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Sir_Davos_Seaworth

Book review: The Grand Scuttle

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I found this little gem in the depths of the main library.  Ye ole Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Grand-Scuttle-Sinking-German-Fleet/dp/0870212257/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516039260&sr=1-3&keywords=the+great+scuttle 

 

The first part of the book is whirlwind history of the great Dreadnought race, and the naval side of WWI. As most here should know, it ended with the High Seas fleet being interned at Scapa Flow. After about a year of limbo, the Germans took matters in their own hands, and scuttled what was left of their mighty fleet. 

But few things I have read have dealt with the human side of things, getting in the head of Admiral Reuter, his English jailers, and even the locals that witnessed the sinking. 

The last part of the book was about the salvage efforts that went on for years, and still go on, almost a hundred years after the event. 

A quick read for ship nerds...

Thanks for reading! 

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wait...a year in limbo?....I thought the Germans scuttled their ships right away....you mean they and their vessels were interned for a year?...if so, why couldn't the Brits have taken possession of them from the beginning?...

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Nope...They sat in Scapa...they were pretty much prisoners on their own ships, while they hashed out the Treaty of Versailles. I won't go through the whole story here, but I'm telling you its worth a read... :fish_book:

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I've always been intrigued by this mass sinking soooooo..... my book arrived yesterday!  I'm really looking forward to digging in.

Thanks for the recommendation SER Davos

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On 1/17/2018 at 4:43 PM, commodore_torakula said:

wait...a year in limbo?....I thought the Germans scuttled their ships right away....you mean they and their vessels were interned for a year?...if so, why couldn't the Brits have taken possession of them from the beginning?...

Not trained to operate the ships. Plus the Allies would raise a stink over the point that British sailors were manning another fleet of warships. (would have added a quarter of the RN strength). It took a year arguing about who would get the ships. If I recall the British were quite relieved the matter of the ships in question was taken out of their hands when the crews scuttled the ships. "Well, that was bloody well done. Now, nobody can cripes about who gets what."

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In that case, ta very much for the link OP. ......this is the kind of stuff I THOUGHT I knew about but had no idea. ....I'll check it out. ...

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Interesting point, the only battleship that survived the scuttling, Bayern's sister Baden was tested by the UK, and according to wikipedia "Commander W M Phipps Hornby, who lived on board Baden for weeks during the examination, wrote to the naval historian Arthur Marder in 1969 that it was his "considered opinion—which I know coincided with that of others engaged on the same job—that, considered as a fighting machine, anyhow on balance the Baden was markedly in advance of any comparable ship of the Royal Navy"

Pretty solid argument for Bayern in regards to the T6 debate between Bayern and QE/Warspite. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Baden#British_service

Of course, the UK ended up choosing to sink Baden right after this, sooooo. Raises the point, beyond symbolism why the scuttling was such a big deal if they were just going to do it anyway. Baden was the most powerful battleship also they had interred, if she was getting scrapped everyone else was getting scrapped.  It just bothers me they go through the trouble of saving the ship from scuttling, testing her out and upon concluding they have a weapon better than any of their own, they just destroy it. 

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Well, having it is one thing, being able to maintain it is another...she would need her own ammo supply, parts, etc...hell she was made with the metric system, and England was still on the Standard system.... "Bloody Hell! I need two sets of wrenches?!?" 

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