The australian naval institute


JOURNAL OF THE AUSTRALIAN NAVAL INSTITUTE (INC.)



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JOURNAL OF THE AUSTRALIAN NAVAL INSTITUTE (INC.)

Title CONTENTS Page

Correspondence 2

From the Editor 4

1979/80 President's Report 5

From the Secretary s Desk 6

Financial Statements 9

SEAPOWER81 9

New members 9

Industrial Support for Maritime Power

By Lieutenant Commander J HazellRANR 10

Captain Gustaf Erikson (1872-1947)

by Commander Robin Pennock RAN 20

The Soviet Mercantile Offensive

by Mr Micheal Melliar-Phelps 30

An Appropriate Maritime Strategy for Australia post 1980

by Major N.A. Bowman 36

Journal Back Issues 34

The Fishery Protection Squadron of the Royal Navy

by Sub-Lieutenant J.V.P. Goldrick RAN 44

Book Reviews 52

Application for Membership 56

Articles or condensations of articles are not to be reprinted or reproduced without the permission of the Institute. Extracts may be quoted for the purpose of research, review or comment provided the source is acknowledged

The cover features a drawing of the ocean minesweeper, HMAS WAGGA (1942-62), by Chief Petty Officer G. Vollmer whose book of paintings and drawings of Australian warships was recently published and will be reviewed in the next ANI Journal. (Australia's Men of War published by Reed, recommended retail price $16.95.)

Journal ol lire Australian Naval Institute Page I

Correspondence

AUSTRALIAN AMPHIBIOUS CAPABILITY

Dear Sir,

I read with great anticipation the article entitled Australian Amphibious Capability — An Essential Elemenl ot National Seapower, in the February edition of your excellent journal Unlortunalely, my anticipation was ill-rewarded when I digested a resume ol amphibious operations raids and activities, which tanged trom the Duke ot York and Albany s maritime Regiment ol Fool ot 1664 to Malaya and Vietnam

The writer seems to have ignored Ihe trends ot other nations with regard to amphibious warfare, and tends to gen eralize when reaching the stage of giving his views as lo Australia s needs How many ships would we require and why7 Would the vessels be maintained say, in Sydney Harbour ready lor any amphibious operation, il not. what availability would Ihey really have7 And perhaps mosl importantly WHAT WOULD BE THE COST ot such a capability'' The FlUSI meeting in London earlier this year on the topic Amphibious Forces in Ihe 80 s suggested that because ot the costs ot specialised equipments and Ihe developments in weapon technology. the need tor the expensive LPD'LSL type shipping nay have passed In lieu the use ot existing container ships and ROROs should be examined

The ANI Journal article ignores the relative economies ot the amphibious ships proposed, and also any other options to carry out the same tasks I reler here to the present day capa­bilities ol aircraft, helicopters and parachuting techniques (Even Ihe Royal Marines Hew to Vanuatu j Perhaps even more impor­tantly the article really tails lo delineate any roles tor the amphibious capability which it proposes, and wiih no role, there can be no justification

Having so tar been extremely critical ol the article. I must now agree with the author on a major point he makes, relative to the mosl recent war in which we have been involved. Vietnam I reler ol course to the US Amphibious activities which were only used in providing support lor a predominantely land campaign ' Dare I as a soktier. suggest in ihis augusl journal that the normal involvement ol the three Australian Services, or tor thai matter those ot any nation with a large land mass, will NORMALLY evolve around what is fundamentally a land campaign' (Ol course there will be exceptions')

Unlortunalely. your author laiied to develop the lull impact ol the waters surrounding Vietnam and their ettects on Ihe war there Although this theatre of war saw the greatest use ot airpower since man lust Hew over 98% ol all materiel arrived in Vietnam by Sea Transport Surely this is important7 Surely Ihe logistic support ot a lorce. however deployed, is more important than a capacity to provide loi the deploy ment ol battalion groups variously structured tor varying amphibious tasks As a nation, we already have several ways to deploy out forces, either within Australia or overseas, but oui capacity lo support those forces lor a protracted period once away Iron ihe main infrastructure. is indeed limited

I contend that Australia cannot afford the luxury ol an amphibious capability, at least until we have sutlcient sea trans­port available lo enable us lo deploy heavy equipment and maintain a lorce in a remote area ol Australia or overseas, tor a protracted period

