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World War 1 at Sea - Royal Navy Vessels Lost and Damaged

 

APRIL - JUNE 1915


by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

 

HMS Goliath, pre-dreadnought battleship, sunk 13 May 1915 (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge)

on to July 1915

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Notes:

(1) Ships in BOLD capitals are those sunk or otherwise lost; in lower case bold are attacked and/or damaged. Variations in the published information are in brackets starting with the abbreviation for the source  e.g. (dx - in 58.35N, 01.56E)

(2) Warship information is generally in the order - type, class, displacement tonnage, launch year, armament, speed, crew, captain if known, unit, operation if known. How sunk or damaged, lives lost (in brackets: source abbreviations starting with + for original HMSO)

(3) Auxiliary and hired vessel information is in the order - gross tonnage/build year, owner, registration port or place of ownership/management, crew if known, master or skipper, voyage and cargo, conditions if known. How sunk or damaged, lives lost (source abbreviations starting with + for original HMSO)

(4) Click for Notes, Abbreviations and Sources

(5) Link to Royal Navy casualty lists

 

 

APRIL 1915

U-boat Warfare - First Flanders UB flotilla commissioned, six boats operational by end of April; U.37 possibly mined off Zeebrugge, Belgium during the month

 

Friday 2 April

English Channel

LOCHWOOD, Admiralty collier, 2,042/1900, Constantine & Pickering SS Co, Middlesbrough-reg, 21 crew, Mr T Scott, from Barry with 3,200t coal, steaming at 8kts in misty weather with sea rough, strong WSW wind. U.24 (Rudolf Schneider) sighted on reverse course on port beam about 1¼m distant, turned away, hoisted Norwegian ensign and went to full speed. U-boat followed, fired a first torpedo at 1745 and a second at 1815, then approached within hailing distance, ordered Lochwood to stop and gave the crew 10min to abandon ship, while doing so a third torpedo hit port-side abaft the engine-room. U.24 made off at 1900 and Lochwood sank at 1930, 25 miles SW of Start Point, Devon (wi - in 49.54.30N, 04.04W) (+L/Lr/te/un/wi)

 

Tuesday 6 April

Western Front - Battle of the Woevre to 15th

 

Friday 9 April

Auxiliary Patrol - British order for 50 American-built motor launches (ML.1-50) placed with Elco of Bayonne, NY through Canadian Vickers; further orders reached ML.580

 

Sunday 11 April

German auxiliary cruiser Kronprinz Wilhelm entered Newport News (Va) in poor mechanical condition, interned on 27th

English Channel

Sarnia, Admiralty armed boarding steamer, 1,498/1910, hired 14/11/14, 2-12pdr, Cdr H Muir RNR. At 0700 Brixham smack Addax reported seeing a U-boat chasing a steamer half an hour earlier, at 0730 Sarnia sighted the French SS Frederic Franck 3½m off with crew in boats and U.24 (Rudolf Schneider)  alongside. Sarnia approached, the U-boat submerged, and Sarnia circled the steamer firing at the periscope. Around 0820 a first torpedo was evaded, then a second. Having called for destroyer help, she continued circling, firing at and attempting to ram the periscope until 1020 when the U-boat made off; the French steamer was only damaged (Mn/D)

 

Monday 12 April

Mesopotamian Campaign - Turkish attacks on Kurnah/Al Qurnah to 14th held by British/Indian forces, Turks retreating along River Euphates towards Nasiriya pursued by vessels of the River Flotilla.

 

Wednesday 14 April

German East Africa Campaign - German supply ship Kronburg, ex-British SS Rubens detained at Hamburg 8/14, now carrying supplies for light cruiser Königsberg still lying in the Rufuji River delta, sunk by old light cruiser Hyacinth in the Indian Ocean

 

Saturday 17 April

SW Scotland

Virginian, Admiralty armed merchant cruiser, 10,760/1905, hired 13/11/14, 10th CS. Ran ashore in Clyde opposite Govan Ferry, blocked river and delayed armed merchant cruiser Oropesa leaving for her patrol (Mn/D)

Dardanelles Campaign

 
Gallipoli - click to enlarge

E.15 (below, sister-boat E.4 - Navy Photos), submarine, E-class, 667/807t, 23/4/14, 1-12pdr/5-18in tt with 10 torpedoes, 15kts/9kts, 30 crew, Pennant No.I.95, Harwich until 1915, then to Mediterranean, Lt-Cdr Theodore Brodie, first Allied attempt to break through Dardanelles to reach Sea of Marmara since failure of French Saphir on 15 January, departed Mudros night of 16th carrying former British Vice-Consul at Chanak, now Lt Palmer RNVR. The submerged submarine was swept by a strong current into shoal water and grounded, undamaged S of Kephez Point light at around 0600 on the 17th (Cn/D/He – 15th) only a few hundred yards from Fort Dardanos, fired on by the Fort's guns before they realised she was aground, one shell killed Lt Brodie as he climbed out of the conning tower, another burst in an ammonia tank or battery compartment and asphyxiated and killed five crew; with the captain lost, survivors took to water and taken prisoner. Turkish attempts to salvage her started with a torpedo boat trying to pull her off, this was thwarted by bombing attacks, and the decision taken to destroy E.15 where she lay. Submarine B.6 went in but because of heavy fire, failed to hit her with two torpedoes.

That night - the 17th still - destroyers Scorpion and Grampus could not find her because of screening searchlights. Next morning, B.11 failed in its search because of fog, and that afternoon battleships Majestic and Triumph tried to hit her with big guns from within the Dardanelles, but as the shore defences prevented them getting any nearer than 12,000yds, they had to give up. That night - the 18th (Cn - 16th) - a picket boat each from Majestic and Triumph fitted with 14in torpedo dropping gear were sent in under the command of Lt-Cdr Robinson of Vengeance, the officer who had already displayed much gallantry destroying guns on shore in February. Creeping forward in pitch darkness, the boats aproached Kephez Point, when searchlights caught them and heavy gunfire followed. Neither was hit, a searchlight accidentally illuminated E.14 and Majestic's boat launched her torpedo which may have found the target; shortly hit by a shell , she began to sink. Triumph also fired hers, rescued Majestic's crew and with only one man lost, returned safely. Next morning, the 19th, E.15 was reported destroyed (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/bw/dk/dx/ke/md; ADM.1/8418/90)

 

Monday 19 April

North Sea

MAYFAIR, naval motor boat No.1, hired 1914, Lt Edward Martin RNVR. Darkened and on patrol in Firth of Forth, W of Inchkeith in approaches to Rosyth, spotted at 2033 by also darkened and patrolling torpedo boat TB.32 which put engines full astern and helm hard a starboard, but hit Mayfair the starboard side, sinking her; no lives lost, all crew picked up by TB.32’s boat(s). Mayfair continued to be listed until 1919, either a clerical error or she was possibly salvaged (He/D only; ADM.137/107, ADM.53/64641)

off NW Scotland

RHODESIA (1), Admiralty trawler, 155/1899, Hull Steam Fishing & Ice, Hull-reg H443, hired 1/15 as auxiliary patrol vessel, Admiralty No.1215, Skipper Philip Marr RNR (wi - A Gibson, Captain). Wrecked near Stornaway, Isle of Lewis (He/wi - on Obb Rock, S of Tulm Is, South Harris, in 57.41.20N, 06.20.40W); no lives lost (+Lr/C/D/He/dk/hw/wi)

