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A VERY RUDE AWAKENING:
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Plans of the two captured midgets, regarded as secret weapons, were drawn up post-attack by Australian Navy draftsmen at Garden Island Naval Base on Sydney harbour at the site of the attack. As both captured submarines were extensively damaged, the plans represent a complete composite. The third submarine, M24, shown here, escaped the harbour and was found 65 years later, almost intact but it had been rolled and damaged by trawlers' fishing nets. The conning tower casing was missing and the hull had been snapped off at the forward bulkhead. The midgets were 80 feet long and were comprised mostly of torpedoes, batteries and an electric motor. The two-man crew occupied a cramped central control room, just six feet long and six feet in diameter. The midgets were an advanced design but a nightmare to operate, even for the highly-trained naval officers who were selected in part for their diminutive stature. The commanding officer had a very limited 2D view of the outside world, through a single periscope lens. His crewman battled with everything else: steering, keeping it level, going up and down, turning, checking the batteries, controlling the speed and at the same time calculating the trajectory of the two torpedoes which included a mathematically-determined deflection angle and then firing them. As soon as a torpedo left the submarine the bow lurched up and only a frantic effort by the crewman winding a handle could bring it down again.