Friday, August 14, 2009
Rules of engagement
So after all these years the Australian board of inquiry came back with their finding on the loss of HMS Sydney and her entire crew of 645 (the worst WW11 disaster for our allies) that took place a few weeks before Pearl Harbor on the afternoon of November 19, 1941 .
The light Cruiser Sydney, the pride of the Australian Navy (they of course could not afford heavy duty Battleships--not that ours survived the same treachery at Pearl Harbor), had "inexplicably" approached a disguised German raider to point blank range.
After a radio challenge, the Kormoran suddenly raised her German flag as she simultaneously opened fire on the Sydney with every gun blazing, including torpedo's. The first salvo took out the Sydney's Command and Control and within five minutes about 70% of the crew.
The mortally wounded Sydney returned fire and inflicted enough damage to (eventually) sink the Kormoran, but she limped away totally ablaze only to sink within a few hours with all hands aboard. A total loss of life.
On the early morning of December 7, 1941 the Empire of Japan had planned to declare war on the US only moments before the bombs and machine guns devastated our unsuspecting fleet moored at Pearl Harbor.
Slight miscalculation, as the coded missive from the emperor was not translated by their underlings in time (and never actually said that a state of war exists.) An enraged America repaid their treachery many times over.