On the 19.11.1941, the RAN light cruiser HMAS Sydney was last seen sailing away, heavily burning and low in the bow, after a vicious engagement with the Kriegsmarine raider, HSK Kormoran, about 150 miles off the West Australian coast, in the Indian Ocean. The Kormoran sank, but 300 of her crew survived. The Sydney, however, was never seen again, and all 645 of her crew were lost. Her sinking with all hands represents the greatest ever loss of life in an Australian warship; Sydney was also the largest vessel of any country to be lost with no survivors during the war. It was announced on 16 March, 2008 that the wreckage of the German vessel which sank HMAS Sydney, the auxilliary cruiser HSK Kormoran, had been found on the night of 14 March, 2008. Today, 17 March 2008, the discovery of the wreck of HMAS Sydney herself was announced by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The government has stated that both sites will be classified as war graves.
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