THE BURNING OF THE 'VOLTURNO' - PAGE 60
THE S. S. CARMANIA - PAGE 5
MORE REPORTS ABOUT THE SEA BATTLE
BETWEEN CARMANIA AND CAP TRAFALGAR
May I suggest that you navigate the site via the index on page 01. PRIOR PAGE / NEXT PAGE
If you want to make a comment, a site guestbook is here. Test.
Here are Carmania pages 56, 57, 58, 59, 61 and 62.
To search for specific text on this page, just press 'CTRL + F' & then enter your search term.
Before I get to the subject matter of this page, i.e. more reports about the Carmania / Cap Trafalgar battle in 1914, another most attractive postcard image of Carmania. Dates from rather later than 1914, I do believe. 15 or 20 years later perhaps. One I saw referenced was posted in 1930. By artist 'O. Rosenvinge' (Odin Rosenvinge, 1880-1957, some biographical data on this page).
A headline in German along with a Cap Trafalgar postcard is at page bottom.
On page 59, I provided the description of the sea battle between Carmania and Cap Trafalgar as it appeared in the November 28, 1914 issue of 'The War Illustrated'. I described it as being the very first 'complete' description of the sea battle that appeared in the British Press. I chose to add in that word 'complete' because it is now clear that there were other reports of that battle. And even earlier reports. Some of which seem to me, however, to be quite complete also! Those reports are the subject of this page. There are seven such reports on site today.
1 September 21, 1914, page 9 Well done, Carmania! ... Sinking of a German armed merchantman. 2 October 8, 1914, page 5 Duel on the lone sea. ... How the German went down. 3 October 10, 1914, page 5 The fleets at sea. ... Captain Grant's Tactics. 4 October 12, 1914, page 4 The sinking of the Cap Trafalgar. ... Official narrative. 5 March 28, 1916, page 3 The prize court. A sea fight : Bounty for sinking enemy ships. 6 September 26, 1919, page 12 Carmania and Cap Trafalgar. ... New light on the duel. 7 September 15, 1932, page 10 War service of the Carmania. Admiralty tribute to "very gallant action"
WELL DONE, CARMANIA!
SINKING OF A GERMAN ARMED MERCHANTMAN.
The Press Bureau issued last night the following announcements authorized by the Secretary of the Admiralty :-
(3) The British auxiliary cruiser Carmania, Captain Noel Grant, Royal Navy, went into action on September 14 off the east coast of South America with a German armed merchant cruiser supposed to be the Cap Trafalgar or Berlin, mounting eight 4in. guns and pom-poms. The action lasted one hour and 45 minutes, when the German ship capsized and sank, her survivors being rescued by an empty collier. 0f the crew of the Carmania nine men were killed, five men seriously injured, and 21 men slightly wounded. None of the officers was injured. The First Lord has sent the following telegram to Captain Noel Grant, Royal Navy, of the Carmania :-
" Well done. You have fought a fine action to a successful finish."
BRITISH VICTORY IN AN EQUAL CONTEST.
(BY OUR NAVAL CORRESPONDENT.)
In the first fair and square action between two otherwise equally matched vessels British skill and British courage have prevailed. One more of the enemy's commerce raiders has met a similar fate to that which the Highflyer three weeks ago sent her sister the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse.
Whether the German ship was the Cap Trafalgar or the Berlin is not a matter of moment. The two vessels were of about the same tonnage, speed, and armament, and in these respects quite the equal of their British antagonist. The Carmania, which was commissioned by Captain Noel Grant on August 4, is the well-known Cunarder, and is the oldest vessel of the trio. The Cap Trafalgar was a brand new vessel belonging to the Hamburg-Süd-America Line, while the Berlin is a slightly older and smaller vessel of the Norddeutscher-Lloyd Company. This news will be very welcome in the City, for the presence of these vessels on or about the trade route to South America was a menace which could not be disregarded. Commander James Barr, R.N.R., who was in charge of the Cunarder before she was armed, was acting as second in command. Lieutenant E. L. B. Lockyer as her gunnery lieutenant, and many of her officers of the Merchant Marine appear to have been still on board at the time of the fight.
This is the first duel of the war, and it seems to have been fought quite in the gallant style of the frigate actions of the old times. Victory was achieved by the skilful handling of his vessel by Captain Grant and the good marksmanship of his gunners. The two ships must have presented huge targets to each other, yet the Cunarder appears to have come off comparatively unscathed and with a small proportion of casualties. Such a success is worth much, for it is good augury of the end to which other German commerce raiders are approaching.
