Submarine Matters provides an expanding database on submarines worldwide. Australia should contract in 2016 to only buy a batch of 6 Shortfins - then, in the 2030s, decide whether to buy: 6 more Shortfins or 6 Barracuda SSNs or 4 Virginia SSNs. With increasing numbers of Chinese, Russian and Indian SSNs in Australia's region Australia's Shortfins cannot attain any 2016 Defence White Paper goal of being "regionally superior". Australia would need to buy SSNs to be "superior".
January 31, 2017
Visit to HMAS OTWAY Holbrook (Oberon) Submarine Museum
HMAS OTWAY at her Holbrook home.
In the first of Pete's long distance submarine quests he travelled
100s of kms into Australia's semi-desert to visit a huge (in its time) Oberon class submarine. For submarine junkies, historians, kids and everyone else this Oberon class submarine is HMAS OTWAY - Holbrook Submarine Museum. In the 1990s the top half of OTWAY was cut up and trucked from
its former operating
base (at HMAS Platypus), in Sydney Harbour, 500 kms southwest to the small town of Holbrook, New South Wales. Holbrook is halfway between Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, just off Australia's busiest "Hume" highway.
Australia’s Oberon class “O
boats” were highly successful from the beginning. Reasons for that success
- use of an evolved, design (with few vices and good diesels) based on 60+ years of British
- strong influences of the captured (and revolutionary) German Type XXI U-boats, and
- from before WWI Australian born "British" officers and crew serving for decades, in war and
peace, in the UK Royal Navy (RN) submarine service. This included Aussies in RN Oberons, before Oberons the RN Porpoise
class, further back WWII V class, 1930s T class etc.
See vital information and statistics about OTWAY and Oberons at
“Our prize exhibit is a genuine WW II “Jolly Roger” flag
from a British submarine, it is one of only three dozen world-wide that remain
from over 300 British and Australian submarines that operated in time of war.
We have the original above water line superstructure of
the Oberon Class submarine HMAS OTWAY set within beautiful parkland. Also a large scale model of Lt. [later
Holbrook VC's submarine B11.
We have recently completed re-building HMAS OTWAY’S
original Wardroom (Officer’s quarters) in front of our control room within the
Museum. The 7 original masts [periscopes, snorkel, antennas, radar] are back on
the Otway with the Radar mast rotating during daylight hours.
In the museum you will see the extraordinary Hologram in
which [Holbrook’s widow Mrs
Gundula Holbrook, interestingly of Austrian birth, hence German accent!] tells
the fascinating story of her husband’s
brave exploits on [HMS] B11 in 1914 and the subsequent town's name change [from the unpopular, in WWI, name "Germanton" to "Holbrook"]. The theatre
seats forty and is wheel chair friendly. You will see an original torpedo tube
with a torpedo mounted, two rooms full of interesting artefacts and
Then to finish (without having to go under water) you
will enter the main passage from HMAS OTWAY and be able to sit in the officer's
wardroom and experience what it would be like to live in a submarine. You may
look through the periscope to see 360 degree views of Holbrook and take as many
photos as you like.
On the way out there is a photographic exhibition showing
how the Otway was transported and re-built here in Holbrook. Then don't forget
to sign the guest book!”