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The Search for the Sydney

David L. Mearns OAM

For sixt-six years it was Australia’s greatest maritime mystery; what happened to the ‘pride of the fleet’ HMAS Sydney – was it beaten in a fair fight with the German Raider Kormoran, or was there treachery involved? Could the Kormoran’s survivor’s accounts be believed?  Why were there no survivors from Sydney? And where was the wreck?

David Mearns first heard the story of the Sydney in 1996, and it left an indelible impression in his mind.  One of the world’s foremost shipwreck hunters, David has successfully located dozens of wrecks in much deeper water.  But hunting down the Sydney, a challenge he accepted in 2002, proved his toughest yet, testing his skills as a detective, engineer, marine scientist, and navigator.  David’s quest, which unfolded over six years, took him around the world, from the war archives in Germany to the home of Kormoran survivors, and then to Fremantle, Western Australia, and out to the Indian Ocean.  He would encounter conspiracy theories, false clues, cyclones and myriad mechanical problems, but, in 2008, he would finally record the astonishing words, ‘HMAS Sydney found!’

Here for the first time, David tells the full, dramatic story of his search for the two ships, Sydney and Kormoran, whose paths crossed one fateful day in 1941.  His riveting account answers the questions which have dogged Sydney’s disappearance.


Featuring never-seen-before photographs of the wrecks, beautifully detailed maps and a wealth of historical images, this is a book for collectors and general readers alike, and incomparable adventure story set on the high seas.

ISBN : 9780732288891

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