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Mimeographed typed 'SECRET' Royal Navy First World War intelligence document by 'Hugh Miller | Paymaster | "Arethusa"' [later a Rear-Admiral], titled 'Information obtained from a German officer. Action at Heligoland' [Battle of Heligoland Bight].

Rear-Admiral Hugh Miller (1880-1972), Royal Navy [First Battle of Heligoland Bight, 28 August 1914]

Editorial: Headed 'H.F.'. Dated from '"ARETHUSA" | 27th November 1914.', 1914
Librería: Richard M. Ford Ltd (London, Reino Unido)

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Descripción

3pp., foolscap 8vo. Mimeographed in purple on three leaves. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with marks at head and in left-hand margin of each leaf from rusted pin. The first leaf stamped 'SECRET' in blue ink in top left-hand corner. The second part of the document (half-way down p.2) headed 'General.' Typed at end of document: '(sd) Hugh Miller | Paymaster' and '"ARETHUSA" | 27th November, 1914.' The first two paragraphs reads: 'The German Lieutenant gave me the impression that the Germans were quite taken by surprise, and never knew during the first part of the action - that is to say until the Light Cruiser Squadron and Battle Cruiser Squadron arrived upon the scene - how many of our ships were present or what those ships were. The affair appears to have been muddled on their part, and headquarters, receiving no real information as to our strength, tried to recall all their ships, but it was then too late. | The first ship to be engaged by the "ARETHUSA" was the "FRAUENLOB", not "ARIADNE". She was hit fairly badly by our six-inch, and lost (he believes) 40 killed and wounded. She was not torpedoed. The only officer killed was a midshipman just from the training service, who was hit in the body by a shell which did not touch the ship, and only his head and feet remained. On returning to Wilhelmshaven about noon she reported that we ("Arethusa") had been disabled, that we had had an explosion amidships (probably our cordite fire), and had sheered off at reduced speed.' The first section ends: 'The German lieutenant was in the last boat to sink. He states his boat was hit at least forty times and was not in a sinking condition, although entirely out of action as regards guns and torpedoes, when the Captain gave the order to blow her up. They all have orders to blow up their ships to prevent their capture. The fore part blew up; but the after part did not, so that the boat remained floating and, as the helm had been jammed to starboard, she steamed in a circle and continued to return to the survivors who had jumped into the water. Thus many were killed as they could not swim out of her way in their safety waistcoats.' The 'General' section begins: 'I understand from this lieutenant that the Germans believe in very close formation in their attacks with torpedo craft so as the better to "Brown" the enemy.' The document concludes: 'The tone of the German Officer was magnificent and, although he did not "brag" at all, it is evident that the morale of the German naval officer is simply splendid. [.] This officer who has been badly wounded and who has been through unadulterated hell in his actions - his, the last, boat was attacked by all four of our torpedo boat destroyers - was anxious to know if I could tell him about the exchange of prisioners, as he wants to fight again. | He made one significant remark to me; he said that he did not see what the German fleet would gain by going to sea in this [last word underlined] war.' The only two copies traced are among Miller's own papers in the Imperial War Museum, and among the Churchill Papers. N° de ref. de la librería 13044

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Título: Mimeographed typed 'SECRET' Royal Navy First...

Editorial: Headed 'H.F.'. Dated from '"ARETHUSA" | 27th November 1914.'

Año de publicación: 1914

Descripción de la librería

Private premises. Autographs, manuscripts and archives on any subject. Particular interest in publishing and bookselling history. Occasional catalogues. Company number: 03785276

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