So in excited anticipation of the upcoming trips to Scapa Flow in August we are running a series of fact sheets giving some brief information about each wreck, including a small history and useful dive information.
If you want to come and dive these epic wrecks in an amazing location – let us know!
So to start us of we have the Kronprinz Wilhelm….
Name: Kronprinz Wilhelm (originally simply the Kronprinz but later renamed in honour of the German Crown Prince)
Co-ordinates: 58°53.39N; 03°09.46W
Displacement: 25,390 long tons (25,800 t) design 28,600 long tons (29,100 t) full load
Length: 175.4m (576’ 6’’)
Beam: 29.5m (96’ 9’’)
Draft: 9.19m (30’ 2’’)
Propulsion: 3 shafts, 3 steam turbines
Speed: 21.2 knots (39.3km/h)
Range: 13,000km (8000m) at 12 knots
Armament: 10x 12’’ guns, 14x 5.9’’ guns, 10 x 3.5’’ guns, 5x 19.7’’ torpedo tubes
Took part in Battle of Jutland in 1916 and although a front line ship, escaped unscathed. Later, she was hit by a British torpedo (launched by submarine HMS J1) off the coast of Denmark, whilst providing heavy back-up for the rescue of U20, which had been stranded on the Danish coast. The torpedo left a huge whole in the side of Kronprinz Wilhem but thanks to watertight compartments and cork packing, she was able to limp back to port for repairs. Soon after, she was involved in Operation Albion in the Baltic.
During her scuttling the British guards panicked and shot and killed a stoker on board.
Like the other battleships scuttled here, the fact that she sunk in deeper water contributed to the fact that she was not raised for scrap and she lies on the harbour bottom today. Like the other battleships, the sheer weight of the deck guns caused her to overturn as she sank.
Diving the Kronprinz Wilhelm:
The ship lies almost upside down with the seabed at almost 40 metres so this is one where your deep diver certification is essential! What makes this so special is that because it lays ‘almost’ upside down you can actually dive underneath the upturned deck which lays at an angle above you. Here you will see the massive deck guns which are a sight to behold.
Once your time starts to get low you can simply start making your way up the hull of the wreck to the top which is only about 14m and therefore it is possible to really maximise your time to get a better perspective of the sheer scale of this battleship.
Although you can dive this on air, like all of these wrecks you will be able to get the most from them if you are nitrox qualified! This will grant you much more time which certainly on a wreck of this scale is no bad thing.