Hunt The Kaiser’s Cruisers

Hunt The Kaiser’s Cruisers
The Caravan of Sailors & The Last Ship Afloat

(Drama Documentary)

Directed by Jürgen Stumpfhaus
Cinematography by Thomas Bresinsky
Film editing by Martin Kayser Landwehr
Music by Brynmor Llewelyn Jones
Produced by Carl Ludwig Rettinger
2 x 52 min, 2006


“In the early days of the 20th century, the German Kaiser challenged the naval power of the British with a new and mighty battle fleet. Who would rule the world’s seas? It was a question that would be decided in the First World War. After the shock defeat of the British at Coronel, a battle which cost 1,700 seamen their lives, Winston Churchill demanded a merciless revenge. Off the Falkland Islands, the entire German overseas squadron with a crew of 2,200 men was sunk. Only two cruisers escaped the demise of their fleet, the Dresden and the Emden. Churchill set a bounty on them, making them the most hunted ships on the Seven Seas. In the icy fjords of Patagonia and the tropical heat of the South Seas, both crews battled for their very survival. After a dramatic hunt they were both finally sunk.
Nonetheless, most of their crewmen escaped death and returned home safe and sound. How this came about and their long adventurous journey through the war-torn seas and continents is recounted by two very dramatic documentaries in the Hunt the Kaiser’s Cruisers! series, The Caravan of Sailors and The Last Ship Afloat. Newly discovered archive materials on the decisive sea battles, naval reports and private journals permit a precise reconstruction of the events. For the first time, interviews with descendants and military historians, footage from the original scenes of action and dramatic re-enactments allow us to do justice to both of these exciting stories.”
(Doku Wiki)

A doco that will no doubt excite naval enthusiasts but may see others’ attention wander.
A booming musical score brings to life the grainy archival footage and stylish re-enactments of the tussle between Britain and Germany to control the oceans during World War I. Some of the old film is fascinating, particularly the light cruiser HMAS Sydney taking on the German light cruiser Emden off the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean.
After that initial flurry, however, it settles into a doco that will no doubt excite naval enthusiasts but may see others’ attention wander.

(The Sydney Morning Herald)

Hunt The Kaiser’s Cruisers
The Caravan of Sailors

Hunt The Kaiser’s Cruisers
The Last Ship Afloat