On 19 November 1941, HMAS Sydney encountered the German raider Kormoran in the Indian Ocean off Western Australia. The violent battle that ensued left Kormoran destroyed. Sydney was glimpsed sailing off the horizon, on fire, shell-damaged and suffering a torpedo hit to her bow. It would be 66 years before anyone laid eyes on either ship again.
How Australia's greatest maritime mystery was solved 'We just found Sydney. We've got it. It's absolutely crystal clear. She's sitting upright in a small debris field. there's no doubt about it. the Prime Minister or anybody else can announce it. We have found HMAS Sydney.' tHE FULL AND OFFICIAL StORY OF tHE SIX-YEAR HUNt FOR HMAS SYDNEY BY tHE SHIPWRECK HUNtER WHO FOUND HER For sixty-six years it was Australia's greatest maritime mystery: what happened to the 'pride of the fleet' HMAS Sydney - was it beaten in a fair fight with the German cruiser Kormoran, or was there treachery involved? Could the Kormoran's survivors' account of the battle and its aftermath be believed? Why were there no survivors from Sydney? And where was the wreck? David Mearns first heard the story of the Sydney in 1996, and it left an indelible impression in his mind. One of the world's foremost shipwreck hunters, David had successfully located dozens of wrecks in much deeper water. But hunting down the Sydney, a challenge he accepted in 2002, proved his toughest yet, testing his skills as a detective, engineer, marine scientist and navigator. David's quest, which unfolded over six years, took him around the world, from the war archives in Germany, to the homes of Kormoran survivors, and then to Fremantle, Western Australia, and out to the Indian Ocean. He would encounter conspiracy theories, false clues, cyclones and myriad mechanical problems, but, in 2008, he would finally record the astonishing words, 'HMAS Sydney found!' Here, for the first time, David tells the full, dramatic story of his search for two ships, Sydney and Kormoran, whose paths crossed one fateful day in 1941. His riveting account answers the questions which have dogged Sydney's disappearance. Featuring never-seen-before photographs of the wrecks, beautifully detailed maps and a wealth of historical images, this is a book for collectors and general readers alike, an incomparable adventure story set on the high seas. US-born marine scientist, researcher and deep-sea shipwreck hunter David Mearns has found and filmed some of the world's most famous and controversial shipwrecks; notoriously difficult wrecks that others predicted would never be found or their mysteries solved. David and his company, Blue Water Recoveries Ltd, have located twenty-one major shipwrecks and have been awarded three Guinness World Records, including one for the deepest shipwreck ever found at 5,762 metres.David's most important finds include the Lucona - a cargo ship at the centre of a sensational European murder trial; the Derbyshire - a bulk carrier lost with all hands, which led to new rules covering survivability and structural requirements for bulk carriers; the Esmeralda - a Portuguese nau from the fleet of Vasco da Gama, which is the oldest colonial wreck ever found; and HMS Hood - the much loved and feared British battle cruiser sunk in an apocalyptic battle with the German battleship Bismarck, which was also filmed by David and his team.
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