19. Now to some warships of WW1, and we start off with a German battleship which took part in Jutland but which she survived almost unscathed.  After the battle she remained almost harbour-bound [in company with the majority of what remained of the German fleet],  still in commission, but at the end of the war she was surrendered and  sent to Scapa Flow, was scuttled, raised from the seabed and scrapped in Rosyth twelve years later in 1930. Forgetting, if that were possible, the owner of this ship, one can't help but seeing just how proud the crew would have been of her. In WW1, the prefix S.M.S. meant His Majesty's Ship, although in German, Kaiser means Emperor and not King - today, for millions of people it is the end product of mobile 'phone texting. This proud ship was called S.M.S. Kaiser. She is see here at a buoy in Kiel harbour. Note the rear admirals flag flying on the foremast and the German ensign on the mainmast as well as aft. In normal circumstances the mainmast ensign is considered to be her 'battle ensign' and all the time it is raised the ship is vulnerable as  a target. The lowering of this ensign signifies that the shooting should stop for the vessel has surrendered. Thus, this picture could be a pose for PR purposes.

Fitting that the next picture should show Jellicoe making his way across the North Sea with his Fleet towards Jutland, ready to engage the German navy.

Next two pictures of the Russian battleship TSESAREVICH. She was built by the French and launched in 1900 seeing its first action during the Russian-Japanese war of 1905 when she was based on the Pacific Port Base of Vladivostok. She was transferred to the Baltic Fleet and during this period pre-WW1, she visited Portsmouth. On the onset of WW1 she was engaged in naval war activities, but witnessed a long lull during which her crew mutinied and joined the Bolsheviks in the Russia Civil War. In 1917 she was seized by the Bolsheviks  to be scrapped in the early 1920's. In this picture of her arrival Portsmouth note H.M.S. Victory mid-harbour, when, later, in 1922, she was moved to a dock which she has claimed for herself ever since.

Here, the TSESAREVICH is alongside, with many curious onlookers both on the jetty and on the ship.

For much of my time in the service [1953-1983]  ships' pet's were the norm of every species in every vessel, large and small, quadropeds and bipeds and  other varieties too - fish mainly. That was very much the norm in WW1/WW2, even in submarines. Today, H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth inter alia will never have that nicety, barred for several reasons, chief of which is the anti-Rabies rule. This picture looks back to those halcyon days on board the WW1 battleship H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth. By the way, it's a tabby and not a black cat!

 We often see pictures of British submarines, interiors and exteriors, so here is a picture of the diesel engine room of a WW1 U.S.N. Submarine.

It beggars belief that so many men could die or are dying when a simple distant photograph is taken of the cruel scene! It's a picture universally well viewed and I include it simply to add data to  the occasion which is often overlooked [and thus forgotten] by those who view this picture through haunted eyes. It is of course a picture of the hull of the WW1 German cruiser, the S.M.S. Blucher, in which well over a thousand men were lost, the majority drowning after having scramble from the inside of the ship onto the hull as shown. The Germans wrongly built her to match a British battle-cruiser and came very unstuck with her mistake of producing only a cruiser! Nevertheless, she was a one-off class of extremely large very heavy cruisers with many formidable weapons. She was relatively modern being only a few years old at the start of WW1. Just over a year before Jutland, there was a battle called 'Dogger Bank' - 1915. Blucher was immediately struck by the heavy shells from the British battle-cruisers and left to fend for herself by the fleeing German battle group: the shelling continued and Blucher was lost. The main German group escaped and Blucher was the only casualty, on both sides. The battle ensigns were struck  and the British destroyer escorts was ordered to pick up survivors. There were many willing hands and adequate ships to effect an almost 100% pick-up rate of those who had managed to escape into the sea. As the rescue took affect and some survivors were saved, a German Zeppelin appeared and started to methodically bomb the destroyers.  The destroyers disengaged and took avoiding independent action foregoing their intended purpose, leaving the Bulcher men to their fate. It is claimed that possibly up to 1000 men perished in the sea by drowning.  Subsequently, the commander of the airship stated that he thought the sinking ship was a British battle-cruiser and his job was to deny the destroyers for conducting their self-help  mercy mission. Whilst there were minor casualties and superfluous splinter damage to a few destroyers, the Germans inflicted untold friendly fire on their on forces, a tragic end to what had been a skirmish, an entrapment of one hapless ship,  and not the battle desired.

The British battleship Audacious in severe difficulties!  She was barely tested having being launched in 1912 and destroyed in 1914 by a German mine off the northern coast of  Ireland in an Atlantic footprint. It is a lasting wonder that only one casualty occurred out of all in  Audacious and the many rescue ships attending,  and the unlucky chap was 800 yards from the position of the Audacious, in H.M.S. Liverpool, struck dead by a flying piece of heavy metal ejected by an explosion in one of Audacious's magazine. The rescue involved the sister ship of the Titanic, the Olympic. To do full justice to this naval war story, I ask you to read this file https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Audacious_(1912) . Thank you.

Enroute to ordered ports, went many surrendered and self-surrendered German ships after the Armistice was signed. Here is one heavy unit making its way across the North Sea to Harwich, this one overlooked by an observer, a British seaplane by the looks of one of its floats/ski's.
Capturing an adversaries ship [or enemy assets per se] for a change-of-sides-employment, was done by both sides. Here we see a captured German luxury ocean liner being used by the American's to transport U.S. Troops from the U.S. to Europe. Dig that crazy camouflage! That is some climb to the upper crows nest on the foremast!

And what about this for a tidily kind of camouflage? U.S.N. Submarine K2 in WW2 disguise. It was later known as U.S.S. Bass and in this picture you can see her in Pearl Harbour

and......for the time being {6th November 2015}, that concludes PART 1 of my "trivia" file. A PART 2 will be started when I get around to it. Yours aye.

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