The loss of HMAS Sydney was Australia’s worst naval disaster and an enduring mystery of the Second World War. By Karl James

10 A gunner’s tale

The first attack on Fire Support Base Coral took place in Vietnam 40 years ago. By Elizabeth Stewart

14 Breaking the Hindenburg Line

The gruelling task of attacking the formidable German defences. By Peter Burness

18 Diggers for a day

In their baptism of fire on the Western Front, the Americans at Hamel earned the respect of the veteran Australians. By Meleah Ward

20 Like cats in the night

Aggressive patrolling by the Australians on the Western Front in 1918 created a decisive edge against the Germans. By Michael Molkentin

24 A very smart piece of work

An Australian crew captured a German Halberstadt aircraft without firing a shot. By John White

28 Deserter or hero?

An Australian serving with New Zealand forces in the First World War was executed – but was his trial fair? By Reg A. Watson

32 Determined to serve

A curator’s curiosity uncovers some surprising results. By Lenore Heath

41 Needles and haystacks

Why finding HMAS Sydney was so difficult. By Tom Lewis

44 ‘A truce is not a peace’

Despite bringing an end to the fighting, the July 1953 armistice has still not delivered peace to Korea. By Nigel Steel

48 Helping in their time of need

Australia’s military forces have a proud tradition of providing humanitarian aid that spans nearly a century. By Steven Bullard

51 Veterans at Bong Bong

Soldier-settlers who took up land along the Wingecarribee River had served in British regiments in many of the great battles of the Napoleonic Wars. By Linda Emery

54 Grandfathers at war

One family’s forebears had fought on opposite sides in the First World War. By Melanie Oppenheimer

60 To the bottom

The backbone of the Imperial German Navy sank in Scapa Flow on 21 June 1919. An Australian, Joseph Eric Hewitt, watched the ships go down. By Amanda Rebbeck

64 Icon or archive?

Some images capture our imaginations more than others. By Shaune Lakin

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