Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Surface Raider II.

This is coolbert:

QQQQ ("suspicious ship sighted").

Coordinates: 26°05′49.4″S 111°04′27.5″E

Read here of the epic sea battle between the Australian naval ship HMAS Sydney and the German surface raider HSK Kormoran. Makes for exciting reading.

A sea battle that resulted in BOTH ships being sunk.

The wreckage of both ships ONLY NOW, just a few days ago, being determined.


"On 17 March 2008 the Australian Government announced that the wreckage of both HMAS Sydney and the German raider Kormoran had been found, approximately 112 nautical miles off Steep Point, Western Australia. Kormoran is lying at a depth of 2,560 metres; Sydney, approximately 12 nautical miles away, is at 2,470 metres."

Evenly matched opponents, fighting it out mano-a-mano, both sides willing and able to slug it out at close quarters, but in an honorable and courageous fashion.

Kormoran - - "Armament: 6x 150 millimetres (5.9 in) guns (hidden behind counter-balanced covers[2]), 2 x 37 mm anti-tank guns, 5 x 20 mm FlaK anti-aircraft guns, 2 x twin 533 mm (21 inch) torpedo batteries above the waterline; two single tubes below, 390 mines"

HMAS Sydney - - "Armament included four twin-mounted BL-6 152-millimetre (6.0 in) guns, four QF 4 in Mk.V (102 mm L/45) anti-aircraft guns, three quad-mounted 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) Vickers machine guns and eight 21-inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes."

"Of her crew [Kormoran] of 393 officers and men, 78 lost their lives, either in the action or the sea afterwards. Two captured Chinese were also killed."

"The Sydney was last seen about ten miles away, well ablaze and limping off into the gathering evening. Her glare could be distinguished until 10.00 [P.M.] and then only occasional flickerings which had ceased by midnight. Of her [Sydney] complement of 645, none survived."

There is something particularly appealing toward ships-of-the-line fighting it out in this fashion? A CLEAN FORM OF WARFARE? The destruction of civilian property and the loss of life among non-combatants is not an issue? A duel is being fought [in the case of the HMAS Sydney and the HSK Kormoran, between evenly matched opponents] - - may the best man [ship] win!




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