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Sailors remembered with 25 cannon shots

Sailors remembered with 25 cannon shots

30-05-2016 12:00:00

After 100 years, the cannon from the cruiser Rostock, which sank during the Battle of Jutland, has been retrieved and put in order. Now it is used as a salute cannon when the 100th anniversary of the battle is marked in Thyborøn, and a memorial park for the 8,645 victims is inaugurated.

The Battle of Jutland took place off the west coast on May 31 and June 1, 1916. From land you could not see the ships, but you could hear the cannons, and that becomes a major theme in the 100th anniversary. A total of 25 ships sunk during the Battle of Jutland, and every time a ship went down, there will be a shot fired.

The Danish Navy marks the beginning of the battle with a gun salute on May 31 at 15:05 Danish time, after which the cannon from Rostock takes over. At 17:05 a salute is fired to mark the first ship, and then salute shots continue periodically through the evening and the night. The final salute is fired on June 1 at 9:45, when the last ship went down.

One of the shots fired is in honor of SMS Rostock, which at 5:25 in the morning was sunk by its own crew after a torpedo hit from a British destroyer. Before that Rostock had fired about 500 shots with its 10,5 centimeter guns, and it is therefore one of these guns from the battle, that will fire the salutes.

As part of the two-day commemoration, the Battle of Jutland will have its own memorial park next to the new Sea War Museum in Thyborøn. Here, there is no difference between friends and enemies.

German and British sailors are commemorated equally, and each sunken ship has its own granite rock that rises from the surrounding sand. The park is 20,000 square meters. With time, it is intended that all 8,645 perished sailors also are remembered with a sculpture each. At present, there has been 170 sculptures set up.

The memorial park is inaugurated on Wednesday, June 1 at 14:00 by two persons who both grew up in the shadow of the Battle of Jutland. It's Nick Jellicoe, grandson of the British commander, Admiral John Jellicoe, and his German counterpart, Reinhard Scheer-Henning, grandson of the German commander, Admiral Reinhard Scheer. Both attach great importance that the memorial will not be divided between German and British sailors.

There's a comprehensive program for the two-day event, which also features participation from the Danish, British and German navies.

Source: lemvig.dk / Maritime Denmark

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