AUSTRALIA'S FIRST MAJOR VICTORY IN WAR (1940) newsclip
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AUSTRALIA'S FIRST MAJOR VICTORY IN WAR
SYDNEY II AS GOOD AS SYDNEY I
The Royal Australian cruiser, Sydney, which accounted for the Italian cruiser, Bartolomeo Colleoni, the fastest in the world. The crew is all Australian, including the captain, a Tasmanian.
H.M.A.S. SYDNEY SINKS ITALIAN CRUISER
('Newcastle Sun' Cable)
H.M.A.S. Sydney's victory in the engagement with Italian ships today was unique in that she is the first warship to sink a cruiser by gunfire since the war started. Her victim was the Italian, Bartolomeo Colleoni, one of the fastest cruisers in the world, having done 40 knots at her trials. The action took place in the Eastern Mediterranean.
THE SYDNEY, with a small destroyer force, sighted the Bartolomeo Colleoni and another Italian cruiser and went into action. When the Bartolomeo Colleoni sank, the other enemy ship ran away, with the Sydney and her escort in pursuit.
One British destroyer stopped to pick up survivors from the sunken ship to the number of 250. .
The Admiralty's statement Is as follows:—
H.M.A.S. Sydney (Captain J. A. Collins, R.A.N.), sank the Bartolomeo Colleoni by gunfire during an action in which British forces engaged Italian cruisers to the northwest of the Island of Crete, early this morning.'
'Writes Another Page'
Admiral Sir Edward Evans, who commanded the Royal Australian Navy from 1929 to 1031, hearing of the Sydney's success, said: —
'Once again the Australian Navy has shown its splendid fighting quality and efficiency. In the last war a Sydney sought out and destroyed the famous Emden. Now her younger sister writes another page in naval history which will thrill the civilised world'
It is recalled that Mrs. Bruce christened the present Sydney when she was launched on the Tyne in September 1934, Mrs. A. V. Alexander, wife of the First Lord of the Admiralty, christened the Leander, the nameship of her class, which includes the Achilles.
The Sydney, launched as H.M.S. Phaeton, but acquired by the Commonwealth, is a vessel of 6830 tons, carrying eight six-Inch guns with 12 smaller guns. She was completed in 1935. Her speed Is 32.5 knots.
The Bartolomeo Colleoni was a ship of 5069 tons, also armed with eight six-Inch guns and 22 smaller weapons, including anti-aircraft guns. She was completed In 1932 and had a complement of 500.
'Australia's first major victory in the war,' is how New York's evening papers described the Sydney's success. They give the news great prominence, recalling the sinking of the Emden, and declare that the new Sydney has worthily upheld the traditions of the famous predecessor.