Date Added: 22 November 2017
Matthias Schultz has chosen the SEEADLER (Sea Eagle) because of the extraordinary history of the ship and her commander, Felix Graf (Count) von Luckner. Born in Dresden on June 9, 1881 he has been real adventurer: At age of thirteen he had ran away from home to see a Buffalo Bill show, then signed up as a cabin boy, jumped ship in Australia and spent seven years doing an assortment of things to get by, from being a kangaroo hunter to a professional boxer. Exceptionally strong, Luckner was noted for his ability to bend coins between his fingers and to tear up telephone directories with his bare hands. To combat the lethal British blockade during WWI, Germany had converted several merchant ships into raiders by equipping them with guns and sending them in search of Allied merchant ships. One of these ships was a 245-foot, full-rigged, Scottish-built three masted wooden bark built in 1888. It was close to the end of its life and needed a total rehaul. The "Pass of Balmaha" was renamed "SEEADLER". She was armed only with two obsolete cannons and a few rifles for protection. The ship, with a load of timber supposedly bound for Australia, carried false papers and a pilfered log book when it quietly slipped out of the river Weser on December 21, 1916 and skirted up the Norwegian coast to sneak around the tip of Northern Scotland where it could break free into the Atlantic. In the next thirty thousand miles of sailing, von Luckner sunk 14 ships and, what was the most impressive and important for Matthias Schultz, would never allow any of the crew of his captured vessels to drown. He not only allowed the captured sailors to live, he treated them with the utmost respect and courtesy. They were well-fed, well-berthed and allowed recreation on deck while their Captains dined daily with von Luckner at the Captain’s table. Later in WWII, Luckner made it also possible that his at this time actual hometown Halle in the middle of Germany was not destroyed by the Allied through delivery. To fit the model through the tiny bottleneck of a half-liter-gin-bottle with a measure of only 1.4 cm, Schultz divided the hulk into three sections. The three masts were connected with the middle part of the deck. To achieve a maximum of filigree, he only used human hair for rigging. To show the screw of the modified ship, Schultz also placed her directly on the glass of the bottle, turned onto one of its edges.