Sunday, March 16, 2008

File:HSK Kormoran (AWM 053867).jpg

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today that the HSK Kormoran has been located approximately 112 nautical miles off Steep Point Western Australia. Sonar imagery of the Kormoran shows the site consists of two main pieces at a depth of 2560 metres. A debris field 4 nautical miles south of the wreck believed to be the site of the battle.

The Kormoran (HSK 8) was a German auxiliary cruiser of Kriegsmarine during World War II. On November 19, 1941, the Kormoran encountered the HMAS Sydney. The resulting battle saw the Sydney sunk with the loss of all 645 hands, the Kormoran was scuttled by the crew with the loss of 60, 320 survivors including three Chinese prisoners of war were rescued.

The loss of the Sydney has been the subject of much controversy, speculation and conspiracy theory. There have been many searches for the two vessels, this latest search is by the “Finding Sydney Foundation”.

“Finding the Kormoran is one big step forward,” said Prime Minister Rudd. “This is an important part in resolving a 65 year old puzzle.”

Warren Snowdon Minister for Defense Science and Personnel said that the Federal Republic of Germany has been advised of the discovery and that the site is to be protected.

Finding Sydney Foundation Chairman Ted Graham says the search area for the Sydney can now be narrowed down to 300 nautical miles. “This gives us a cornerstone if you like, to start the search for the Sydney from,” said Graham. “So if we hadn’t found Kormoron it would have made it much more difficult”

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