|SMS BAYERN TURRETS – SHIP DETAILS FOR REFERENCE ONLY AS HULL RAISED|
|Type||Steel, Bayern class battleship|
|Dimensions (LOA)||623.3’x99.7’x28.0’ (IMP) 189.9×30.3×8.5 metres|
|Engines||3 x 45,750 shp steam turbines|
|Armament||8 x 38.0cm quick firing L/45 guns, 16 x 15 cm QF L/50 guns, 4 x 8,8 cm anti-aircraft guns, 5 x 60 cm submerged torpedo tubes|
|SMS BAYERN TURRETS – WRECK DETAILS|
|Position||58° 53.921’N, 003° 10.615’W|
|Seabed depth||36 metres|
|Least depth on wreck||24 metres Turret C, others vary but deeper to top|
|Lying||4 turrets lie embedded in seabed, bow turrets (A&B) west|
|Description||On the afternoon of 21 June 1919, the Bayern came to rest on the seabed in a generally east west position with bow pointing west, the hull was inverted. During recovery work in 1934 the 28,079 ton battleship accidentally rose to the surface, vented and partially sank again by the stern. During this upset her four massive turrets, each with twin 15” guns, separated from the main body of the ship. In recent years new sonar surveys show the original and new ship like depressions in the seabed, thereby recording the event, prior to Bayern’s second and successful lift later in 1934. The second attempt was minus her turrets which lie within the depression of her initial scuttling.
Numbers in brackets throughout text refer to pictures of the wreck in the gallery above.
The four turrets have remained on the seabed in 34-38 metres, they are inverted and unfortunately none of the 15” gun barrels are visible but some of the barrel ports are (1). The turrets were named A-D, bow to stern, commencing with fore deck Anton and Bruno and aft deck Caesar and Dora. The west turrets may have been damaged during the salvage mishap (2,3,4,5) as little rises above the original turret ball race. The east turrets (C+D) are more complete, and Turret C rises to around 23 metres. The aft turrets give a clearer view of their make-up of platforms, mechanics with central lift space from ammunition store to breech (6-12). On most it is possible to see the massive ball bearings (13) on which the turrets sat and revolved, as well as the motors and drive cogs (14) that powered their circular operation.
The turrets provide a unique opportunity to see these huge weapons of war from a perspective not available elsewhere in Scapa Flow. The two pairs of turrets are normally linked by swim lines and allow a visit to all four. A debris field lies between the two sets consisting of masts, platforms, and other similar structure (15,16) which would have been cleaved off as she rolled over and sank in 1919. The turrets provide a dive that is more focused, understandable than the main wrecks and has many points of interest to explore