For amateur historians and trivia collectors everywhere

Location: Masterton, New Zealand

I survived school history despite the best efforts of the education system to bore me to death. Many years later, I discovered Treaties, dates, the movement of nations, are mere context. The fascination is in the details.

Monday, January 16, 2006

German surface raider.
From 'The Great World War' Vol. 5. (c.1916)

The successful commerce-destroying cruise Mowe sinks the Clan MacTavish of the armed German S.S. Mowe (i.e. Sea-gull), and her safe return to a home port, constituted an achievement of which the enemy had no cause to be ashamed, and was one we could hear of without bitterness. It was no doubt rather disappointing to have to learn that on January 16 [1916], ...... the S.S. Appam, of the Elder-Dempster line, had been captured by a German cruiser, and had....been carried across the Atlantic to Norfolk, in Virginia, as a prize.

The actual capture cannot be better told than in the words of the Appam's commander, Captain H.E. Harrison:

"The day was brightOne of Mowe's forward guns and clear when the Appam was captured. She was travelling at a fair rate of speed when we sighted what appeared to be an ordinary tramp steamer, which was gradually coming closer. We feared no danger and made no preparations to resist, as we were not expecting any attack. Suddenly the tramp fired across our bows. I immediately hove to. Simultaneously the tramps forecastle head, which was apparently made of canvas, fell away, revealing a battery of huge guns. We surrendered without offering any resistance."

In one case she was resisted. The S.S Clan MacTavish made a fight, but was sunk


Blogger George said...

Thankyou for posting the story of the Moewe and the capture of the Appam.
As a point of interest the chief engineer aboard the Appam during this episode was my late grandfather G.P. Ashburner.

9:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home