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'The last of the "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" '; the Battle of the Falkland Islands, 8 December 1914, about 16.15

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Prints, drawings and watercolours
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsScharnhorst [German navy]

Object details:

Object ID PAF0922
Description This is a monochrome version of or study for a watercolour reproduced in colour in Wyllie and M.F. Wren's ' Sea Fights of the Great War' (1918) f. p. 104, which bears the inscribed title quoted above and the printed caption ' "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau": The End of the Chase'. At the Battle of the Falklands the German armoured cruiser 'Scharnhorst ' (1906), flagship of Vice-Admiral Maximilian von Spee, was overwhelmed by the gunfire of the British battlecruisers 'Invincible' (1907) and 'Inflexible' (1907, flagship of Vice-Admiral Frederick Doveton Sturdee) and sank at 16.17, having received a few shots from the armoured cruiser 'Carnarvon' (1903) as well. Her entire crew was lost, including von Spee and two of his sons. This drawing shows the situation at 16.15 with the 'Scharnhorst' on her beam ends. Her sister, the 'Gneisenau' (1906), in the background, continued the fight under Captain Maerker until she was out of ammunition. Although she was then obviously sinking, Maerker gave the order to scuttle the ship and abandon her. She foundered at 18.00. The three British ships immediately set about the work of rescue and 190 of the 'Gneisenau's' crew survived.
Date made 1915-1918

Artist/Maker Wyllie, William Lionel
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials wash, grey; heightened with white
Measurements 297 mm x 447 mm
  • 'The last of the "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" '; the Battle of the Falkland Islands, 8 December 1914, about 16.15 (PAF0922)
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