Our Correspondent at Buenos Aires reported that the Cap Trafalgar arrived there on August 6 with " extra guns," which were being transferred by night to other German ships in port. It was assumed that the liner was herself well armed, although she had left Germany many days before war was declared. Her departure on August 22 for an " unknown destination " caused comparatively high rates of insurance to be paid on a number of British steamers which had left the Plate for this country shortly before the German vessel put to sea again. The Berlin is described as a vessel of somewhat similar size and speed. She was one of the largest vessels in the Norddeutscher-Lloyd fleet.
DUEL ON THE LONE SEA.
THE CARMANIA'S FIGHT WITH THE CAP TRAFALGAR.
HOW THE GERMAN WENT DOWN.
The following account of the action between the armed merchantmen Carmania and Cap Trafalgar, in which the latter was sunk, is given in a letter written by one of the men of the Carmania to his wife:-
H.M.S. CARMANIA, GIBRALTAR, SEPT.29.
We left Liverpool on August 15, went round the British Isles, and sailed to the westward.
Some days later we had sighted land ahead, and were sitting down to dinner when "action" sounded off. As it was a usual thing on sighting a ship to sound off we thought it was the usual turn-out. However, we got to the guns and then began to look for the ship. We saw straight ahead of us a large liner something like ourselves, but better looking. She had a collier each side of her coaling. On seeing us she evidently cast the colliers off, for they took different directions, she going ahead. We thought she was trying to get away, but after she was well clear of the colliers she turned broadside on to us and waited. Our captain ordered a gun to be fired, but to be careful not to hit her. This was done, and immediately the shot left the gun she replied with a whole broadside surprising us all. However there it was. It was her or us, so we immediately started pasting her, she in return sending her shot, which was uncomfortably close, right over us while we were putting ours into her waterline with good effect. However, she began to get our range and let us have it hot and strong.
For the first quarter of an hour she was firing four or five shots to our one, not including her pom-poms. Our captain had his wits about him and manuvred the ship, which is a huge one, so that she always presented a much smaller target - that is, bow or stern on. By this method he was able to get the four foremost guns in action at once, and when stern on the four aft guns. After about 25 minutes there was only one ship in it, and that was not her. She broke out in flames forward, and the fire seemed to spread like lightning. Smoke was coming from her from end to end. She, however, continued firing, although we noticed she was not firing so many guns.
About this time she decided to run away, but this was useless, as she had taken a slight list to starboard in the first quarter of an hour, and this had continued to increase. Consequently, when she decided to run she could hardly budge. The list continued and we still kept on, showing no mercy. It was then noticeable that only one gun was firing, " the starboard aft-er." The list had increased to such an extent by this time that she seemed as if she was going to turn turtle. We had practically ceased firing by now, watching her, when the gun-layer at the starboard aft gun must have elevated his gun and fired at us in his last effort, for we saw the gun flash and the projectiles dropped about what appeared to us 20 yards from his own ship, but I expect it was three or four hundred yards. She then began to settle - you could see her propellers.
The captain, seeing that she had not hauled down her flag, ordered three rounds to be fired into her, which was done on the port side. She then gradually heaved over until you could see right in her funnels, which were level with the water. There was then a sort of an explosion and her bows disappeared, bringing her stern out of the water. Then there seemed a second explosion and she disappeared altogether, leaving five boats full, which were picked up by one of the colliers. . . Before we went into action the Germans sent out wireless that she was engaging a British cruiser, and later just as the engagement had terminated a wireless in German was picked up on board, and as it was from a warship, it was deemed advisable to run, as we had not escaped scratch-less. . . . We then ran as hard as we could go - and that is not a snail's pace - for the whole day, and again the next day, until we were picked up by one of our cruisers, who escorted us part of the way here. . .
I expect we will remain here for a week or 10 days to refit, for the Germans got 73 direct hits, which made 380 holes, so we have a bit to patch up. We only had two really serious shots in our side, and she is 675ft. long and 60ft. out of the water, so you can tell that on the whole her shooting was very poor. I am thankful it was for if we had been in her place we should have been unable to have got away in boats as there was not a sound one aboard of us. Every blessed one had been riddled. We opened fire at 9,000 yards and got as close as 3,200 yards and finished up at 9,600, and we fired 417 rounds, the action taking one and a half hours from start to finish.
