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Wreck of HMAS Sydney found

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Wreck of HMAS Sydney found

Old 17th Mar 2008, 00:18
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Wreck of HMAS Sydney found

Source; ABC

The group searching for HMAS Sydney has found the wreckage of the World War II Australian warship off the coast of Western Australia, the ABC has confirmed.

The breakthrough by the Finding Sydney Foundation comes less than 24 hours after it announced it had located the wreckage of the German raider Kormoran, which also sank after a battle with the Sydney in November 1941.

The Sydney's entire crew of 645 went down with the ship in the Indian Ocean and its location has been a mystery for 66 years.

The Australian ship was last seen badly damaged and steaming over the horizon after the exchange of gunfire with the Kormoran, which also sank after the battle.

Members of the crew on the research ship the Geosounder found the Kormoran using sonar technology and were confident of locating the Sydney.

The wreckage of the Kormoran was found about 100 nautical miles off Steep Point, more than two kilometres below the ocean's surface, and the Sydney was found just 10 nautical miles west.

Chief executive officer of the Finding Sydney Foundation Bob Trotter says although the experts have been working in very deep water, they can be sure of their findings.

"Very sure. David Mann's our project director on the water out there, has done this about 30 times before in very deep water and he's probably the world's best at finding manmade objects at the bottom of the sea in very deep water," he said.

Relatives react

Royce Laycock was son of an engine stoker who worked on the ship and was only four when his father died.

"It's good news to know that they've found the ship, because you really didn't realise or know what happened," he said.

"I've read all the books and stories and publications over the 66 years, and it's just good news."

The son of another sailor who died on the Sydney, Bob Honour, says it is an important discovery.

"It's been a 66-year wait. Why?" he said. "Because they were trying to hide something? I don't know, I have no idea, I don't really care now. I'm happy to think they have found it after so long."

Lee O'Neill's father also went down with the ship, and he says he hopes the finding will bring closure to the families.

"I've always wondered how a ship like that could lose all men," he said.

"I've read so many books on it and heard so many different stories and spoken to people. Things to me just don't add up. I realise it won't bring him back and I accept that, but I just want to know what happened."

Even before an official announcement, federal politicians are having their say about how the discovery site should be commemorated.

Coalition backbencher Bruce Scott says the wreck of the Sydney should be left as a permanent war grave.

"It should be left with all on board to rest in peace. And the same with the Kormoran," he said.

"It's a war grave and it should be left as other ships have around the world from the First and Second World Wars - on the sea bed.

"I think that's the way the sailors who went down with the Sydney would like to think it was that way as well, particularly the families."

Naval Association spokesman Les Dywer says it was a major discovery.

"[I am] absolutely excited that they've finally unravelled the resting place of one of the greatest naval mysteries ever," he said.
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Old 17th Mar 2008, 00:23
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Errr. not a WITP fan are you?
(If this means nothing to you then I've just spotted a bizarre coincidence as I trawl the web...)

Good news - although not military air related.
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Old 17th Mar 2008, 00:53
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If you want to be picky she had a Seagull amphibian on board - if not, like me, you're just glad the last resting place of 600 plus or "our" sailors is known at last.
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Old 17th Mar 2008, 09:47
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Thank you for posting. If this is the grave of Sydney, I hope it brings closure to the families concerned. RIP.
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Old 17th Mar 2008, 11:47
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Yes, I read a book about the action back in the 50s too. Then it just takes one cnut to comment
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Old 17th Mar 2008, 14:57
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6 members of the RAAF were aboard her when she went down.
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Old 17th Mar 2008, 15:31
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Land, sea or air.. we all have one thing in common.

I'm glad that she's been found (and thanks for thinking to mention it Wessex).
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Old 18th Mar 2008, 00:34
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Found

I hope this is not to early on the thread but it would make an interesting movie. I happen to know a sailor who got off at perth for R&R and is still very much alive a lovely chap.
Bringing back a lot of sad memories for him.
I am so saddened that all the sailors died, I believe it to be the biggest single loss of sailors from one ship from the 2nd world war. one wonders what would have happened if the komarran was not sunk, how much more damadeged to shipping she could have done
RIP great warriors
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Old 18th Mar 2008, 01:33
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Sadly, the tragic loss of HMAS Sydney and her 645 man crew on the 19th Nov 1941 was more than matched by the loss of the cruiser HMS Neptune (sister ship to Ajax and Achillies of River Plate fame and "half" sister to the Sydney) exactly one month later on the 19th December 1941. She ran into a mine field off Tripoli and 766 were lost with just one survivor by accounts. The navy took a hammering in those months with the loss of the Ark Royal (14 Nov) and battleships Barham (25 Nov with 862 crew killed), Repulse and Prince of Wales (10 Dec).
Any opportunity to pay our respects to their memory should be taken. God rest the crew of HMAS Sydney, no longer lost and never forgotten.
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Old 18th Mar 2008, 02:03
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So much we lost for our current comfort.
Thanks for that reply RS30, a time to reflect.
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Old 18th Mar 2008, 04:32
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SM
You pedantic little flipper - if you don't like what you read - go elsewhere!
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Old 18th Mar 2008, 10:01
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The Germans used armed merchant cruisers quite successfully in both wars and their activities and methods are interesting and admirable. This is a good book on WW2 activities: August Karl Muggenthaler (1977). German Raiders of World War II.
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Old 18th Mar 2008, 10:29
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Millski - When HMS Hood was lost in WW2 about 1500 sailors were lost.
HMAS Sydney certainly the biggest Australian navy loss though.
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Old 18th Mar 2008, 10:47
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A SPECIAL Anzac Day soon.
Lest we forget.
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Old 4th Apr 2008, 01:19
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First pics have been released of the sydney

http://www.findingsydney.com/gallery.asp
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Old 4th Apr 2008, 01:29
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Hipper
I must admit I need to do a bit more research on the use of Merchant raiders. My limited understanding would tell me however it may have been a 'interesting' way of conducting warfare, but it was anything less than admirable. It's not much different than a current enemy who disguises himself as a civilian because they don't have any moral courage to stand and fight.
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Old 4th Apr 2008, 02:29
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In wartime many ships are lost at sea, with tragic loss of life as highlighted above by RS30. However all of these had at least one survivor. What made the Sydney's case stand out is that it is a rare (possibly unique) case of ALL HANDS being lost on a surface ship sunk in battle. There was not a single survivor and no-one could retell what had happened after she had sunk the Kormoran. I will wait for the maritime experts to post and let us know if she was the only such case.
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Old 4th Apr 2008, 04:35
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OB,
As much as I detest the current mob of "civilian" enemy I don't think they lack moral courage - they have discovered a very efficient method of warfare that allows a small number of "soldiers" to keep the rest of us at least on our toes let alone taking into the cost and disruption to our lives.
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Old 4th Apr 2008, 04:50
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Quite an in depth (sorry, I really didn't mean to make a pun) and interesting discussion on the topic here: http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=318494
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