Слике страница
PDF
ePub

two little evidences of this which could not escape notice. For example, there was a certain finality in the hoisting at the peak of the Queen Elizabeth of the ensign flown by the Lion in the Jutland Battle. Part of the Union Jack had been shot away, and if the few Germans who could be seen on the decks of their ships troubled to scan the flag it must have aroused bitter thoughts in their minds. Again, the justifiable pleasure of the fleet in a work well done was shown unmistakably by the cheers from the ships of the northern line as they passed the stationary Queen Elizabeth on their way to harbor. From a dozen ships as they came abreast of the flagship, which had hoisted the blue pennant and drawn out of the line, there came the roar of full-throated cheers given in tribute, not only to Sir David Beatty personally but to the majestic living force whose destinies he controls.

A Tremendous Armada.-The other heavy ships of the Grand Fleet had left the flagship well behind when the German and British destroyers came out of the mist. In ordered array, flotilla on flotilla moved across the sea, the Germans completely encased by the British. So vast was the area they covered that both the head and the rear of the columns stretched away into the haze and were lost to sight. The eye could not count them. They were in themselves a tremendous armada. All this time the great captive fleet and the greater fleet which encircled it were moving slowlyalmost at a funeral pace, and certainly not at the 12 knots stipulated by Admiral Meurer-towards the anchorage appointed for the Germans off May Island, the rocky island which stands in the middle of the Firth of Forth some miles eastward of the bridge. Presently the German ships came to rest, and it was seen that on every side of them were their British warders. Then the main body of the Grand Fleet made its way back to the stations from which it started in the early hours of the morning. As the Queen Elizabeth steamed along the lines to her mooring she was cheered again and again by the men who crowded the decks of the ships she leads. The day came to a peculiarly fitting close.

German Flag Hauled Down.—About an hour before noon the Commander-in-Chief issued the following signal to the fleet, and it was received beyond doubt by the Germans:

“The German flag will be hauled down at sunset to-day (Thursday) and will not be hoisted again without permission.”

The German ships, I should explain, were flying the German naval flag at the main. At 4 o'clock all hands in the Queen Elizabeth were piped aft. They had assembled, and were waiting perhaps for a speech, when suddenly the bugle rang out “making sunset." Instantly all turned to the flag and saluted. The next minute cheers for the Commander-inChief were called for, and given with deafening heartiness. Admiral Beatty acknowledged the tribute with a “ Thank you” and added: “I always told you they would have to come out." Then the ship's company went back to their duties. In the meantime the Germans in the 71 ships which lay out of sight in the mist had undergone the mortification of seeing their flag hauled down, perhaps never to be hoisted again.

To-morrow, I understand, those ships will set out under a strong escort for Scapa Flow, to remain there until the Peace Treaty decides their fate.

I bring this dispatch to an end with a signal and a message issued by the Commander-in-Chief to every ship in the fleet to-day. The signal was this:

" It is my intention to hold a service of thanksgiving at 18.00 (six p, m.) to-day (Thursday) for the victory which Almighty God has vouchsafed to H. M. arms and every ship is recommended to do the same.",

The message was as follows:

“I wish to express to the flag officers, captains, officers, and men of the Grand Fleet my congratulations on the victory which has been gained over the sea power of our enemy. The greatness of this achievement is in no way lessened by the fact that the final episode did not take the

form of a fleet action. Although deprived of this opportunity which we had so long and eagerly awaited and of striking the final blow for the freedom of the world we may derive satisfaction from the singular tribute which the enemy has accorded to the Grand Fleet. Without joining us in action he has given testimony to the prestige and efficiency of the fileet without parallel in history, and it is to be remembered that this testimony has been accorded to us by those who were in the best position to judge. I desire to express my thanks and appreciation to all who have assisted me in maintaining the fleet in instant readiness for action, and who have borne the arduous and exacting labors which have been necessary for the perfecting of the efficiency which has accomplished so much." -London Times, 22/12.

