This rare silent newsreel shows some of the activities of the German Navy during the First World War. The film begins with shots of seaplanes on patrol over the North Sea, attacking British merchant ships with bombs and sending carrier pigeons back to base to report enemy positions. The famed auxiliary cruiser Mowe is seen in action at the 2:50 mark. SMS Möwe (German: Seagull) was an merchant raider of the Imperial German Navy which operated against Allied shipping during World War I. Disguised as a neutral cargo ship to enable it to get close to targets, the Möwe was effective at commerce raiding, sinking several ships in the course of the war. Some of the large naval battles of the war, including Jutland, are shown from the German perspective. The dramatic sinking of an Austro-Hungarian warship SMS Szent Istvan at the 13:50 mark is one of the most horrifying images of the entire war.

By the start of the First World War, the German Imperial Navy possessed 22 pre-Dreadnoughts, 14 dreadnought battleships and 4 battle-cruisers. A further three ships of the König class were completed between August and November 1914, and two Bayern-class battleships entered service in 1916. The battlecruisers Derfflinger, Lützow, and Hindenburg were completed in September 1914, March 1916, and May 1917, respectively.

Admiral von Tirpitz became the commander of the Navy. The main fighting forces of the navy were to become the High Seas Fleet, and the U-boat fleet. Smaller fleets were deployed to the German overseas protectorates, the most prominent being assigned to the East Asia Station at Tsingtao.

The German Navy’s U-boats were also instrumental in the sinking of the passenger liner and auxiliary cruiser, the RMS Lusitania on 7 May 1915, which was one of the main events that led to the USA joining the war two years later in 1917.

We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example like: “01:00:12:00 — President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference.”

This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

Link Copied

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

About Us

Thanks for your interest in the Periscope Film stock footage library.  We maintain one of the largest collections of historic military, aviation and transportation in the USA. We provide free research and can provide viewing copies if you can let us know some of the specific types of material you are looking for. Almost all of our materials are available in high quality 24p HD ProRes and 2k/4k resolution.

Our material has been licensed for use by:

Scroll to Top

For Downloading, you must Login or Register

Free to Download High Quality Footage

Note: Please Reload page and click again on My Favorites button to see newly added Favorite Posts.