From Great Depths

Underwater photograph of wrecked bow of the HMAS Sydney II, illuminated by

Hardback - January 2017 - AU $70.00

One of the world's most significant wartime mysteries presented as never before, with stunning state-of-the-art underwater photography and fascinating new discoveries.

Long considered one of the world's most significant wartime mysteries, the fateful dusk encounter between HMAS Sydney (II) and the German raider Kormoran stands as Australia's single largest naval disaster. The loss of both ships on the night of 19 November 1941 with Sydney's full war complement of men and boys sparked a growing mystery spanning sixty-six years for Australia's most famous fighting ship and for one of Germany's best known raiders. + Full description

The 2008 discovery of the wrecks captured the imagination of two young researchers who dreamt and then lived their impossible dream bringing what lies in total darkness on the seabed nearly three kilometres beneath the waves and over 100 kilometres from the coast to the surface for all to experience. This had never been done before. Needing a state-of-the-art ship and its crew, the most modern of underwater vehicles, state-of-the-art visual modelling and reconstructive imaging technology, an unheard of array of mounted lighting and cameras, and the support and services of some of Australia's leading scientists, maritime archaeologists and historians, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

From Great Depths features the results of their astounding success, presenting absolutely stunning underwater photography and fascinating new discoveries, brought together with inspiring and heartrending personal accounts of wartime service on the ships, and their fierce battle with the devastating loss of over 700 souls from both sides.

- Short description


Hardback | January 2017 | $ 70.00
ISBN: 9781742589336 | 376 pages
Publisher: WA Museum


Dr Michael McCarthy, is a member of the Department of Maritime Archaeology at the Western Australian Maritime Museum. He holds a doctorate in maritime archaeology and a masters in Western Australian colonial history. Dr McCarthy led the excavation of the Dutch East India ship Zuytdorp, and the iron-hulled SS Xantho and has led numerous salvage archaeological and defence heritage programs including the excavation of submerged WWII flying boats in the waters off Broome. He led Museum's HMAS Sydney/HSK Kormoran studies and was part of the ROV inspection team after the two wrecks were found. In 2001 he led the successful search for the lost exploration ships, the French corvette L'Uranie and HM ship Roebuck respectively of Rose and Louis de Freycinet and William Dampier fame in the Falkland and Ascension Islands respectively. He has also led the Museum wreck-related Indigenous studies, outreach and wreck access programs and has published three books, two volumes of papers, many book chapters, websites and over 200 articles and reports on history and maritime archaeology. He has also curated and co-curated many exhibitions and websites.