MAJOR UNITS OF THE SURRENDERED GERMAN FLEET

[graphic]

Date of completion

Dreadnoughts Bayern..

28,000 tons 22.5 knots Koenig .....

25,800 tons 22 knots Grosser Kurfuerst .... 25,800 tons 22 knots Markgraf ... .......

25,800 tons 22 knots Kronprinz Wilhelm. 25,800 tons 22 knots Kaiser.....

24,500 tons 23 knots Kaiserin...

24,500 tons 23 knots Koenig Albert.... 24,500 tons 23 knots Friederich der Grosse. 24,500 tons 23 knots P. Regent Luitpold... 24,500 tons 23 knots

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Battle Cruisers
Hindenburg........... 27,500 tons
Derfflinger.

26,500 tons Seydlitz .....

25,000 tons Moltke....

23,000 tons Von der Tann.... 20,000 tons

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Scout Cruisers
Bremse......
Brummer..
Emden.....
Karlsruhe...
Nurnberg....
Frankfort...
Koln....
Koenigsberg.....

[ocr errors]

U-Boats DESTROYED BY ALLIES.—It is announced from London that approximately 200 German submarines were destroyed during the course of the war. The total number of all types built by the Germans is estimated to have been 360.–Nautical Gazette, 7/12.

MINE-SWEEPERS TO CLEAR GERMAN BASES OF MINES.—A fleet of minesweepers left the Firth of Forth this morning on their way to Kiel and Wilhelmshaven to clear the channels and disarm the remnants of the German Navy. It consists of the Hunt class of sweepers, and comprises the Musketry (flagship), Cottesmore, Cotswold, Pytchley, Holderness, Tamworth, Garts, and Maythorp.

The vessels will proceed to Copenhagen and will make a passage through Elsinore Sound and the Baltic to Kiel Bay for the bigger ships, which will follow later in the week.

The latter forces will consist of the battleship Hercules and ten destroyers, and it will be the duty of Admiral Montagu E. Browning, who will

be in command, to ascertain if the remaining German vessels at the bases of Kiel and Wilhelmshaven are properly disarmed.

A tenth German dreadnought remains to be turned over by Germany, and another destroyer has been demanded in place of the one which was sunk by a mine on the passage across the North Sea.-N. Y. Times, 26/11.

SPEED OF THE GERMAN FLEET.Lack of Lubricating Oil.-It is stated that the limitation of the speed of the German Fleet to 12 knots (in actual fact it was not more than 10) was due to lack of lubricating oil and the fear that a higher speed would cause a breakdown of the engines.-London Times, 23/11.

The Lost DESTROYER.-It is established beyond doubt that the German destroyer which was lost on her way across the North Sea on Thursday was sunk by a mine. The bulk of those on board were rescued, but a few were killed or injured as the result of the explosion.—London Times, 23/11.

BLACK SEA FLEET.-The following are the ships composing the Black Sea Fleet which was in German hands:

Dreadnought Battleships.-Volya, Demokratiya (building at Nicolaev), Imperatritza Maria (raised but not repaired).

Pre-Dreadnought Battleships.-Evstaň, Ioann, Zlatoust, Borets Za Svobodu, Sinop, Tri Svyatitelya, Rostislav.

Cruisers.Pamyat Merkuriya, Ochakov, Almaz (converted to seaplane carrier).

Light Cruisers (building at Nicolaev).-Admiral Nakhimov. (almost complete, May, 1918), Admiral Lazarev, Admiral Kornilov, Admiral Istomin (last two unlaunched).

DESTROYERS

Old Boats.-Tcerigo, Jante, Corfu, Lefkos, Schastlivi, Gromki, Buistri, Puilki, Pospyeshni, Bespokoini, Derzki.

Older T. B. Ds.-Kapt. Saken, Zhivoi, Zharki, Zhutki, Zvonki, Zorki, Zavidni, Zavyetui, Strogi, Sviryepi.

