The monument comprises the remains of three vessels of the German High Seas Fleet, scuttled in Scapa Flow on 21 June 1919, together with an area of sea bed around each wreck in which associated debris is scattered.
The 3 vessels comprise the battleships Konig, Kronprinz Wilhelm and Markgraf. All lie to the NE of the island of Cava. These remains are the only surviving examples of capital ships from the interned Fleet. In each case, a scatter of debris, formed in part when the vessel sank and surrounds the hull of the vessel in part by subsequent salvage attempts, accidental damage and slow attrition. Each debris field naturally lies on the side of the hull where most deck is exposed.
The battleships are each about 175m long and originally weighed over 25000 tons. The details for each of depth (shallowest point to deepest point of visible hull on seabed), bow orientation, attitude, latitude and longitude and Ordnance Survey National Grid Reference of centre point of the hull are as follows:
Konig: 16m to 41m deep, bows pointing NNW, hull uppermost, 58 degrees 53'.198 N, 003 degrees 09'.181 W, HY 33636 00488.
Kronprinz Wilhelm: 14m to 40m deep, bows pointing NW by NNW, hull uppermost (lying on starboard main deck), 58 degrees 53'.622 N, 003 degrees 09'.904 W, HY 32956 01282.
Markgraf: 23m to 46m deep, bows pointing NNW, hull uppermost, lying on portside main deck, 58 degrees 53'.475 N, 003 degrees 10'010 W, HY 32849 01015.
These vessels were interned in Scapa Flow following the Armistice that ended fighting in 1918. During the lengthy negotiations on a formal peace settlement that followed, a breaking point appeared to be close in June 1919, with a real prospect of renewed hostilities. The commander of the interned vessels, acting on a coded signal, arranged for the entire fleet to be scuttled to avoid their seizure and possible use against Germany. This action was largely successful, the relatively light British guard presence being able only to beach a few of the vessels before they sank. The beached vessels and all of the sunken vessels, except these three battleships, four light cruisers being proposed for scheduling separately and four light destroyers, were subsequently removed by salvors licensed by the British government.
The areas now to be scheduled consist of 3 circular areas of sea-bed, each 500m in diameter, formed by a radius of 250m drawn from the centre points given above. These areas include the hull of each vessel and the debris field associated with each and a small area around, in which further remains may survive below the surface sediment. These areas are indicated in red on the accompanying map extract, but the definitive scheduled locations should be calculated according to normal marine practice by the latitude and longitude and radius given. These have been calculated by Global Positioning system based on standard WGS 84.