Sunday, October 16, 2011
The Aud was captured by the British as it waited for instructions from the beach. The British had broken the German codes and knew a shipment was on its way but not exactly sure where off the Southern Coast it was to be landed. They increased patrols hoping to capture the shipment. The Aud was actually the Libau, a German ship that had been captured from the British at the beginning of World War One and known then as the SS Castro. The ship was crewed by three German naval officers and nineteen German navy men. (Spindler). The Aud left the Baltic port of Lubeck on April 9th and journeyed along the Norwegian coast, around the north of Scotland and down along the Irish Coast from Donegal to Kerry. Unable to land his cargo Captain Karl Spindler was attempting to leave Tralee Bay when he was blockaded by a number of British Naval vessels. HMS Bluebell and HMS Zinnia escorted the captured vessel to Queenstown but as they entered the harbour the captain and crew abandoned ship and scuttled her with preset explosives. On board heading for the bottom of the sea were 20,000 rifles, 100,000 rounds of ammunition and ten machine guns. The crew were detained as prisoners of war.
In the early hours of April 21st, Casement was put ashore at Banna Strand in Tralee Bay. Exhausted from his journey he attempted to rest in a disused fort but he was captured by the British and transported to the Tower of London and charged with High Treason. On August 3rd 1916 he was hanged in Pentonville Prison.