Tasmania’s involvement in Naval warfare started in 1882 when two Russian naval vessels were spotted in the Derwent River, sparking fears of invasion.
Tasmanians overreacted to the sighting by erecting multiple gun batteries and purchasing a torpedo boat.
Despite the preparations, the invasion never came. Later, during the two World Wars, Tasmanians were key to the Royal Australian Navy’s efforts.
Thousands of Tasmanians served as naval soldiers, Tasmanian ferries were used to inspect suspicious ships, and Tasmanian shipbuilders supported the war effort with a steady supply of vessels.
Tasmanian naval recruits continue to serve in the twentieth and twenty-first century, in arenas including Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.
Visit the Maritime Museum to learn more about these contributions and explore a recreated naval ship’s cabin.