The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation have just acquired a maxim Machine Gun model 1910.Many readers will be aware that 10 Maxim machine guns were on board the Aud ,but the ship was intercepted by the British Royal Navy and scuttled by its German crew off the coast of Cork, all equipment was lost,it would have been a very different story in 1916 if these weapons were landed and used as planned.
The Aud, carried an estimated 20,000 rifles, 1000,000 rounds of ammunition, 10 Maxim machine guns, and explosives.
This Machine Gun and many other historically significant IVCO artifacts as pictured below will be on tour around Ireland over the next several years to commemorate the War of Liberation also known as the Tan War,which in itself was a campaign of many that led to partial independence.
Model of the vessel displayed at the Cork Public Museum
|Fate:||Captured by Imperial German Navy 1914|
|Wreck site:||Off Daunt Rock, Cork|
|Length:||220 ft (67 m)|
|Beam:||32 ft (9.8 m)|
|Draught:||12 ft (3.7 m)|
|Speed:||10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)|
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the German ship which temporarily used the name Aud. For the original Norwegian ship, see SS Aud.
Off Daunt Rock, Cork 51.71°N 8.24°W
Libau(also known as SS Castro) was a merchant steam ship. In 1916 it masqueraded under the cover name of Aud in an attempt to carry arms to Ireland as part of the preparation for the Easter Rising.
SS Castro was a 1,062 ton steam cargo transport built for the Wilson Line of Hull, England in 1907. Castro measured 220 feet (67 m) in length with a beam 32 feet (9.8 m) and a draught of 12 ft (3.7 m). The ship was captured by the Imperial German Navy in the Kiel Canal, at the beginning of World War I in August 1914. Renamed Libau (the German name of Liepāja), she remained inactive until 1916, when designated as the vessel to carry a cargo of arms to Ireland, to aid the Easter Rising, and given the name Aud.
Masquerading as SS Aud —an existing Norwegian vessel of similar appearance— Libau set sail from the Baltic port of Lübeck on 9 April 1916, under the Command of Karl Spindler, bound for the south-west coast of Ireland. Under Spindler was a crew of 22 men, all of whom were volunteers. Libau/Aud, laden with an estimated 20,000 rifles, 1,000,000 rounds of ammunition, 10 machine guns, and explosives (under a camouflage of a timber cargo), evaded patrols of both the British 10th Cruiser Squadron and local Auxiliary patrols.
After surviving violent storms off Rockall, Libau arrived in Tralee Bay on 20 April. There they were due to meet with Roger Casement and others, with Casement having been landed nearby by the German submarine U-19. Due to a combination of factors (primarily as the ship carried no radio and was unaware that the date for its arrival off Fenit had been altered from Thursday, 20 April to Sunday, 23 April) the transfer of arms did not take place. Libau, attempting to escape the area, was trapped by a blockade of British ships. Captain Spindler allowed himself to be escorted towards Cork Harbour, in the company of the Acacia-class sloop HMS Bluebell. The German crew then scuttled the ship
Spindler and crew were interned for the duration of the war.
At this point Roger Casement and his companions who had been landed by the submarine U-19 in Kerry had been captured in an old ringfort or rath, between Ardfert and Tralee .
One of the two car-loads of Volunteers who were supposed to meet Spindler had crashed into the River Laune, many miles away, at Ballykissane pier, Killorglin, (resulting in the death of three of the four occupants of the car) so there was no hope of an organised transfer of arms. With Spindler and his crew on a ship with no radio or other means of communicating their plight the poorly organised gun-running plan was nearing an end.