I have just read a message to the effect that a collier had landed at Buenos Aires 279 officers and seamen from the Cap Trafalgar which was sunk by a British cruiser (that's us) most of them seriously wounded, so I don't know how many went down on her. However it was her and us and the prestige of British shooting and honour was at stake.
OCTOBER 10, 1914, page 5 - LONDON TIMES
The London Times published an article captioned 'The Fleets at Sea.' - 'How the Carmania sank the Cap Trafalgar.' - 'Captain Grant's Tactics.' It essentially repeated, however, the text of the article immediately above so is not transcribed here. It did however additionally state as follows:
'We know also that out of the large British crew only nine were killed and 26 wounded.'
THE SINKING OF THE CAP TRAFALGAR.
CARMANIA'S FINE SEAMANSHIP.
The Secretary of the Admiralty communicates the following narrative of the action in the South Atlantic on September 14 between H.M.S. Carmania and the German armed merchant ship Cap Trafalgar:-
Shortly after 11 a.m. we made out a vessel, and on nearer approach we saw there were three steamers - one a large liner, the others colliers : the latter had derricks topped and were probably working when we hove in sight. Before we had raised their hulls they had separated and were making off in different directions. The large vessel was apparently about our own size, with two funnels painted to resemble a Castle liner.
After running away for a little while the large steamer turned to starboard and headed towards us ; he was then steering about south and we were then steering about south-west. The weather was fine and sunny, with a moderate breeze from north-east. Our sped was 16 knots and his apparently about 18.
At 8,500 yards we fired a shot across his bows, and he immediately opened fire from his starboard after gun. We opened with all port guns, and the firing became general.
GERMAN SHIP ON FIRE.
We were now well within range and most of his shots going over, consequently our rigging, masts, funnels, derricks, and ventilators all suffered ; he was then well open on our port side, all our port guns and his starboard guns engaged and firing rapidly. Owing to decreasing range his machine guns were becoming particularly dangerous, so ship was turned away from him and range opened ; ship continued to turn until starboard battery was engaged. Two of our hits were seen to take his deck steam pipes, he was well on fire forward, and had a slight list to starboard.
One of his shells had passed through the cabin under our fore-bridge, and although it did not burst it started a fire which became rapidly worse, no water being available owing to the fire-main having been shot through and the chemical fire extinguishers proving of very little use. The fire got such a firm hold that the fore-bridge had to be abandoned and the ship conned from aft, using the lower steering position.
At this time the enemy was on our starboard with a heavy list to starboard, and at 1.50 p.m., or one hour and 40 minutes from firing of the first shot, she capsized to starboard and went down bows first with colours flying.
It was some time before we got the fire under, which necessitated keeping the ship before the wind, and consequently we could not go to the assistance of the survivors, some of whom got away in boats and were picked up by one of the colliers.
The enemy before sinking was in wireless communication with some German vessel, and as smoke was seen in the northern horizon and the signalman thought he could make out a cruiser's funnels we went on full speed to the southward.
When we were in touch with Cornwall we asked him to meet us, as ship was unseaworthy and practically all communications and navigational instruments were destroyed, rendering the conning and navigation of the ship difficult and uncertain. On the 15th at 4.30 p.m. the Bristol picked us up and escorted us until relieved by the Cornwall, who took us on to an anchorage to effect temporary repairs.
Seventy-nine projectiles hit the ship, making 304 holes.
[A vivid account of the above engagement, supplied by one of the man on board the Carmania, appeared in The Times on October 8.]
THE PRIZE COURT.
A SEA FIGHT : BOUNTY FOR SINKING ENEMY SHIPS.
(Before the RIGHT HON. Sir Samuel Evans, President.)
This was a motion on behalf of Captain Noel Grant, C.B., and the officers and ship's company of H.M.S. Carmania, for a decree that they were " entitled to prize bounty as being actually present at the destruction of the armed ship of war Cap Trafalgar, belonging at the time of the destruction thereof to an enemy of his Majesty, to wit, the German Emperor, and that at the beginning of the engagement there were on board the said enemy ship 437 persons, and that the amount of prize bounty at the rate of £5 per head is £2,185."
