British warships sunk 90 years ago found
Tuesday 24 August 2010
The wrecks of three British warships that were intended to forestall a Soviet and German takeover of the Baltic states after 1917's October revolution have been found off the coast of Estonia.
An Estonian minesweeper located the remains of the cruiser HMS Cassandra and two Flower Class sloops, HMS Myrtle and HMS Gentian, in 300ft of water near the island of Saaremaa. The vessels were sunk as they tried to protect Estonia from being overrun by Bolshevik or German forces after Vladimir Lenin seized power in neighbouring Russia.
Commander Ivo Vark, the chief-of-staff of the Estonian navy, said the wrecks legally belonged to Britain and added: "We are confident these are the British ships in question, which were lost during the war of independence."
The vessels formed part of a British squadron sent to the Baltic Sea in 1918 to extend support and deliver arms to the newly-created state of Estonia, which was fighting to remain independent of both Russia and Germany.
The light cruiser Cassandra sank on 6 December 1918 after hitting a mine. The explosion killed 10 sailors but the remaining crew of 400 was evacuated. The minesweepers Gentian and Myrtle both sank on 15 July 1919 while on routine patrols. Nine sailors died in the two blasts.
Parts of the Myrtle were found in 1937 and a later team attached a memorial plaque to the ship's sheared-off stern 10 years ago. The remainder of the Myrtle and the other two wrecks were found after the last known co-ordinates of the ships were provided to Tallinn by the Royal Navy. The coordinates were "surprisingly accurate considering the navigation devices of the time", added Cmdr Vark, who said the wrecks were identified by sonar images.
Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Nelson Mandela: From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen
UK weather: People urged to remain vigilant as high tides and strong winds continue through the night
Nelson Mandela death: his life in pictures
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Australian ultra-nationalist politician Stephanie Banister in car crash immigration TV interview
- 5 Nelson Mandela: From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen
- < Previous
- Next >
£31000 - £43000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£27000 - £45000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Lambeth...
£22000 - £38000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...