Naval Historical Society of Australia – Victoria Chapter
Cordially invites you to
Our Monthly Meeting at 1900 on Monday 23 May 2022
At Waverley RSL – Sunset Room
161 Coleman Parade, Glen Waverley
Lieutenant Commander John Redman RAN (Rtd) “Sydney-Emden Battle & Aftermath”
Lieutenant Commander Redman’s naval career as a professional engineering officer began in the Royal Navy before he transferred to the RAN in 1972. He served in HMA Ships Sydney, Melbourne and latterly as Senior Engineer in HMAS Stalwart, before retiring and working in various senior consultancy roles.
John has an abiding interest in naval history and is currently the Vice President of the Naval Historical Society of Australia (Victoria Chapter).
His presentation will describe the so-called Battle of Cocos, which was a single-ship action that occurred on 9 November 1914, involving the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney as it responded to an attack on the communications station at Direction Island by the German light cruiser and commerce raider SMS Emden. This battle was the Royal Australian Navy’s first victory during World War I and ended Emden’s dominance in the waters around the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and elsewhere in the Indian Ocean.
In addition to describing key aspects of the battle, John will cover the less well-known story of how the German Navy raiding party left behind on Direction Island, under Emden’s Executive Officer Helmet von Mücke, made their escape after Sydney was compelled to disengage from the battle and resume convoy escort duties. Over the next six months, Mücke led this group of 53 sailors on one of the longest escapes recorded – over 11,000 km (6,800 nm) by sea and land – losing only one man to disease and three to enemy action.
Members and Guests are most welcome
A relaxing meal and drink beforehand in the RSL’s delightful Warramunga Room is always a pleasant prelude to the 1900 meeting