Australia’s first victory at sea during World War I commemorated with a new issue

Australia’s first victory at sea during World War I commemorated with a new issue
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According to info got by StampNews.com Australia Post has commemorated its first victory at sea during World War I in a new stamp release. The item was released on the 8th of October and is now available for purchasing.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said this wartime event is historically significant as it was the first engagement fought by a warship of the fledgling Royal Australian Navy.

"The 'Battle of Cocos Islands', as it's sometimes described, took place on 9 November 1914 when the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney responded to an attack by the German light cruiser SMS Emden on a communications station at Direction Island in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands," Mr Zsolt said.

"We trust these stamps will remind all Australians of the significance of this important wartime engagement which took place in the waters of what is now one of Australia's external territories."

While Emden was the first to fire, Sydney's more powerful guns resulted in Emden's eventual surrender after she was deliberately beached on the North Keeling Island reef. There were fatalities on both sides, including 134 crew from Emden and four from Sydney.

Australia had a vital interest in bringing Emden to her end as the vessel's raiding activities in the Indian Ocean put at risk Australia's exports of wool, wheat and gold to the United Kingdom as well as the despatch of tens of thousands of young men joining the war effort. The battle, when it came, was short and bloody, an emphatic first victory at sea for the newborn Royal Australian Navy.

The stamps were designed by Melbourne-based designer Stacey Zass of page 12 design company.

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