THE E3JDEN'S EXPLOITS.
IN THE BAY OF BENGAL.
The Kabinga, with over 100 men from the five ships sunk by tbo Emdeu, arrived in Calcutta this afternoon, cays the ''Pioneer Mail" of September 16th.
Tho full story of tho Emden's exploits is as follows:—
It was about midnight on September 12th (11.13 p.m. exactly) when tho officers of the Kabinga were startled by a shot across tho bow of the vessel. Then there flashed through tho darkness the morse lamp signal "Step engines!"' followed quickly by the command ''Don't work your wireless." For a moment tho captain of tho Kabinga thought it was a British cruiser iv the distance and . promptly obeyed the command. Shortly after tho Kabinga stopped, a naval officer, who was afterwards found to bo a German lieutenant, with thirty sailors, boarded tho vessel. The captain of the Kabinga was told his vessel was a prize of war and he and other officers on board were to consider themselves as prisoners under martial law. Tho next movement of the German lieutenant was towards tho wireless instrument, which was instantly put out of action, and the aerial was hauled down. A thorough search of the wireloss room then followed, and the German officer took possession of all tho :>pare parts of tho wireless apparatus that were in the drawers in the cabin, but tho Germans inadvertently left be.:i;id a coil of copper wiro kept to bo used for rigging np tho aerial in an emergency; also a phone. A German sailor was placed on guard outsido the wireless room and ho had orders to shoot anyono attempting to work the wireless. Tho Kabinga was then told to follow tho wako of the Emdeu. Ih tho meantime the crows of the Indus, Lovat, and Killin were transferred to the Kabinga. The Indus was captured, and sunk by tho Emdeu on tho 10th instant, tho Lovat on the 11th, and the Killin on tho 13th. A CREEK COLLIER. When tho Kabinga encountered tho Emden the latter had a Greek vessel, the Pontoporus (since captured by a British warsnip), with her, and as the Greek vessel had a large quantity of coal on board the German cruiser secured a valuable prizo in capturing her. On the 14th instant the Emden captured the Diplomat. Tho Germans first took the captain and other officers and tho crew prisoners, at the same timo searching the ship thoroughly, and had them placed on board the Kabinga. Then two shots sent tho Diplomat to tho bottom of the sea, bows foremost. Tho same day iho Trabboch also met a similar fate to that of the Diplomat. Thoso on board tho Kabinga saw tho Trabboch list over tho one side as the shots from tho Emden struck her, and thon eink.
Ali tho officers aud crews from tho five vessels sunk were placed on board the Kabinga. No one was allowed by tho Germans moro than a small parcel of clothes from tho doomed vessels, and it is believed many of tho officers havo suffered considerable loss in conscr quenco.
"Tho Kabinga looked moro liko a training ship than a cargo vessel," said ono of the men who landed in Calcutta to-day to an "Englishman" representative. '"Thero was no fewer than 400 men, inc'.uJing seventy officers, op board tho Kabinga. They and tho crew had to sleep in the holds while some of tho officers slept on deck on rice bags which tho Kabinga was carrying for Colombo. The Germans had complete control over the movements of the vessel, and thirty sailors, fully armed, were placed on board. Thero was no question whatsoever of disobeying the orders of the commander ot the Emden, and the Kabinga had to follow wherever the Emden went. The strong-room of the Kabinga camo in for special attention. All' arms and ammunition wore taken away by the Germans, and also some cigarettes nnd tobacco. There was no lack of provisions, on board, but they wero untouched by tho officers of the Emden, who had, as fur as could be judgedj a sufficient quantity themselves on board tho cruiser. Some of the officers of the vessels sunk by the Emden wero allowed by the Germans to tako a email ! tjuantitv of provisions with them from their ships. The Germans treated their prisoners with consideration. Thero was no bullying or unnecessary harsh- ! uess." j THE KABINGA'S RELEASE. ' I Why the Kabiuga was not sunk is a I mysce.y, but it is stated it ivas tho pre- ; sence of tho captain's wife, Mrs Robinj son, and t-heir child on board that ! proved the deciding factor. The coraI u.ander of the Emden is said to have 1 stated that ho spaied the Kabinga as ; thero was a woman and a small child on j board. Two days, from Saturday to i Monday last, wero. as may bo expected, ] days of coiisiderab.e excitement, as no one knew what the Germans weie going } to do with the Kabinga. Everyone on ! board heaved a sigh of relief when it was known, on Monday that the ship was to be allowed to return to Calcutta. ■ Tho Emden came up to within twentyj five mil as of False Point and those on i board the Kabinga espied the pilot brig | not far off and they thought tho Emden I proposed to captuie the pilot brig, take ! tho pilots prisoners, and sink their v'os- ; scl. The captain of the Kabinga was, i however, told ho was at liberty to pro- ; ceed to Calcutta. Tho Emden, with the Pontoporus, ' then steamed away in a southerly diiection. As soon as the Emden was out of sight, Wesleby, tho Kabiuga's wileless operator, who had been confined to his cabin with fever all the days tho Germans wero on board, produced the i coil of copper wire and t.ie 'phone and ■ soon an aerial wa.s rigged up, and the < wireless operator of tho Indus, who was on the Kabinga. then sent news of the Emden'* exploits iv tho Rjy to Sand- , heads. i Of the vessels sunk the Indus and 'Lovat wero Government transport I steamers going emp'y to Bombay. The ; Killin was loaded with coal for Colombo. i The Trabboch was also laden with coal ' and apparently coming to Calcutta. The I>iploniat was" going t° England with a general cargo, including about 40,000 chests of tea. It is stated that the Kabinga was already lyiifg alongside the Emden when tho other vessels hove in sight. When they had been stopped by tho Emden the" crews were transhipped to tho Kabinga, after which the five vessels, with their entire cargoes, wero sunk. Tho Emden took no coal from tho British vessels sunk by her. OTHER SHIPS WARNED IN TIME. Two other merchantmen, the Mashc*bra (B. I.) and the City of Rangoon ' (EUerman), which were proceeding out to sea in the wake of the other vessels, received timely warning by wireless mesfia-'es and returned to port. The Mashobra was M-arcely an hour behind tho last of tho vessels trapped by the Emden. Tho feeling in naval circles here i 3 1 that tho EuiJ«.n did not bink tho Ka-
binga because it would havo been eontnuy to all international law, and as tho Gorman cruiser was unable to provie' o accommodation and food for tho Bi itishers, the Ivabinga was spared and tho officers and crews of tbo five steamers sunk were placed on board her.
Permanent link to this item
COMMERCERAIDING., Press, Volume L, Issue 15112, 30 October 1914
COMMERCERAIDING. Press, Volume L, Issue 15112, 30 October 1914
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Press. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Christchurch City Libraries (1921-1945).