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German raider SEE ADLER Mopeha Island

Date: 1917
Dimensions:
Overall: 87 x 137 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin photographic print, card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Barry Jones
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00018137

User Terms

    Description
    This black and white photographic postcard features the hull of the wrecked German raider SEEADLER. Seen from port side view, the vessel's bowsprit can be clearly seen. In comparison with a similar photograph on postcard 00017344, this was taken during low tide at Mopelia Island.
    SignificanceThis postcard illustrates part of the wrecked German raider SEEADLER that terrorised the Allied war effort in the Atlantic and the Pacific during World War I.
    HistoryCount Felix von Luckner captained the German raider SEEADLER, a captured British sailing ship. Armed with guns and torpedoes, SEEADLER disguised itself as a Norwegian timber ship and sailed south between Brazil and West Africa in December 1916.

    In just four weeks, SEEADLER captured 13 vessels, including British, Canadian, French, Italian and Danish ships. British cruisers were dispatched to the area to investigate the disappearances, and the SEEADLER sailed south and entered the Pacific. After capturing three US sailing ships near the Galapagos Islands and successfully sinking two of them, the Allied warships in the Pacific became aware of an enemy presence. SEEADLER decided to lay-low at the island of Mopelia (Maupihaa) until it became wrecked on a reef on 2 August 1917. The SEEADLER was stripped and burnt, and all stores and crew went ashore. Eventually Captain von Luckner and five crew set out in the ships launch to seize another ship, but were captured. The remaining crew managed to capture a French vessel and escaped to Chile. The following month HMAS ENCOUNTER was sent to inspect the wreckage.

    Chief Petty Officer Ernest Stidston recorded the visit in his diary:

    'We could see the German raider Seeadler on the reef between two islands. She had been set on fire before being abandoned and was practically gutted. Officers and men went aboard and found two 4.1 in. guns intact, and some ammunition which had escaped the fire.'
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: German raider SEE ADLER Mopeha Island

    Web title: Hull of the German raider SEEADLER

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