 

Thursday 22 April

Western Front - Second Battle of Ypres to 25 May

 

Saturday 24 April

Western Front - Second Battle of Ypres, St. Julien to 4 May

Mesopotamian Campaign - Turkish attack towards Ahwaz in Persia, to the NE of Basra, held by British/Indian forces

North Sea

Undaunted, light cruiser, Arethusa-class, 4,400t, 3rd DF leader and Landrail, destroyer, L-class, c1,300t, 3-4in/1-12pdr/4-21in tt, 3rd DF, Harwich Force sailed on the 23rd with carrier Empress for a seaplane raid on the German coast, good weather lasted until around 0500 on the 24th when dense fogbanks were encountered near the take-off position. During manoeuvres, Landrail hit Undaunted in the engine-room at 18kts holing her badly, Landrail lost 20-30ft of her forecastle, and both had their wireless knocked out, making it difficult to inform Cdre Tyrwhitt in Arethusa. Undaunted made her way home with 3ft of water in the engine-room, Landrail was towed stern-first by destroyer Mentor and then light cruiser Aurora, both having towing-hawsers part twice in rising seas. At 1830 and drifting close to Terschelling on a lee shore, Arethusa, after her own two failed attempts took up the tow and headed for Yarmouth at 4kts, reaching there at 2100 on the 26th, 71 hours after the collision. Two tugs took Landrail to Chatham where repairs took 5 weeks. Their last collision has been exactly one month before, on 24 March! (Cn/D/dd/gr/ty)

 

Sunday 25 April

Gallipoli Campaign - The Gallipoli "military" as distinct from the Dardanelles "naval" campaign started with Allied landings around the southern Gallipoli Peninsula

Gallipoli Campaign

                  
Gallipoli and area - click to enlarge

From south round to the west, French troops landed near Kum Kale as a diversion, British 29th Division landed at "S"-Morto Bay, "V"-Sedd el Bahr or Cape Helles, "W"-Tekke Burnu, "X"-a mile north of Tekke Burnu and Y-beaches, and the two ANZAC divisions further north still at Z-beach north of Gaba Tepe, all, except the French on the European shore. A diversionary demonstration was made off Bulair at the neck of the Peninsular, and follow-up troops landing in the south included a Royal Marine brigade, the Royal Naval Division and an Indian brigade.

The landings required about 200 transports, supported by a fleet of 16 British battleships, 9 cruisers, 24 destroyers, 8 submarines including Australian AE.2, 2 French battleships, 3 cruisers, 5 destroyers, 4 submarines, Russian cruiser Askold, auxiliaries and minesweepers all under the command of Vice-Adm de Robeck, with Cdre Keyes as Chief of Staff.

Ships taking part included (those in italics incurred casualties – either killed in action or died of wounds on this date – and may have been damaged. See note at end of entry):

Fleet Flagship – dreadnought Queen Elizabeth

First Squadron (Main British landings, S to Y beaches) – battleships Swiftsure (2nd flag), Albion, Lord Nelson, Implacable, Vengeance, Prince George (attached to French landings), Goliath, Cornwallis, cruisers Minerva, Euryalus (flag), Talbot, Dublin, and six fleet minesweepers.

Second Squadron (Anzac Cove landings) – battleships Queen (flag), London, Prince of Wales, Triumph, Majestic, cruiser Bacchante, submarine depot ship Adamant, seaplane carrier Ark Royal, balloon ship Manica, destroyers Beagle, Bulldog, Foxhound, Scourge, Chelmer, Colne, Ribble, Usk, and four trawlers.

Third Squadron (feint attack on Bulair) – battleship Canopus, cruisers Dartmouth, Doris, and two destroyers.

Fourth Squadron (cruisers and trawlers attached to First) – cruisers Sapphire, Amethyst, and 12 trawlers.

Fifth Squadron (including minesweepers and netlayers) – battleship Agamemnon, 10 destroyers, three French minesweepers, two netlaying trawlers.

Sixth Squadron (French landings) – two French battleships, three French cruisers, seven destroyers and five torpedo boats.

Seventh Squadron (Smyrna blockade) – four destroyers and armed yacht Triad.

Many of the troops were landed ashore in ship's boats from battleships and by destroyers, the only specialist assault ship was SS River Clyde:

River Clyde, landing assault ship, ex-collier, 3,913/1905, Ormond Cook & Co, Glasgow, purchased 12/4/15, converted by Cdr Unwin of minesweeping gunboat Hussar to land 2,500 troops directly ashore. Ports were cut in River Clyde's side, she towed a steam hopper port side and four lighters alongside, two on either bow, material was carried for a permanent pier and armoured machine-gun positions mounted on the forecastle. In operation, River Clyde was to be grounded, the hopper steam past, ground itself and drop down a gangway, troops would leave through the ports on each side, enter one lighter, cross to the second to reach the hopper and then ashore.

Beached just before 0700 under "murderous fire" at the Seddul Bahr end of V-beach (the other end was Cape Helles), the hopper grounded too far from the shore for the gangway to reach and the front lighter swung away, only 200 troops reached the land in the first three hours, leaving many others dead and wounded. Even this small success was only made possible by Cdr Unwin and members of the crew who in full view of the Turks, secured and held the lighters and hopper as the troops passed over. Cdr Unwin stood in the water holding lines and although wounded, later rescued other wounded from the shore by boat, Midshipman Drewry in command of the hopper was also wounded but carried on until Midshipman Malleson took over, AB William stayed in the water holding the pontoon fast until he was killed and Seaman Samson worked on the lighters all day before being badly wounded. The main body of troops only landed that night. Mid George Leslie Drewry RNR (from Hussar), Mid Wilfred St Aubyn Malleson (battleship Cornwallis), Seaman George McKenzie Samson RNR (Hussar), Cdr Edward Unwin (Hussar), AB William Charles William RFR (Hussar) posthumously, were all awarded the Victoria Cross. River Clyde was later salvaged, sold 1920, renamed Angela, not broken up until 1966 (Rn/C/dx/mf/ms/vc)

Beagle, Bulldog (above - Navy Photos), Foxhound, Scourge, G-class, c1,100t, 1-4in/3-12pdr/2-18in tt and Chelmer, Colne, Ribble, Usk, E-class, c630t, 4-12pdr, 2-18in tt, destroyers taking part in landings on Z-beach, later known as Anzac Cove, with 2nd Squadron (Rear-Adm Thursby). Four thousand men of 3rd Australian Brigade carried as an advanced guard by battleships Queen (flag), Prince of Wales, London and six of the destroyers, rest of the Anzac Corps in transports anchored offshore, cover provided by battleships Triumph, Majestic and cruiser Bacchante. Sixteen laden ship's lifeboats were towed in by picket boats, followed by equally-laden destroyers towing more lifeboats for their troops to disembark in; landing started around 0430, destroyers came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire. Many troops killed on the decks, crews suffered casualties. By 1400, 12,000 troops of 1st Australian Division were ashore with two batteries of Indian artillery, and within 24 hours, the 2nd Australian Division including a New Zealand Brigade had joined them (Rn/Cn/D/dd)

Two more G-class destroyers, 5th DF Mediterranean Fleet, temporarily equipped as minesweepers, also hit by Turkish shore fire, probably other destroyers damaged as well at other times:

