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YDs Most Southerly Monkey
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One of the biggest mysteries in Australian nautical history appears to have been solved, with the discovery of a large wreck off the coast of WA close to her last known location.

In some respects, the loss of HMAS Sydney in November 1941 can be compared with the loss of HMS Hood; she was the pride of the RAN and had recently returned from distinguished service in the Mediterranean, under the command of Capt. Collins, one of Australia's most distinguished WW2 sailors, where she sank a number of Italian surface ships, including a Cruiser.

She was lost with all hands, in an engagement with the German commerce raider Kormoran. By rights, Sydney, which outgunned and outranged the Kormoran, should have won hands down but the Kormoran, which was disguised as a Dutch merchantman managed to entice her, with turrets still trained fore & aft to within a few hundred yards (virtually point blank range) before surprising the former with an opening salvo from her concealed guns, which crippled the cruiser, destroyed the ships bridge and probably killed her Captain and other officers in the first seconds.

Sydney fought back and inflicted fatal damage on the Kormoran which sank, after 300 or so of it's crew had taken to the lifeboats. The only accounts of the action were taken from the ships crew who were later captured and spent the rest of the war in Australia as PoWs. The last sightings of the Sydney were as she drifted away, ablaze over the horizon.

All 645 of the Sydney's crew were lost, and only one body was ever found, being that of a sailor who washed ashore some time later.

Since then, all sorts of controversies have raged with various theories and accusations (as always) of coverups etc against the RAN and Govt etc. A number of attempts have since been made to locate the wreckage, with huge amounts of $s expended.

Breaking news today, is that the wreck has probably been found, in 150M of water by a team of amateurs, using a grappling hook and an underwater video camera they lowered down to the wreck, which shows evidence of heavy battle damage. Whilst there hasn't been a positive identification (it could be the Kormoran), the chances are high that this is the ship they've been looking for, as there are no other large ships known to have been lost in this area, a very remote stretch of coastline.

Here's the story in full in The Age (Melbourne's version of The Grauniad)

This is really big news over here. Don't get any ideas about diving it though; apart from the remote location and the depth, as Australia's biggest wargrave and given it's historical nature, it's London to a brick that the Commonwealth Govt will ban diving on her.

Wreck of HMAS Sydney found off WA - National - theage.com.au

Undersea find may solve 1941 crew mystery - National - theage.com.au

Oops. Might have posted too soon!!

Navy to inspect 'Sydney' wreck | The Australian

(Although the Aus and the Age are bitter rivals.)
 

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Driving my truck with my high-heels on...
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This is really big news over here. Don't get any ideas about diving it though; apart from the remote location and the depth, as Australia's biggest wargrave and given it's historical nature, it's London to a brick that the Commonwealth Govt will ban diving on her.
Nice that they have eventually found her & I hope they do ban diving on her as is only right in these circumstances .
 
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