Commander Maxwell Anderson, R.N., who appeared on behalf of the applicants, said that he understood that Mr. Dunlop was present on behalf of the Crown, not so much to resist the motion as to check any tendency to excessive generosity on the part of the Court. As this was the first case of the kind to come before the Court during the present war it might be convenient if he briefly sketched out the incidence of this bounty or head money. It was a grant from the Crown, provided out of money voted by Parliament as a personal reward for the sinking or capture of an armed vessel belonging to the enemy forces. In earlier days, when there was no great difference in construction or design between vessels of the Royal Navy and vessels of the mercantile marine, it was more or less customary to give the prize to the captors. In the time of the Commonwealth, however, it was felt that some special reward should be given to those who by their personal exertions destroyed a recognized ship of war of the enemy, and so in 1649 (cap. 21) it was enacted that for all enemy ships of war burnt, sunk, or destroyed there should be paid for an admiral's ship £20 per gun, for a vice-admiral's ship £16 per gun, and for other ships of war £10 per gun. At the same period the captors were also allowed a certain amount of pillage or plunder out of all prizes. Everything above the gun deck was the property of the captors ; aught else had to be brought into the Prize Court. That practice led to lawlessness, and by 4 and 5 William and Mary, c.25, the captors in lieu of plunder were given a definite share in the proceeds of the prize, and in addition, in the case of a warship taken or destroyed, a bounty of £10 for every gun mounted in such prize.
About that period very frequent complaints were made of the low rates of pay and lack of encouragement given to naval officers, and pamphlets were circulated showing the superior advantages offered to officers in the French Navy. As a result of that agitation, in 1708 what was commonly known as the first Prize Act was passed (6 Anne, c.13), by section 8 of which it was declared that, with a view to encouraging the capture of ships of war belonging to the enemy -
If in any action any ship of war or privateer shall be taken from the enemy five pounds shall be granted to the captors for every man which was living on board such ship or ships so taken at the beginning of the engagement between them.
The wording of that section required the enemy ship to be " taken," and it was felt that such requirement was too restrictive. Therefore by 45 Geo. III., c. 72, it was enacted that the bounty might be paid for the " taking, sinking, burning, or otherwise destroying " of an armed ship of the enemy.
THE NAVAL PRIZE ACT.
These grants had been renewed in almost every war, and, by virtue of Section 42 of the Naval Prize Act, 1864, his Majesty declared by Order in Council of March 2, 1915, his intention to grant bounty to the officers and crews of such of his ships of war as were actually present at the taking or destroying of any armed ship of any of his Majesty's enemies, who should be entitled to have distributed among them as prize bounty a sum calculated at the rate of £5 for each person on board the enemy's ship at the beginning of the engagement. It was necessary for the claimants to obtain from the Court a declaration that they were the proper persons to receive the bounty, and also a declaration as to the number of persons on board the enemy ship at the beginning of the engagement (La Francha, I C. Rob., 157). The principles on which such declarations were made could be gathered from the reported cases. In the case of La Clorinde (I Dodson, 439) it was held that the actual destruction or surrender of the enemy ship was necessary, and in L'Alerte (6 C. Rob., 238-242) that an actual fight was not required ; but that the bounty would be payable if the enemy were overpowered by a superior force and induced to surrender.
Captain Noel Grant was then called. He said that at the time in question he was in command of the Carmania, a merchant vessel which had been requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted into an auxiliary cruiser. About 9.30 a.m. on September 14, 1914, he was cruising when he sighted the Cap Trafalgar, a Hamburg-Amerika liner, which had been converted by the German Government into an armed auxiliary cruiser. The Cap Trafalgar when sighted was coaling from colliers, but she immediately steamed away. The Carmania gave chase, and when the Cap Trafalgar turned the Carmania fired across her bows. Firing then became general, but after a time the Cap Trafalgar made off, with the Carmania in chase. Both ships had been seriously damaged, and as both were badly on fire they had to go to leeward to prevent the flames from spreading. The Cap Trafalgar was the speedier vessel and had got out of range of the Carmania's guns when she suddenly turned over and sank.
Questioned by the PRESIDENT.- The firing opened at 8,000 yards. Subsequently the vessels got within 2,800 yards, but the Carmania had to turn away because the Cap Trafalgar had the advantage of possessing machine-guns. When she sank the Cap Trafalgar was 10,000 yards off. The action lasted about an hour and three-quarters. The German went down with her colours flying.
Affidavits having been put in showing the probable number of persons on board the Cap Trafalgar.
Mr. C. R. DUNLOP, for the Admiralty, submitted that the maximum number of persons on board the enemy vessel was 423.
