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  • The Mystery of HMAS Sydney

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_...d_HSK_Kormoran

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Sydney_%281934%29

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_...uiser_Kormoran

    The sinking of the HMAS Sydney is one of the great mysteries of WWII. This Australian light cruiser was lost in action against the disguised German raider HSK Kormoran, which was also lost in the battle. The 321 (or 317 or 397 depending on what source you read – obviously those Germans weren’t honest when asked if they were alive or dead ) survivors of the Kormoran became POWs in Australia, while there were no surviviors from the Sydney.

    The Sydney was:
    • The largest vessel of any country during WWII to be lost with no survivors during WWII.
    • The largest warship to be lost to a raider during WWII.
    • The greatest ever loss of life in an Australian warship.

    To many people it seems almost inconceivable that the Sydney, a large dedicated warship with an experienced crew (A lot of work in the Mediterranean) could lose to a converted merchant ship, and truly inconceivable that there were no survivors.

    The official account (based on interviews of captured German crew) claims that essentially the Sydney made an incautious approach as the Kormoran was disguised as a merchant ship and claimed to be the Dutch ship Straat Malakka. The Kormoran got in the first shots, firing when the Sydney approached to about 1000 metres. These shots were very accurate and inflicted heavy damage on the Sydney, which did succeed in returning fire, setting the Kormoran on fire.

    The Sydney broke off the engagement, burning fiercely and disappeared southwards. After night fell, the Germans could still see distant flames and then after it finally disappeared from view they heard several large explosions which the believed were the fire reaching the magazines.

    Of course there are other theories. Some people claim:
    • The Kormoran was flying a white flag, indicating it was surrendering before opening fire.
    • A Japanese submarine was also present and attacked the Sydney (this was about 2 weeks before the attack on Malaya and Pearl Harbor).
    • The Germans killed Australian survivors who were in lifeboats or in the water.


    While the Sydney was the better warship, the difference between the two may not have been as great as many people assume. Presumably the Sydney had much better armour, more watertight compartments and much better targeting systems, but:

    While the Sydney was longer, the Kormoran was the larger ship.

    The Sydney was armed with:
    8 X 6 inch guns
    4 X 4 inch guns
    Various machine guns
    8 X 21 inch torpedo tubes.

    The Kormoran was armed with:
    6 X 5.9 inch guns
    2 X 37mm anti-tank guns
    5 X 20mm anti-aircraft guns
    6 X 21 inch torpedo tubes
    So while the Sydney was better armed, the Kormoran was no lightweight and certainly carried enough firepower to compete with the Sydney, if the Sydney approached too close.

    One of the more recent news articles here in Australia was rather sensational:

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21816706-2,00.html

    The most sensational claims in it are:

    A BRITISH maritime researcher claims to have solved one of Australia's greatest wartime mysteries by locating the wreck of HMAS Sydney.
    and

    "I have also found a number of Japanese vessels – two submarines and possibly a Japanese aircraft carrier in the general vicinity of HMAS Sydney," Mr Akers said.
    "The Kormoran and another Japanese submarine is further north."
    My guess is that he claims are complete rubbish. But, to give him the benefit of the doubt, did the allies know of every large warship (like the possible above mentioned aircraft carrier) that the Japanese built and also know the fates of all large Japanese war ships?


    So what do people think happened to the Sydney? Did the Captain just stuff up and the Germans got lucky, or did something more sinister happen?

  • #2
    Are you sure the Germans did not get a torpedo or two in her? Three hundred survivors is too many to keep a secret. If there was any shenanigans pulled, someone would have talked.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mechashef View Post
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_...d_HSK_Kormoran

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Sydney_%281934%29

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_...uiser_Kormoran

      The sinking of the HMAS Sydney is one of the great mysteries of WWII. This Australian light cruiser was lost in action against the disguised German raider HSK Kormoran, which was also lost in the battle. The 321 (or 317 or 397 depending on what source you read – obviously those Germans weren’t honest when asked if they were alive or dead ) survivors of the Kormoran became POWs in Australia, while there were no surviviors from the Sydney.

      The Sydney was:
      • The largest vessel of any country during WWII to be lost with no survivors during WWII.
      • The largest warship to be lost to a raider during WWII.
      • The greatest ever loss of life in an Australian warship.

