New England, 1984.
  • Jones, PD, Australia's Argonauts: The Remarkable Story of the First  Class to enter the Royal Australian Navy, Echo Books, 2016.

S1E7

The RAN in the World War I - An Overview

Nov 28, 2017

Commander Greg Swinden and his expert panel assess the Royal Australian Navy's involvement in World War I. The panel consists of Rear Admiral James Goldrick, Dr David Stevens and Commodore Jack McCaffrie.

Further Reading:

  • · Jose, AW, The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 Volume IX: The Royal Australian Navy, University of Queensland Press, 1981.
  • · Stevens, DM, In All Respects Ready: Australia's Navy in World War One, Oxford University Press, 2014.

S1E8

The 1914 Rabaul Campaign

Dec 5, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel discuss the 1914 Australian capture of Rabaul in German New Guinea. The panel consists of Rear Admiral Peter Briggs, Professor Michael Epkenhans, Dr David Stevens, Dr Stephenson and Commander Greg Swinden.

Further Reading:

  • · Jose, AW, The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 Volume IX: The Royal Australian Navy, University of Queensland Press, 1981.
  • · Stevens, DM, In All Respects Ready: Australia's Navy in World War One, Oxford University Press, 2014.

S1E9

The RAN Bridging Train

Dec 12, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel discuss the RAN Bridging Train who served in World War I. The panel consists of Mr John Perryman, Mr Martin Smee and Commander Greg Swinden.

Further Reading:

  • · Frame TR & Swinden, GJ, First In, Last Out: The Navy at Gallipoli, Kangaroo Press, 1990.
  • · Jose, AW, The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 Volume IX: The Royal Australian Navy, University of Queensland Press, 1981.
  • · Stevens, DM, In All Respects Ready: Australia's Navy in World War One, Oxford University Press, 2014.

S1E10

Creation of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service.

Dec 19, 2017

Vice Admiral Peter Jones and his expert panel on the formation of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) during World War II. The panel consists of Dr Christine Reghenzni, Dr Kathryn Spurling and Commander Alison Westwood.

Further Reading:

  • · Fenton Huie, S, Ships Belles: The story of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service 1941-1985, Sydney, Watermark Press, 2000.
  • · Hemstock, J, Women of the Royal Australian Navy- Part 1. Instant Colour Press, 2013.
  • · Jones, PD, Australia's Argonauts: The Remarkable Story of the First  Class to enter the Royal Australian Navy, Echo Books, 2016.

S1E11

The Royal Australian Naval

College:

Its formation & Early Years

Dec 26, 2017

Professor Tom Frame and his expert panel discuss the founding and early years of the Royal Australian Naval College. The panel consists of Vice Admiral Peter Jones, Commander Greg Swinden and Lieutenant Commander David Jones.

Further Reading:

  • Cunningham, IJ, Work Hard Play Hard, The Royal Australian Naval College 1913-1988, AGPS, 1988.
  • Eldridge, FB, A History of the Royal Australian Naval College: From its inception in 1913 to the end of World War II in 1945, Georgian House, 1949.
  • Jones, PD, Australia's Argonauts: The Remarkable Story of the First  Class to enter the Royal Australian Navy, Echo Books, 2016.

Series Two

S2E1

(#12)

HMAS Sydney in the

Mediterranean

Jan 30, 2018

Commander Greg Swinden and his expert panel discuss the remarkable service of the cruiser HMAS Sydney in the Mediterranean during World War II. The panel consists of Vice Admiral Peter Jones, Mr Wes Olsen and Mr John Perryman.

Further Reading:

  • · Collins, JA, As Luck Would Have It: Reminiscences of an Australian Sailor, Angus & Robertson, 1965.
  • · Collins, JA, HMAS Sydney, Garden Island, The Naval Historical Society of Australia, 1971.
  • · Gill, G.H., Royal Australian Navy 1939-1942, Collins, Melbourne, 1985.
  • · Jones, PD, Australia's Argonauts: The Remarkable Story of the First Class to enter the Royal Australian Navy, Echo Books, 2016.
  • · Olson, W, HMAS Sydney (II) : In Peace and War, Hilton, 2016.

S2E2

(#13)

The HMAS Sydney-Kormoran Action

Feb 6, 2018

Commander Greg Swinden and his expert panel discuss the World War II action in which the cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German raider Kormoran engaged one another and were both sunk. The panel consists of Vice Admiral Peter Jones, Mr David Mearns, Mr Wes Olsen and Mr John Perryman.

Further Reading:

  • · Collins, J.A., HMAS Sydney, Garden Island, The Naval Historical Society of Australia, 1971.
  • · Detmars,T, The Raider Kormoran, Tandem Publishing, London, 1973.
  • · Gill, G.H., Royal Australian Navy 1939-1942, Collins, Melbourne, 1985.
  • · Jones, PD, Australia's Argonauts: The Remarkable Story of the First  Class to enter the Royal Australian Navy, Echo Books, 2016.
  • · Mearns, DL, The Shipwreck Hunter: A lifetime of extraordinary discovery and adventure in the deep seas, Allen and Unwin, 2017.
  • · Olson, W, Bitter victory: The Death of HMAS Sydney, University of WA, 2000.
  • · Olson, W, HMAS Sydney (II) : In Peace and War, Hilton, 2016.

