The Search for HMAS Sydney: An Australian Story
Ted Graham, Bob King, Bob Trotter, Kim Kirsner
Published by New South (UNSW Press)
Link here to buy
RRP $69.99 in hardcover
I was reorganising my review bookshelf this afternoon – what else do you do on a Friday afternoon? I picked up this book about the search for HMAS Sydney, published late last year by New South (UNSW Press). I’d only given the book a cursory glance when it came in, but I’ve got to tell you, it deserves more than that.
I did not know, for example, of DSTO’s role in assembling a compartment by compartment virtual model of the ship which enabled their weapons vulnerability assessment tool to simulate the effects of every significant weapon strike on Sydney’s structure.
This is a beautifully presented book that is much more than a coffee-table book. This is the story of the search and the science behind it, told in forensic detail.
Brendan Nicholson, writing in The Australian (27/12/14) offered up a very good review of this book under the headline:
How cognitive psychology helped solve the mystery of HMAS Sydney
(Click on the headline to go to the piece)
The story: In November 1941 HMAS Sydney, the pride of Australia’s wartime fleet, and its crew of 645 disappeared without a trace off the Western Australian coast. All that was known was Sydney had come under fire from the German raider HSK Kormoran, which also sank.
After numerous unsuccessful searches from the mid 1970s onwards, the Finding Sydney Foundation was set up and in March 2008 one of Australia’s greatest maritime mysteries was solved when both wrecks were finally discovered.
The Search for HMAS Sydney pieces together the incredible story of Sydney, its crew and the families left behind. It details the innovative and powerful research procedures implemented by the Foundation to locate the wrecks of Sydney and Kormoran, their discovery and the detailed forensic analyses and commemorations that followed.