Detence Forces ate often accused ol spending their lime lighting past wars, a nation with Detence Forces as small as Australia s with such wide responsibilities, just cannot aftord to lall into this trap History does not always provide the basis, or a lustilicalion lor a modern Defence Force capability It would seem that the approach used in Ihe article could also be developed to lustily a re-establishment ol Ihe Camel Coops in today s Army If however detailed conceptual studies were to determine a role and requirement tor amphibious shipping, (or camels), then perhaps the lessons ol history could correctly assist us

Finally, may I suggest thai il is unnecessary lo spend enormous amounts ol the Naval share ol the Detence Budget on Ihe proposed specialist equipment and vessels, in order to conduct amphibious raids Our Special Air Service and Commando units already train closely and successfully with the RAN using existing equipment and vessels It at some luture lime. Australia alone is called upon lo police the enlire south western pacitic area perhaps that MAY be Ihe lime to raise an amphibious Heel'

Yours laithlully

K L OUNCAN Colonel

11 Richmond Avenue, Cremorne NSW 2090

JARGON

Dear Sir.

In the book review by Tony Howland on page 45 ol the May 1980 issue he mentions a conversation with a long retired lairly senior officer I only til Ihe first ol his two categories but am also rather puzzled by some modern developments

Although 24 years out ol the R A N I try lo keep in louch with developments and am a member of six learned detence institutions and hope soon to be a member ot another

I understand most ot Ihe content ot articles in their journals and even, by means of various U S publications, understand most ot Ihe iargon

However. I am lost in trying lo unravel the article by Commander Daw on pages 18/22 ot the May issue Not only long reined officers surely would scralch Iheir heads over

It behavioural course and subordmale objectives are de veloped then evaluation ot the students using instruments which are congruent with Ihe objectives gives a valid measure ot course effectiveness

Page 2 Journal ot the Australian Naval institute

Jargon when universally applied and understood is a necessary pan ol any discipline, e g technical terms in sea­manship

Old war lime hands will understand the contusion caused by the uniniliated using such lerms as Tie up lhal gizmo to this dootroyd

The terms or jargon used by Commander Daw will be understood by and impress the prolessors at Florida Stale but God help the students at the Star! Course

Despite all the changes in materiel, surely two ol the prime qualities ot a good stall olficer are clarity ol mind and clarity ot expression

The Admiral wants somebody to be able lo rapidly pick the bones out ol a contused situation in a clear appreciation, written or spoken, with the minimum ol words in clear English

Perhaps this should be included as an objective ol the Siatl Course

I am, Sir

Yours faithfully

R J Bassett Commander RAN Reld

P O Box 2. Albrtghton. Wolverhampton, UK

ANI SEMINAR Dear Sir,

I was delighted to read in the Vol 6 No 3 Journal thai plans have been made lor the next Institute Seminar SEAPOWER81

A dissatisfying thought, however, is that once again the Academy ol Science in Canberra has been listed as Ihe venue lor Ihe Seminar Whilst I realise that our beloved nations Capital (no disrespect intended) is centrally located within Ihe Eastern Australian Area, and Ihe home ol Ihe Institute, it is my belief that holding our Seminars in a dif­ferent slate Capital on each occasion would serve our Insti­tute's aims, certainly Ihe more remotely located members, to a greater degree With the installation ot the Cockbum Sound Naval Base, lor example the theme lor Ihe SEA-POWER 81 Seminar would better provide material lor dis­cussion in Ihe city ot Pedh, not in Canberra

Looking ahead. I hope to see comments and criticisms Irom other members Further to this, il enough interest is shown, then perhaps this point could be lisled as an ilem ot discussion for the agenda ol Ihe Annual General Meeting tor 1981

In Ihe meantime. I thank Ihe Contnbutors and Editorial Staff ot the Journal once again lor providing Ihe Institute with an ever-increasing standard ol quality ol our Journal Incidentally, is it just me that seems to think that we still have a lot ot regulars in Ihe Journal or am I mistaken in lhat actually there are quite a lot ol members and readers out there eagerly penning away for our cause7 Looking forward lo our continued prosperity

Yours taithtully




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