The Great Circle is the journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History. It was established in 1979 and attracts articles from both within Australia and overseas and has established a scholarly reputation. The Great Circle is a refereed journal and is published twice a year.

A great circle is the intersect of a sphere and a plane going through the centre of that sphere. The shortest distance between two places on earth is represented by the great circle that links them together. Although the geographical and climatological conditions of the earth prevent shipping from following a great circle course for any long distance, the concept is of the greatest importance for ocean-going navigation. Particularly during the heyday of the sailing clippers, masters deviated as little as possible from these magic lines on their charts. As such, The Great Circle symbolises the significance of Australia's overseas maritime links and indicates the aim of the association to promote the development of maritime history. Figuratively, The Great Circle also expresses its second objective: to encompass all individuals and groups interested in all aspects of maritime history, both in Australia and abroad.

The five diagrams on the back cover (courtesy of Rolf Krackowizer) illustrate some of the ships of significance to Australian and global maritime history: a Dutch East-Indiaman (c. 1700), the barque Parmelia (1825-39), a typical four-masted barque (c. 1900), a British battlecruiser of World War I, and the German containership Sydney Express (1970).

2022 Vol 44 No.1

2022 Vol 44 No.1

  • The Short Life of Associated Steamship’s Interstate Container Service (Neil Barnwell)
  • The Long History of Cholera in Mozambique: A Problematic Indian Ocean Disease (Edward A. Alpers)
  • Too Much has Been Made of the Contribution by James Lind and James Cook to the Cure of Scurvy at Sea (Alan. W Everett)
  • Towards a Periodisation of Indian Ocean Maritime History (Peter Ridgway)
  • The Roles of Captain Cook and Governor Phillip in the Founding of Australia (Sir Roger Carrick)
  • Cayman’s 1794 Wreck of the Ten Sail: Peace, War and Peril by Margaret E Leshikar-Denton (Book Review by Ian C. Dunshee)

2021 Vol 43 No.2

2021 Vol 43 No.2

  • A War Winning Vessel? Submarines in German and Japanese Naval Strategy 1918-1941 (Peter Hooker)
  • USS Bullhead: The Last US Naval Vessel Lost in World War II (Ian Chambers)
  • Submarines, Submariners and the Western Australian Museum's Department of Archaeology (Michael McCarthy)
  • The World War II Legacy of the Royal Netherlands Submarines at Fremantle (Sally R May)
  • Locating Submarines in Layers of Australia's History: The Making of a Submarine Museum (Ronald Sulman)

Call for Papers

Editorial team

General Editor: Professor Erika Techera
Book Review Editor: Professor Erika Techera
Production Manager: Dr Ian Chambers
Editorial Board:  
  • Catherine Kelly, University of Bristol
  • Joy McCann, Australian National University
  • Steve Mullins, Central Queensland University
  • Timothy Runyan, East Carolina University

Great Circle Indexes 1979 – 2018

Two separate indexes to the papers and book reviews in The Great Circle volumes have been collated. These files are Adobe Acrobat (pdf) files.

The Australian National Library contain copies of our publications. Past The Great Circle articles are available on JSTOR.

Papers in The Great Circle 1979-2021

Reviews in The Great Circle 1979-2021