Mosquito, heavy casualties including First Lt killed (dk – only man killed) (Cn/D/dd/dk)

Racoon, Lt-Cdr A Muller. Date uncertain, sometime after 25 April - hit in one her boilers off Seddul Bahr (Rn/Cn/D/mf)

Note: Kindell lists the following warship casualties on the 25th. It is not known if all those who died of wounds were wounded on this day or previously:

Dreadnought Queen Elizabeth (1 kia); battleships Agamemnon (3 dow), Albion (2 dow), Canopus (3 kia), Cornwallis (15 kia), Implacable (2 kia), Lord Nelson (4 kia), Prince George (1 kia), Prince of Wales (1 dow), Queen (1 kia), Swiftsure (1 dow), Triumph (1 dow), Vengeance (1 kia); armoured cruisers Bacchante (1 kia, 1 dow), Euryalus (6 kia); destroyers Chelmer (1 kia), Mosquito (1 kia); assault ship River Clyde (1 kia); despatch boat Osiris (1 kia, 1 dow); and submarine depot ship Adamant (1 kia).

More men from some of these ships died of wounds over the succeeding days, but again, it is not known how many of them were wounded on the 25th. It is assumed all these warships may have been damaged to some, mainly small, extent, although some of the casualties may have occurred ashore, during ship-to-shore operations or while serving in other ships e.g. AB William Williams of HMS Hussar awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously in action with River Clyde. Royal Navy Division losses on the day were 13, with many more sadly to come (dk)

see Army Despatch, dated 20th May 1915 in London Gazette, No. 29217 and Naval Despatch, dated 1 July 1915 in Gazette, No.29264

 

Monday 26 April

Gallipoli Campaign

The British Y-beach was evacuated and the French withdrew from the Asiatic shore to reinforce the British right inland of De Totts battery

 

Tuesday 27 April

Victoria Cross - Lt-Cdr Edward Courtney Boyle (CO, HM S/M E.14) arrived in the Sea of Marmara on the 27th at the start of a successful patrol, returning on 18 May in time to brief Lt-Cdr Nasmith of E.11. Lt-Cdr Boyle was awarded the VC for this and two further patrols

Gallipoli Campaign

BALMEDIE, Admiralty trawler, 205/1906, Balgownie Steam Trawl Fishing Co, Aberdeen-reg A113, hired 8/14 as minesweeper, Admiralty No.350, Skipper George Reynolds RNR. In collision, sank in the Dardanelles (C - off); no lives lost (+Lr/C/D/He/dk)

Scorpion and Wolverine, destroyers, G-class, c,1,100t, 1-4in/3-12pdr/2-18in tt, 5th DF Mediterranean Fleet, two of nine temporarily-equipped minesweeping destroyers, sweeping some way inside the Straits to allow the battleships to reach bombardment positions, sweep wires passed and drawing apart. Turkish 4.1in shore batteries opened fire, Wolverine hit on bridge, Scorpion by shell in seaman’s messdeck which started a fire, soon put out; Wolverine lost Cdr O Prentis her captain, a sub-lieutenant RNR and coxswain (dk – on the 28th, probably night of 27th/28th). There were a few shrapnel holes in Scorpion (Lt-Cdr A B Cunningham - “ABC” of WW2 fame) soon repaired by destroyer depot ship Blenheim. Over the succeeding days, more destroyers were hit and damaged (Cn/D/cu/dd/dk)

 

Wednesday 28 April

Diplomatic Incidents - US merchant ship Cushing bombed by German aircraft in North Sea

Gallipoli Campaign - First Battle of Krithia; 3rd Royal Marine Battalion landed, Royal Marine Corps Memorable Date - GALLIPOLI

Atlantic off NW Scotland

Many supply ships especially colliers were needed for Admiral Jellicoe's Grand Fleet; some were lost as they passed up the western British Isles:

MOBILE, Admiralty collier, 1,950/1914, Furness, Withy & Co, West Hartlepool-reg, Mr W Fortune, Barry for Scapa Flow with coal. Captured by U.30 (Erich von Rosenberg-Grusczyski), sunk with bombs 25 miles NW of Butt of Lewis, Outer Hebrides (wi - by gunfire, in 58.48N, 06.50W) (+L/Mn/Rn/te/un/wi)

Gallipoli Campaign

Albion, battleship, Canopus-class, 14,300t, 4-12in/12-6in, above Morto Bay on European side off Kereves Dere, providing gunfire support for French forces, shortly after noon, about to be relieved by Lord Nelson. Hit and damaged by Turkish shellfire, leaking and retired to Mudros for three days for repairs (Rn/D/Cn)

 

Thursday 29 April

Atlantic off W Ireland

Another Grand Fleet supply ship, this time lost off the Irish coast:

CHERBURY, Admiralty collier, 3,220/1911, Cherbury SS Co (T L Duff & Co), Glasgow-reg, 25 crew, Mr James Davidson, Barry south-about Ireland for Cromarty with 5,100t coal. Submarine sighted 4 miles off at 1900, 10min later as Cherbury continued to zig-zag three shells fired, after another 10 to 12 miles a torpedo was fired and missed, then U.30 (Kurt Wippern) came up to within 150yd and signalled abandon ship, Cherbury hove to and complied. A party of Germans boarded, took the ship’s papers and navigational equipment, placed three scuttling charges below, sinking her around 2025, 27 miles WNW of Eagle Is, off Co Mayo (L - 13 miles NNW of; wi - in 54.21N, 10.18W); crew rowed to Eagle Is LH, next morning proceeded to Scotsport and Belmullet. Note: “Wreck Index” describes the first sighting of the U-boat as 27 miles WNW of Eagle Is, followed by a 10 to 12 miles chase (+L/Lr/Mn/Rn/te/un/wi)

 

Friday 30 April

Victoria Cross - L/Cpl Walter Richard Parker RMLI (Portsmouth Battalion, RN Division), to 1 May, Gallipoli, stretcher bearer, also carried ammunition and supplies to isolated position under intense enemy fire and cared for wounded

Atlantic off SW Ireland

FULGENT, Admiralty collier, 2,008/1910, Westoll Line/James Westoll, Sunderland-reg, collier No.151, presumably Pennant No.Y3.151, 20 crew, Mr C Brown, from Cardiff south-about Ireland for Scapa Flow with 2,750t coal. U.30 (Kurt Wippern) (L/Mn - U.7 but sunk 21 January 1915; ge - U.23) surfaced close astern at 0900 and fired one shot, collier went to full speed, attempted to keep the U-boat astern, but quickly overhauled on the port quarter, second shell hit bridge, engines stopped and ship abandoned. U.30 used the port-side boat to put a scuttling crew on board, charges sank her at 0945, 20 miles WNW from Blasket islands, N entrance to Dingle Bay (L/te/un - 45 miles NW of Skellig Rocks; wi - in 52.10.10N, 11.10W); man at the wheel killed and master badly wounded by second shell, 14 men took to the starboard boat with the master while the rest took the port, the boats stayed together all through the 30th and into the 31st then became separated during the night. The survivors, excluding the master who died two hours after being taken off, were picked up the SS’s Tosto and Angle, and landed at Galway and Kilrush on 1 May (+L/Lr/Mn/ge/te/un/wi)

