HMAS Sydney

Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
From The Austalian:

Navy to inspect 'Sydney' wreck
quote:

A NAVY vessel will still be sent to Carnarvon to investigate a wreckage reported to be HMAS Sydney despite experts ridiculing the claim.

While the WA Museum director of maritime archeology Mike McCarthy had "no faith at all" the shipwreck was the RAN light cruiser sunk by a German raider 66 years ago, a spokesman for Veterans Affairs Minister Bruce Billson said yesterday he expected the navy to examine the remains within the next two weeks.
Full story at http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22247624-31477,00.html
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
I found it. All I can say to that is "You gotta be frakkin' kidding me!"

Anyone wanting to see it, just cut and past the link above to your browserr starting at the http point and omitting the 22252931-31477%2C00.html?from=public_rss, part.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,956
206
193
HMAS Leeuwin will arrive at the 'wreck' today. She's a survey ship, with all the necessary equipment to check it out.

I'm going to amuse myself working out where I'd search, based on Captain Detmers' secret report to Germany. About all I'll show is that the area to be searched is huge. I believe the report in question is true. If it isn't, we have no navigational data at all.

Many here are rubbishing the government for not conducting a major search. Do they really want to spend millions of the taxpayers' money without solid data?

There's just a chance that HMAS Sydney will be found by chance. A major company called Geo Subsea has been looking for her with powerful side-scanning sonar when it happens to have a ship in the region. The company provides surveying and diving services in deep water, especially for the oil industry. It has ROVs that can operate at up to 3,000 metres down. It's already eliminated quite a large area to the south of the battle scene.
 

Michael Byrne

Member
Oct 11, 2006
43
0
76
>>I'm going to amuse myself working out where I'd search, based on Captain Detmers' secret report to Germany.
>>About all I'll show is that the area to be searched is huge. I believe the report in question is true.

Yes, I too think that Detmer's report is probably accurate. Trouble is that only really leads us with any small degree of accuracy in the direction of the Kormoran wreck. Sydney's time afloat / course changes after it's last sighting are speculation - only it's initial course away from the scene of the conflict are known - again assuming the authenticity of the German account. Although it's probably reasonable to assume the crew knew the ship was badly damaged and probably in some peril, the exact course set might depend on the crew's perceptions: "Badly damaged, but not in immediate danger, fires likely to come under control" might lead the crew to set course to the nearest reasonable port where medical services and temporary repairs could be made. However "In immediate danger of sinking / fires uncontrollable" might induce a more urgent course directly for the nearest land - probably a more easterly than south course.

Tom Frame's books has as one of it's Appendices the so called "Letter of Proceedings" claiming to have been written by a Sydney officer. Anyone have any details on it's provenance / how it was shown to be a fake ?
 

Aydan D Casey

Member
Oct 1, 2005
21
0
71
Has anyone considered that Detmer's navigational calculations in 1941 might be as accurate as Boxhall's were in 1912? Even if Detmers gave what he genuinely believed to be the right position, how do we know he didnt make an error in his calculations in the same way that Boxhall did owing to the fact that both men had to make this calculation whilst having a ship sink beneath them??
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
From The World Today:

Row erupts over ship wreck
quote:

ELEANOR HALL: One of the men at the centre of claims that HMAS Sydney has been found off the west coast of Australia says he isn't certain that the wreck is the lost war ship.

The Sydney was sunk with all of its crew in November 1941 and has never been recovered. Now the Veterans Affairs Minister says the group which made the find has refused to share the co-ordinates of the wreck. But the divers have angrily denied this.

David Weber's report from Perth contains some strong language.
Full transcript at http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2007/s2007012.htm

Comment: WHOA!!!!!!
shock.gif


You'll just have to read it for yourself. Definately not family friendly!​
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,956
206
193
Detmers' last lat and long was for the position from which he sighted Sydney. It's subject to the usual errors of navigation 1941 style. His last real fix was just before dawn, so there's a large element of dead reckoning in it. All the same, the Germans were sticklers for procedure and the position should be pretty good.

