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CRUISERS THREE

ABOUKIR, HOGUE, AND CRESSV. STORIES OF NOR TH SEA FIGHT. Describing tho arrival of tho survivors of the three cruisers Hogue, Creasy, and Aboukir, a London paper just to ham! says:— Fresh from their tragic adventure in the North Sea, but cheery and high-hearted, the men of the sunken ships waved their hands and caps and cheered back. They were not down-hearted. Out of compliment to soldiers on the quay they sang snatches of ‘ Tipperary ’ and ‘ Because They Liked It,’ and snatches of ‘ Who’s Ymu - Lady Friend.’ Such a FaLtaff's army they looked as they swarmed up to the pier! Very few of them wearing clothes to which they could lay rightful claim, and a stout, bearded man, in an able seaman’s kit three sizes too small, admitted that he is n haughty warrant officer when at home. There baggage they carried in brown paper parcels or cardboard boxes. “Just a singlet, aa a souvenir of seabathing exercise,” explained one. who had spent two hours in the sea after his ship went down. I discussed (writes a correspondent) submarine attack with a group of warrant and petty officers from the Hogue and Crossy. On two points in particular I desired information : First, were tho cruisers attacked by only one submarine, as reported from Berlin ; and second, was any German submarine sunk? —At Least Five Attackers.— The testimony was unanimous, and the men wore speaking not only of what (hey had seen themselves, but also of what they had beard from all the rest of the survivors they had met. They say at least five, mid probably seven, submarines were engaged, and that the Gressy sank at least one of them, if not two. It was all over in three-quarters of an hour. “ The Aboukir was It it at 6.45,’’ said one non. “We heard a dull boom, and she began to heel over. The other cruisers stopped at once to pick up the survivors. A minute nr two before 7 the Hogue was struck, mid almost immediately she was struck again—just two terrific bangs. We knew at once that we were done in. Captain Nicholson, who was on the bridge at the time, was as cool as a cucumber. He gave, ns word to pitch over everything that would float, to take our clothes, and to look after ourselves. —Went Oft Like Evolutions.— “It was done shipshape; the Navy rule is to keep your mouth shut and do your job well. Wo did it. It wont off. as you might say, just like evolutions. The ship turned over, and we next saw the captain sliding down the keel into the water. Although the Hogue, was struck second, she was the first to sink. She went down in seven minutes. The Aboukir, which kept afloat for 25 minutes, sank a minute or two afterwards. While we were in the water the Cressy was struck, and she remained afloat for 15 minutes. These times were officially recorded on tho Cressy. Both torpedoes struck the Hogue on the starboard side—one amidships, tho other a little further astern. By one of the explosions Lieutenant-Commander Gore and a petty officer were blown 10ft into tho air, and both were saved. Lots of men had time to put lifebelts on. The majority of them, though not all. could swim. Most of the seamen lost their lives by reason of a confused roll sea, which broke over their heads and suffocated them before they could be rescued.” —Eight Torpedoes Fired.— The petty officer of the Crossy says; “If yon want proof that there were more submarines than one, hove it is. At least eight torpedoes were fired. The Aboukir and Cressy were hit once each, and the Hogue twice, while four missed. Now, so far as wc know, no German submarine carried more than three torpedoes. Again, we sighted a submarine on our port beam, and sank her, for the hit was observed, and a big jet of compressed smoke came hissing through the water. Immediately after we were attacked on our starboard beam by another submarine, which struck us in No. 7 boiler room. I saw the torpedo coming while some 200 yards away, for it can be spotted from above water: but we wore helpless against her, for, having stopped to pick up men in tho sea, we had no way on. Wc were just dead target:--, and had not a ghost of a chance. Wc saw the periscopes of other submarines. It was difficult to aim at them, for the water was thick with men and rescuing boats, and we had to wait our chance. We hope we sank - the second submarine, but nobody can be sure. As we canted over it was impossible to train our guns.”

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141110.2.9

Bibliographic details

CRUISERS THREE, Issue 15646, 10 November 1914

Word Count
796

CRUISERS THREE Issue 15646, 10 November 1914

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