Kormoran

Discussions on naval-war movies, films and games.
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RF
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Kormoran

Post by RF » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:47 am

I have heard some time ago that a propaganda film was made about life aboard the hilfskreuzer Kormoran.

Do copies of this film still exist? If so are they publicly available?

I have also heard that the two Propaganda Ministry men on board Kormoran filmed the engagement with HMAS Sydney - did the footage survive or was it lost when Kormoran sank? Or did the Australians seize it?

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Post by Orville H. Larson » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:52 pm

I don't know anything about a propaganda movie being made on board KORMORAN. Of course, one could have been made, and released to the German public.

As regards film footage of the action with SYDNEY, I doubt that it would have survived. (If a film did exist, it would be valuable in shedding light on this battle.)

The KORMORAN v. SYDNEY battle, like the battle between merchant ship STEPHEN HOPKINS and the raider STIER, is an event that's ostensibly hard to credit--except that it's true.

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Post by RF » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:46 am

Orville H. Larson wrote:
As regards film footage of the action with SYDNEY, I doubt that it would have survived. (If a film did exist, it would be valuable in shedding light on this battle.)

The KORMORAN v. SYDNEY battle, like the battle between merchant ship STEPHEN HOPKINS and the raider STIER, is an event that's ostensibly hard to credit--except that it's true.
Again the Australians could have obtained it and keep it under wraps per Official Secrets Act, if the content was indeed embarassing.....

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Post by Orville H. Larson » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:14 pm

We just don't know if the Australian government has any movie film and/or photos of the battle in their archives. If they do, they ought to release the stuff. It might go a long way toward ending the carping and controversy that surrounds the KORMORAN v. SYDNEY
battle.

If memory serves me correctly, didn't Ludovic Kennedy mention in his book that a war correspondent and a photographer were on board BISMARCK? Their stories and film pertaining to Operation Rhine never left the ship because an Arado couldn't be launched owing to catapult damage.

A loss to history.

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Post by RF » Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:47 am

Hi Orville,

I'm baffled that no attempt to repair the damage to Bismarck's catapult was made. It seems that the mood of depression and fatalism at that stage affected everybody on the ship.
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Now that KORMORAN and SYDNEY have been found. . . .

Post by Orville H. Larson » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:21 am

As you know, the wrecks of SYDNEY and KORMORAN have been found, some 10-14 nautical miles apart, and at depths of 8,100 feet and 8,400 feet, respectively.

Let's hope that the Australian government releases whatever it has in its archives about this battle.

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Re: Now that KORMORAN and SYDNEY have been found. . . .

Post by surfsup » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:34 pm

Orville H. Larson wrote:As you know, the wrecks of SYDNEY and KORMORAN have been found, some 10-14 nautical miles apart, and at depths of 8,100 feet and 8,400 feet, respectively.

Let's hope that the Australian government releases whatever it has in its archives about this battle.
Our Governemnt has no footage of the battle that I know of. In Barbara Winter's Book "HMAS Sydney, Fact, Fantasy or Fraud" it is claimed that the Kormoran actually took film footage of the Battle. When the kormorans' survivors landed on our coast, they took refuge in a cave and buried the camera for safe keeping. After capture, the prisoners advised the authorities the location of the cave. When they investigated, the cave was found. Before that apparently a storm hit the coast and inundated the cave and the camera could not be located.

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Re: Kormoran

Post by RF » Sat May 02, 2009 9:53 am

I believe this is correct, as the crew of Kormoran apparently included, according to Detmers, two officers from the Propaganda Ministry, specifically to compile a film record of the ship's activities.

Incidently, as an aside, I understand that the Australian autrhorities are to investigate the wreck of the Sydney in detail with robot cameras.
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Re: Kormoran

Post by surfsup » Sat May 02, 2009 10:46 am

RF wrote:I believe this is correct, as the crew of Kormoran apparently included, according to Detmers, two officers from the Propaganda Ministry, specifically to compile a film record of the ship's activities.

Incidently, as an aside, I understand that the Australian autrhorities are to investigate the wreck of the Sydney in detail with robot cameras.
There are Photos of both wrecks on the net at the moment. if you google HMAS Sydney, you will find the Photos. As a sidelight, when the German Sailors were released from their internment after the War, They sailed from Melbourne. In port, ahead of the vessel they were boarding was a Dutch East indies merchantman called the Straat Malakka. She was the Vessel that the kormoran was disguised as when she and Sydeney met on that fateful day on November 19 1941.

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Re: Kormoran

Post by RF » Tue May 05, 2009 8:35 am

Certainly an irony there, indeed they could even have sailed in that ship.

An even bigger irony, one mentioned by Detmers, was that the Sydney might have encountered the Straat Malakka at sea just days prior to encountering Kormoran - which would, on finding Kormoran, have provoked an interesting reaction on Sydney - the Flying Dutchman, or a German vessel?

I would be interested to know if anyone has a record of where Straat Malakka actually was on November 19 1941 - something which Captain Burnett could have found out using the Checkmate system, if he had broken wireless silence....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Kormoran

Post by Meerkater » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:46 am

No irony, RK.
Kormoran crew returned to Europe aboard Orontes, not Straat Malakka.
No further irony either.
Sydney had not met Straat Malakka, and Detmers did not claim that she had. He wrote that the cew of Mareeba said that they had met Sydney a few hours before she was sunk by Kormoran. Even that was untrue. Mareeba had met an RN cruiser. Straat Malakka at the time was somewhere along the west coast of Africa, in the vicinity of Mombassa.

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Re: Kormoran

Post by RF » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:24 pm

Meerkater, I think you may have misread my post about Detmer's comments in his book ''The Raider Kormoran.'' If you reread the book you will see that in the chapter detailing the approach of Sydney Detmers comments on the tactics used by him to slow down the signalling process between the two ships. He mentions that he didn't know where the real Straat Malakka was and of course it might be possible that Sydney might have just left her behind in harbour, in which case Kormoran's cover would be blown..... That was a supposition not a statement of fact. In making that comment Detmers assumed Sydney had just sailed from a western Australian port and obviously was unaware the ship was on its last leg homeward bound from the Med.

With respect to Orantes, that was indeed the repatriation ship. The irony I referred to was that it could have been Straat Malakka, not that it actually was.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Kormoran

Post by Meerkater » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:34 pm

Yes, RF, I did misunderstand what you said.
Still, Straat Malakka could not have accommodated all the Kormoran crew, except in cargo space, I think.
:oops:

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Re: Kormoran

Post by RF » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:10 pm

Knowing the Australian sense of humour, if they could have done that I think they would.
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