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Author Topic: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!  (Read 9353 times)

ballastanksian

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2016, 10:17:33 PM »

To form 'Gnacket'! I forgot that she suffered casualties. Its  been a while since I read that epic 'Armed with stings' about these gorgeous vessels.
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raflaunches

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2016, 10:32:44 PM »

I often wondered what the combined name of Gnat and Cricket would have been- now I know
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Nick B

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raflaunches

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2016, 11:29:17 AM »




HMAS AE1. Lost at sea 14th Sept 1914. Wreck has never been located.


http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-ae1


Just been doing some research on her sister ship AE2 which was found in 1998 and has been semi-preserved in the Dardanelles by fitting sacrificial anodes. AE1 still missing.


The missing A class post war was HMS Affray which sank with all hands in 1951 during an exercise. The sub was found later in the year and found that the snorkel was faulty and probably caused the loss of the vessel.
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Nick B

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dodes

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2016, 08:32:07 PM »

Colin, regarding HMAS Sydney, no survivors. General belief amongst old Aussie hands is the survivors were machine gunned by the Germans. One of the Germans survivors intimated this but no official conformation was ever admitted to for obvious reasons. Remember reading about it some time ago, when the wreck was found.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2016, 08:51:26 PM »

I'm not sure how the Germans could have machinegunned Sydney survivors given that the Kormoran was left stopped after the battle with her engines not working and the two wrecks were found 13 miles apart.
It does seem certain that the Kormoran raked Sydney with small arms fire during the battle to suppress efforts to man the cruiser's secondary armament and torpedo tubes though.
Australia was obviously mortified that a converted merchantman could sink their crack cruiser which is something that should never have happened and was due to the incompetence of Sydney's captain - hence the subsequent conspiracy theories. The official report seems to be pretty logical and believable to me.
Colin
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dodes

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2016, 01:52:43 PM »

Hi Colin, well the Germans said the Sydney closed them with no defence stations and they opened fire at point blank range. Then they said the Sydney after dealing with them sailed way heavily damaged and on fire, last seen going over the horizon. That is why it took so long to find her, because she actually sunk very close to the German Q ship and everyone was looking some distance away and there was no contact with her authority that she was sinking. But the damage sustained as found on the wreck apparently to some does not tally with the Q ship story and as the only survivors were the Germans and they would not say if they killed survivors in the water when they probably had very limited resources, well if they did they would have been tried in a military court for murder if they did officially admitted. So the whole story is from one side only and we will never know only speculate, war is after all a dirty place.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2016, 08:27:36 PM »

I appreciate that we only have one side of the story but if Sydney's crew had been machine gunned in the water it implies that the ship sank close to the disabled Kormoran but the wrecks are reported as being 13 miles apart which doesn't make sense. It is reported that the German survivors deliberately gave misinformation to the Australian authorities which may explain the initial confusion at the time but having spent a couple of hours reading the official report in detail it does seem pretty convincing to me in explaining the course of events.
Colin
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dodes

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2016, 09:37:58 PM »

I hear what you say Colin, but twelve miles is not much, as vessels sinking due drift for a while before all reserve buoyancy goes, but the Aussies according to their report I read when the wreck was found did not fit the description they gave of her damage and strange out of a large naval crew , there were no survivors. But at the end of the day, the Sydney closed in very close to unknown vessel without taking any precautions according to the Germans and she suffered the ultimate price, a lot of people suffered, not just the crew, because the senior officers were not on the ball.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: German WW1 destroyer wrecks discovered at Portsmouth!
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2016, 09:48:51 PM »

Yes, I suppose we will never be quite certain what happened. The official report identifies discrepancies in the individual German accounts. However, Kormoran had already sunk 10 merchant ships and had rescued the survivors so why would she want to murder the Australian sailors? There was nothing to be gained from doing so.

It is perhaps more odd that no bodies from Sydney's crew were found, one would have assumed that at least some of them would have had an opportunity to put on lifejackets.

Colin
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