The Night Japanese Midget Submarines Came to Sydney
A documentary based on Peter Grose's bestselling book A Very Rude Awakening. Narrated by the author, the engaging 48 minute production puts to rest all the misinformation that has persisted about that infamous Sunday winter night in 1942. This is a neutral, balanced, critical analysis of what did happen and why anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We lay bare mistakes that turned best-laid military plans into an embarrassing failure with tragic loss of life on both sides.
When military plans are drawn up, they're drawn up with all the best information and Intelligence that can be gathered. You're sending in your best team to undertake that plan of operation, but normally at the very first shot, the plan tends not to go the way it was actually intended. – Commander Shane Moore, RAN (retired)
What were they thinking? The attack strategy, planning, execution and the aftermath are explained in military terms and clearly illustrated. The many failures are graphically reconstructed with unprecedented accuracy and insight.
An inspired narrative draws on expert interviews plus brilliant CG visuals to take us back for a detailed understanding of what really did happen all those years ago. A task force of 500 men in five huge I-class submarines assembled off the coast. Two carried a floatplane in a waterproof hangar. Three carried a midget submarine strapped to the rear deck. The control room on the midget subs was terribly cramped. Two men worked in a confined space less than two metres long and two metres in diameter. The first midget to enter the harbour collided with a channel marker, then backed up and became hopelessly tangled in the incomplete boom net. The bow rose to the surface.
'Yes, it's a submarine alright!', the Australians agreed after arguing for two hours, not wanting to believe it. To avoid certain capture, the Japanese crew used the scuttling charge to destroy the submarine and themselves. And then the real trouble started. Cmdr. Shane Moore RAN (retired) discusses the design problems of the battery-powered midgets and reveals why they were so deadly, particularly to the brave young crews who manned them.
Japanese Spy Pilot Susumo Ito, who flew multiple undetected reconnaissance missions over Sydney, gives a candid view from the other side in this conflict. Uncovered archival footage provides a never-before-seen perspective, with expert eye-witness commentary. Government-approved forensic dives on the off-limit wreck of the long-missing third midget submarine bring some closure to a long-standing mystery. Indisputable hard-evidence has excited marine archaeologists but does it go far enough?
The DVD brings together years of work in an engaging, entertaining and very re-watchable video.