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UNDER THE WATER UNDER THE WIRE

and the men who sank the Sydney

This story takes you on a journey, in and around Australia during World War 2. In November 1941, the cruiser HMAS Sydney approached a cargo ship plodding slowly off the coast of Western Australia. Named the Straat Malacca, it was flying a Dutch flag. The Sydney sailed closer to investigate, and within seconds, the Dutch flag was struck and replaced by the war flag of the German Kriegsmarine. Concealed guns appeared and immediately began firing directly at the Sydney. It was the German raider Kormoran. The battle soon had both vessels on fire. Later they sank.

Not one of the 645 Australians survived. The Kormoran, with a crew of 399, lost 81. The only surviving witnesses to the battle were the Germans, and many conspiracy stories were put forward as to what actually happened. In 2008, the two wrecks were located. When robot cameras examined the battle damage, it verified the German reports made 67 years earlier. The Germans had told the truth.

After capture, the Kormoran survivors were imprisoned in a remote part of northern Victoria. For them life became frustrating and boring. Escape was in the minds of many, in fact on both sides it was an officer's duty to try to escape and rejoin the fight. After 3 years, 20 prisoners, led by their captain Theodore Detmers did escape via a tunnel. This was in January 1945.

Books have been written about many of these events. Detmers has written his own which details his encounter with the HMAS Sydney. The events which took place in the prison camps are outlined in others. At the Australian War Museum I was able to handle the letters home, drawings, even the folding escape maps made by Detmers' men while in captivity.

However why, at this late stage of the war, was a German U-boat under the command of Heinrich Timm patrolling the east coast of Australia, then later New Zealand? Several books provide a framework for the U-boat's movements while some of Timms' crewmen, and those on other U-boats add further detail.

I decided to start this account with the U-boat, and bring the reader along with Timm and his crew to share the stresses and dangers of their long wartime patrol. I've created dialogue and provided a few linking scenes to keep the story flowing. While I've made every effort to keep to the truth, this is dramatised history.

What is unique about this story is that we can explore a World War 2 conflict set in and around Australia, but largely from a German point of view. Some may consider this controversial. It is not meant to glorify their actions but I do hope it shows that not all our enemies, particularly those in the Kriegmarine were ruthless killers, and that there is a futility and waste of young men on both sides of war.

I've provided links which take the reader directly to the seabed to view a video of the two wrecks, another video deals with the enigma machine. Other links delve into many areas of interest for those wanting to explore further.


Three reviews on Amazon.

5.0 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended for anyone that likes Australian history.

 

Wonderful story encompassing the sea battles around the Australian coastline during WW2. It is unusual to read an account from the enemies eyes and it reminds us that so many of the enemy were no different to our own troops, men with families back at home, some who had already lost their families in the war. It was also heartening to be reminded how well we treated POW's on our shores while so many of our own POW's were treated inhumanely. By Jo. 1 November 2015.

 


 5.0 out of 5stars.

 

If you really want an excellent, comprehensive, scholarly detailed work on what was happening in the waters around Australia during WW2, then you must purchase this book. By owning and reading this book you will get an understanding of what really happened during WW2, not what you've been told in school and history books. Very well written along with some great photos.   By Peter Ellis 14 January 2016.


 

4.0 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed reading this book.

 

I enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting without being dry. The story came alive by the author giving a voice to the characters from history. I learned about aspects of World War II I hadn't known about. Verified Purchase.

 


You can read the First Few Chapters Here >>

 

Obtainable from :- Burns Bay Bookery 50-54 BurnsBay Rd. LaneCove 2066 phone 9427-4218

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brays Books 268 Darling St. Balmain. 2041 phone 9810-5613

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Constant Reader 27 Willoughby Rd. Crows Nest 2065 phone 9906-4639

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lindfield Bookshop 328 Pacific Hwy. Lindfield 2070 phone 9416-8956

Other bookshops in the North Sydney Area may soon carry copies.

Also on Amazon, Itunes and soon to Booktopia.

 

. . . It has just been accepted by Brendon Nelson, Director of Australian War Museum in Canberra. It will be

available for researchers in their reading room.

I would like to thank the following>>

 
  Portrait ....................................................... cover  
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