The PRESIDENT said that in the circumstances he found that the number of persons in the enemy ship should be regarded for the purpose of the motion as 423. The prize bounty therefore would amount to £2,115, and he pronounced and declared that the officers and crew of H.M.S. Carmania were entitled to that amount as having been actually present at the destruction of the Cap Trafalgar.
Solicitors.- Treasury Solicitor : Messrs. Hughes, Hooker, and Co. for the claimants.
CARMANIA AND CAP TRAFALGAR.
NEW LIGHT ON THE DUEL.
Interesting and hitherto unpublished details of the victorious action of the Cunard liner Carmania with the German armed merchant cruiser Cap Trafalgar were revealed in a letter from Captain Noel Grant, R.N., which was read at a function on board the Carmania at Liverpool on Sunday. The letter, which was read by Sir Thomas Royden, M.P., deputy chairman of the company, paid a tribute to the efficient commissioning of the Carmania under Captain Barr. It was said to be entirely owing to the very efficient way in which the ship was stripped of all woodwork between decks that they were able to reach port after the action.
" If we had gone to sea," said the letter, "with the cabins standing, as some of the armed merchant cruisers from other ports did, the ship must have been burned out. I can safely say that I have never sailed with a better or keener ship's company. Captain Barr was of the greatest assistance to me during the action, and it is due to his initiative and resource that the fire below the bridge did not extend to the next deck. When I first looked round after the action, I found we were in a very uncomfortable position of having no effective compass, no charts, no chronometer or sextant, and no secret wireless code. The ship had to be steered from the after lower position, the only communication from deck being by a relay of men to pass the word down. There were no engine-room telegraphists, so orders had to be passed down the engine-room skylight by blasts of a mouth whistle.
"I afterwards found that two midshipmen - Coulson, who, I am sorry to say, was later in the war killed in a submarine, and Dickens - had gone on to the burning bridge and, at great personal risk, got the bowl of the standard compass, some charts, and the remains of the much-burned wireless code. A sextant was found in a cabin between decks, so that by fixing the compass on a long pole, deadening the vibration by placing it on a feather pillow, we were able to steer a moderately correct course and were very pleased to find our signalled position was correct enough to enable the Bristol to pick us up the next morning and escort us to a safe anchorage, where we met our ships ; and with their help we were able to make the ship seaworthy for the cross-Atlantic trip to Gibraltar. This action was the only one throughout the war in which an equal, or, as a matter of fact, a slightly inferior force annihilated the superior force. My contention that we were the inferior force is based on the fact that the Cap Trafalgar was the faster ship and her guns outranged ours by 2,000 yards. I am therefore thankful that the German captain came in towards me and put up a perfectly fair fight instead of taking advantage of these two great assets in a naval action.
Later a piece of silver plate, formerly the property of Admiral Lord Nelson, was presented by Mr. McLean, of the Navy League, supported by Admiral Fremantle, to the Cunard Company in recognition of the Carmania's victory.
WAR SERVICE OF THE CARMANIA
ADMIRALTY TRIBUTE TO " VERY GALLANT ACTION "
The famous action between the Cunard liner Carmania and the Cap Trafalgar in the South Atlantic, the eighteenth anniversary of which fell yesterday, is recalled by a letter received by the Cunard Company from the Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty. The Carmania recently passed out of the Cunard service and is at present being broken up at Blyth. The letter is as follows:-
On the occasion of the recent passing out of the Service and the subsequent breaking up of the ss. Carmania, I am commissioned by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to convey their appreciation of the excellent War service of this vessel, and more especially of her gallant action with the Cap Trafalgar.
It will be recalled that the Carmania located the Cap Trafalgar in the South Atlantic on September 14, 1914, and that is the subsequent action both ships withheld their fire till the range had closed to 7,500 yards. In spite of the withering fire, the ships did not begin to turn away till the range had closed to 3,500 yards, when the Cap Trafalgar had her deck steam pipes cut, was ablaze forward, and was listing to starboard. In the Carmania, too, a fierce fire had broken out, but she was able to hold it in check and the wind was aft, by keeping on the enemy's port quarter, and pressed on the action which resolved itself into a stern chase of the faster Cap Trafalgar.
Although the Cap Trafalgar still possessed enough speed to get out of range she was already doomed on account of the destructive fire poured into her during the short-range action, and she sank less than two hours after the first gun had been fired. That this was not accomplished without the exercise of a discipline and gallantry worthy of the highest traditions of the British Navy is sufficiently indicated by the fact that after the action the Carmania was found to have been hit by no less than 79 shells, mostly in her upper-works.
