Saving the Graff Spee’s stern

Bronze eagle retrieved from sunken German WWII battleship off Uruguay


Divers working in the muddy River Plate have unbolted and scooped up a heavy bronze eagle from the Admiral Graf Spee, a famed German World War II battleship, salvagers said Friday.

Hector Bado, a leader of the recovery team, said three divers working in swirling waters off the riverside capital of Montevideo had to loosen about 145 heavy bolts to extricate the eagle, which stands some 2 meters (6 feet) tall and weighs more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds).

“The eagle is really impressive. As it’s fashioned from bronze, it’s all virtually intact,” exclaimed Bado, speaking by telephone with The Associated Press.

Here’s a pic of the Graf Spee’s stern, with the eagle clearly visible:

Click for better look at the doomed ship. Pic from

While that’s a great pic of the pocket battleship, it’s not my favorite.

Here are a couple of Murdoc’s favorites:

Trapped like a cornered rat. December of ’39.

Don’t you just love the British?

UPDATE: Found this as well in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Is it just Murdoc, or is an eagle hauled off a wreck that’s been sitting in the mud for 66 years after being scuttled during her first war deployment a strange “sign of strength”?


  1. Between the Bismark, the Tirpitz, and all the pocket battleships, the Kriegsmarine could have put quite a potent battlegroup to sea. I sometimes wonder why they didn’t send them all out together…and how history might have been different if they had. Or maybe if they’d have put a flight deck on one of those pocket battleship hulls.

  2. A aircraft carrier, yes, that could have caused problems. The bb’s I were not a good use of resources either way (either together or not). If they had been together, the most likely just would have been scuttled or bombed by aircraft all at once rather than seperately.

  3. From what I understand, plans are underway to salvage the wreck and preserve it. The ship itself is not evil and was defeated honourably. Her Captain seemed like a decent sort by permitting his crew to be interned rather than sacrificed. He chose to scuttle his ship rather than let her be captured however apparently the British learned much about Germany’s radar etc when they boarded the wreck after actually buying it from Uruguay! That eagle is a witness to history and rightly should be preserved.

  4. The swastika eagle truly was a sign of strength for many reasons. It was the emblem of the heroic efforts of a responsible government fighting on behalf of the European peoples. It’s truly sad that the media people fomented hate between the Germans and Americans. That was the most unneccessary war of all time. WW2 Was a fraticidal disgrace. Let’s hope we are never so shortsighted as to fight against our brothers in Europe again. That eagle, in all its glory and dignity, will summon a high price because thankfully there are still men and women out there who desire to be the owner of an authentic relic of when honor and decency prevailed over servitude and stupidity. The record of the Wehrmacht remains as it always was: unblemished, heroic and unparellelled.

  5. Oh dear Carol, you really do have some reading on the history of World War 2 to catch up on. Certainly the German army was a first class war machine, but the atrocities they committed in their conquest and brutal occupation of the peoples of Europe must never be forgotten.

  6. Oh Andrew, for heavens sake, shut off the TV for awile and study what really happened during WW2. Get yourself some works by David Irving, Harry Barnes, Dr. William Pierce, Prof Revilo Oliver and Dr. Arthur Butz. The work of these men reveal the true record of the German armed forces, not the Hollywood fantasy we have been spoon fed for so long. Andrew, I invite you to assess the record. You’ll be surprised!