The chase and sinking of the German battleship Bismarck was one of the highlights of naval combat in World War II. Accompanying her for most of her maiden (and final) voyage was the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, one of five ships of the Admiral Hipper class. In her prime, she was a powerful and good-looking ship, as seen below.
Prinz Eugen was captured by the Royal Navy at the end of the war, and handed over to the USA as part of war reparations. She was used as a target in the 1946 nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, and later sank in Kwajalein Atoll, where her wreck (shown below) is visible to this day.
Here’s a brief video overview of her life and death.
Despite what the narrator of that video claimed, she’s no longer radioactive, and can be visited by divers.
Unfortunately, it seems a lot of oil was still in her fuel tanks when she sank; and, as the wreck deteriorates, it’s posing a pollution threat. Therefore, Prinz Eugen finds herself in the headlines once again, more than seventy years after her demise.
The U.S. Navy, in partnership with the Army and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, have started the recovery of oil from the overturned World War II German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Kwajalein Atoll.
The wreck contained about 2,767 metric tons of oil when it sank, and an assessment of the wreckage has shown that there remains a high risk of a spill of more than 1,000 metric tons.
. . .
The oil removal operation is being performed by Naval Sea Systems Command, Office of the Supervisor of Salvage engineers and is expected to last until the end of October.
There’s more at the link.
She served a very evil master in Adolf Hitler, but it’s not like she had any choice in the matter. It’s still sad to see her – or any ship – in such a state.