- Letter Writer
- History - general, Naval technology, Letter to the Editor
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Brisbane I, HMAS Watson (base), HMAS Karumba
- March 1998 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Re Naval Historical Review December 1997: HMAS BRISBANE
- The photograph of HMAS BRISBANE shows the ship under way and fuelling by the astern method. The tanker in this case is almost certainly ARFA KURUMBA and the occasion was probably the first time on which the evolution was attempted at sea in the Australian Navy, off Rabaul in July 1924. A photograph of KURUMBA taken from BRISBANE on that occasion is on show on the tactical floor of the SYDNEY-EMDEN Building, the Maritime Warfare Training Centre at HMAS WATSON. I enclose a photocopy of the reproduction of this photograph which appeared in Warship International 1/1994. Unfortunately, the quality of the original is not all that good and some of the detail is obscured.
- What is clear is that the two ships are engaged in fuelling astern by the stirrup method. The anchor is catted to permit the port hawsepipe to be used for the tow. My belief, with the aid of the enclosed photograph, is that the fairlead would be used for the fuelling hose. Volume II of The Manual of Seamanship 1932 gives a description of the procedure. It is interesting to compare this with modern, multiple station abeam methods of replenishment – something which backs Lord Chatfield’s comment to the effect that there is new seamanship as well as old.
JAMES GOLDBRICK, Commander RAN