Sms Konig Albert: Bring Deeps, Scapa Flow, Orkney

Battleship (20th Century), Obstruction

Site Name Sms Konig Albert: Bring Deeps, Scapa Flow, Orkney

Classification Battleship (20th Century), Obstruction

Alternative Name(s) Holm Of Houton; Calf Of Cava; Konig Albert

Canmore ID 102318

Site Number HY30SW 8013

NGR HY 31943 01719

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Maritime - Orkney
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

HY30SW 8013 3126 0179

N58 53.9 W3 11.5833

NLO: Bring Deeps [name centred HY 300 022]

Holm of Houton [name: HY 315 029]

Calf of Cava [name: HY 322 006]

Cava [name: ND 327 995]

Barrel of Butter [name: HY 352 009]

Point of Tuberry (Cava) [name: HY 334 993]

Stromness [name: HY 253 090]

Scapa Flow [name centred HY 36 00].

For other ships within this group, see:

HY30SW 8001 Kaiser (battleship)

HY30SW 8003 Prinzregent Luitpold (battleship)

HY30SW 8005 Kaiserin (battleship)

HY30SW 8006 Karlsruhe (cruiser)

ND39NW 8016 Derfflinger (battlecruiser)

HY30SE 8006 Baden (battleship: secondary location)

ND39NW 8041 Seydlitz (battlecruiser)

ND39NW 8045 Moltke (battlecruiser)

ND39NW 8049 Hindenburg (battlecruiser)

ND39NW 8050 Von der Tann (battlecruiser)

ND39NW 8051 Nurnberg (cruiser).

Formerly entered as Site no. 8859.

For general plans of High Seas Fleet (Internment Formation) wrecks in Scapa Flow, see Van der Vat 1986 (endpapers), Smith 1989, 4, Macdonald 1998, 19 and George 1999, 35.

Raised by Metal Industries, 1935.

P L Smith 1989.

Listed among 'German salvage sites'.

G Ridley 1992.

Horizontal Datum = OGB

Buoyage =

General water depth = 30

Circumstances of Loss Details

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The German dreadnought battleship KONIG ALBERT was scuttled.

Surveying Details

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1919. A dangerous wreck, with a least depth of 18.2 metres, is reported at 58 53 54N, 003 11 35W.

13 September 1934. A buoy has been laid over the wreck.

Report by Kings Harbour Master, Invergordon.

16 October 1934. Buoys and floats have been laid.

Report by Kings Harbour Master, Invergordon. Temporary Notice to Mariners issued.

3 November 1934. The purchase price has been accepted.

9 April 1935. Six air-locks have been fixed and the salvage company hope to raise the vessel in June.

12 July 1935. Salvage work is proceeding.

20 August 1935. The vessel has been raised.

Report taken from a letter written to the Kings Harbour Master, Invergordon.

9 September 1935. It is recommended that the position be charted as a foul anchorage.

Report by Kings Harbour Master, Invergordon, 3 September 1935

2 July 1980. The site is now charted with the legend 'foul ground'.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

Length: 564ft (172m)

Beam: 95ft 3ins (29.1m)

Displacement: 24,380 tons

Propulsion: steam turbines; 3 propellers; 30/35,000 shp; 21/23 kts

Armour: belt 13.75ins (350mm); turrets 11.75ins (300mm)

Armament: 10 x 30.5cm (12ins: 50 cal: twin turrets); 14 x 15cm (5.9ins: 45 cal: single mountings); 6 x 8.8cm (3.4ins: 45 cal: single mountings); 4 x 8.8cm AA (3.4ins: 45 cal: single mountings); 5 x 50cm (19.7ins) torpedo tubes

Complement: 1136/1218

This Dreadnought battleship was the last of the five-strong Kaiser class. She was built at Krupp's Germania Yard at Kiel [also cited as Schichau and as Danzig], being laid down in July 1910, launched on 27 April 1912 and completed in August 1913. She missed the Battle of Jutland, being in refit at the time.

This was the first of the deeper wrecks to be raised (by Mackenzie for Metal Industries). A diver survey of October found her lying inverted with a list of about nine degrees to port and her turrets and superstructure pressed into the deep mud of the seabed. The bow and stern were in depths of 42m and 38m respectively. Eight airlocks were used (the longest so far built) and air was used to raise the wreck in a spectacular fashion (over two days and bows first) in late July 1935. The funnels, bridge and superstructure were blasted away in shallow water [location not recorded] before the wreck was towed to Rosyth for breaking. A photograph (reproduced by George) shows at least one of the turrets still in place at this stage.

The cited location of this wreck falls 0.75nm NW of Calf of Cava light and within an extensive area of foul ground. The charted depth is about 40m; the nature of the seabed is not noted locally but there is an outcrop of rock to the NE.

This ship may be considered as falling within the Bring Deeps group of heavy ships, which were scuttled within the area defined by Holm of Houton [name: HY 315 029], Calf of Cava [name: HY 322 006] and Green Head (Hoy) [name: ND 303 993].

Bring Deeps may be understood as a south-eastwards extension of Hoy Sound. It has a generally flat bottom at a charted depth of between 35 and 50m; the seabed type is defined sparingly but is apparently sandy. An area of spoil ground is noted around N58 53.9 W3 12.2 [HY 30 01], and may attest to the former presence of the High Seas Fleet.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 6 January 2003.

H M Le Fleming 1961; D Van der Vat 1986; P L Smith 1989; S C George 1999; [Jane] 2001.

HO Chart 35 (1980, revised 1991).

This vessel is considered a 'casualty' rather than a craft on account of its successful salvage, the available evidence being written rather than material. In the absence of diver survey, however, artifacts, fittings and, possibly, structural elements may survive on or in the seabed at the location of scuttling. Depressions in the seabed may also represent the locations of the turrets or superstructure.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 10 January 2003.

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