21/12/1916 The Seeadler sets sail

The British navy has strangled Germany’s overseas trade, leading to increasing hardships as the German people are unable to source food from the Americas. Germany has attempted to strike back at British shipping using its U-boat fleet. For the moment, though the U-boats are on a tight leash, forbidden to attack merchant ships at will for fear of antagonising the Americans.

Now the Germans attempt to disrupt British trade by another method, one that seems to have escaped from the pages of a book on the Napoleonic Wars. Today the Seeadler (Sea Eagle) sets sail from Germany. In an age of industrial warfare the Seeadler is a throwback, as she is a three-masted sailing ship, albeit one also equipped with engines. And like a privateer of old, the Seeadler flies a false flag, that of Norway, and has her guns well hidden. Her captain, Felix von Luckner, and many of his crew are fluent Norwegian speakers. They hope to trick any Allied warships into letting the Seeadler pass as a neutral vessel.

image source:

SMS Seeadler, by Christopher Rave (Wikipedia)

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