On 18/19 March 1936, during a training cruise, the German light cruiser Karlsruhe almost foundered when caught in a Force 12 (Beaufort Scale) storm with winds >73mph and seas >46 feet. As standard, longitudinal frames made of steel ran fore and aft to give strength to the hull and decks. One buckled. The next night more frames buckled. On the boat deck, a fissure developed to the width of 3/4 of an inch running from side to side.
Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/ View all posts by Charles McCain