S2E3

(#14)

The RAN DDGs in Vietnam:

Their war service and their impact of the DDGs on the RAN

Feb 13, 2018

This episode was recorded at a seminar to mark the 50th anniversary of the deployment of the first RAN Charles F Adams guided missile destroyers (DDGs) to Vietnam Three seminar speakers discuss the impact the DDGs had on the RAN and their service in the Vietnam War. The first of three episodes. The presenters are Rear Admiral James Goldrick, Vice Admiral David Shackleton and Vice Admiral Rob Walls.

Further Reading:

  • ACSACS Occasional Paper No.7. The RAN DDGs in Vietnam: Their war service and their impact of the DDGs on the RAN
  • Perryman, J & Mitchell, B, Australia's Navy in Vietnam: Royal Australian Navy Operations 1965-72, Topmill, 2007.

S2E4

(#15)

The RAN DDGs in Vietnam:

Technical and Logistics aspects

Feb 20, 2018

Two seminar speakers discuss the technical and logistic impact of the three Charles F Adams class destroyers had on entering RAN service. The second of three episodes. The presenters are Rear Admiral Mark Purcell and Rear Admiral David Campbell.

Further Reading:

  • ACSACS Occasional Paper No.7. The RAN DDGs in Vietnam: Their war service and their impact of the DDGs on the RAN
  • Perryman, J & Mitchell, B, Australia's Navy in Vietnam: Royal Australian Navy Operations 1965-72, Topmill, 2007.

S2E5

(#16)

The RAN DDGs in Vietnam:

Through the lens of a Junior Officer and a

Junior Sailor

Feb 27, 2018

Two seminar speakers give their perspectives as junior officer and a junior sailor onboard the new RAN Charles F Adams class destroyers in the Vietnam War. The final of three episodes. The presenters are Captain David Cotsell and Warrant Officer Peter Eveille.

Further Reading:

  • ACSACS Occasional Paper No.7. The RAN DDGs in Vietnam: Their war service and their impact of the DDGs on the RAN
  • Perryman, J & Mitchell, B, Australia's Navy in Vietnam: Royal Australian Navy Operations 1965-72, Topmill, 2007.

S2E6

(#17)

The RAN Helicopter Flight in Vietnam:

Preparations to deploy and Operations

(Part 1 of 3 episodes)

Mar 6, 2018

This episode was recorded at the 50 year reunion of the RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam (HFV) at the Fleet Arm Museum on October 2017. The episode presents five speakers that discuss the preparations for the deployment and operations with the US Army and RAAF.

Further Reading:

  • Australian Naval Aviation Museum, Flying Stations : AStory of Australian Naval Aviation, Allen & Unwin, 1998.
  • Perryman, J & Mitchell, B, Australia's Navy in Vietnam: Royal Australian Navy Operations 1965-72, Topmill, 2007.

S2E7

(#18)

The RAN Helicopter Flight in Vietnam:

Command and Logistics

(Part 2 of 3 episodes)

Mar 13, 2018

This episode was recorded at the 50 year reunion of the RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam (HFV) at the Fleet Arm Museum on October 2017. The episode presents four speakers that provide a US Army view of the HFV contribution as well as command and logistics.

Further Reading:

  • Australian Naval Aviation Museum, Flying Stations : AStory of Australian Naval Aviation, Allen & Unwin, 1998.
  • Perryman, J & Mitchell, B, Australia's Navy in Vietnam: Royal Australian Navy Operations 1965-72, Topmill, 2007.

S2E8

(#19)

The RAN Helicopter Flight in Vietnam:

Families back home and the legacy.

(Part 3 of 3 episodes)

Mar 20, 2018

This episode was recorded at the 50 year reunion of the RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam (HFV) at the Fleet Arm Museum on October 2017. The final episode with two speakers gives a perspective of the families and well as the HFV's return to Australia.

Further Reading:

  • Australian Naval Aviation Museum, Flying Stations : AStory of Australian Naval Aviation, Allen & Unwin, 1998.
  • Perryman, J & Mitchell, B, Australia's Navy in Vietnam: Royal Australian Navy Operations 1965-72, Topmill, 2007.

S2E9

(#20)

The RAN in the Malaysian Emergency &

Confrontation

Mar 27, 2018

Commander Greg Swinden and his expert panel discuss the RAN's involvement in both the Malaysian Emergency and Confrontation. The panel consists of commander Peter Cooke-Russell, Commodore Ian Pfennigwerth, Dr Andrew Ross and Commander Steve Youll.

Further Reading:

  • Grey, J, Up top : The Royal Australian Navy and Southeast Asian conflicts, 1955-1972, Allen & Unwin, 1998.
  • Pfennigwerth, I, Tiger Territory : The Untold Story of the Royal Australian Navy in Southeast Asia from 1948 to 1971, Rosenberg Publishing, 2008.

S2E10

(#21)

The Battle of Savo Island

Apr 3, 2018

Commander Greg Swinden and his expert panel discuss the brutal Battle of Savo Island in which HMAS Canberra and three US heavy cruisers were sunk. The panel consists of Dr Greg Gilbert, Vice Admiral Peter Jones and Dr Kathryn Spurling.

Further Reading:

  • Carlton, M, Flagship: The Cruiser HMAS Australia and the Pacific War on Japan, William Heinemann, 2016.
  • Gill, GH, Royal Australian Navy 1942-1945, Collins, 1968.
  • Jones, PD, Australia's Argonauts: The Remarkable Story of the First  Class to enter the Royal Australian Navy, Echo Books, 2016.
  • Loxton, B and Coulthard-Clark, C, The Shame of Savo: Anatomy of a naval disaster, Allen and Unwin, 1994.
  • Spurling, K, HMAS Canberra: Casualty of Circumstance, New Holland Publishers, 2016.