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BEACHED WARSHIP

CAPTAIN'S COMPLAINT LOCALE OF ATTACK WITHIN BRITISH WATERS VESSEL TO BE INTERNED By Telegraph—Press Association—Copyright (Received January 2, 5.5 p.m.) LONDON, Jan. 1 A message from Barcelona states that a communique issued by the Republicans says the Gibraltar authorities refused the request of the captain of the destroyer Jose Luis Diez, which was forced aground on Eastern Beach by Nationalist warships, for an extension of his stay to ensure the seaworthiness of the vessel. Consequently ho went to sea to avoid internment. The captain alleges that he was attacked while in British territorial waters. A communique by the Nationalists insists that only the mino-layer Yulcano engaged the Jose Luis Diez. It does not mention the loss of the mine-layer or the ramming of another. A member of the crew of the destroyer, in a statement to the Gibraltar correspondent of the British United Press, said: "The vessel, after the damage due to an encounter on August 27 had been repaired, was awaiting a chance to slip through the Nationalists' cordon outside Gibraltar, owing to the expiration of the time limit Britain had imposed for sanctuary. Rockets Give Signal lor Attack "As the vessel crept out without lights I saw someone in a house on Gibraltar sending up rockets, suggesting signalling, whereupon the Nationalists attacked. "The Jose Luis Diez retaliated, firing six torpedoes, then headed for refuge in British waters. The Nationalists continued to attack, the Jupiter approaching and ordering us to surrender. The Jose Luis Diez rammed the Jupiter with terrific force, dragging her aground on Europa Point, while members of the crew of the destroyer machine-gunned the Jupiter's decks. The Jose Luis Diez grounded in the shallows off a village in Catalan Bay. "I believe one torpedo hit the Nationalist sloop Calvo Sotelo, which is not yet located." Shells of Italian Manufacture Two British destroyers and one French stood by, playing searchlights on the Jose Luis Diez and assisting her to land casualties. Those wounded were taken to hospital at Gibraltar. The Canarias, while shelling the Jose Luis Diez, damaged two houses in Catalan Bay, injuring several people, including the village policeman. It is understood that the destroyer was damaged amidships, chiefly in the engine-room.

Nationalist warships patrolled the Straits all day well beyond the threemile limit owing to the presence of the Vanoc standing by the Jose Luis Diez, on which fire were killed and 10 wounded, of whom one died later. Large 'pieces of shell picked up in Catalan Bay bore inscriptions proving their Italian manufacture. The Jose Luis Diez was eventually towed into the harbour preparatory to internment. A British guard is already or; board. The forces against tbe destroyer were overwhelming, consisting of the Canarias, the .mine-layers Jupiter and Calvo Sotelo and six armed trawlers. The British Foreign Office states that the Jose Luis Diez will not be interned as there is no question of belligerency, says the Independent Cable Service. It is believed she will be allowed to undergo repairs in Gibraltar Harbour as before.

VALENCIA BOMBINGS TWO BRITISH SHIPS LONDON, Dec. 30 A destroyer picked up the remainder of the crew of the British steamer Marionga, which was bombed near Valencia. They were taken back to the ship, which was not sunk and is now proceeding to Oran. The British steamer Mirupanu was bombed in Valencia harbour and seriously damaged.

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BEACHED WARSHIP New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXVI, Issue 23235, 3 January 1939

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