This sterling silver two dollar coin about the HMAS AE2 Submarine, was produced in commemoration of 100 years of the Royal
Australian Navy. It is part of a set of six coins that also includes HMAS Australia II, HMAS Yarra III, HMAS Sydney III,
HMAS Hobart II and HMAS Armidale II. The
The Royal Australian Navy had ordered two new submarines from Vickers Armstrong in England. They were to be British E-Class Submarines and were named AE1 and AE2. They were launched on the 18th June 1913. They measured 181ft long and were capable of speeds up to 15 knots on the surface while only 10 knots submerged. This was because the twin diesel engines could only be used on the surface, an electric motor was used whilst submerged. The submarines then travelled to Australia, which, at the time was the longest submarine journey ever attempted.World War I had arrived and both submarines were ordered to capture German New Guinea along with an expeditionary force. Unfortunately, this battle saw the end of AE1 but AE2 continued its work in the area around Fiji. The commander of the submarine suggested that it be transferred to the British Fleet to serve a better purpose. This was agreed by the admiralty of both nations. So in January 1915 the submarine was ordered to join the British 2nd Submarine Flotilla in Egypt. It then joined the Dardanelles campaign.The Dardanelles Campaign was its finest hour. Its commander H.Stoker had devised a plan to attack the Turkish forces with the approval of the admiralty. The AE2 had mechanical issues but had managed to infiltrate and play havoc with the Turkish ships. Stoker had at one point rested the vessel on the ocean floor and waited for nightfall to strike. He had made the Turks believe that there were multiple submarines in the area such was his cunning. But in the Sea of Marmara the AE2 had come unstuck. Its mechanical issues caused it to be spotted by a torpedo boat and the submarine was scuttled on 30th April 1915 although the crew of 32 men all survived.In 1998 the wreck was discovered by divers in 73 metres of water around the Sea of Marmara. After discussions between Australia and Turkey about the difficulties in raising the submarine, it was agree the it should lay where it rests and be protected as a national heritage relic (Sydney Morning Herald, 2008) .
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