Submarines.-Buryevyestnik, Lebed, Pelican, Orlan, Utka, Gagora, Krab (minelayer), Nerpa, Tyulen, Kashalot, Kit, Narval.- Army and Navy Gazette, 9/11.

Two GERMAN BATTLESHIPS DISARMED.—The German battleship König and the battle cruiser Mackensen, which, although scheduled for surrender Nov. 21, were permitted to be absent, are being disarmed under the supervision of Vice Admiral Browning of the British Navy, who was sent to Germany for that purpose, according to the correspondent of the London Daily Mail with the British Fleet. The König has been in dock and could not be moved, while the Mackensen had not been completed.--Army and Navy Journal, 30/11.

NavAL WAR NOTES.-Surrender of More German Submarines.-In addition to the German submarines previously surrendered in British waters under the terms of the armistice, 20 more were surrendered on Nov. 22 to Admiral Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt, of the British Navy, off Harwich, England. One submarine sank during the night, and but for this disaster the number surrendered would have been 21. A surrender of 28 more German submarines took place on Nov. 24 at Harwich in the presence of Sir Eric Geddes, First Lord of Admiralty, and 27 additional were surrendered at Harwich, Nov. 27. These surrenders make a total of 114 German submarines turned over to the British Navy. Those last surrendered, according to the Associated Press, included several very

large submarines and four of the cruiser type, one being nearly 350 feet in length. The submarine Deutschland U-153 was among the number. She had aboard Lieuts. Julius H. Fulcher and Frank L. Muller, U. S. N., who had been picked up by the submarine after the American cargo ship Ticonderoga was torpedoed on Sept. 30 last. The officers ere taken to Kiel by the Deutschland, which was returning from a three months' cruise in American waters, and were landed Nov. 24 at Harwich. Another submarine_surrendered was the U-139, commanded by Lieut. Commander Arnauld T. La Perriere, who in 1916 was awarded the Order Pour le Merite for sinking 126 vessels.--Army and Navy Journal, 30/11.

GERMAN DESTROYER MINED.-An Edinburgh message states that one of the German destroyers was mined on the way across the North Sea.London Times, 12/11.

GERMANS BUILDING CRAFT TO FLY ACROSS ATLANTIC.--The Germans are building an airplane with which they intend trying a trip across the Atlantic and have a Zeppelin under construction with the same idea in view, according to the correspondent at Berlin of the Daily Express. The correspondent says he learned this when being shown over an aircraft factory at Staaken, a suburb of Berlin by Managing Director Raasch, a former naval officer.

The Staaken works built during the war cover hundreds of acres and employ 3000 workers. The machines employed in the later raids on London and Paris were built there. The machine being constructed there for the transatlantic flight, says the correspondent, has a wing spread of 198 feet and engines of 3000 horsepower.

Almost immediately after the armistice was signed the Staaken plant began converting the fighting planes on hand into commercial machines intended to link all the European capitals with Berlin, and dozens of planes built entirely of aluminum are being transformed for postal service.

The correspondent says he has learned that the Zeppelin factory at Friedrichshafen is building an airship for a transatlantic voyage, capable of carrying 100 passengers. It has nine engines and eight propellers. Its first flight will be in July next, if the international situation clears up by that time. The trip is expected to be made in 40 hours.

The correspondent was told of the remarkable flight of a Zeppelin in November, 1917. The airship started from Bulgaria for East Africa, with 22 tons of munitions and medicines and a crew of 22. It had arrived over Khartoum in the Sudan, the correspondent's information declared, when it was ordered by wireless to return because it was learned that the bulk of the forces of Gen. von Lettaw-Vorbeck, the German commander in * East Africa, had surrendered. It returned to its starting point four days after it had left.

Director Raasch claimed that this airship could have gone from Berlin to New York and back without stopping-Baltimore American, 7/12.

