Cold War era submarine
A re-created control room and sailors’ mess of an Oberon Class submarine. The Cold War was not a traditional conflict, it was an era of suspicion and covert operations. Submarines were used to observe enemy locations and listen for clues.
Life onboard one of these submarines was cramped and completely lacked privacy for the men. Water onboard the submarine was precious and limited, men would only shower roughly once a week, the routine was, water on, water off, step out, soap on, step in, water on, rinse off, step out and dry. Submarines also had a constant smell of diesel and sweat.
Men would sit on their bunks to eat, with a small table between each bunk. Kitchens, like other areas on a submarine, are small and cramped with limited space to cook.
Sailors were issued overalls, which they would wear during the day, but also leave on when retiring to their bunks to sleep. This was because if there was an emergency, they were ready and dressed.
The Oberon class submarines were British built and were in service from the 1960s through to the mid-1990s. Australian submarines were at the forefront of technology, they were used during the Cold War because they were silent and ‘invisible’, submarines could watch, listen and gather information without being detected. The Oberon class submarine was powered by a diesel-electric engine.