9/1/1917 The Seeadler claims its first victim

In Berlin Germany’s leaders are deciding whether to launch an escalated U-boat war against Britain. Out in the North Atlantic, the Seeadler (Sea Eagle) is using more old fashioned tactics against enemy shipping. The Seeadler is a sailing ship operated by the German navy, disguised as a ship from neutral Norway. Her guns are hidden, her men in civilian clothes, and her captain and crew have been picked for their ability to speak Norwegian.

The Seeadler left port on the 21st of December. On Christmas Day it was intercepted by an armed British merchantman. However, the ship’s Norwegian disguise fooled the British, who let it pass.

Today the Seeadler claims its first prize. A British collier, the Gladys Royle is intercepted on its way to Buenos Aires. The Seeadler approaches the British ship, requesting a time signal, but then once close it runs up the German flag and boards the collier. The crew are taken off as prisoners and the ship scuttled. Now Luckner, its commander, plans to sail on to the South Atlantic, attacking enemy ships wherever he finds them.

image source:

The Seeadler in 1904, when it was an American civilian vessel (Wikipedia)

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