Joined: 25 Sep 2006
|Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:32 pm Post subject: HMAS Sydney (II) found
This is a bit off topic for this board but I thought anyone who doesn't know might be interested to hear that HMAS Sydney (II) and HSK Kormoran have been found by David Mearns (of HMS Hood discovery fame) off the West Australian coast.
HMAS Sydney (II) is probably the RAN's most famous warship and certainly its most tragic. She had destroyed a roughly equivalent Italian cruiser, the Bartolomeo Colleoni, in the Mediterranean ("Battle of Cape Spada"). Sadly, she is better known for her loss at the hands of HSK Kormoran, a German armed merchantman. Sydney's entire crew was lost and virtually all trace of the ship vanished until Mearns' recent discovery.
Sydney is the only cruiser ever to have been lost to such an opponent. The action with Kormoran was fought at extremely close range (according to Mearns in "The Sunday Mail", as close as 900m), her loss having been generally attributed to mistakes made by her Captain, Joseph Burnett. Due to her complete disappearance however. and the disbelief that a modern light cruiser could be sunk at the hands of a glorified freighter, conspiracy theories have abounded, generally revolving around skullduggery on the part of the Germans and the belief that it was a Japanese sub which did the deed.
There are still *many* questions to be answered. Sydney's hull is largely intact. I have not heard if she is upright or not.
There is an RAN history page here:
The "Finding Sydney" page (which calls Sydney a "Battlecruiser"!) is here:
ABC (Australia) will be airing a documentary about the discovery on April 1: