Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

men calmly watched preparations for departure and saw at least two lifeboats smashed against the ship's side.

Twenty minutes after being torpedoed the Hampshire sank, with a loss of 300 lives.

On July 9, 1916, two days after the Hampshire went down, eleven men of the cruiser reached the Orkneys, after forty-eight hours buffeting by the waves upon a raft. The body of Colonel Fitzgerald was washed ashore the same day of the sinking, but the sea did not give up Kitchener or any of the other members of his staff.

The Italian admiralty made known June 9, 1916, that the transport Principe Umberto had fallen victim to a submarine in the Adriatic with a large loss of life. Estimates of the dead ran from 400 to 500.

King George and Queen Mary attended a memorial service at St. Paul's in honor of Kitchener on June 13, 1916, when many of the most prominent officials and citizens of the realm were present. They had a large military escort to and from the cathedral in respect to the dead war minister. Other services were held at Canterbury and in many cities through the kingdom.

On the night of June 18, 1916, a squadron of Russian submarines, destroyers and torpedo boats surprised a German convoy of merchant vessels at a point southeast of Stockholm and not far from Swedish waters. Owing to the heavy losses of German shipping in the Baltic practically all Teuton ships in that sea traveled under escort only, and there was a dozen or more vessels in the convoy. An engagement took place lasting fortyfive minutes, during which the Russians sank the auxiliary cruiser Herzmann, capturing her crew and two other craft, one of which was believed to have been a destroyer. In the confusion all of the merchant ships reached the Swedish coast and other destroyers and armed trawlers accompanying them made good their escape. Berlin admitted the loss, adding that the Herzmann's commander and most of her crew were saved.

During the night of June 16, 1916, the British destroyer Eden collided with the transport France in the English Channel and sank. Thirty-one men and officers escaped.

The German submarine U-35, commanded by Lieutenant von Arnauld, put into Cartagena, Spain, June 21, 1916, after a 1,500 mile run from Pola with a personal letter to King Alfonso, signed by Kaiser Wilhelm. The missive bore thanks for the treatment of German refugees from the Kameruns who had been interned in Spain, and the submarine also brought hospital supplies for the fugitives. Its arrival made a strong impression on the Spanish public and was taken as a new sign of Germany's power. No such trip ever had been made before for such a purpose. It was a precedent in the communication of kings.

The British steamship Brussels, carrying freight and a number of passengers, most of whom were Belgian refugees bound from Rotterdam to Tillbury, a London suburb, was captured in the channel by German destroyers and taken to Zeebrugge, Belgium on the night of June 23, 1916. The incident proved that German warcraft were again far afield. It was said that the capture had been made by means of previous information as to the time of the Brussels's sailing and with the aid of a spy. Her course lay about forty miles north of Zeebrugge, and a suspected passenger was seen to wave a lantern several times before the destroyers came up.

Captain Fryatt attempted to ram the nearest vessel and escape, but the effort failed and he was arrested and charged with piracy. Germany had announced early in the war that she would consider any merchant captain who made a hostile move, even in defense of his vessel, as a franc-tireur. .

Loss of the Italian auxiliary cruiser Citta di Messina, 3,495 tons, and the French destroyer Fourche was announced by Paris June 25, 1916. The Messina was carrying troops across the Strait of Otranto when a submarine torpedoed her. The Fourche, serving as a convoy, gave pursuit without result, then turned back to save such survivors as she could. Within a few minutes she was struck by a second torpedo and sunk. All on board the two vessels, probably 300 men, were drowned.

The Austrians lost two transports in the harbor of Durazzo, June 26, 1916, when Italian submarines succeeded in passing the forts and inflicting a heavy blow. Both ships had troops, arms

[ocr errors]
[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

and ammunition aboard, according to a Rome report. The casualties were unknown.

Petrograd announced that Russian torpedo craft intercepted a large convoy of Turkish sailing vessels in the Black Sea on June 29, 1916, and destroyed fifty-four ships. The attack took place off the Anatolian coast, and several hundred men were believed to have been drowned. If the number of ships sunk was correct it established a record for the war.

The former German warship Goeben, renamed the Sultan Selim, shelled Tournose, a Russian Black Sea port, on July 3, 1916, and did considerable damage. One steamship in the harbor went down as a result of shell fire and large oil works near the city broke into flames. The Breslau, called the Midullu by the Turks, bombarded Scotchy, a near-by port, about the same time. Several fires started in the latter city and there were some casualties at both points.

A second Russian hospital ship, the V periode, was torpedoed in the Black Sea, July 9, 1916, with a loss of seven lives. She was a ship of 850 tons, having accommodations for about 120 wounded. Like the Portugal, sunk by a submarine some weeks before the Vperiode was plainly marked with the usual Red Cross emblem. The attack came in daylight and was accepted by the Russians as having been deliberately made, which once more aroused the indignation of the Russian people.

Berlin announced July 7, 1916, that the British steamer Lestris, outward bound from Liverpool had been captured near the British East Coast and taken to a German port. This second capture in the channel within a few days caused considerable criticism in England.

As dawn was breaking on July 10, 1916, a submarine came alongside a tug in Hampton Roads and asked for a pilot. The pilot went aboard and found himself on the subsea freighter Deutschland, first merchant submarine to be built and the first to make a voyage. She came from Bremerhaven, a distance of 4,000 miles, in sixteen days. Reports had been current since the U-35 made her trip to Cartagena that the kaiser would send a message to President Wilson by an undersea boat. The American

H--War St. 5

« AnteriorContinuar »