On This Day

SS Libau Sets Sail

The Libau, disguised as the Aud, to avoid British detection
The Libau, disguised as the Aud, to avoid British detection

Historical Context

The SS Libau disguised as the Norwegian ship SS Aud, whom she resembled, sailed from Germany with a volunteer crew and a cargo of 10 machine gunsand 20,000 Mosin-Nagant rifles (captured from the Russians). The arms were meant to aid Irish independence and be used during the Easter Rising.

Although the SS Libau evaded British lookout, arriving off Fenit Harbour in Tralee Bay on the 20th April, she failed to meet with her intended supporters. Their leader, Roger Casement, a British Diplomat had already been captured. The SS Libau then tried to return to Germany but was intercepted by HMS Bluebell on 23 April. The crew scuttled the ship outside Queenstown harbour to stop the arms falling into British hands.

Photo Info

Date taken: April 9, 1916
Location taken: Baltic Port, L├╝beck, Germany

Source: Laurence Dunne Archaeology

Related Events

  • 1916-04-09 The Libau sets sail from Germany with a cargo of 20,000 rifles to assist Irish republicans; Captain Karl Spindler changes the name of the vessel to the Aud to avoid British detection

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