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The Königsberg Incident
A summary of her career

Animated Flash Maps
The Indian Ocean and Rufiji Delta

Current Wrecks and Relics
A list of the latest sites

Wrecks and Relics
Wrecks and relics of the Königsberg incident are still scattered around East Africa and elsewhere in the world. Some are in private homes, some are in museums, and yet others rest out in various land and ocean wilderness areas, open for inspection to those who care to venture there. Below is a list of known items and sites, which will be expanded as more discoveries are made.

Naval Vessels: Wrecks and Sites

Königsberg salvage crew 1915
Click to view photo
SMS Königsberg: The wreck of Königsberg remained at the site of her sinking in the Rufiji River Delta. It was in a remote location and after the war was only visited by the most determined travellers. By 1950 the ship had slid onto her side in the deep mud of the delta, and the last photo of any above-water portion was taken in 1965, when only a portion of the freeboard remained poking above the water level. The wreck is now completely buried in the mud of the river bottom, although the hull itself, including funnels and anchor chains is, as far as is known, still intact.

Somali in 2001
SS Somali: The only remaining vessel which can be viewed without diving remains Königsberg's loyal supply ship Somali. Her wreck lies near Salale, although it is in very poor condition. After her sinking, silt from the river began piling up around the ship, and eventually engulfed her in a shallow sandbar. Trees then grew on the sandbar and within a few decades Somali was actually inside the encroaching forest. Between 1995 and 2000, someone cleared away part of the heavy growth and more of the hull is visible again. The image at upper right show what can still be seen of Somali's ample wreckage. Her bow is at left and her sternpost is off the right side of the page. Much of the freeboard is visible, and sections of the deck and superstructure remain scattered along the wooded area which has engulfed the hull. The second view is an aerial photograph taken during the war, showing the sandbar already forming immediately upstream from the Somali's riverside resting place.
Aerial view of Somali

HMS Pegasus: The wreck of Königsberg's primary wartime victim remains at the bottom of Zanzibar Harbor, and is a popular diving site. The ship was torn open during the wartime salvage of her boilers and engines, and the resulting weakening of the ship's integrity has caused it to mostly fall apart. The main frames which would have normally composed the inside of the vessel are now laying exposed on the harbor bottom, and of course her guns and vital hardware were removed for use in the East Africa campaign.

SS City of Winchester: Interestingly, the wreck of City of Winchester is occasionally visited at its remote location off the coast of Oman. The most recent dive showed the hull to have collapsed, revealing her triple expansion engine and boiler. Unpredictable weather and the remote location result in very few visitors to the wreck site.

Rufiji River today
The Rufiji River Delta: At the time of the Great War, the Rufiji River delta was considered a remote and barely understood area. It is still remote by most considerations, and visitors to the area should be thoroughly prepared and experienced travellers. When you are at site of the Königsberg and Somali wrecks, you are really on your own and should proceed accordingly.

Relics and Artifacts: Sites and Owners

Königsberg Gun at Mombasa
Königsberg Guns: The most visible current artifacts from Königsberg remain her main guns, which were removed from the ship in 1915, modified at the Dar es Salaam machine shops for use on land and incorporated into Lettow-Vorbeck's land army which fought the Commonwealth forces until 1918. After the war, the guns were taken as trophies to various locations around Africa: One each to Leopoldville and Stanleyville in the Belgian Congo, one to Pretoria, South Africa, one to Mombasa, Kenya, one to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and one to Kampala, Uganda. Of those guns, only two are still known to be intact: the "Bagamoyo" gun at Fort Jesus in Mombasa, Kenya; and one at Johannesburg, South Africa. The Johannesburg gun may be the same gun which was for a while mounted on the lake steamer Graf von Goetzen, which fought on Lake Taganyika during the war and which still operates on the lake as a ferry and general purpose freighter.
Königsberg Gun at Johannesburg

Pegasus Guns: After her sinking, the guns for HMS Pegasus were also removed and used by Commonwealth forces in Africa. One of the converted guns is at Fort Jesus in Mombasa, Kenya, next to one of the surviving Königsberg guns. Two other "Peggy" guns were displayed on the ocean front at Dar es Salaam at least through the 1950s, but they have since disappeared.

Other Artifacts: Countless other small artifacts from this incident are now scattered around the world. Below is a list of known items and their status and/or locations:
Wardroom Dining Set: National Railway Museum, Nairobi, Kenya.
Torpedo Director, Shell Casings: Imperial War Museum, London, UK.
Shell Casings: Various private homes in the UK.
Naval Ensign: Family of Captain Looff.
Porthole: Dar es Salaam Museum, Tanzania.
Zinc Cordite Cases: Zanzibar Museum, Tanzania.

Frame Plates, Silverware, Teak Decking: Various private homes in the UK and US.
Naval Ensign: Family members of Pegasus crew.
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