Author(s): David L. Mearns
She was the glory ship of the then fledgling Australian Navy: a modern, handsome cruiser which carried a wartime complement of 645 men. But then, 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. In 2002, shipwreck hunter David Mearns joined the long list of people who had tried to find the Sydney. The next six years would test Mearns's talents as detective, engineer, marine scientist and leader, taking him from war archives in Germany to homes of Kormoran survivors, to the depths of the Indian Ocean. He would navigate false clues, conspiracy theories, maddening technical problems and cyclones; but in 2008 he recorded the astonishing words 'HMAS Sydney found!'. Here he tells the story of the hunt for the Sydney - and the Kormoran - and reveals what really happened on that fateful day in November.