German WWI wreck discovered

The wreck of a World War One German armoured cruiser has been located off the Falkland Islands, where it was sunk by the British navy 105 years ago.

SMS Scharnhorst was the flagship of German Vice-Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee’s East Asia Squadron.

It was sunk on 8 December 1914 with more than 800 men on board, including Vice-Adm von Spee himself.

The leader of the search for the wreckage said the moment of discovery was “extraordinary”.

‘Poignant moment’

“We are often chasing shadows on the seabed, but when the Scharnhorst first appeared in the data flow, there was no doubt that this was one of the German fleet,” Mensun Bound said.

Film production company TVT recorded the search.

“Suddenly she just came out of the gloom with great guns poking in every direction,” Mr Bound said. “As a Falkland Islander and a marine archaeologist, a discovery of this significance is an unforgettable, poignant moment in my life,” he added.

The search for SMS Scharnhorst began five years ago, on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Falkland Islands, but was not successful at first.