It’s hard to fathom how far we’ve come since the first submarine, with greasy leather flaps, was rowed – yes, rowed! – under the murky water of the Thames. Now, hundreds of boats creep about in the ocean, armed with cruise missiles and nuclear warheads. Australia has six, ditched a plan to get 12 French ones, and now plans (well, plans to plan) to get “at least” eight from the US or the UK. These might be nuclear-powered motherships, home to fleets of drones. Or the entire idea could be sunk. Whether you’ve been adrift in Vigil or submersed in Australia’s political woes, it’s time to find out how much you know about these undersea boats.
Tory is a senior reporter for Guardian Australia