Page 3512

3512 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

and Inflexible, the armored cruisers Carnarvon and Kent, the old battleship Canopus, and the lighter cruisers Cornwall, Bristol, Macedonia, and Glasgow, the last the

survivor of Cradock's ill-fated squadron.

The British expected a long and

tedious search for their enemy, but chance

willed it that the Germans should walk

right into their arms. Early the very

next morning, December 8, the signal

station on shore signaled: "A four-funnel

and two-funnel man-of-war in sight from

Sapper Hill, steering northward." At once

all was activity on board the British ships,

and preparations were made to leap out

upon the unsuspecting enemy, whose

purpose it evidently was to raid the harbor,

destroy the wireless station and whatever

shipping could be found, and help themselves to British coal. The vessels sighted

were the Gneisenau and Numberg, and

they were followed by all the other German

ships, including some colliers.

At 9.20 a. m. the Gneisenau and Numberg

rounded a headland and came in sight of

the Canopus. As the Canopus was a slow

boat, she was thus given her only chance

to participate in the battle, and therefore

opened fire across the lowland at a range

of 11,000 yards. The warning was lost,

however, on the Germans, who were as

yet unable to see the main British fleet,

and they maneuvered as though to close

with the Kent near the entrance to the

harbor. But presently they perceived

the giant Invincible and Inflexible, the

horrible truth as to the trap they had

run into burst upon them, and they turned

tail and ran as fast as the foul bottoms of

their ships would permit.

The British vessels, with the exception

of the Bristol, Canopus, and Macedonia,

swarmed out after them, their crews and

officers exulting over the opportunity

that had been dropped into their laps.

It was a fine morning for a fight. The

air was unusually clear, the sea was calm,

the sun was bright, and there was only

a slight breeze; in fact, every condition was

conducive to good marksmanship. As the

Germans were able to keep ahead of some

of the British ships. Admiral Sturdee

presently decided to attack with his two

battle cruisers and the Glasgow. At 16,500

yards fire was opened by the battle cruisers,

and presently, when the shells began to

drop near, the German light cruisers

Leipsic, Nurnberg, and Dresden turned

away from the big ships, and were followed

by the Kent, Glasgow, and Cornwall. Meanwhile, the Bristol had reported from the

harbor by wireless that three German

colliers had appeared in sight, and Sturdee

ordered the Bristol and Macedonia to go

in pursuit of them. The battle thus

developed into three separate encounters.

The most important fight, of course,

was that between the Scharnhorst and

Gneisenau on the one side and the

Inflexible, Invincible, and Carnarvon on the

other. The advantage in this encounter

was on the British side, for their boats

were larger and speedier, and the 12-inch

rifles of the two battle cruisers were decidedly more powerful than the 8.2-inch guns

of the Germans. The British Admiral,