An Imperial German Kaiserliche Marine brass desk lamp, bearing the engraved inscription “SMS Derfflinger, scuttled 1919, raised 1939”, [Acquired by the vendor’s Grandfather who served at Scapa Flow]
SMS Derfflinger[a] was a battlecruiser of the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) built in the early 1910s during the Anglo-German naval arms race. She was the lead ship of her class of three ships; her sister ships were Lützow and Hindenburg.
Following Germany’s capitulation, the Allies demanded that the majority of the High Seas Fleet be interned in the British naval base at Scapa Flow pending an ultimate resolution of their fate. On 21 November 1918, under the command of Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, the ships sailed from their base in Germany for the last time.
The fleet remained in captivity during the negotiations that ultimately produced the Versailles Treaty. It became apparent to Reuter that the British intended to seize the German ships on 21 June 1919, which was the deadline by which Germany was to have signed the peace treaty. Unaware the deadline had been extended to 23 June, Reuter ordered his ships be sunk.
On the morning of 21 June, the British fleet left Scapa Flow to conduct training maneuvers. With the majority of the British fleet away, Reuter transmitted the order to his ships at 11:20 Derfflinger sank at 14:45.
The ship was raised in 1939 and was anchored, still capsized, off the island of Risa until 1946, at which point the ship gained the dubious distinction of having spent more time afloat upside down than she had right way up, Derfflinger was then sent to Faslane Port and broken up by 1948. One of the ship’s bells was delivered to the German Federal Navy on 30 August 1965, the other is exhibited outside the church of St. Michael on the Outer Hebrides island of Eriskay.
In surprisingly good condition considering it has been sunk for 20 years, it has been rewired and pat tested so is in working order. Please see the pictures as they are part of our condition report.