Saturday, June 21, 2008

Today In History: High Seas No More.

On this date in 1919, fearing that his ships would be handed over to the Allies as war reparations under the pending Treaty of Versailles, Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter ordered that the High Seas Fleet, moored in the British naval base at Scapa Flow in Scotland, be scuttled.

Quick reaction by the Brits saved a handful of ships, but the majority of the fleet, veterans of Dogger Bank and Jutland, went to the bottom of the harbor.


Anonymous said...

An interesting point about the sunken fleet in Scapa Flow: in recent years it's become a useful source of steel. Seems that a lot of steel made post-WW2 has is less-than-ideal for certain uses because all the atmospheric nuke tests in the 1940s-50s contaminated it with background radiation. But the steel in the hulls of the High Seas Fleet ships has the older pre-A-bomb levels of background radiation. So for those certain uses, salvaged steel from those ships is quite valuable.

Anonymous said...

Herman Goering did the same thing.

By the end of the war, the Germans had better planes than the Allies, of note the Forker VII fighter. Hermann Goring, who would eventually become head of the Luftwaffe in Nazi Germany was then in command of the late Baron von Richthofen (The Red Baron) squadron. As he led his planes in for the surrender, he landed his in such a way to break the wings off; his fellow fliers followed suit, depriving the Allies of those planes."

Tam said...

The allies got so many Fokker D.VII's after the Armistice that when they got done handing them out as war reparations, they burned the rest.