In early November, international diving expedition from Indonesia in the Java sea have found the wreckage of several Dutch ships, which sank during the Second world war.
The team had planned to place a sign next to sunken military ship of the Dutch Admiral in honor of the upcoming 75th anniversary of his death. Instead, the expedition has made a startling discovery.
"We were all shocked by the fact that the ships are gone," said Lieutenant commander Paul Middelberg, the representative of the Dutch Ministry of defence.
The wreck of the Admiral, the cruiser De Ruyter and another Dutch cruiser, completely disappeared. A large part of the remnants of the Dutch destroyer Kortenaer was absent, too. According to the Ministry of defence of the Netherlands, "the divers had indeed found traces and records showing prints of ships on the bottom of the sea." Disappeared not only Dutch warships. Traces of at least two British warships, which also sank in the battle of the Java sea, presumably also missing, the Lieutenant said.
British and Dutch authorities issued a public condemnation. The US Navy also released a statement expressing concern " that the wreck of the ship sovereign of the Perch, was evacuated without the permission or knowledge of the U.S. government." Bass - boat - was one of at least 8 vessels that sank in one of the worst naval defeats of the allies faced during world war II.
The battle began on 27 February 1942, when the Dutch Admiral Karel Doorman led the coalition fleet American, Dutch, British and Australian warships tried to protect the coast of Indonesia on the invasion of Japan. For several days the Japanese destroyed the fleet. Porter died on Board his flagship after the cruiser was sunk by a Japanese torpedo. The Japanese fleet also sank Dutch ships to Java and Kortenaer, the British destroyers Jupiter and Electra, and the cruiser Exeter, and submarine USA Bass.
Senior officials of Indonesia confused by the disappearance of the wreck. "They have not been identified, whether they were displaced or they were stolen is not clear," said the Indonesian representative of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Arrmanatha Nasir. The government of Indonesia agreed to work with the Dutch authorities in a joint investigation.
sections: Society, World News, Accidents