Book Review – ‘Fremantle’s Submarines: How Allied submariners and Western Australians helped to win the war in the Pacific’ by R. Channon

By R. Channon, published October 2020


From March 1942 until August 1945, Fremantle became the home-from-home for a shifting population of American, Dutch and British submarines, at first fleeing the Japanese onslaught to the north, but later carrying the fight back to the enemy. The port, with Perth and Western Australia generally, was genuinely a place where the submariners were warmly welcomed, and to which they returned with greater pleasure and relief than to any other base. Not a few married local girls, while others settled there after the war. Michael Sturma of Murdoch University, Perth, has interwoven the men’s experiences on patrol far to the north, in navigationally very difficult waters – sometimes harrowing, always stressful – with the warm-hearted respect and affection they met with in Western Australia, a background which undoubtedly contributed to their successes by helping them to relax and unwind. We meet a number of well-known submariner names in these pages, and the book as a whole serves as a useful reminder of what the Allies achieved in that colossal area …

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Filed under: Pacific
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Harbours & Dockyards | Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies | Submarines

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