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German Ship Sunk During World War I Discovered

Friday, December 6, 2019

SMS ScharnhorstPORT STEPHENS, FALKLAND ISLANDS—BBC News reports that the wreckage of the SMS Scharnhorst, an Imperial German Navy armored cruiser, has been found under more than 5,000 feet of water near the Falkland Islands by a team of researchers including marine archaeologist Mensun Bound. The ship was part of Germany’s East Asia Squadron, which mainly operated in the Pacific Ocean before the outbreak of World War I. On November 1, 1914, the Scharnhorst participated in the Battle of Coronel, which resulted in the loss of more than 1,600 British sailors and two British ships off the coast of Chile. As a result, the British Royal Navy dispatched additional ships to the South Atlantic and pursued the German squadron, ultimately sinking the Scharnhorst on December 8, 1914, with more than 800 men on board, including German Vice-Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee and his two sons. In all, some 2,200 German sailors were killed in this battle. To read about an archaeological survey of the World War I battlefield at Gallipoli, go to "Letter from Turkey: Anzac's Next Chapter."

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