Page 3511

3511 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

later, after extraordinary adventures, managed to reach southern Arabia, whence,

after still further adventures, they made

their way to Constantinople.

The first considerable naval battle of

the war took place on the 28th of August,

1914, in Heligoland Bight. Some light

British cruisers and destroyers managed

to entice some German vessels into a fight,

and, at an opportune moment, Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty hove in sight

with heavy battle cruisers. The Germans

suffered a loss of three cruisers and two

torpedo boats, while the British did not

lose any vessels, and their casualties were

not large.

Of the German naval vessels in the broad

Pacific a few sought refuge in neutral ports;

but the more powerful concentrated into

a squadron under the command of Admiral

von Spee. Early in October, von Spee

bombarded Papeete, on the French island

of Tahiti, and then made for the South

American coast, where he captured and

destroyed a number of Allied merchant

vessels. Meanwhile British and Japanese

vessels were searching for him, and, on

the 1st of November, Vice-Admiral Sir

Christopher Cradock, with three vessels,

sighted the Germans off Coronel, Chili.

Cradock's ships were the armored cruisers Good Hope, of 14,100 tons, and the

Monmouth, of 9,800 tons, and the lighter

cruiser Glasgow, of 4,820 tons. With the

exception of two 9.2-inch guns on the

Good Hope, Cradock had no guns heavier

than those of 6-inch calibre, of which he

had 34. The German squadron consisted

of the armored cruisers Scharnhorst and

Gneisenau, each of 11,420 tons, and the

lighter cruisers Dresden, of 3,592 tons,

the Nurnberg, of 3,396 tons, and the

Leipsic, of 3,200 tons. Each of the armored

cruisers mounted eight 8.2-inch guns and

six 5.9-inch, and were newer boats than

either the Good Hope or Monmouth.

The advantage in tonnage and heavy

guns was, therefore, decidedly in favor

of the Germans, and they were also favored

by another circumstance. The battle began soon after sunset, and, as the British

ships were to westward of the Germans,

they were shown in silhouette against

the after-glow of the sun, while the Germans themselves were hardly distinguishable. The battle was fought at long

range, and this enabled the Germans,

with their much larger number of heavy

guns, to sink both the Good Hope and the

Monmouth, with comparatively little damage to themselves. The sea was running

high, and not one of the crews was saved.

The Glasgow, being a faster ship than any

of the German vessels, managed to escape.

It and the old battleship Canopus, which

was on its way to join Cradock, made

for the south Atlantic.

News of the disaster to Cradock's two

ships caused great depression in England.

With the utmost secrecy a powerful

squadron was fitted out and sent southward to retrieve the situation.

On December 7 the squadron dropped

anchor at Port Stanley in the Falkland

Islands, in order to coal. The squadron

was commanded by Vice-Admiral Sir

F. C. D. Sturdee, and included the great

17,250 ton battle cruisers Invincible