Page 3516

3516 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

the bunkers were half empty the fire

burned merrily. In the engine-room a

shell licked up the oil and sprayed it around

in flames of blue and green, scarring its

victims and blazing where it fell. Men

huddled together in dark compartments,

but the shells sought them out, and there

death had a rich harvest.

"The terrific air-pressure resulting from

explosion in a confined space, left a deep

impression on the minds of the men of the

Blucher. The air, it would seem, roars

through every opening and tears its way

through every weak spot. All loose or

insecure fittings are transformed into

moving instruments of destruction. Open

doers bang to, and jam-and closed iron

doors bend outward like tin plates, and

through it all the bodies of men are whirled

about like dead leaves in a winter blast,.

to be battered to death against the iron

walls....

"In one of the engine-rooms-it was

the room where the high velocity engines

for ventilation and forced draught were

at work-men were picked up by that

terrible Luftdruck, like the whirl drift at

a street corner, and tossed to a horrible

death amidst the machinery. There were

other horrors too fearful to recount.

"If it was appalling below deck, It was

more than appalling above. The Blucher

was under the fire of so many ships. Even

the little destroyers peppered her. It

was one continuous explosion,' said a

gunner. The ship heeled over as the

broadsides struck her, then righted herself, rocking like a cradle. Gun crews

were so destroyed that stokers had to be

requisitioned to carry ammunition. Men

lay flat for safety. The decks presented

a tangled mass of scrap iron. . . .

"The Blucher had run her course. She

was lagging lame, and with the steering

gear gone was beginning slowly to circle.

It was seen that she was doomed. The

bell that rang the men to church parade

each Sunday was tolled, those who were

able assembled on deck, helping as well

as they could their wounded comrades.

Some had to creep out through shot holes.

They gathered in groups on deck awaiting

the end. Cheers were given for the Blucher,

and three more for the Kaiser. 'Die

Wacht am Rhein was sung, and permission

given to leave the ship. But some of

them had already gone. The British

ships were now silent, but their torpedoes

had done their deadly work. A cruiser

and destroyers were at hand to rescue the

survivors. The wounded Blucher settled

down, turned wearily over, and disappeared

in a swirl of water."

Meanwhile, the British battle cruisers

had passed on after the surviving German

ships. Some of these were badly battered,

but the appearance of German submarines

and a lucky shot which injured the feed

tank of the Lion, combined with the danger

of German mine fields, caused the British

to discontinue the pursuit. The Lion was

taken in tow by the Indomitable, and all

the British vessels returned safely to port,

where a few repairs put them in as good

shape as ever. The victory aroused tremendous enthusiasm in Great Britain, and,

though the Germans declared that the British had suffered more heavily than themselves, it was noticeable that for many

months they made no more attempts to

bombard the British coasts.

In fact, the Germans almost ceased trying to send their above-water warships out

upon the high seas. They continued

to conduct some operations against the

Russians in the Baltic Sea, though these

were circumscribed because of fear of

Russian and British submarines. Early

in 1916, a transformed freighter named the

Moewe managed to slip through the blockade, and captured over a dozen prizes

off the African coast. Most of these

were sunk, but one of them, the Appam,

was sent under a prize crew across the

Atlantic to Hampton Roads. The raider

herself somewhat later reached a home port.

Such a raid was spectacular and destructive, but the effect upon the war was

infinitesimal. And when another vessel

attempted to repeat the exploit, she was

caught in the North Sea and sunk. The

great fleets of the Allies had performed

their work of sweeping the seas more

thoroughly than had ever been done in