Gallipoli Campaign

AE.2, Australian submarine, E-class, 655/796t, 1913, 1-12pdr/4-18in tt with 8 torpedoes, 15/9kts, 30 crew, to Mediterranean 3/15, Lt-Cdr Henry Stoker, first Australian/British submarine to break through the Dardanelles to the Sea of Marmara reaching there on the 26th, now heading for Gulf of Atarki, SW part of Marmara to rendezvous with E.14 which had followed AE.2 in. Sighted Turkish gunboat, lost control and came to the surface only 100yds off, Sultan Hissar (French-built 38m-type torpedo boat Sultanhissar) launched torpedoes which missed, then opened fire making a number of hits, AE.2 surfaced to allow the crew to get off, then scuttled near the island of Marmara (C - hit by shore batteries); all crew saved, 4 ratings died as POW's in 1916. Wreck believed found in 1999 at 240ft (+J/C/Cn/D/He/bw/dk/dx/ke/on/www; ADM.137/2077)

 


 

MAY 1915

 

Saturday 1 May

U-Boat Warfare - First US ship attacked without warning, tanker Gulflight carrying oil from Port Arthur for Rouen, torpedoed and damaged by U.30 off Scillies, Captain and two crew killed. More strong US protests followed; UB.3 went missing in Aegean Sea during the month

North Sea

Old destroyers Recruit and Brazen were on patrol off the Galloper Lightvessel in the Thames Estuary, while Yarmouth trawlers Columbia, Barbados, Miura, Chirsit were searching for a reported U-boat off North Hinder. Recruit was torpedoed and sunk at 1120 by a UB-boat, and about the same time a torpedo was fired at Columbia off the mouth of the Scheldt, probably by another UB. The trawlers continued their search and by 1500 were back at North Hinder when they were attacked by small German TB's A.2 and A.6, a new type based at Zeebrugge and sent overland in sections for assembly at Antwerp. Four torpedoes were fired and Columbia sank, followed by a 20 minute gun action between the TB's and the three surviving trawlers. The Germans then headed back at the sight of Harwich destroyers Laforey, Leonadis, Lawford, Lark coming out in reponse to the loss of Recruit, chased and sank both by gunfire:

RECRUIT (1), destroyer, C-class, 425t, 1896, 1-12pdr/5-6pdr/2-18in tt, 30kts, c63 crew, Pennant No.N.60, Nore Defence Flotilla, Cdr Charles Wrightson. Torpedoed amidships at 1120 by UB.6 (Erich Haecker) (Cn/D - by UB.16), broke in two and sank quickly near Galloper LV (Rn - c30 miles SW of North Hinder LV; ge/un - 30 miles SW of the Galloper), reportedly the first warship sunk by a Flanders Flotilla submarine; 39 ratings lost (He – 34, ke - 43), four officers and 22 men saved by passing Dutch steamer (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/ap/dk/dx/ge/ke/un; ADM1/8420/114, ADM.1/8420/117)

COLUMBIA, Admiralty trawler, 266/1886, Hellyers Steam Fishing, Hull-reg H42, presented (presumably as a private gift) 9/14 as auxiliary patrol vessel, Admiralty No.200, Canadian Lt-Cdr Walter Hawthorn RNR. Torpedoed shortly after 1500, probably by first torpedo fired by A.6 off North Hinder LV (ap - 4 miles NW of; D - nearby Thornton Ridge; H/L/C - Foreness, near North Foreland, Kent); total of 3 officers and 13 ratings lost, Barbados searched for survivors without success, later discovered one had been rescued by Miura. According to German reports, Lt Hawthorn and two men were picked up as POW’s, but lost when A.2 and A.6 were sunk (+L/Lr/C/D/He/ap/dk/ge; ADM.1/8420/116)

Barbados, Admiralty trawler, (C - 211/1905; D - 183/1907), Hull-reg H.938, hired 10/14 as minesweeper, 1-6pdr AA, Lt Sir James Domville. Second torpedoes fired by A.2 and A.6 missed, then badly damaged by gunfire as Chirsit and Miura came up from some way off; Lt Domville and the skipper wounded. Note: The Colledge tonnage and build date apply to a second trawler named Barbados employed as BDV according to Dittmar & Colledge (C/D/ap)

 

Sunday 2 May

Eastern Front - Gorlice-Tarnow offensive to late June

Gallipoli Campaign

Albion, battleship, Canopus-class, 14,300t, 4-12in/12-6in, just returned from repairing damage sustained on 28 April, providing gunfire support with Agamemnon, Goliath, Prince George and Vengeance off southern beachheads, operating on French right. Hit badly by Turkish gunfire from Asiatic shore in evening, retired to Mudros again to make good the damage; one man DOW on this date, not known if he was wounded at this time. Next day Prince George, Majestic-class, c16,000t, 4-12in/12-6in, was holed on the waterline by a 6in shell from the Asiatic batteries, had to leave for Mudros, and then for Malta to dock (Rn/D/da)

 

Thursday 6 May

Gallipoli Campaign - Second Battle of Krithia to 8th; Sub-Lt Arthur Walderne St Clair Tisdall RNVR (Anson Battalion, RN Division) killed ashore on 6th, awarded Victoria Cross for gallantry.

See Army Despatch, dated 26th August 1915 in London Gazette No.29303

North Sea

Two sorties towards the German coast were thwarted by dense fog and resultant collisions involving three destroyers:

Comet and Nemesis, H-class, 970t, 2nd DF Grand Fleet, two of eight destroyers escorting minelayer Orvieto from Scapa into Heligoland Bight. In collision, Nemesis "seriously damaged"; no casualties (D/gf/gr)

Lennox, L-class, c1,300t, 3rd DF, with Harwich Force of light cruisers and destroyers escorting seaplane carriers for attempted raid, fog so thick twice had to anchor. Lennox rammed by one of the carriers and Force recalled; no casualties (D/ty)

Western Mediterranean

TB.92, torpedo boat, Thornycroft 140ft-type, 130t, 1894, 3-3pdr/3-14in tt, Gibraltar Patrol, with one or more TB's watching area to east of Gibraltar for expected U-boats entering the Mediterranean, sighted submarine. Torpedo fired at TB.92, 40 miles W of Alboran island, submarine dived and two attempts made to ram. Believed to be U.21 which left the Ems on 25 April, reaching Cattaro on 13 May (Rn/Cn/ge)

 

Friday 7 May

U-boat Warfare - Sinking of British liner Lusitania with the loss of 785 passengers including 124 US citizens caused major US-German diplomatic row with United States; notes of protest issued on 14 May, 9 June and 21 July 1915 about U-boat policy. Germany claimed the liner had been an armed merchant cruiser, was believed to be a troop transport and carrying a small quantity of ammunition, but immense diplomatic damage had been done. The Kaiser shortly banned attacks on large passenger ships