Detmers gave courses, speeds and times for later events and it's possible to get a rough position for where Kormoran sank. As to Sydney, we have only rather vague accounts from the Germans.

I believe it's possible to get a general area for the wreck of Sydney, but it will be rather large.

Of course, if Detmers' position is incorrect, or falsified, all bets are off.

I've got as far as getting the plotting charts!
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,956
206
193
Michael Byrne, Chapter 13 of Frame's book tells of the Elder 'report' and how it was discredited. It starts om page 178.

I agree with Frame. The hoaxer might have got away with it if had been less sensational. For instance, Elder takes over command from Captain Burnett. Also, in the chaos of a burning ship, Elder seems to know about everything that was happening.

HMAS Sydney seems to attract as many nutters as Titanic.
 

Aydan D Casey

Member
Oct 1, 2005
21
0
71
I think the main problem for the Sydney is so far we have been looking for something that resembles a ship. I think in view of the damage inflicted on it, not least to say the effects of the shipboard fire, at best we are looking for a hull, at worst, a keel. Has anyone had a look at the wreck of the Bartolomeo Colleoni to see what a similar ship having sustained similar damage may look like submerged?
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
>>Has anyone had a look at the wreck of the Bartolomeo Colleoni to see what a similar ship having sustained similar damage may look like submerged?<<

No, but I've seen photos and technical artists renditions of both the HMS Hood and IMS Yamato and both are quite a mess. (Main magazine explosions aren't kind to hulls) Assuming the Sydney went down intact and didn't break up, you might get a better idea of what the hull would look like by checking out Dr. Ballard's photos of the sunken warships off Guadalcanal.
 

Michael Byrne

Member
Oct 11, 2006
43
0
76
Dave G. - ref: the 'Elder' Report, yes you're quite right - thanks. I need to re-read the book, it's been some time.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,956
206
193
The Australian, part of the Murdoch media empire, is rather enjoying the discomfort of other media, such as Channel 7 and the Fairfax press. Rightly so! The story was handled in a most amateurish way. Let's see if HMAS Leeuwin finds anything.

Aydan raised the question of damage. If Sydney simply sank because of flooding, she should be sitting on the bottom upright and in one piece. If a magazine exploded, as some have suggested from German observations, she could be a total mess, as is HMS Hood.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,956
206
193
I was thinking of something other than the so-called wreck. If Leeuwin has time, why not search in a more likely place?

Here's my take on the problem.

It's based on a cyphered report prepared by Captain Detmers while a prisoner. He hoped to find a way of getting it to Germany, but it was found by the Aussies and the code was cracked. A version of it, possibly verbal, did get to Germany when Kormoran's doctor was part of a prisoner exchange in 1943.

My chart is a bit rough, but it will serve to show the problem. Only the position from which Sydney was sighted was given by Detmers. The rest is my own dead reckoning, based on times, courses and speeds given by Detmers. How accurate this data is we don't know. His speed may be incorrect by a little and his times could be rounded off to the nearest five minutes.

I've left out Sydney's course, for clarity and because it's not accurately known. Essentially, she chased Kormoran, while staying somewhere off her starboard quarter, until she finally closed with her. She then cut behind her and was seen to head south and later an estimated 150° True.

120883.gif


By my reckoning, the area to be searched is about 1,600 square nautical miles. There's talk of a new search this summer, presumably by David Mearns. If Sydney is not somewhere in the area I propose, it's going to get ugly and expensive.

While looking at this, it occurred to me that all the signs are that Sydney was underway after the battle, but not under control. Had it been possible to steer, surely she would have steered more to the east, or even a bit north of east, towards the coast and the shipping tracks. If the Germans are right, she was headed roughly for Geraldton, which was more than 100 miles away.
 

Aydan D Casey

Member
Oct 1, 2005
21
0
71
RE: State of the wreck, I think we need to be looking for a wreck with a collapsed superstructure for a start (a result of the shipboard fires after Kormoran's salvos). We would also need to be looking for hull damage that mirrors the recollections of the Kormoran crew.