      To many people it seems almost inconceivable that the Sydney, a large dedicated warship with an experienced crew (A lot of work in the Mediterranean) could lose to a converted merchant ship, and truly inconceivable that there were no survivors.

      The official account (based on interviews of captured German crew) claims that essentially the Sydney made an incautious approach as the Kormoran was disguised as a merchant ship and claimed to be the Dutch ship Straat Malakka. The Kormoran got in the first shots, firing when the Sydney approached to about 1000 metres. These shots were very accurate and inflicted heavy damage on the Sydney, which did succeed in returning fire, setting the Kormoran on fire.

      The Sydney broke off the engagement, burning fiercely and disappeared southwards. After night fell, the Germans could still see distant flames and then after it finally disappeared from view they heard several large explosions which the believed were the fire reaching the magazines.

      Of course there are other theories. Some people claim:
      • The Kormoran was flying a white flag, indicating it was surrendering before opening fire.
      • A Japanese submarine was also present and attacked the Sydney (this was about 2 weeks before the attack on Malaya and Pearl Harbor).
      • The Germans killed Australian survivors who were in lifeboats or in the water.


      While the Sydney was the better warship, the difference between the two may not have been as great as many people assume. Presumably the Sydney had much better armour, more watertight compartments and much better targeting systems, but:

      While the Sydney was longer, the Kormoran was the larger ship.

      The Sydney was armed with:
      8 X 6 inch guns
      4 X 4 inch guns
      Various machine guns
      8 X 21 inch torpedo tubes.

      The Kormoran was armed with:
      6 X 5.9 inch guns
      2 X 37mm anti-tank guns
      5 X 20mm anti-aircraft guns
      6 X 21 inch torpedo tubes
      So while the Sydney was better armed, the Kormoran was no lightweight and certainly carried enough firepower to compete with the Sydney, if the Sydney approached too close.

      One of the more recent news articles here in Australia was rather sensational:

      http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21816706-2,00.html

      The most sensational claims in it are:



      and



      My guess is that he claims are complete rubbish. But, to give him the benefit of the doubt, did the allies know of every large warship (like the possible above mentioned aircraft carrier) that the Japanese built and also know the fates of all large Japanese war ships?


      So what do people think happened to the Sydney? Did the Captain just stuff up and the Germans got lucky, or did something more sinister happen?
      Well I think a Jap Sub would of been involved but thats it this Brit wouldn't have a clue ummm there was a search for the grave of a sailor of HMAS Sydney who was found on Christmas Island I think after floating ashore on a piece of would when he was found he already die and the locals barried him and I believe Authorties found his bodie earlier this year or late last year can anyone confirm that?
      http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

      Comment


      • #4
        Slightly of topic!

        HMS Hood was unlucky too, so just maybe HMAS Sydney feel prey to the same fate, but against a German raider!
        "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
        Ernest Hemingway.

        "We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorised and flattened by trivialities."
        Bukowski

        Comment


        • #5
          Worth reading!
          http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/h...ey/inquiry.htm
          "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
          Ernest Hemingway.

          "We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorised and flattened by trivialities."
          Bukowski

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
            Are you sure the Germans did not get a torpedo or two in her? Three hundred survivors is too many to keep a secret. If there was any shenanigans pulled, someone would have talked.

            Pruitt

            Good point.

            The link AB provides mentions torpedo tubes on the Kormorant.
            Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

            Comment


            • #7
              While HMAS Sydney was an experienced ship, the Cpt was new to the command. HSK Kormoran was just as experienced, perhaps more so.

              Survivors from Kormoran where picked up at different points and questioned. Their statements were all pretty much the same. They had just left a burning and sinking ship. Would they have had time to form a 'story'? NO!

              Why didn't Kormoran's crew offer aid to the crew of Sydney? Their ship was on fire and sinking.

              Did Kormoran's crew machine gun the survivors of Sydney?

              #1. They wouldn't have had the time, again their Ship was on fire and sinking.

              #2 Looking at the history of the Kormoran and most other German raiders this would have been totally out of character.

              #3 Why would they?

