Join us onboard HQS Wellington for a unique evening of submariner history
Find out more about “The Perisher” and how it prepared our Submarine Commanding Officers for the high-pressure, high-risk situations that they faced in times of combat. Enjoy the lecture and stay onboard for a buffet supper.
In 1917 the Periscope Course was started to give submarine commanding officers sufficient practice in attacking. The course succeeded, and a ‘pass’ became the ambition of every submarine executive or warfare officer and a requirement for the unique job of commanding a submarine. This caused a name change to the Commanding Officers’ Qualifying Course (COQC) and the adoption of the moniker ‘PERISHER’.
The Second World War saw Perisher’s most intense period as it responded with alacrity and agility to the exigencies and imperatives of an expanding submarine fleet, wartime losses and reduced experience. In 1947 and the advent of the Cold War, the battle moved underwater with the inherent complexities, advanced technologies and the introduction of nuclear submarines. In response, the course morphed into the Submarine Command Course (SMCC) and a demanding test of command attributes by putting a student commanding officer under great pressure in decision-rich, risk-ridden scenarios to prove his capability. As a result, Perisher was sometimes feared, often admired and even coveted.
This story of Perisher’s evolution will be of interest to submariners of all nations, naval historians as a new dimension to the history of the Royal Navy, those whose interest is in sea-command, pressure management and training, and all who have an interest in the mysterious world of submarines.