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Writing to his father, William Penn, wireless telegraphist on H.M.S. Undaunted, thus described the sinking of four German destroyers: "We engaged tho enemy's four dostroyers, and finished them off nicely in about an hour and twenty minutes—pretty smart work, eh? I was on watch in the wireless telegraphy office, but went up on deck to watch the firing. It looked pretty awful to see their ships go down, especially one, whose magazine blew up in one big flare. A lot of German sailors were swimming, but, as you can guess, we had no time to pick them up; we were too busy. You know it would have been quite possible to have got torpedoed through stopping. As it was they tried hard to torpedo us, but our skipper was there every time, and simply altered our course as we steamed past them. They fired 10 torpedoes at our ship alone. The last to go took a lot of sinking, so we ordered one of our destroyers—tho Legion, I think, it was—to take off her survivors. She sent a boat to her, but when tha boat was being rowed alongside the dirty cads opened fire, and blew off a lieutenant's foot, and a seaman, had his lez blown off. The latter has since died. Tlien we gave her a couple of additional shots to go on with, and she finished. Wo captured 30 Germans, including one officer. Wo had all our boats smashed by concussion from our guns, and missed a cloud of shrapnel by a few yards. One thing has been amply demonstrated: our captain is 0.K., 'and everybody on board knows it. Tho way he manoeuvred our ship around those, torpedoes was marvellons."

Tha same action is thus described by an officer of the ship:— "Directly we sighted the four German destroyers wo and our destroyed flotilla gave 'chase. The German destroyers quickly turned and fled, but we soon got the range with our 6in bow gun and Ain semi-automatics. The Germans opened fire mainly on the destroyers. Lusty cheers rang from our ships as the first German destroyer disappeared. A 6in lyddite shell struck her below the bridge; she toppled over on her beam ends like a wounded bird, righted herself level with tho surface, and finally plunged bow first. It only took about two minutes for her to disappear. The enemy now commenced to fire torpedoes, and they must have discharged at least eight; One missed cur stern by a few yards. At 2.55 p.m., about an hour after we had sighted the Germans, the second destroyer of tho enemy was out of action. She was ablaze fore arid aft, and as our shells, found their marks her funnels, bridge, torpedo-tubes, and all deck fittings disappeared like magic. Denso fumes from the explosive, tha deadliest of its kind, covered the ships fora and aft. She sank quite level with the water, and we soon had tho remaining two literally holed and maimed. _ Their firing was very poor and inaccurate."'

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Bibliographic details

THE UNDAUNTED'S' FINE FEAT., Issue 15669, 7 December 1914

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THE UNDAUNTED'S' FINE FEAT. Issue 15669, 7 December 1914

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