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Research Guides


The Sinking of HMAS Sydney: A Guide to Commonwealth Government Records


The Sinking of HMAS Sydney: A Guide to Commonwealth Government Records

Richard Summerrell

With a new Introduction by Tom Frame

Published by the National Archives of Australia


Image a: The Sinking of HMAS Sydney - Front Cover

The Sinking of HMAS Sydney - Front Cover
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This guide is number 3 in the series of Research Guides published by the National Archives of Australia.

The loss of HMAS Sydney almost without trace in November 1941, following an encounter with the German raider Kormoran off the Western Australian coast, remains one of the most intriguing mysteries of Australia's wartime history. The ship and its entire company of 645 were lost. Records included in this guide cover the last voyage of the Sydney, search and rescue operations, discussions of the War Cabinet and the Advisory War Council, interrogation of Kormoran survivors and personnel records of the casualties.

Winner of the 1997 Mander Jones Award – Best finding aid to an archival collection (ASA)

Richard Summerrell was the Assistant Director, Reference Policy and Standards at the National Archives of Australia. He was formerly Executive Officer of the archives in the Department of Defence. He also co-authored the National Archives Research Guide Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: The Royal Commission and its Records, 1987–91.

The assistance of staff of the Archives, especially that of Ms Esther Carey and Mr Mark Brennan with research, and Mr Simon Davis with graphics and formatting is gratefully acknowledged in the preparation of this guide. The assistance of the Naval Historical Section and the RAAF Archives and Historical Section in the Department of Defence is also acknowledged.

Guides include the material known to be relevant to their subject area but they are not necessarily a complete or definitive guide to all relevant material in the collection.

The National Archives reviews its collection to confirm the value of records for research, evidential and other purposes or to identify, in consultation with agencies, records for destruction. At the time of publication all the records described in this guide were present in the Archives collection. However, it is possible that some of the records may be destroyed if they are reviewed and considered not to be of enduring value. If this occurs the guide will be revised accordingly.

© Commonwealth of Australia 1998, 1999

First published 1996
Revised 1997
Revised 1999
First published online 1998
Revised 1999

Revised 2010

ISSN 1326-7078

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the National Archives of Australia. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be directed to the Publications Manager, National Archives of Australia, PO Box 7425, Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610, Australia.

Publications Manager: Angela McAdam
Editor: Hélène Attrill
Cover design: Zoë D'Arcy
HTML version: Brian Joyce, Jennifer Everart, Neris Bryden and Russell Pym

This research guide can be purchased in hard copy from the National Archives of Australia online shop.

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