, An alternative version of this theory is that authorities were aware of Sydney being attacked at the time of or shortly after the battle, but deliberately delayed organising searches for survivors. created controversy and spawned numerous conspiracy theories, Battle between HMAS Sydney and German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran, Battle between HMAS Sydney and German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran § Search and rescue, Battle between HMAS Sydney and German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran § Aftermath, Search for HMAS Sydney and German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran, The Royal Australian Navy in World War II, Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in November 1941, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=German_auxiliary_cruiser_Kormoran&oldid=992541308, World War II shipwrecks in the Indian Ocean, Australian Shipwrecks with protected zone, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from November 2011, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from December 2009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, HSK-8 (Handelsstörkreuzer=commerce raiding cruiser), Schiff 41 (German administrative designation), Raider G (British designation for tracking), This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 20:29. Ltd., a not-for-profit company set up to support a search for Sydney, in late 2004.  Food, mail, and newspapers were received from Rudolf Albrecht, along with news that another three First Class Iron Crosses and 50 Second Class Iron Crosses had been awarded to Kormoran. is reliant on assertions that had been proved false, unreliable sources (including a 'sailor's report' found to be a translation of an inaccurate Australian newspaper article), and selective use of German accounts that fit the hypothesis, and Montgomery is generally credited with igniting the controversy surrounding the battle. This ship was the disguised German commerce raider, HSK Kormoran, under the command of Captain Theodor Detmers, which had been patrolling shipping lanes in search of Allied merchant vessels (Australian War Memorial 2009).  According to his book, Kormoran had fired on Sydney while flying the flag of a neutral nation, a Japanese submarine was involved in the battle, and any Australian survivors were killed to hide the involvement of the Japanese. , Fifteen minutes later, the cruiser signalled, "Show your secret sign".  In contrast, Sydney was only able to fire a single full salvo before her forward turrets were knocked out, shells from which punched through Kormoran's exhaust funnel and wireless room, and caused shrapnel wounds to two sailors. Lewis argued if the wreck damage matched the article then it would show the Kormoran account was accurate.  The Germans were unaware that the letters were the interior of the real Straat Malakka's secret callsign, "IIKP": to verify her identity, the ship had to signal back the outer letters.  During the evacuation, a rubber liferaft carrying 60 people, mostly wounded, sank without warning; drowning all but three aboard. Kormoran was one of nine(I) civilian ships taken up by the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) for conversion into merchant raiders; they were referred to alternately as Hilfskreuzers (auxiliary cruisers) or Handelsstörkreuzers (trade disruption cruisers).  At 15:55, what was initially thought to be a tall ship sail was sighted off the port bow, although it was quickly determined to be the mast of a warship (HMAS Sydney). Boats and rafts carrying survivors from Kormoran were recovered at sea, while others made landfall north of Carnarvon: 318 of the 399 personnel on Kormoran survived.  Two days later, Kormoran met Atlantis and the blockade runner Dresden.  She was propelled by four 9-cylinder diesel engines driving electric motors, which could propel the ship at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). The German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran (HSK-8) was a Kriegsmarine (German Navy) merchant raider of World War II.Originally the merchant vessel Steiermark, the ship was acquired by the Kriegsmarine following the outbreak of war for conversion into a raider.  Sydney was assigned to Fremantle, Western Australia, and resumed escort and patrol duties.  The JCFADT report suggests a third group: a damage control party in fire-fighting gear.  One analysis claims that this was either a warning shot just over the superstructure, or an attempt to destroy the raider's bridge as a prelude to capture. Following the discovery of the two ships, the damage did indeed match the article.  This was one of only three honours awarded during the 20th century for the sinking of a single ship – rather than a lengthy operation in a military campaign – and the second granted to a ship named Sydney. , The last boat, carrying 70 Germans and two Chinese, was spotted from the air during the late morning of 27 November, and was recovered shortly afterward by HMAS Yandra.  Canberra pursued the suspected raider, and fired from maximum range to avoid retaliatory fire, while her Walrus amphibian attempted to stop the tanker with bombs. , For sinking Sydney, Detmers' Iron Cross First Class was upgraded to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz).  The Geraldton station broadcast a message to all ships asking if there was anything to report, which was interpreted by the Germans as acknowledgement of their signal. , Following the 1999 government report into the Australian cruiser's loss, which recommended that a seminar be organised to again attempt to identify the most likely search area for the warships, the HMAS Sydney Location Seminar was organised by the RAN's Sea Power Centre and held at the Western Australian Maritime Museum.  A post-war RAN investigation determined that as the raft's description did not match those manufactured for the RAN, this claim was incorrect. ... Germany via the Denmark Strait and took no further part in independent commerce raiding. According to German accounts—which were assessed as truthful and generally accurate by Australian interrogators during the war, as well as most subsequent analyses—Sydney approached so close to Kormoran that the Australian cruiser lost the advantages of heavier armour and superior gun range.  Geosounder was scheduled to depart early on 29 February 2008, but problems and last-minute modifications delayed this until after 16:00, and fuel leaks forced her return that evening.  Mearns chose to focus on finding Kormoran first, as locating the German ship would significantly narrow down the search area for Sydney. Kormoran was the largest of the heavy cruisers at 8,736 grt, with a length of 164 m and maximum speed of 18 knots, manned by 401 men.  Curtin made a second announcement three days later, providing some detail of the battle.  A temporary memorial (consisting of a large boulder, a flagpole, and a bronze plaque), was installed prior to 19 November 1998, and was used in a remembrance ceremony that year.  The suggested method of capture was to quickly manoeuvre in close and deploy a boarding party before the ship could scuttle.  Several supply ships arrived at the rendezvous point over the next few days and transferred provisions, ammunition, and fuel to the raider.  The passenger-freighter Centaur, which had been instructed to make landfall at Carnarvon to collect the Germans captured so far and transport them to Fremantle, encountered Detmers' lifeboat that night at 22:00 and took it in tow, as they were unwilling to let 62 enemy naval personnel aboard, but did not want to leave them to their fate.  Admiralty notifications for raider activity gave an incorrect date and location for the attack, and initially attributed it to the raider Thor.  Further flag signals were exchanged, with Sydney asking the raider's destination and cargo.  However, Who Sank the Sydney?  The German survivors were in five boats and two rafts: one cutter carrying 46 men, two damaged steel liferafts with 57 and 62 aboard (the latter carrying Detmers and towing several small floats), one workboat carrying 72 people, one boat with 31 men aboard, and two rafts, each bearing 26 sailors.  The raider continued to search for ships without success.  The German ship dropped her camouflage, increased speed, and ordered the freighter to stop or be fired upon.  Sydney spotted the German ship around the same time, and altered from her southward heading to intercept at 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph).  Kormoran's guns were aimed at Sydney's waterline and upper deck during the next three salvoes.  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