Belgian Coast

MAORI, destroyer, F-class, 1,030t, 1909, 2‑4in/2‑18in tt, 33kts, 68 crew, Pennant No.H.16, 6th DF Dover Patrol, Lt-Cdr or Cdr Benjamin Barrow, with sister ship Crusader (Lt-Cdr Maxwell) reconnoitring Belgian coast, between Hayst and Blankenberge, to lay marks in preparation for shoot by battleship Venerable. Conditions misty and did not clear until mid-afternoon. Around 1515, steering SE at 18 knots. Mined at low water under her starboard quarter, spotted and hit by German shell-fire, sank 2 miles NW of Weilingen LV, near Zeebrugge (He - around 51.21.1N, 03.06.9E), crew got away in their boats, Crusader lowered a boat but her commander decided to retire because of the intense shore fire, and left the boat behind; no lives lost in Maori, 7 officers and 87 ratings reached shore to become POW's, Crusader's boat crew also taken prisoner (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/dk/dp/dq/ge/ke; ADM.156/145, ADM.1/8420/124)

 

Saturday 8 May

North Sea

Limewold, armed trawler, 189/1898, Grimsby-reg, hired 12/14, 1-6pdr, CO on shore sick, Acting Skipper C Bond i/c, on patrol. Shell burst close to the bows at 0430, 20 miles E of Peterhead, submarine spotted one and half miles away right astern and closing fast, turned and returned fire, claimed hit on waterline abreast of conning tower with fifth shot when range down to 600yds, submarine submerged (Mn/D)

Admiralty collier (and one steamship) captured and torpedoed by U.9 (Johannes Spiess):

DON (2), Admiralty collier, 939/1892, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co, Goole-reg, Mr W Adron, sailing Cromarty for Blyth in ballast. Sank around 0440, 7 miles E of Coquet Isle, off Amble (wi - in 55.21N, 01.20W) (+L/Lr/te/un/wi)

 

Sunday 9 May

Western Front - Second Battle of Ypres, Aubers

Suez Canal area

FANNY, tug, no further information, probably civilian vessel but crew included at least three ratings from armoured cruiser HMS Euryalus. Lost in accidental sinking; three ratings drowned, two of them buried at Ismailia, near Suez (dk)

 

Monday 10 May

North Sea

Dominion, battleship, King Edward VII-class, returning to Rosyth after cruise in northern North Sea with rest of 3rd BS, also 3rd CS, all Grand Fleet, divisions in line ahead, zigzagging at 15kts, had not yet met screening destroyers. (ge - 8th; Cn - May 1916) - unsuccessfully attacked by U.39 about 100 miles ENE of Firth of Forth, two torpedoes missed (Cn/D/gf/ge)

 

Thursday 13 May

Gallipoli Campaign

 
Gallipoli - click to enlarge

GOLIATH, battleship, Canopus-class, 14,300t, 1898, 4-12in/12-6in/12-12pdr/4-18in tt, 18 kts, c750 crew, Pennant No.N.54, 8th BS Channel Fleet 8/14, later to Mediterranean, Capt Thomas Shelford. French forces under heavy attack inland of S-Beach, night of 12th/13th, Goliath and Cornwallis providing gunfire support, both anchored in exposed position in Morto Bay off Seddul Bahr village, Cornwallis astern of Goliath, destroyers Beagle, Bulldog, Pincher, Scorpion, Wolverine on patrol, night very dark, foggy around midnight, attacks were suspected. Turkish destroyer Muavenet-i-Miliet, partly German-manned and commanded by Lt-Cdr Rudoph Firle came down the Dardanelles, avoided Bulldog and Beagle around 0100, spotted the battleships and came round Eski Hissarlik Point under De Totts battery, challenged by Goliath at 0115 but steamed ahead and fired all three torpedo tubes as Goliath opened fire, one torpedo hit abreast fore turret, a second by the foremost funnel, and the third near after turret, ship immediately began listing badly to port and soon on beam ends, turned turtle, floated for a few minutes, then went down bow first; 505 lives lost - 20 officers including her Captain, 479 ratings and 4 canteen staff, 2 ratings DOW (Cn/He/ke - 570 men lost, 180 survivors). Wolverine and Scorpion tried to cut off the torpedo boat as it headed back up the Straits but failed (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/dk/dx/ke/mf; ADM.116/1446)

 

Saturday 15 May

Western Front - Second Battle of Ypres, Festubert to 25th

North Channel

BERKSHIRE (2), Admiralty trawler, 133/1897, North Lincolnshire Steam Fishing, Grimsby-reg GY398, hired 1915 (D - 12/14) as patrol vessel, 1-4in, Admiralty No.995, Skipper Herbert Percy Fleet RNR (wi - A Bland, Captain). In collision with armed yacht Valiant II (1,885grt), sank at 1900 off Cushendall, Red Bay, Co Antrim (He - 6 miles E of Tor Cor Point, in Red Bay; wi - in 55.05N, 06W); no lives lost, crew rescued by armed trawler Alsatian (+Lr/C/D/dk/wi; ADM.137/114, ADM.137/623)

 

Sunday 16 May

Western Front - Second Battle of Artois (or Souchez, or Vimy Ridge) to 30 June

 

Monday 17 May

North Sea

German minefield covering a large area S of 56N, E of 02.30E in the Dogger Bank area laid by old light cruiser Hamburg; two U-boats and a large destroyer took part, supported by High Seas Fleet battlecruisers. To prevent its early discovery, four trawlers on fishing grounds in NW Dogger Bank area were captured by torpedo boat(s) and their crews taken prisoner.

 

Wednesday 19 May

Victoria Cross - Lt-Cdr Martin Eric Nasmith (CO, HM S/M E.11) ordered to 'Go and run amuck in the Marmara', reached the Sea of Marmara on the 19th at the start of successful patrol through to early June, followed by two more. Awarded VC for his exploits

 

Thursday 20 May

South African Campaign - South Africans captured Windhoek, German South-West Africa

 

Saturday 22 May

North Sea

Rifleman, destroyer, H-class, 2nd DF Grand Fleet, with other destroyers carrying out contraband control duties E and SE of Pentland Firth because of a U-boat threat to the usual armed boarding steamers. Grounded in fog, needed docking for repairs (Cn/D/gf/gr)

Gallipoli Campaign

Albion, battleship, Canopus-class, 14,300t, 4-12in/12-6in, providing gunfire support off the Anzac beachhead just south of Anzac Cove. Ran aground off Gabe Tepe on 22nd, under close-range fire by Turkish shore batteries and frequently hit, towed off by sister-ship Canopus on 23rd, left for Malta for repairs; reportedly one man killed and ten wounded, believed from Albion. Kindell only lists two Albion casualties around this time -  two men wounded in a shore party on the 22nd who DOW on the 23rd (Cn/D/da/dk/mf)

 

Sunday 23 May

Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary

 

Monday 24 May

Western Front - Second Battle of Ypres, Bellewaarde to 25th

 

Tuesday 25 May

Gallipoli Campaign

 
Gallipoli - click to enlarge

First U-boat attacks on ships off Gallipoli by U.21 (Lt-Cdr Otto Hersing):

Vengeance, battleship, Canopus-class, zigzagging up from Mudros to meet sister-ship Canopus and relieve her as gunfire support ship off Anzac Cove, submarines were expected in the area and a periscope was spotted at 0730 off the Dardanelles entrance, it was also seen heading north and at one point passed between battleships Swiftsure and Agamemnon, then disappeared, sea calm and visibility good. Due east of Cape Kephalo, Imbros island at 1000, Vengeance spotted a torpedo coming towards her from shorewards, swung clear and continued on to Gaba Tepe. Alarms and sightings continued during the morning (Rn/D/ge)

