Thursday, 1 March 2012

All Our Yesterdays

When I was growing Granada TV used to screen a programme entitled 'All Our Yesterdays'. It was introduced by notable journalists of the time (James Cameron [1960 to 1961] and Brian Inglis [1961 to 1973]) and featured film newsreels for 25 years before. From September 1964 onwards these concentrated on World War II, and I remember seeing film of a German battleship firing at a Polish fortress right at the beginning of the war.

This sequence came to mind as I was going to sleep last night (it was actually the modernised pre-dreadnought battleship Schleswig-Holstein firing at the Polish fortress at Westerplatte on 1st September 1939) and it struck me that she would make a good starting point for my current warship modelling 'project within a project'.

Schleswig-Holstein was one of the five Deutschland-class battleships that were built and entered service just after HMS Dreadnought had been commissioned. As a result she was brand new and obsolete at the same time. She survived service during the First World War and was one of the eight pre-dreadnought battleships the Reichsmarine was permitted to retain for coastal defence. She was modernised in the mid 1920s and again in 1932, and after the latter she became a training ship for the expanding Kriegsmarine.

She took an active part during the early stages of World War II (including the invasion of Denmark) and it was planned to use her in a gunfire support role during Operation Sealion. When the invasion of Britain did not take place she returned to role as a training ship until the middle of 1944 when her anti-aircraft armament was considerably strengthened and she was moved to Gotenhafen (modern day Gdynia) and used as an anti-aircraft ship. She was bombed by the RAF in December 1944 and sank in shallow water. As a result her anti-aircraft guns continued to be operational until the ship was gutted by fire, and when Soviet ground forces reached Marienburg, she was scuttled by her crew. The hulk was raised after the war and later broken up in Tallinn.


  1. There is a 1:250 card model kit of SMS Schleswig-Holstein in the Marcle Models list at a massive £40. Must be a lot of cardboard.

  2. Joppy,

    I have seen the card model and it is very nice ... but not £40.00 nice!

    All the best,