Cruise of the “Sea Eagle” – Anniversary
On the 21st of December, the members and friends of the international Felix Count von Luckner Society sat together at the last “von Luckner meeting” of the Year and thought of the beginning of a legendary cape drive, because exactly 100 years ago the German auxiliary cruiser “Seeadler” was stabbed into the sea. Under the command of Count von Luckner, a truly unique history began, which ultimately formed the basis for the fact that the Count, in particular, was known and appreciated internationally.
Felix Count von Luckner later emphasized during his lectures that no enemy sailor had to leave his life, for he practiced a humane warfare. Well, one may doubt whether a war can be conducted at all humanly, but Luckner always tried to protect human life. He looked at and treated the seafarers caught by him as guests, not as enemies.
However – that “no” sailor had to leave his life, is not true, because one victim was unfortunately to complain.
The English steamer “Horngarth” was applied exactly 100 years ago, ie on 11 March 1916. For the men on the “Sea Eagle”, a steamer was, of course, a special destination, one was even under sail, officially at least, because the auxiliary motor on the German auxiliary cruiser “Sea Eagle” the others could not see. For the captain of the “Horngarth”, on the other hand, it was certainly a special disgrace to be inflicted by a hostile sailor, but he might have trusted in his machines, but this was of no use, for the “Sea Eagle” were not absolutely dependent on wind.
In the end, the German side commanded the use of the guns, in the face of the fleeing Englishman, shortly afterwards shells struck at the “Horngarth”. At least one of them hit a steam line, hurting three English sailors. One of them succumbed to his injuries, despite many efforts for his life.
The sailor’s name was Douglas Page.
We will recall the occasion, in particular this tragic incident, and will commemorate this English sailor at the “von Luckner Stammtisch”, next Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
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