Bayern class battleship of 28,075 tons built in 1915 by Howaldtswerke AG, Kiel, SMS Bayern was one of the many High Seas Fleet ships scuttled on 21 June 1919 in Scapa Flow.
Although she was subsequently raised by Metal Industries and salvaged, four of her 15inch gun turrets remain on the seabed in a depth around 38m along with a few other recognisable features. There is a ‘double depression’ in the seabed because she sank for a second time, in a slightly different position after an initial attempt to raise her ended in failure.
The C and D turrets seem to be dived more frequently than the A and B turrets; they are certainly more intact, as much of the barbettes stayed attached when Bayern was refloated. Only the upper parts of A and B turrets remain though – the gun house, barrels (beneath the seabed!), rollers and some of the gears used to rotate the turrets.
On the swim between the two pairs of turrets some other wreckage is visible, including a searchlight platform just south of B turret. A dive on B turret is very rewarding, the gun house is easily accessible (more so than on C and D turrets), the breech of one of the barrels is readily accessible as is the central tunnel up which the shells would have travelled on their way from the magazines to the guns. It is possible to peer straight down the inside of the breech – the scale of it all really is awesome.