- Nicholson, Ian
- Ship histories and stories, WWII operations
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Sydney II
- September 2000 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Captain Burnett did not blunder as many infer. His procedure for interception and challenge was correct. Then, through someone else’s security lapse, fickle chance, German intelligence and guile, he and his fine young ship’s company paid the supreme sacrifice.
Loss of the famous cruiser and all 645 men remains the nation’s greatest single disaster in Australia or the surrounding seas in war or peace. It was an enormous tragedy for a comparatively small navy, which did well to recover quickly, as almost twice the number perished than all Australians killed in action in the Korean War, and indeed more than our total of fatal service casualties during the entire Vietnam conflict.
Vale HMAS Sydney and her gallant crew.