In the opinion of my Lords, this, the first action that was fought between two armed merchant cruisers, reflected the highest credit on the Carmania, her officers, and crew, and they feel that the occasion of the breaking up of the ship should not be allowed to pass without conveying this expression of their appreciation of her very gallant action with the Cap Trafalgar and her other War services.
In July 2006, an e-Bay item about the Cap Trafalgar caught the webmaster's eye. An article, it now proves to be, from 'Die Grüne Post' of September 13, 1936. I think it is essentially a part chapter from a volume entitled 'Kreuzerkrieg führen! by Walter von Schoen, published in the German language of course, in 1936 by Ullstein of Berlin. From the scan that follows you will appreciate my interest, since the article seemed to give promise of a German perspective on the Carmania/Cap Trafalgar sea battle of 1914. The heading i.e. "Cap Trafalgars" Untergang translates into English as 'Cap Trafalgar's Downfall'.
My intention was, upon receipt of the item to put the German text in one column and a translation into English in a second column. But, having now received the page, it would be a daunting process for the webmaster with absolutely no ability in German to transcribe the text. And then to try to translate it using WWW sites a few sentences at a time and paraphrase the result. I still would like to include a German perspective into these pages, but that intent will need to wait a while.
I confine myself then, for the moment, to the scan that appears below. It would appear that words to the left of the image indicate that the text of the article that followed was a part chapter from the von Schoen book about the relatively little known sea battle with Carmania.
For many moons, I have in this spot requested the assistance of any site visitor who could help in transcribing & translating the German text. John Winchester has now come to the assistance of your sadly 'German illiterate' webmaster, by providing (thanks so much, John!) a translation of the text - below the image.
SOME OF THOSE WHO SERVED ABOARD CAP TRAFALGAR AT THE TIME OF THE CARMANIA / CAP TRAFALGAR ENGAGEMENT
It would be good to be able to record here the names of the Cap Trafalgar crew members who lost their lives. And, were the data available, the names of the additional crew members injured in the engagement.
How many were there? Not an easy question to answer as per an earlier paragraph in these pages that I now repeat.
This site has some detail about the engagement & says that only 279 of the Cap Trafalgar crew of 473 were landed in Buenos Aires by the Eleonore Wouvermans. (I must recheck that name because Stephen Harding names that vessel the Eleonore Wörmann. I believe, from Colin Simpson's book referred to here, that that data may be in error, & that the Cap Trafalgar had a total complement of 301 on the day of the engagement & that 286 were later landed. Thus 15 were lost including Julius Wirth, the captain. 66 were wounded. (But, maybe not! Stephen Harding states that 279 from the Cap Trafalgar were landed & interned and, while the numbers stated in the book's text do not jive perfectly, they would seem to indicate that 20 were lost in the action including Julius Wirth & that 20 others died in the water, either drowned or eaten by sharks. I was not there! Just reporting what I have read!)
CAP TRAFALGAR CREW LOST AS A RESULT OF THE ACTION
Markus Schnellinger of Germany has kindly provided an image of a gravestone in a cemetery in Dresden. Which indicates, that Hans-Reinhard Kraus, (1885/1914), a Lieutenant-Senior, was killed in action on board His Majesty's Auxiliary Cruiser Cap Trafalgar on Sep. 14, 1914.
It would seem that Hans-Reinhard's brother Enno Kraus (1886/1914), also a Lieutenant-Senior, serving aboard SMS Leipzig, was killed soon afterwards - on Dec. 8, 1914 - as per another gravestone in that cemetery. Killed in the 'Battle of the Falklands'.
Thank you, Markus!
CAP TRAFALGAR CREW WHO SURVIVED THE ACTION
The third person of the Cap Trafalgar crew who survived the engagement. The first would be German Herera's grandfather as per the next section. And Dr. Violet, the ship's doctor, also per that section.
On May 26, 2010, Elizabeth Bergmann of Hamburg, Germany advised that her grandfather, Bruno Georg Bergmann, (1888/1971), survived the engagement & was interned - presumably at Martin Garcia Island - as per the next section. (That is Bruno at left in an image which can be seen, a portion of it, in a larger size with a click of your mouse.) He was a machinist by trade but may have served on Cap Trafalgar in that capacity or as an ordinary seaman or maybe as a stoker. He was one of the many who escaped internment & he & others lived during the time of WW1 in Argentina & Chile before they where able to return to Germany in about 1919. Elizabeth tells us that while he died in Hamburg, Germany, he had lived for some time with his family in New York.
