The shell containing more than three kilograms of high explosive was one of 10 fired from an I-class submarine, among the world’s largest, in what was the first naval bombardment of mainland Australia.
The attack came shortly after midnight on June 8, 1942, a week after the attempt to sink Allied warships in Sydney Harbour by three Japanese midget submarines. The sub surfaced 16 kilometres south-east of Sydney on a moonless night and fired the shells into the eastern suburbs, before diving and disappearing.
“In terms of people walking around the golf course and taking a swing, the chances of anything blowing up, well, it is impossible to calculate the odds. It’s very unlikely.
‘”I am sure the Royal Sydney would never agree to this but if they ever reclaimed the land and builders started to put in high density housing then I wouldn’t want to be around.'”