Daily Event for August 2

1917: The German raider SMS Seeadler was wrecked off Tahiti. Seeadler was built in Scotland in 1888 and named Pass of Balmaha. She was a 1,500 ton steel-hulled sailing ship only 245 feet long. In June of 1915 she departed New York bound for the port of Archangel in Murmansk. On Aug. 1 she was stopped by a British cruiser and ordered to the Orkney Islands. Released, she was then captured by the German submarine U-36 and taken to Cuxhaven. She was refitted as an auxiliary cruiser and renamed Seeadler. As Seeadler she became the most famous of the German raiders of World War 1. Under the command of Felix Graf von Luckner, the Seeadler captured and sank 14 ships, captured and released a 15th, all without the loss of one life.

After the Seeadler was wrecked Luckner and five others set out in a small boat for Fiji. Upon arrival they were promptly captured and remained as POW's. The men who remained behind captured a French schooner named Lutece and sailed for Easter Island. There they wrecked the ship and were eventually taken to Chile and interned on a German ship until the end of the war.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock