Page 3645

3645 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

"Night came on and hope was entertained of getting away without a further

encounter. But at 3 o'clock in the night

news of the approach of two British

cruisers and five destroyers was received

and just at that critical time the fore and

middle bulkheads gave way.

"Orders were given quickly to carry

the wounded to the stern. Then the order

rings out: 'All hands muster in division

order abaft.' A tumult arises on the lower

deck, for everybody is now bent on saving

his life. It is impossible in that short

space of time to bring up all the wounded,

for they are scattered everywhere. Eighteen men had the good fortune to be

carried up, but all the rest who could not

walk or crawl had to be left behind.

"The twenty-seven men shut up in the

Diesel dynamo chamber had heard the

order through the speaking tube, for many,

mad with anguish, screamed through the

tube for help, and it was learned that two

of their number lay bound because they

had become insane. Inspired by their

sense of duty, these sealed-up men had

continued to carry on their work in order

to provide the ship with light.

"The torpedo boats now quickly took

off the crew of the Luetzow and those left

behind were doomed to death. It was

resolved that no piece of the vessel should

fall into the enemy's hands. An order

was given and a torpedo cleft the waters.

Just then seven men were to be seen running

like madmen round the rear deck. Over fatigued as they were, they had apparently

dropped off to sleep and only just awakened.

As the torpedo exploded, the Luetzow's bow

quickly dipped, and the stern rose until

she stood on end. Then she heeled over

and sank, forming a great whirlpool that

carried everything within it into the depths.

"When the roll was called it appeared

that there were 1,003 survivors of the Luetzow, 597 men had perished in the battle."

According to figures published by the

London Times at the end of the war, the

British forces in the battle consisted of

24 dreadnoughts, 10 attached cruisers,

8 battle cruisers, 12 light cruisers, 8 vessels

of the First and Second Cruiser Squadrons,

6 vessels of the light cruiser squadron, and

78 destroyers. Many of these ships did

not fire a shot. The German force included 21 battleships, some of them pre dreadnoughts, 16 cruisers, and 77 destroyers.

The total German casualties in the battle

in killed or missing were 2,414, in wounded,

449; those of the British were considerably

greater.

After the close of the war facts came

to light which indicated that the number

of German vessels sunk was approximately

the number officially reported. However,

several of their vessels left the battle in

an almost helpless condition. For example, the great dreadnought Koenig was

hit 15 times in all. Five shells struck her

main belt in the region of the water line,

denting but not penetrating. There were

two other direct hits on the main belt,

which caused damage but did not necessitate new plates. As a result of hits by

two shells, the four compartments forward

of the first turret were flooded above the

protective deck. The ship went down

by the head until the forecastle was only

6&1/2 feet above water and it was found

impossible to effect temporary repairs

or pump the water out. The crew of

one of the torpedo tubes were imprisoned

in their flat and could not be extricated

until June 5, when the ship was put in dry

dock. Meanwhile, they were fed through

the speaking tube. However, the Koenig

was repaired and rejoined the High Sea

Fleet about the middle of August.

The battle cruiser, Seydlitz, of 25,000

tons, was hit by 28 shells and one torpedo.

The men's quarters forward were flooded

with water but the vessel managed to

stay in the line and to keep up a fire from

her forward turret until 7 p. m. She

was penetrated by several shells and the

foreturret was put out of action. The

magazine had to be flooded at once to

prevent an explosion. All the crew of

both turret and magazine were killed

except three or four. The right gun of

the starboard turret was put out of action

and the electric training gear destroyed

so that the turret had to be laboriously

turned by hand. Another shell struck