Australians find wreck of German warship

March 16th, 2008 - 1:30 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, March 16 (DPA) The wreck of the Kormoran, the German ship that sank HMAS Sydney and is responsible for Australia’s worst maritime disaster, has been found off Australia’s west coast, officials announced Sunday. The Kormoran, a minelayer dressed up to look like a Dutch freighter, took Australia’s most modern warship by surprise at sunset Nov 19, 1941.

None of the Sydney’s 645 crew survived. Of the 397 aboard the Kormoran, 317 survived and were interned in Perth until the end of World War II.

Until Friday, when the Kormoran was found, an empty lifeboat and two bullet-riddled life jackets from the Sydney were the only evidence of the encounter.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who announced the discovery, said it was very likely HMAS Sydney would be located soon.

“Finding the Kormoran is one big step forward,” Rudd said. “Of course that does not mean that the search has yet found the Sydney itself but it does play one significant step closer.”

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