Hmas Sydney Finally Found
For people who dont know the HMAS Sydney was one of Australia's most powerful warships in WW2 and for the first 2 years of the War had a distinguished record having destroyed several Italian destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea. In late November 1941 the Warship was escorting troop ships and then on the return voyage (November 19) the Sydney was about a day away from Australian soil when it spotted what they thought was a Dutch Merchant Vessel so they decided to investigate. The HMAS Sydney aproached the Merchant Vessel and this is where something onboard the Sydney goes terribly wrong as Allied Warships at the time were supposed to fire a warning shot when they get withing 5000 metres at all vessels which havent had their identity confirmed but instead the Sydney approached the unknown vessel and was within 1000 metres when the Germans uncoved their guns and opened fire on the HMAS Sydney.
Survivers of the HSK Kormoran say that when they opened fire the HMAS Sydney crew were not at ready stations and didnt even have their main guns pointed at the enemy vessel. From reports the Kormoran got off over 50 shots before the Sydney even returned fire by which stage the HMAS Sydney was heavely damaged. At the end of the 30 minute battle both vessels were almost completely destroyed and last time the HMAS Sydney was seen was by the HSK Kormoran's crew about 8km away and it was smoking heavely. Shortly later the Kormoran sunk due to the damage which it had sustaned and 317 of the 390 crew managed to get to the dingies and row to Australia where they were captured and spent the rest of the war in a POW Camp. The crew of the HMAS Sydney was not so lucky and they were never seen again making the sinking of the HMAS Sydney the largest navel disarter in Australian history and also the biggest Allied Vessel of the War to be sunk and have no survivers.
There are alot of questions which will forever go unanswered like why didnt the Captain of the Sydney (a noted offier who always obeyed protical) not follow protical and approach a unidentified vessel and not even have their main guns pointed at them. There are alot of reasons like, maybe the Captain wasnt on duty at the time or maybe they didnt expect to run into a German Vessel only a day away from the Australian coast but the fact is we will never know but when you look at both the ships the Sydney never should have been sunk as it was the far superior vessel and if military protical had been followed then odds are it would have lived to fight another day.
Another mystery is why if the HMAS Sydney was going down why didnt they use their radio transmitters to radio for help and get a rescue party as they were cedrtainly within range. The Australian Navy only learned of the problem after the HMAS Sydney failed to reach Port on time and they only learnt that it sunk after they captured the German sailors. This is the question i want answered the most as alot of lives could have been saved that day if the Sydney sent out a SOS.
The reason im telling you all this is because i find WW2 history very interesting and this particular myster has always been one of the ones that has most baffled me as it just shouldnt have happened and how 317 of the 190 crew of the German ship managed to survive while all 645 crew members of the Sydney died. Several days ago both the HSK Kormoran and the HMAS Sydney were found and hopefully the experts in this field will finally beable to get some answers about how a much smaller Warship was able to take out the pride of the Austalian Navy and kill 645 of our best sailors.