The Emden Destroyed

World War 1 Naval Combat

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The German cruiser Emden, having escaped from Kiao-Chau before the Japanese and British war vessels had completed their investment, conducted a raiding cruise and destroyed many British trading vessels, and actually bombarded Madras. As is shown in the message of the Secretary of the Admiralty, however, the Emden was hunted down on November 9, at Keeling Cocos Island, and destroyed.

How The Emden Was Caught

Another large combined operation by fast cruisers against the Emden has been for some time in progress. In this search, which covered an immense area, the British cruisers have been aided by French, Russian and Japanese vessels working in harmony. H.M.A.S. Melbourne and Sydney were also included in these movements. Yesterday morning news was received that the Emden, which had been completely lost after her action with the Zhemtchug, had arrived at Keeling Cocos Island and landed an armed party to destroy the wireless station and cut the cable. Here she was caught and forced to fight by H.M.A.S. Sydney (Captain John C.T. Glossop, R.N.). A sharp action took place, in which the Sydney suffered a loss of three killed and 15 wounded. The Emden was driven ashore and burnt. Her losses in personnel are reported as very heavy. All possible assistance is being given to the survivors by various ships which have been despatched to the scene.

With the exception of the German squadron now off the coast of Chile, the whole of the Pacific and Indian Oceans are now clear of the enemy's warships.

Honours Of War For Emden's Captain

The Secretary of the Admiralty made the following announcement on November 11, 1914:-

The captain of the Emden (Captain von Muller) and Prince Franz Joseph of Hohenzollern are both prisoners and unwounded. The losses of the Emden in killed are reported unofficially as 200, with 30 wounded; no further details have been received.

The Admiralty have given directions that all honours of war are to be accorded to the survivors of the Emden, and that the Captain and Officers will not be deprived of their swords.

Mr. Churchill's Message

The First Lord of the Admiralty sent the following message to the Sydney and to the Commonwealth Navy Board :-

"Warmest congratulations on the brilliant entry of the Australian Navy into the war, and the signal service rendered to the Allied cause and to peaceful commerce by the destruction of the Emden."

The following is a list of the Emden's victims :

Indus - 3393 tons.
Lovat - 6102 tons.  Taken and sunk in the Bay of
Killin - 3514 tons.  Bengal, September 10-14.
Diplomat - 7615 tons.
Trabbock - 4014 tons.
Kabinga - 4657 tons.  Taken and released September 12.
Clan Matheson - 4775 tons.  Sunk September 14
King Lud - 3650 tons.
Foyle - 4147 tons.  Sunk September 30.
Riberia - 4147 tons.
Tymeric - 3314 tons.
Buresk - 4350 tons.  Captured September 30.
Gryjedale - 4437 tons.  Taken and released September 30.
Pontoporos - 4049 tons.  Taken by Emden, released by HMS Yarmouth, October 16.
Troilus - 7562 tons.
Clan Grant - 3948 tons.
Benmohr - 4806 tons.  Captured and sunk October 20.
Chilkana - 5146 tons.
Pourabbel - 473 tons.
Exford - 4542 tons. Captured October 20.
Saint Egbert - 5526 tons.
Zhemtchug (Russian Cruiser) Sunk, Penange, October 30
Mousquet (French Destroyer)

[This small but fast cruiser was thus brought to the end of a daring career of destruction by H.M.A.S. Sydney. The list of captures by the Emden included no fewer than 23 ships, which she took, released or sank according to circumstances. The value of the captures has been estimated at 650,000, the cargoes bringing an additional 3,000,000 or so. Arriving off Cocos Island the Emden sent 43 men on shore to the wireless to smash the apparatus, when the Sydney appeared and the Emden departed, leaving the 43 men ashore. Fire was opened, and though at first good the Emden's gunnery failed later, and quickly losing two funnels the boat took fire, and while the flames spread fatally the Sydney started the work of rescue among the crew. The Sydney was scarcely scratched in the fight. The Emden, prior to the appearance of the Sydney, had taken two months' supplies from the islanders but had treated them well.]

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