A Very Rude Awakening: The Night the Japanese Midget Subs Came to Sydney Harbour

Author(s): Peter Grose


On the night of 31 May 1942, Sydney was doing what it does best: partying. The theatres, restaurants, dance halls, illegal gambling dens, clubs and brothels offered plenty of choice to roistering sailors, soldiers and airmen on leave in Australia's most glamorous city. The war seemed far away. Newspapers devoted more pages to horse racing than to Hitler. That Sunday night the party came to a shattering halt when three Japanese midget submarines crept into the harbour, past eight electronic indicator loops, past six patrolling Royal Australian Navy ships, and past an anti-submarine net stretched across the inner harbour entrance. Their arrival triggered a night of mayhem, courage, chaos and high farce which left 27 sailors dead and a city bewildered. The war, it seemed, was no longer confined to distant desert and jungle. It was right here at Australia's front door. Written at the pace of a thriller and based on new first person accounts and previously unpublished official documents, A Very Rude Awakening is a ground-breaking and myth-busting look at one of the most extraordinary stories ever told of Australia at war.


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This was the incident that brought the war to Australia's front door 27 sailors were left dead 31 May 2007 is the 65th anniversary of the raid Written at the pace of a thriller Reveals both the bravery and the incompetence the event inspired Based on new first person accounts and previously unpublished official documents The last remaining midget submarine was located off the NSW coast in late 2006 He's Coming South, a dramatised documentary based on the attack, re-screens regularly on Foxtel's The History Channel (but this may only be in Australia - we were unable to check) CATEGORY: History

Peter Grose is a former publisher at Secker & Warburg, founder of Curtis Brown Australia, and was until recently the chairman of ACP (UK).

ContentsIntroduction1 There's a War On2 England Expects3 Running Wild4 Rather Peculiar Instructions5 Day of Attack Shall be Notified6 Day of Attack Shall be 31 May 317 Come back Alive8 The Net9 All Hell Breaks Loose10 Me with Black Beards11 Sudden Death12 Matsuo's Turn13 Examining the Wreckage14 No Reference Whatsoever15 Has Everybody Seen a Submarine?16 Caught Napping17 The Night Watchman's Tale18 The Admiral's Report19 Final RestAppendix 1 - Genuine SellerAppendix II - Other Gentlemen's MailAppendix II - Whatever Happened to Acknowledgements

General Fields

  • : 9781741752199
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : 0.448
  • : March 2007
  • : 230mm X 152mm X 18mm
  • : Australia
  • : July 2007
  • : March 2021
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Peter Grose
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : English
  • : 940.5426441
  • : oc2007184978
  • : 328