TRIUMPH, battleship, Swiftsure-class, 11,985t, building as Chilean Libertad, launched 1903, purchased by Admiralty before completion, 4-10in/14-7.5in/14-14pdr/2-18in tt, 20kts, c700 crew, China Station 8/14, later to Mediterranean, Capt Maurice Fitzmaurice, providing gunfire support for Anzac beachhead, under way off Gaba Tepe with nets down, light guns manned and watertight doors closed, destroyer Chelmer patrolling round her at 15kts. Periscope sighted at 1225 on Triumph's starboard beam, Chelmer dashed for it, Triumph started firing but a a minute later a torpedo fired by U.21 (J - U.51) passed through the nets and hit her, almost immediately took on 10° list and continued to heel over. Chelmer came under her stern walk to take off a large number of men, capsized 10min after being hit, floated bottom-up for 30min then sank bow first just NW of Gaba Tepe off Ari Burnu/Anzac Cove. The scene was apparently so dramatic and unexpected, ANZAC and Turkish troops reportedly stopped fighting and stood to watch her end; 3 officers and 52 ratings lost (Rn/Cn/He/ke - 3 officers, 70 men lost, over 500 survivors). With the U-boat threat, continuous battleship support was no longer possible, a severe blow to the Australian and New Zealand troops (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/dk/ke/mf; ADM.116/1444)

 

Wednesday 26 May

Naval Aviation - Maiden flight of larger non-rigid C-class Coastal airship at RNAS Station, Kingsnorth, Kent, designed for extended anti-submarine patrols

 

Thursday 27 May

North Sea

PRINCESS IRENE, minelayer, 6,000/1914, one of two new ferries/liners built for Canadian Pacific Railway, converted by Denny, now 5,934grt, 2-4.7in/2-12pdr/2-6pdr AA/500 mines, 23kts, commissioned 20/1/15, Pennant No.P.47, (Commanding officer: Rn - Cdr T H M Maurice; He - Capt Mervyn Cobbe; ke - Capt M Cole), started to lay minefield NW of Heligoland on 8th/9th with sister ship Princess Margaret, now in River Medway, either alongside or mooored off Sheerness, undergoing repairs and mines, some reportedly with defective pistols, being primed. Major explosion amidships at 1108, followed by more as mines detonated, ship destroyed; at least 358 lives lost - 30 officers, 210 crew, 5 ratings from Chatham base HMS Pembroke, 36 merchant seamen and more than 77 civilians in the dockyard including at least 70 dockyard workers - 21 skilled labourers, 44 shipwrights and 5 yard boys (He – 51 crew, 78 dockyard workers and 6 men in Steam Pinnace 263 lying alongside; ke - 51 crew plus 77 civilian workers killed, 2 crew plus 1 civilian survived) (+J/Rn/Cn/D/He/dk/dx/ke; ADM.116/1445, ADM.1/8422/147)

off NW Scotland

ROLULU, Admiralty trawler, 170/1909, George F Sleight, Grimsby-reg GY399, hired 4/15 as auxiliary patrol vessel, Admiralty No.1468, Skipper James Hodson RNR. Hebrides area, ran aground on Obb Rock, S of Tulm Is, South Harris in bad weather and wrecked, listed heavily to port but stern remained above water long enough for crew to be taken off; no lives lost (+Lr/C/D/He/dk; ADM.137/117)

Gallipoli Campaign

MAJESTIC, battleship, Majestic-class, 16,060t, 1895, 4-12in/12-6in/16-12pdr/12-3pdr/5-18in tt, 17kts, c757 crew, Pennant No.D.04, Capt Henry Talbot, flagship of Rear-Adm Nicholson from 26th, providing gunfire support in Cape Helles area (J/He/ke - off W-beach), at anchor among unloading transports with torpedo nets out, as close inshore as possible, destroyers patrolling off shore. Periscope of U.21 (Otto Hersing) (J - U.23) spotted at 0645, 400 yds away on port beam, opened fire immediately but torpedo had already been fired, went right through the nets and hit amidships, second soon followed, ship capsized in 7min off Cape Helles (da - could be seen from V-beach; ke - W shore of Cape Helles; mf - W of Sedd-el-Bahr village; Cn - off Gaba Tepe near Anzac Cove); 42 ratings and 2 canteen staff lost, killed by the explosion or entangled in nets (Rn/Cn/He/ke - 40 casualties; 737 survivors). Sank in only 54ft of water, rested on foremast with fore-end of keel and bottom awash before disappearing under during the November storms. The withdrawal of bombarding battleships following the sinking of Goliath, Triumph and Majestic was a major victory for the Turks (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/da/dk/ke/mf/un; ADM.1/8422/144, ADM.116/1443)

 

Friday 28 May

English Channel

Admiralty collier (and two steamships) captured and sunk by U.41 (Claus Hansen):

SPENNYMOOR, Admiralty collier, 2,733/1915, Moor Line, Newcastle-reg, sailing Sunderland for Cardiff with pit timber, on maiden voyage. (L - 27th) - Sunk by torpedo 50 miles SW¼W of Start Point (L - 50 miles SW by W of); 5 lives lost including master (+L/te/un)

 

Sunday 30 May

Aegean Sea

MERION, Admiralty-owned dummy capital ship No 14, battlecruiser “Tiger”, ex-transatlantic liner, 11,621/1902, International Navigation, Liverpool-reg, conversion ordered 21/10/14, hired 1/12/14, converted at Harland & Wolff, Belfast with wood & canvas superstructure and guns, heavily ballasted to approximate proportions of a battlecruiser, armed with 1-3pdr, ready early 1915, based in Aegean from February 1915, heading for Mudros. (un – 29th) - Torpedoed by UB.8 (Ernst von Voight), sank off Mudros, island of Lemnos (D/dx - off Strati Is, S of Lemnos); 2 RNR officers and 2 MMR ratings killed. Note - C/D list her as purchased 30/5/15, the date of her loss; md - Lt von Voight reported attacking a large three funnelled ship at dusk, hit her with one torpedo abreast the forward funnel, but did not see her sink, nor did he identify her as a possible “battlecruiser”. Presumably torpedoed on the 29th, sank on the 30th (Lr/C/Cn/D/dk/dx/md/un/wd)

 


 

JUNE 1915

U-boat Warfare - first U-boat mines laid off English coast by Flanders-based UC-boats; first intimation off North Foreland on 1st when HMS Mohawk was mined, then more discovered off Harwich & Dover on 18th

English Channel

Helper, paddle minesweeper, ex-tug, 173/1873, hired 1/4/15. June - In collision with armed trawler Fane 269grt off Portland (D/gr)

off W Scotland

King Orry, Admiralty armed boarding vessel, 1,877/1913, hired 29/10/14. June - Ran aground in the Sound of Islay, refloated (D/gr)

 

Tuesday 1 June

Dover Straits

Mohawk, destroyer, F-class, 864t, 6th DF Dover Patrol, on patrol off North Foreland near NW end of net area. Saw mines close to her, could not get clear because of strong east-going tide, damaged in first UC-boat-laid field (UC.11 (Walter Gottfried Schmidt) in south entrance to Downs) in the Channel area, towed into Dover with upper deck almost level with the water; 5 ratings lost (Rn/Cn/dk/dp/ge/un)

 

