The Live Bait Squadron (English)

This film tells the story of one of the greatest shipping disasters in the world history that took place off the Dutch coast and surprisingly enough, we have almost forgotten all about it. On the 22th of September 1914 three British cruisers, the HMS Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy are patrolling waters between England and the Netherlands. The Great War started seven weeks earlier. On board 2,300 crewmen. They are taken completely by surprise by a new, rather unknown and destructive weapon: the German U-boat. It takes only six torpedoes and one and a half hour to kill 1459 men and teenage boys. For 100 years the disaster has received little attention. Strange! The number of victims is similar to that of the Titanic disaster of two years earlier. Today, three mass graves lie on the bottom of the North Sea only 22 miles from the Dutch coast off Scheveningen. How did it happen? And what has happened since to this naval graveyard?

The UK release of the documentary was 21 September 2014 in Chatham, attended by some 200 relatives of the men. The Dutch release was 24 September in The Hague, attended by some 300 (mostly friends and family).

Henk van der Linden (founder of The Live Bait Squadron Society): “It is amazing what the film crew has done. It is the story of the men on the cruisers, told by the story of Duncan Stubbs, 15 year young cadet from Dartmouth. But it is too the story of Otto Weddigen, the German U-boat captain, the story of the salvagers who take profit of the ships, and the story of the sea and new sealife in the ships”

Henk proposed us on 22 September 2016 to have the documentary available for all Members of the Society. And indeed, we said immediately “Yes, consider this a present from us to all, on the 102 anniversary of the disaster”. Please leave a comment.