Te Whare Taonga o Kororareka

Invasion menace – Russell Saved – #147

Invasion menace – Russell Saved – #147

The ships were here as part of combined Australian – Dominion fleet manoeuvres. The Kiwi ships were HMS Diomede and HMS Dunedin and the visiting warships, HMAS Canberra and HMAS Australia. Our air force had a presence too – that’s the amphibian just off the wharf. They were all engaged in a mock attack on Russell with the Canberra attacking and the other three defending. Headlines announced ‘Raider Outwitted. Repulsed by Defenders. Lurking Foe At Sea. Invasion Menace. Russell Saved.’ Following the exercise the crews indulged in more light-hearted pursuits. There were boat races, both rowing and sailing, and football matches on the domain followed by a Russell Bowling Club dance at the Town Hall where, according to the Northern Advocate report, the HMS Dunedin’s band ‘rendered delightful music’ and ‘total takings amounted to £9’. The next day the fleet left for Auckland carrying out exercises en route, including the firing of two torpedoes and two hours gunnery practice. The date was August, 1933.