Wednesday 2 June

North Sea

Arethusa, light cruiser, Arethusa-class, broad pendant, Harwich Force, on patrol with Undaunted on the lookout out for Zeppelins attacking England, light cruisers each carrying a seaplane. Sighted Zeppelin, seaplane took off but forced to return, opened fire on Zeppelin which made off. Several hours later, German seaplane came out of the clouds and dropped three bombs without hitting Arethusa (Rn/Cn/D/ty)

 

Thursday 3 June

Eastern Front - Recapture of PrzemysI

Mesopotamian Campaign - British-Indian forces advancing up the River Tigris from Kurnah/Al Qurnah captured Amara (note: not Kut al Imara/Amara or just Kut), sloops Clio, Espiegle, Lawrence (RIM) and Odin, armed tug Comet, armed launches Lewis Pelly, Miner, Shaitan, Sumana and stern wheelers Muzaffari/Mozaffir, Shushan took part

North Atlantic

Alcantara, Admiralty armed merchant cruiser, 15,831/1914, hired 10/3/15. Collided with and sank trawler Kathleen 198grt (D/gr)

 

Friday 4 June

Gallipoli Campaign - Third Battle of Krithia

 

Saturday 5 June

U.14 sunk by trawler Oceanic II in North Sea off Peterhead

Atlantic off SW Ireland

Inawilliam, or Ina Williams, Admiralty trawler, 337/1913, hired 4/15, 1-12pdr, Sub-Lt Nettleingham RNR, steaming towards Cahirmore Signal Station, few miles west of Berehaven. Large submarine came to the surface 1 or 2 miles away on port beam, Inawilliam, now 11 miles W of Mizen Head, headed for the U-boat which fired 4 or 5 rounds, then a torpedo which just missed, trawler fired back, hit her once or twice as she submerged and escaped (D/Mn)

 

Sunday 6 June

Aegean Sea

IMMINGHAM, Admiralty store carrier, ex-passenger steamer, 2,083/1906, Great Central Railway, Grimsby-reg, hired as accommodation ship 10/14, RFA store carrier from 4/15, Pennant No.Y8.50, described as "errand boy" between Imbros island and Mudros during Gallipoli campaign. In collision with hired screw minesweeper Reindeer 1,101grt, sank off Mudros, Lemnos island. Owners claimed £100,000 compensation but only awarded £45,000 by the Admiralty (+Lr/C/Cn/D/ns)

 

Monday 7 June

German Minefield - Auxiliary minelayer Meteor laid large minefields on the 7th/8th along the North Russian Murman coast at the entrance to the White Sea to interrupt the flow of munitions to, and cargoes from Russia. SS Arndale was the first ship sunk; three more went down in the same month. Six Lowestoft minesweeping trawlers arrived in July to sweep them, and continued until November

Zeppelin Airwar - RNAS aircraft of No.1 Sqdn bombed and destroyed Army airship LZ.38 (Production No. LZ.38) in her shed at Bruxelles Evere, Belgium; Victoria Cross - Flight Sub Lt Reginald Alexander John Warneford RNAS (also No.1 Sqdn), destroyed German Zeppelin LZ.37 (Production No. LZ.37) in the air near Ghent, Belgium. He was killed in a plane crash ten days later

Orkneys

Duke of Albany, Admiralty armed boarding vessel, 1,997/1907, hired 30/10/14, returning to Scapa in thick fog. Grounded on Lother Rock in the Pentland Firth at 0400, refloated with considerable damage seven days later (D/gf/gr)

 

Tuesday 8 June

St George's Channel area

Admiralty collier (and two schooners) sunk by U.35 (Waldemar Kophamel) off The Smalls:

STRATHCARRON, 4,347/1912, Strathcarron SS Co, Glasgow-reg, sailing Barry for Truro with coal. Torpedoed by U.35, 60 miles W of Lundy Is, off Devon (L - in 51.05N, 06.10W) (+L/Lr/te/un)

 

Wednesday 9 June

 Mediterranean

SCHIEHALLION, Admiralty trawler, 198/1903, Aberdeen-reg A905, Grampian Steam Fishing, hired 8/14 as minesweeper, Admiralty No.352, Skipper Thomas Barlow RNR. Mined and sunk, no other details; no lives lost (+L/Lr/C/D/He/dk)

Adriatic Sea

Dublin, light cruiser, Chatham-class, 6,000t, 8-6in/4-3pdr/2-21in tt, based at Brindisi from 5/15, Capt Kelly, steaming at high speed with strong escort of French and Italian destroyers off N Albanian coast. Torpedoed by Austrian submarine U.IV (Rudolph Singule) near San Giovanni di Medua, soon worked up to 17kts, got back to Brindisi, but out of action for some time; 13 ratings lost (Rn/Cn/D/dk/ge/md/nw/un)

 

Thursday 10 June

North Sea

Two torpedo boats, ex-Cricket-class coastal destroyers, c400t, 1907, 26kts, 2-12pdr/3-18in tt, 35 crew, serving with Nore Local Defence Flotilla. Sailed from Harwich at midnight on the 9th, on patrol off Thames estuary, searching for reported submarines with three other TB’s and five destroyers; both mined, laid by UC.11 (Walter Gottfried Schmidt) two days earlier (H/J/tn - torpedoed):

TB.12, ex-Moth, Lt Edward Bulteel, near the Sunk LV at 1530 when there was a large explosion under her bows, believed torpedoed at the time (He/un – confirmed mined). Stayed afloat as other TB's came to her rescue, crew abandoned her when TB.10 came alongside, taken in tow, but now TB.10 suffered an explosion and sank. Trawler took over the tow of TB.12, assisted by destroyer Cynthia, progressed slowly while the TB gradually settled, sinking at 1055 (presumably on the 11th) in 51.44.40N 01.26E. Lt Bulteel and 22 ratings lost (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/dk/sc/tn/un; ADM.156/15)

TB.10, ex-Greenfly, Lt-Cdr John McLeod RN. Alongside TB.12, trying to take her in tow, then believed torpedoed herself at 1610 and broke in half, the two halves rising vertically before sinking off the Sunk LV (He/un – confirmed mined); 22 ratings lost, one more DOW (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/dk/sc/tn/un; ADM.156/15)

 

Saturday 12 June

North Sea

DESABLA, Admiralty chartered red-ensign oiler, 6,047/1913, Bank Line, Glasgow-reg (wi - Admiralty oiler transport No 63, presumably Y7.63), Mr F Cowley, Port Arthur for Hull with linseed/oil (wi - crude oil). U.17 (Hans Walther) sighted astern overtaking rapidly, started shelling continuously from 0720, engines stopped and crew abandoned ship by 0820 during which time the U-boat stood-by. Torpedo fired at 0830, but as she refused to sink, a boarding party placed explosive scuttling charges, by 1230 the submarine had submerged and Desabla was sinking fast 12 miles E of Todhead Point, S of Stonehaven, Kincardine (L - 38 miles ENE of May Is, Firth of Forth; te - 15 miles E of; wi - 13.5 miles ESE of Stonehaven, in 56.54.54N, 01.47.18W); survivors picked up by armed trawlers at 1530 (+L/Lr/D/te/un/wi)

 

