Exactly one month after Britain’s declaration of war on the German Reich (September 3, 1939) a U-boot skipper’s audacious opportunism sent the first of five of Britain’s battleships and battlecruisers to the bottom of Scapa Flow. Situated on Scotland’s stormy west coast this fortress harbour served as an English lair from which Royal Navy ships ambushed German shipping navigating the North Sea.
After the defeat of the Workers Reich on May 8, 1945, the armies of the British, Soviet and American empires plundered everything they could lay their hands on. Soviet plunder of the defeated Reich included the seizing of the German-built transatlantic liner SS Berlin III. This super liner, after providing German workers with affordable Mediterranean cruises, in July 1939 was converted into a hospital ship and later evacuated thousands of troops and civilians fleeing the rapacious Red Army.
Remains of an 18th-century Dutch warship and a British steamer from the 19th century have been discovered by a team of Mexican archaeologists exploring the Yucatan Peninsula.
GREAT EUROPEANS: Remains of Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance have been discovered near the South Pole. The wreck of Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance ship has been found, 106 years after it sank east of Antarctica trying to reach the pole.
In a city boasting more than one hundred kilometres of canals, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam is full of houseboats writes Annie Cooper. However, a houseboat in the historic Herengracht district is hiding something peculiar inside. It is the waterborne home to about 50 pussy cats and their kittens.
At the height of the Cold War in 1964, only two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the British Westminster government decided it was a good idea to breach every trade embargo in the book and try to ship a load of Leyland buses to Cuba.
With immigration surging due to favourable weather, Italian League party leader Matteo Salvini is pointing out that he is currently on trial for defending his country’s borders by refusing to allow migrant ships to dock.
On the morning of 2 October 1942, the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Curacao rendezvoused north of Ireland with the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary, which was carrying approximately 10,000 American troops of the 29th Infantry Division.
When on December 12, MV Mutambala, a ferry operating on Lake Tanganyika sank in a storm there was little news coverage. The disaster claimed the lives of up to 150 passengers, mostly women and children. Strong winds and overloading are said to be the cause of the tragedy. It is not uncommon for ships operating on Lake Tanganyika to sink, usually for the same reasons.
A seismic shift in the global power struggle between the West and the East has shifted to Central Europe. Russian and NATO military hardware confront each other in what was, until a short time ago, a sea that was of little interest to the rest of us. Happily, for peace, Turkey, the keyholder of the Bosporus has forbidden all military ships from entering the Back Sea.