Elizabeth we thank you! Maybe your data will inspire others to write in about their ancestor's names & experiences.
I surely regret my inability to understand German and in this case Spanish. It makes it very difficult to advise what happened to the survivors of the Cap Trafalgar.
German Herrera, of Argentine, has kindly advised that a Spanish language site addresses the matter of what, in fact, happened to those survivors. Quoting from a 1968 article attributed, I believe, to Andrés J. Schlichter. That site is available here & the operative section starts about 2/3 ways down the page, after reference 24, in a paragraph which commences 'Caso especial lo constituyó el Cap Trafalgar.' And continues onwards.
Translation via the WWW is most difficult - I did try! I believe that the Spanish text states that the Cap Trafalgar survivors were interned on Martín Garcia Island, (located in the estuary of Río de la Plata, near the mouth of the Uruguay & Paraná rivers, & in fact entirely in the territory of Uruguay), under the control of the Argentine Navy. Their basic needs, i.e. food, clothes & medical care, were provided for by the Argentine Navy. Their pay continued, paid for by the German Embassy in Buenos Aires. The German community was able to visit them, it would seem.
In the years through to the end of the war, 2 officers, 11 junior officers & 120 sailors had escaped, while 5 had died. In 1919, 4 officers, 23 'classes' ('clases' in Spanish - what does that mean?) & 85 sailors were repatriated to Germany or rejoined the employ of Hamburg South America Line. The ship's doctor, Dr. Violet, stayed at the German Hospital.
The numbers do not agree perfectly. 279 were landed. The above seems to cover 251 only. The Spanish words re the numbers are as follows:
'Finalizada la Guerra y la internación, en 1919, luego de años en que 2 oficiales, 11 suboficiales y 120 marineros se habían evadido y 5 habían fallecido; los 4 oficiales, 23 clases y 85 marineros internados restantes; iniciaron la repatriación en buques holandeses, en tanto que algunos marineros, tras solicitar su permiso a la marina argentina, pasaron a servir en los barcos de la Hamburg Sudamérica, o la compañía de maquinas y electricidad Siemens Schuckert Ltda. El médico Dr. Violet, se quedó como médico del Hospital Alemán desde 1915.'
Is that how the Spanish text roughly translates? I think so, but do invite corrections in anything I have just indicated. WWW translations are less than perfect, alas, & my ability in Spanish is non-existent!
We thank German Herrera and his grandmother for these images & also those which follow below, all of which were taken on Martin Garcia Island, Argentina, where the German survivors of the Carmania / Cap Trafalgar sea battle were interned.
At left and above is German's grandfather, who as you can see made model ships as a hobby. (I cleaned up the image above a little for better presentation on this page) I wonder which warship is the top model. I thought it might have been SMS Seydlitz of Battle of Jutland fame. But not, I believe. I presume that he served on SMS Eber since he is wearing an SMS Eber cap.
Below we show a group of German sailors on the sea shore. And one with two internees, one of which may well be German's grandfather.
And at the bottom a picture of the camp at exercise. All of these images may be of those who served aboard SMS Eber.
Since May 2010, a postcard related to this most interesting subject has been available for purchase via Delcampe. I was hoping that the item would be sold, intending to
include the image on this page only after the sale was over. It is now Jan. 2012. In view of the passage of time I have rather decided to present a
straitened version of the listing image
now while thanking 'Nlv', the vendor, by including a link to his item at Delcampe. So interested site visitors might find his item & bid upon it. Here.
The German text reads 'Insel Martin Garcia, Rep. Argentinien. Aufenthaltsort der Internierten Besatzung S.M.S. Cap. Trafalgar' which WWW translates as 'Island of Martin Garcia, Republic of Argentina. Whereabouts of the detainees from S.M.S. Cap. Trafalgar'
ANOTHER CAP TRAFALGAR POSTCARD
A Cap Trafalgar postcard. It came from e-Bay but the item is long gone. It surely has to be from about 1914, doesn't it? It would seem to be artist signed. At bottom right. But I cannot identify the artist. T. S......
If YOU have any new data about the Volturno or Cap Trafalgar, or in any way related to either vessel, I would welcome your contacting me.
A SITE SEARCH FACILITY THE GUEST BOOK - GO HERE