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King cleared of sinking the Vasa

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12:27 CET+01:00
The sinking of the Vasa, the famous Swedish 17th century warship, was not the fault of King Gustaf II Adolf's meddling, according a new book.

The monumental work, the first volume in a multiple series, clears up former misunderstandings and popular myths about the doomed fate of the mighty ship on its maiden voyage.

The Archaeology of a Swedish Warship of 1628 proves that contrary to popular myth, the ship was built to its original specifications and not modified in the middle of construction. Many people believe that the instability of the ship was caused by the King, Gustaf II Adolf meddling with the design by adding an unplanned second gun deck.

The other most notable fallacy debunked by the book is the notion that Vasa was lost and forgotten for its 333-year rest in the Stockholm Harbor. Volume I indisputably demonstrates that there were several salvage attempts long before the successful raising of the ship in 1961. There are also several historical references to the wreck of the Vasa on Stockholm sea charts.

The principal author, Professor Carl Olof Cederlund , took part in the excavations and successful salvage effort. The first volume focuses on the ship's colorful history and monumental effort to raise the sleeping giant. It has over 400 illustrations and includes construction plans of the ship.

The Vasa sank in 1628 on its maiden voyage. It lay at the bottom of Stockholm's harbor for 333 years before it was raised amid great fanfare. It's on display at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

Volume I, The archaeology of a Swedish Warship of 1628 is on sale at the Vasa Museum.

Elizabeth Dacey-Fondelius

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