A moving 3D testament to the crews of HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran, and the fierce battle that sank both ships and destroyed hundreds of lives, will go on display this November at the Western Australian Museum - Geraldton, in time for the 75th anniversary of the battle.
Announcing the landmark installation while visiting the Geraldton museum today, Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said it would be displayed in a theatrette being created inside the museum.
"The World War II loss of Sydney and all 645 crew on board remains Australia's greatest maritime tragedy," Mr Day said.
"I was fortunate to recently view a 3D sample video of what is being produced for the Geraldton museum and I know this will be a significant drawcard for locals and visitors.
"The installation uses extraordinary images and footage to provide a virtual undersea experience that is poignant, informative and extremely powerful."
The video is being compiled from 3D vision captured by the WA Museum and Curtin University during an April 2015 expedition to record both wreck sites.
November 19 this year will mark the 75th anniversary of the explosive battle between HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran that saw both ships destroyed and resulted in the loss of 726 Australian and German lives.
After decades of speculation and searching, the wrecks were finally discovered in 2008, lying 20 kilometres apart, 200km off Shark Bay, 2,500 metres under water.
"For so long, the exact location of these wrecks and the final resting place of the crews on board were unknown," the Minister said.
"Now, for the first time, visitors to the museum will be able to gain an intimate knowledge of the sites through a captivating and haunting 3D experience."
The 2015 expedition used underwater remote operated vehicles to collect more than 550,000 images
These are being processed into 3D video by Curtin University using the Pawsey supercomputer
Minister's office - 6552 6200