On the night of 31 May 1942, Sydney was doing what it does best: partying.
The theatres, restaurants, dance halls, illegal gambling dens, and clubs 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 to horseracing 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,
six patrolling Royal Australian Navy ships, and 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 at Australia's front door.
Written at the pace of a thriller and based on new first-person account 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previously unpublished official documents, 'A Very Rude Awakening' is a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.
Part 1: Preparation
1. There's a war on
2. England expects
3. Running wild
4. Rather peculiar instruction
5. Date of attack will be notified
6. Day of attack shall be May 31
7. Somehow come back alive
Part 2: Attack
8. The net
9. All hell breaks loose
10. Men with black beards
11. Sudden death
12. Matsuo's turn
13. Examining the wreckage
Part 3: Aftermath
14. No reference whatsoever
15. Has 'everybody' seen a submarine?
16. Caught napping
17. The nightwatchman's tale
18. The Admiral's report
19. Final rest
Epilogue: Whatever happened to ...?
Appendix 1: Genuine seller
Appendix 2: Other gentlemen's mail
Appendix 3: The Admiral's report