Sunday 13 June

Atlantic off SW England

PELHAM, collier (wi - Admiralty collier transport No.604), 3,534/1906, Thompson SS Co, Sunderland-reg, 26 crew, Malta for Barry Roads in water ballast. U.35 (Waldemar Kophamel) appeared on the surface half a mile away, opened fire, ship turned away and went to full speed but hit repeatedly, engines stopped and ship abandoned. Germans placed bombs which sank her sometime after 1545, 30 miles NW of the Scillies (L - 30 miles N of; wi - in 50.16N, 06.55W;); survivors picked up by drifter Our Allies, landed in Newlyn on 16th at 0145 (+L/te/un/wi)

 

Monday 14 June

Atlantic off NW Scotland

India, Admiralty armed merchant cruiser, 10th CS, heading for Clyde to coal. Torpedo fired at her in 59.20N, 07.52W, missed (D/Mn)

                                                                                             

Saturday 19 June

North Sea

Birmingham, light cruiser, Birmingham-class, 2nd LCS Grand Fleet, with sister-ship Nottingham, 3rd CS including Argyll and Roxburgh and just four screening destroyers making sweep from Rosyth across North Sea between the 18th and 21st. Attacked by U.32 without success, one of a series of attacks by four U-boats - see 20th (Rn/Cn/D/gf)

Liberty, destroyer, L-class, 3rd DF, with Harwich Force on patrol for Zeppelins attacking England. Liberty stopped to pick up a dog that had fallen overboard, bombed and nearly hit by a German seaplane (Cn/ty)

 

Sunday 20 June

North Sea

Argyll and Roxburgh, armoured cruisers, Devonshire-class, 10,850t, 4-7.5in/6-6in, 3rd CS, Nottingham, light cruiser, Birmingham-class, 2nd LCS, all Grand Fleet, as the 3rd CS sweep continued, more torpedo attacks took place: Roxburgh, Argyll and Nottingham all missed by U.17, Nottingham missed for a second time by U.6. Before the latter attack, Roxburgh (Capt C Foot), zigzagging at high speed was hit well forward in the bows by U.38 (Max Valentiner) (Cn - U.39) at 1400 in 56.47N, 00.38E, maintained speed at 14kts returning to Rosyth, met by destroyers of 1st DF and escorted in. Considerably damaged, repairs were not completed until April 1916 (Rn/Cn/D/ge/gf/un)

 

Tuesday 22 June

Eastern Front - Austrians captured Lemberg

English Channel

QUAIL III (He – Quail II), Admiralty trawler, 162/1897, Kelsall Brothers & Beeching, Hull-reg H236, hired 1915 (D - 11/14; He - 1914) as minesweeper, 2-3pdr, Pennant No.645. (Other sources – 23 June, perhaps because her loss was close to midnight on the 22nd) - In collision with tug Bulldog, sank at 2340, 7 miles SW of Portland Bill, Dorset (wi - in 50.30N, 02.30W), no lives lost (+Lr/C/D/He/dk/fd/hw/wi; ADM.137/126)

 

Wednesday 23 June

Italian Front - First Battle of the Isonzo to 7 July

U.40 sunk by decoy combination trawler Taranaki/submarine C.24 off Aberdeen, first success by decoy ship against a U-boat

Atlantic off NW Scotland

Bush, Admiralty trawler, 221/1908, Milford-reg, hired 5/15, 1-12pdr, Skipper G King, on patrol off Hebrides about 8 miles NNW of Butt of Lewis, two drifters fishing nearby, wind blowing hard, "considerable sea". Shell landed nearby and submarine sighted, returned fire, third shot fell near the U-boat which submerged, Bush slightly damaged by the six shells fired at her; Admiralty awarded £60 to the crew (D/Mn)

 

Friday 25 June

Aegean Sea

Heroic, Admiralty armed boarding steamer, 1,869/1906, hired 18/11/14, 2-12pdr, believed blockading Turkish coast, lowered two boats under command of Lt Macdonald and Sub-Lt William to examine five schooners at 1350. Maxim fire opened up from shore on the boats at 1400, boats recalled and covering fire given, men picked up and boats hoisted in around 1430, no doctor aboard, headed back and anchored by HMS Vengeance to transfer wounded; 3 ratings DOW (pg - 12 wounded, AB Wilson died). "Dardanelles: A Midshipman's Diary" reports for 26 June that "several Greek schooners have been seized and brought in (to Mudros) recently by our cruisers and boarding steamers in charge of a midshipman" (D/da/dk/pg)

Gallipoli Campaign - Sea of Marmara

E.12, submarine, E-class, 667/807t, 5/9/14, 1-6pdr/5-18in with 10 torpedoes, Lt-Cdr Bruce, penetrated Dardanelles and now operating in eastern part of Sea of Marmara after spending two days repairing main engines, entered Gulf of Mudania and came across two small steamers towing five sailing vessels, turned out to be decoy vessels. Only 10yds from first steamer when a bomb was thrown which failed to explode, fired on with rifles and small masked gun, two towed vessels joined in and tried to foul E.12's propellers. E.12 returned fire, got clear and sank the two steamers and two of the towed sailing vessels. Engine problems now returned; one rating slightly wounded (Rn/Cn/md)

 

Saturday 26 June

Western Front - Battle of the Argonne to 4 July

 

Sunday 27 June

St George's Channel

Admiralty squadron supply ship (and two, probably three other vessels) attacked by U.24 (Rudolf Schneider):

INDRANI (2), 3,640/1888, Donaldson Line (Donaldson Bros, managers), Glasgow-reg, hired 4/8/14 as RFA, probably not commissioned, Pennant No.Y9.7, sailing Glasgow for Montreal with general cargo. Captured by U.24, sunk by torpedo 40 miles W of The Smalls, E of Milford Haven (L/te/un/wi - 36 miles SW of Tuskar Rock, off Rosslare; L/te/wi - also in 51.45N, 06.50W) (+L/Lr/C/D/te/un/wi)

 

Wednesday 30 June

North Sea

LIGHTNING, destroyer, A-class, 320t, 1895, 1‑12pdr/5‑6pdr/2‑18in tt, 27kts, Pennant No.N.23, Nore Local Defence Flotilla, Lt James Cavendish. Floating mine spotted by destroyer Vulture in the morning near Kentish Knock LV in Thames estuary, and more reported in the afternoon by the light vessel. Vulture and Lightning ordered out to sink them, three were exploded around 2000, and as the destroyers searched for more, Lightning suffered a large explosion which lifted her out of the water and broke her back. Mined, laid by UC.1 (Egon von Werner) that morning, forepart sank off Kentish Knock LV (wi - in 51.04.22N, 01.19.02E; dx - off Wielingen LV, Zeebrugge); 15 ratings lost (He – 14 died). After part remained afloat, secured between trawlers Javelin and Libra, and taken back to Sheerness, but not worth repairing and broken up. Note: the first submarine mines were laid by UC.1, 2, 3, 11 in the Harwich and Dover areas (+J/Rn/C/Cn/D/He/dk/dx/ge/ke/un/wi; ADM.1/8426/185, ADM.1/8426/191)

Irish Sea

THISTLE IV, Admiralty drifter, 71/1906, Inverness-reg INS163, hired 5/15 as net tender, Admiralty No.2861. Rammed by Elder-Dempster liner Tarquah (3,859grt) in belief the vessel was a U-boat, sank off Great Orme's Head, Llandudno (wi - in 53.22N 03.52W); no lives lost (+C/D/He/dk/wi/dh; ADM.137/128)

 
 

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