The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme


SMS Seydlitz, wreck site, Scapa Flow


The battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz (named after Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz, a Prussian general) was commissioned in 1913 and built in Hamburg by Blohm & Voss - the fourth battlecruiser built for the German High Seas Fleet. SMS Seydlitz participated in many of the large fleet actions during WWI, and was damaged at both Dogger Bank and Jutland. She inflicted severe damage on her British opponents as well; early the Battle of Jutland, shots from Seydlitz and SMS Derfflinger made short work of the battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary.
Escorted to Scapa Flow in 1918 and interned with the rest of the High Seas Fleet, SMS Seydlitz scuttled on 21 June 1919. The ship was bought by the salvage company Cox and Danks but was inadvertently brought to the surface whilst Cox was on holiday. Partially submerged again, SMS Seydlitz was officially raised, Ernest Cox present to greet her, on 2 November 1928. She was then towed to Lyness to be gutted, and on leaving Scapa Flow in 1930 (by this time the property of Metal 
Industries Ltd), her towline broke in a gale and she nearly sank again. After one last drama of snagging one of her guns on the seabed, she was finally taken to Rosyth to be broken up for scrap. 
On the seabed between Cava and Rysa Little lie some scattered remains of SMS Seydlitz, including parts of the superstructure and a large mound of coal.