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Wednesday, 24 April 2019


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This incident remains one of intense discussion among sailors in this part of the world. She was lost with all hands. The big question is why did Captain Burnett,an experienced officer, take his ship into such close quarters to a ship which should have set the alarm bells ringing. Sydney, the second of that name was a modified Leander Class cruiser, which outgunned and out classed Kormoran in every respect as a fighting ship. Her main armament was 8 x 6" guns and 4 x 4" guns.

It served with distinction in the Med in the early part of the war.

The wreck was located in 2008 128 miles off the coast of Western Australia.

For a potted history see

The circumstances under which HMAS Sydney were lost completely beggar belief.

Captain Theodor Detmers' account arrived in the post this morning. The survivors from the Kormoran were rescued by more than one ship. From what I can gather, they were interrogated in different locations, with no chance of collusion. Allowing for the fact that any two descriptions of an action that was fought will differ in some respects, it seems that the Germans were telling the truth.

Following the link leads to some grim reading.

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