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Wrecked German raider SEEADLER

Date: c 1917
Overall: 137 x 86 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Kim Andrews
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00017347

User Terms

    This black and white photographic postcard shows the German raider SEEADLER, with its mast and spars clearly broken.
    SignificanceThis postcard illustrates the wreckage of the 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, torpedoes and other arms, 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 th 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 ship's 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

    Web title: Wrecked German raider SEEADLER


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