NORTH GERMAN Lloyd's YEAR-BOOK.—The year-book of the North German Lloyd publishes a statement concerning the seizure of German ships in oversea countries since the entry of the United States and its allies into the war. In the United States a total of 115 German and Austro-Hungarian ships, with a tonnage of 703,792 tons, was expropriated. The chief sufferers were the Hamburg-Amerika and the North German Lloyd, the former losing 35 ships, with 283,122 tons, and the latter 29 ships with 234,056 tons. The North German Lloyd lost, in addition, in Brazil, Peru, Siam, and China, 75,000 tons; and the same company had already lost about 60,000 tons in Italian and Portuguese harbors. On January 1, 1917, the fleet of the North German Lloyd represented 983,000 gross tons.-Nautical Gazette, 16/1.

GREAT BRITAIN ZEEBRUGGE VISITED. —Skill of British Naval Gunners.-A correspondent describes a visit to Zeebrugge since its evacuation by the Germans. He entered the harbor in the early hours of the morning. Along all the length of the great mole, upon which the men of the Vindictive surged ashore from her plunging, gangways, nothing moved; it stood like a monument-a vast memorial to the dead and the living who made it glorious and unforgettable.

At Zeebrugge there is no population at all; the last civilians were evacuated in June," when," said one of them at Blankenberghe, “it began to rain bombs.” The village stands a little apart and to the east of the port, and is only superficially damaged. Such has been the accuracy and discrimination of our bombardments, both from the sea and the air, that all along the coast private property had received surprisingly little injury, and many prominent and responsible Belgians have expressed to our naval authorities their appreciation of the fine skill and humanity with which our fire was limited to purely military targets. At places beyond the range of the naval guns, such as Bruges, the line of demarcation between private property and such military targets as the docks was drawn with remarkable precision; the air forces which carried out the incessant night and day bombing operations have sedulously endeavored to avoid, and wonderfully succeeded in sparing, the fine old city. Dunkirk, bombed by the Germans during four years, stands in strong contrast to this evidence of respect for the laws of civilized war; there the damage to houses, to churches, and so forth, and to life is general all over the town.

The last Germans, doubtless those charged with constructing the boobytraps" of which the place is: a tangle, seem to have left late on the night of Saturday, the 19th. They blew up the temporary bridge which covered the gap in the jetty. at the landward end of the mole, set adjacent buildings on fire, and cycled towards Bruges. Our motor-launches are working at the entrance to the harbor, clearing it of mines; the rattle of their machineguns is incessant, and at intervals comes the great leap of water and smoke followed by the stunning detonation, the signal that a mine has been touched off.

The exploration of the mole has commenced. It will be a long task, and not alone because of the length of the structure and the great number of sheds and buildings, and the great quantity of material with which it is covered. Experts are required in that new science which German war methods have forced upon the world—the science of neutralizing "booby-traps.” There are wires everywhere; they run in and out of the débris which strews the place; they even snake in and out of the strands of coiled wire hawsers. It is dangerous to tread anywhere or to touch anything. Some such traps were laid at Blankenberghe, in the abandoned huts by the dunes, and children have been killed by them.

The Gutted " BlockShips.—The "block" ships, Intrepid and Iphigenia, lie well within the piers, the latter across the passage, the other at a slight angle to the piers. Thetis is outside, but well across. The German torpedoboats could only be maneuvered past them with the greatest difficulty after extensive dredging operations had been carried out. All that remained in the old ships that could be unscrewed, unbolted, or cut away has been removed. There remains not a scrap of brass or copper. Round Iphigenia's conning-tower a bomb-proof shelter of reinforced concrete has been erected as a refuge for the men at work on the dredger during our air raids.

But those wbo gutted the old ship so thoroughly to obtain metal for their munition factories were, at the last, in such haste to leave that they abandoned guns ashore and on the Mole which had riddled the old Vindictive, as well as several anti-aircraft cannon. On Wednesday, the 23d, six months to the day since she steamed into the harbor in face of the

« ПретходнаНастави »