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Defence Series No. 105 - HMAS SYDNEY, Cruiser of the modified Leander Class

Date: 1939 - 1945
Overall: 82 x 139 mm
Medium: Photographic print on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00028972
Place Manufactured:Victoria

User Terms

    This black and white photographic postcard shows the modified Leander class cruiser HMAS SYDNEY, anchored from port side view. The postcard details the ships weight, speed, guns and torpedoes at the base of the card.

    Produced by the Rose Stereograph Company in Armadale, Victoria, this postcard is number 105 in a series of cards featuring Royal Australian Navy ships. The photograph used was taken by the Department of Information.
    SignificanceThis postcard of HMAS SYDNEY is an important record of a vessel that holds a significant place in Australian maritime history as the ship that went into battle with the German raider KORMORAN and was tragically lost.
    HistoryHMAS SYDNEY (II) was built by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. at Wallsend on Tyne in 1933 and launched in 1934. This light cruiser was built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and named for the first HMAS SYDNEY (1911- 1928)

    At the outbreak of World War II, HMAS SYDNEY undertook local patrol duties until April 1940 when it joined the 7th Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean Sea. Action soon followed with the bombardment of Bardia (Libya) and the Battles of Calabria (Italy) and Cape Spada (Crete). On 19 July, off Cape Spada in Crete, HMAS SYDNEY and five British Royal Navy destroyers fought against the Italian cruisers BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI and GIOVANNI DELLE BANDE NERE. The resulting sea battle saw Sydney's accurate gunfire cripple the COLLEONI and damage the BANDE NERE.

    Returning after long and hard service in the Mediterranean, HMAS SYDNEY was welcomed into Sydney Harbour on 10 February 1941 by thousands lining the foreshores. Vantage points along Farm Cove offered the perfect view of the cruiser with its geometric, dazzle painted scheme (later called camouflage). The grey colours were painted on immediately after the Cape Spada action of July 1940. The ship then underwent a refit and was posted to convoy duties in the Indian Ocean.

    There, on 19 November 1941, SYDNEY went into battle with the German raider KORMORAN. Unbelievably, SYDNEY was completely lost - the ship plus all 645 crew.

    The loss of HMAS SYDNEY was devastating for the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian public. Theories about the disappearance abounded until the discovery of the two wrecks off the western Australian coast in March 2008.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMAS SYDNEY

    Assigned title: Defence Series No. 105 - HMAS SYDNEY, Cruiser of the modified Leander Class

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