Good morning, we are continuing our exploration of the Baltic Sea. This time we are exploring a sea battle between Sweden and Denmark. The run time is 43:08.
On April 24, 1715, the Danish and Swedish navies met and commenced to fight. The battle was not far from the Bay of Kiel. These two nations were fighting over trade routes. Decades later, divers are finding the remains of cannons on the site of the battle. Eventually, a wooden ship was found, making archeologists and historians curious about the battle. What was this ship? What could this ship tell us about such a decisive battle?
A team of archeologists and divers are going to examine the site to identify the mystery ship. What was this ships name? The contemporary records seem to hint at the name of the ship. The evidence suggests that the ship belonged to the Swedish Navy and the ship was called Hedvig Sophia. This ship was sent on a mission to try to attack the Danish Navy to open up the trade routes. The Danish Kingdom controlled three routes so if the Swedes could get through these routes, they too could enjoy the benefits of trading. The Danish Navy spotted the Hedvig Sophia and knew she would be attacking them. They put together a fleet of eleven books to follow the enemy…
In the present day, divers make plans to visit this shipwreck. The water temperature is cold and so extra care is made to make sure valves do not freeze. There is also low visibility on-site, so it will take time to find the mystery shipwreck. As they dive into the wreck, the divers find encrusted rocks. These rocks provided ballast for the mystery shipwreck. The divers finally arrive at the wreck and begin mapping out and measuring the site. Once this mapping and measuring are done the archeologists can come in and excavate the site.
The initial view of the wreck shows that the ship was large. Rolf Lorenz was searching for the wreck and dedicated forty years of his life. Lorenz provides some clues to the ship. He had dived on the wreck before and had brought up some artifacts. He even brought up a cannon from the ship. This cannon had been dated back to the 18th Century. The divers go back to the wreck and find a loose piece of wood to bring up. This wood will be dated to determine the age of the ship.
In a flashback to the initial battle, one man goes after the Swedish Navy. Once he found the Swedish Navy, he is to inform his superiors of the location of the Swedish Navy. This man discovered the location of the navy and went to inform the superiors about the number and the position of the Swedish ships. The Danish Navy goes on the move to engage with the Swedish Navy.
The Swedish Navy has only brought six ships to this battle, and the Hedvig Sophia is the flagship. They are facing a Danish Navy with eleven ships. Who would emerge from this battle victorious? The Hedvig Sophia is armed with over eighty guns and is built to endure heavy cannon fire. Water is leaking into the ship. The Danish ships had struck her several times below the waterline. In fact, the Danish Navy is firing hard against the Swedish Navy. Both sides suffer heavy losses and the Battle of the Baltic Sea takes its toll.
This documentary then examines the Swedish Ship the Vasa. The Vasa demonstrates the size of the warship of the 17th Century. It was the showpiece of the Swedish Navy. This ship was never put into service because she sunk on her maiden voyage. The Vasa hull was made with over one thousand oak logs, and there were sixty-four cannons on board. The Warship was a costly investment for any country’s navy.
So what was the name of this ship? Why was this ship discovered in shallow waters? What can this ship tell us about the remains of the Battle for the Baltic Sea? Tune into the rest of this documentary to find out.
Would I show this documentary to a history class? This documentary would prompt some good discussion on archeology and what it took to identify a ship. This one would be a good one to add to the independent study student list. I would put this documentary as a “potential” show.
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