              #4 The present location of Kormoran and suspected site of Sydney is some distance (miles) from each other. This pretty much rules out any machine gunning of the crew in the water.

              According to the crew of Kormoran, the Australian warship was not fully prepared for battle, and her guns were not trained on Kormoran. Sydney was hit about 50 times by the raider's 5.9-inch heavy guns before she returned fire. Over all Sydney received approx. 150 hits. A Torpedo hit, scored relatively early in the engagement, caused massive damage to Sydney
              IF this is the case, then the loss of Sydney, is clearly the fault of it's Cpatain.

              HP
              Last edited by Half Pint John; 27 Jul 07, 02:57.
              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Another link!
                The Committee presented its Report on the loss of HMAS Sydney to the Senate on 22 March 1999 and to the House of Representatives on 29 March 1999. Copies of the individual chapters are available in both PDF and HTML format. The report is also available from the Committee Secretariat.

                http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committe.../reportinx.htm
                "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                Ernest Hemingway.

                "We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorised and flattened by trivialities."
                Bukowski

                Comment


                • #9
                  DETMERS’ SECRET WEAPON.
                  HSK KORMORAN's Underwater Torpedo Tubes.

                  Click here!
                  "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                  Ernest Hemingway.

                  "We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorised and flattened by trivialities."
                  Bukowski

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
                    While HMAS Sydney was an experienced ship, the Cpt was new to the command. HSK Kormoran was just as experienced, perhaps more so.

                    Survivors from Kormoran where picked up at different points and questioned. Their statements were all pretty much the same. They had just left a burning and sinking ship. Would they have had time to form a 'story'? NO!

                    Why didn't Kormoran's crew offer aid to the crew of Sydney? Their ship was on fire and sinking.

                    Did Kormoran's crew machine gun the survivors of Sydney?

                    #1. They wouldn't have had the time, again their Ship was on fire and sinking.

                    #2 Looking at the history of the Kormoran and most other German raiders this would have been totally out of character.

                    #3 Why would they?

                    #4 The present location of Kormoran and suspected site of Sydney is some distance (miles) from each other. This pretty much rules out any machine gunning of the crew in the water.



                    IF this is the case, then the loss of Sydney, is clearly the fault of it's Cpatain.

                    HP
                    Some of this points that were mentioned might have to do with the "Japanes ships that were in area" if they were I think it's a load of Bullsh*t I still this a Jap sub was involved though but the Sydney had a good run in teh Mediterranian and showed Hilter what the Iron Fotilla could do
                    http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 150935 View Post
                      Some of this points that were mentioned might have to do with the "Japanes ships that were in area" if they were I think it's a load of Bullsh*t I still this a Jap sub was involved though but the Sydney had a good run in teh Mediterranian and showed Hilter what the Iron Fotilla could do
                      Surely if a Japanese sub or other warships were involved, some of the crew would have talked sooner or later in claiming to sink her!
                      "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                      Ernest Hemingway.

                      "We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorised and flattened by trivialities."
                      Bukowski

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by achtung baby View Post
                        Surely if a Japanese sub or other warships were involved, some of the crew would have talked sooner or later in claiming to sink her!
                        Not if those subs or ships were taken out a all crew killed in the process
                        http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 150935 View Post
                          Not if those subs or ships were taken out a all crew killed in the process
                          WHAT!!!
                          Don't stretch it mate!
                          "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                          Ernest Hemingway.

                          "We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorised and flattened by trivialities."
                          Bukowski

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 150935 View Post
                            Some of this points that were mentioned might have to do with the "Japanes ships that were in area" if they were I think it's a load of Bullsh*t I still this a Jap sub was involved though but the Sydney had a good run in teh Mediterranian and showed Hilter what the Iron Fotilla could do
                            Are you forgetting, at the time Japan and the CW were not at war with each other. Why would the Japanese have risk the start of the war over the sinking of a Light Cruiser? Even if the Sydney had been a major naval unit why would the Japanese have risk war at that point when they were in the late planning and training stages for their 7 Dec attack on PH. No logic for having the IJN invloved.

                            HP
                            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by achtung baby View Post
                              WHAT!!!
                              Don't stretch it mate!
                              He does have enthusiasm, give him credit for than, and imagination.

                              HP
                              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                              Comment

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