Letterstime - Ein Geleitzug
- Meeting Engagements, Part XXXVII
(Late afternoon and evening, June 25, 1915)
---- Boston Globe
"German Liner Fleet Sails"
"Sudden Exit Surprises Many"
"... Though they were here just such a short time, the five liners
appeared to have captured the hearts and minds of a great many Bostonians.
From their surprise appearance in squadron strength, whistles wide open,
raising the hue and cry of their arrival, to the huge banquet receptions,
to the free and well-attended evening concerts, the liner fleet made an
indelible mark in our fair city. Tonight, however, the piers are silent
and empty, where just hours before veritable armies of workers and stevedores
"... as well as the cancellation of a third concert, which many
had expected would well exceed the second, itself very well received indeed.
Last night's crowd favorite was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Eine Kleine
Nachtmusik" ("A Little Night-Music"). Many veteran concert-goers
commented that it may well have been the finest open-air performance they'd
ever been privileged to attend. Others said that it had reminded them
of our own 'Boston Symphony Orchestra.' All were unanimous that it had
made them realize just how much they had been missing the performances
of 'The BSO,' absent this year at The Panama-Pacific International Exposition
in San Francisco. (NOTE 1)
"The published repertoire stated that the pieces that were to have
been performed were to have included ....
"Though Mr. Ballin declined to give any specific reason for what
many have called a very abrupt departure, Mr. Schmidt of the German Chancellory
offered what some have come to agree is a very cogent explanation. Mr.
Schmidt asserted that the Germans did not want to 'facilitate interception
of the helpless liners by the Entente naval warships shown to be patrolling
up and down the American coastline, in blatant violation of International
Law.' Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan and Secretary of the Navy
Josephus Daniels both declined to comment on the statements by Schmidt
and other German officials.
"Whatever the case, Bostonians appear united in expressing their
profound regret that the German Liner Fleet had departed, and hoped for
their safe and speedy return. Many said that the harbor now seemed quiet
and so very empty."
"Sir, lookouts report new contact, bearing 265, range estimate is
Admiral Hanzik, Captain Stang, and many others raised their binoculars
to stare down that line of bearing. Their reaction was almost reflexive;
they knew quite well that their lower vantage would make sightings at
the announced range very unlikely. After a few minutes, there was a hint
of a darkening along the announced bearing, presumably the smoke plume
from the contact still essentially below their horizon. After a few more
minutes, however, a tiny bump on the horizon did become visible from the
"Cage mast, sir. Lookouts have identified that the lead vessel appears
to have at least one cagemast." Those well aloft with telescopes
had spotted the distinctive cable structure, unique to the dreadnoughts
Actually, the American dreadnoughts all had two cagemasts, but viewed
from dead ahead (or astern) only one would be visible at this distance.
The American pre-dreadnought that they had encountered had had a single
cagemast, Hanzik recalled. So, was this a pre-dreadnought? A single dreadnought?
Both seemed inconsistent with the American practice they had observed
to date. Could there be another dreadnought astern of the first?
---- Bridge of von der Tann
With his command about 2,000 yards south of Moltke, Captain Dirk's lookouts
had the equivalent of parallax on the approaching contact.
"Sir, lookouts report contact has one cagemast only."
"Very well," Dirk responded. So, this was one of those pre-dreadnoughts
that the Americans used like armored cruisers. There should be escorts
with her, smaller ships.
"Sir, new contact, bearing 265. Contact appears to be Destroyer
"Third contact, bearing 295. Also Destroyer class."
After several minutes with no additional sightings, it looked like the
trio might be all there was in this American group. Still, there could
be other light ships astern of the leader, or even far to the north of
south, for that matter.
More minutes passed without new contacts being reported.
Well, the ranges and bearings to the escorts did seem consistent with
a small scout force with the older, larger ship as leader. More minutes
continued to creep sullenly by without the additional sightings that everyone
seemed to be expecting. Meanwhile, Dirk watched the cagemast slowly poke
out of the horizon. "Where," he could almost hear CDR Bavaria
asking, "are the dreadnoughts?" Dirk could even imagine his
use of the plural form, as the Americans had never sent their dreadnoughts
out singly, but only in pairs.
The deck beside him was empty, though, as Bavaria was not there to voice
---- Philadelphia Inquirer
"Liners Leave Boston"
"German Odyssey Resumes"
-- by Benjamin Fox
"... Before the start of the European war, passenger liners usually
cast off their lines in mid-morning, with 10:00 AM the time favored by
most. Still, late morning sailings are hardly uncommon, and even noon
ones are not unheard of. Casting off in the middle of the afternoon, however,
appears to be a rarity. For example, both the Lusitania ...."
"... not clear why the early afternoon departure time was chosen,
nor by whom. Indeed, Mr. Ballin did not answer either of those questions
when asked by this reporter, saying only that it was 'the correct time'
to leave. When asked what it was, specifically, that had made it 'the
correct time,' Mr. Ballin again declined to answer. So, who really chose
the time to sail? Who was it that was able to give that order, and why?
Why this afternoon, and not yesterday? Or tomorrow? For an analysis by
"... though both retired admirals did agree that the timing might
represent some sort of compromise between ensuring enough daylight for
channel maneuvering out-bound with the proximate arrival of darkness for
evading ...." (NOTE 2)
"Admiral, no other ships in sight, nor any sign of smoke plumes."
Hanzik rubbed his jaw in contemplation.
"There are more out there, sir." Captain Stang commented in
a low voice. "It's as though I can feel them - an itching I cannot
reach to scratch."
"Ja," Hanzik agreed, with a tiny nod. "In each instance
so far, when the Americans have sortied into our presence - or that of
the British, for that matter - they have come either with clearly superior
force, or with a force so small as to obviously constitute no threat."
Stang considered that, frowning slightly as he worked through the logic
of his admiral's statement.. A big pre-dreadnought with two or more of
those Destroyers would seem to be precisely the kind of intermediate force
that Hanzik had just said that the Americans did not use in such situations
as this. Ah, of course, he thought, brow clearing, the admiral had been
agreeing that American dreadnoughts must be nearby.
The OOD, Kapitänleutnant Lucterhand, looked out uneasily at the
waters alongside the battlecruiser. The approach of potentially hostile
warships made him distinctly uncomfortable. "Sir, any orders?"
Lucterhand finally asked, prodding his superior officers. They were in
no condition to make an adequate defense. Clear contingency plans had
been developed should enemy warships be sighted, he was the flagship OOD,
and no one was ordering anything.
"No, Kapitänleutnant," answered Hanzik. "For now,
we can only wait.
"In fact," Hanzik added to Stang, "for now the Americans
do us a favor not at all small."
---- Flag Bridge, USS North Dakota (BB-29), course 080, speed 17 knots
The wireless contact report from the North Carolina (ACR-12) force had
been plotted sometime ago. Admiral Higgins had ordered them to slow, even
as he'd ordered his own to increase bell to their current speed. Now,
Higgins studied the plot, working out when the various USN formations
were most likely to arrive at the black "X" on the chart before
"Sir, receipt confirmed - Texas, New York, and Arkansas."
Both of those battlecruisers and a couple merchants, Higgins mused, but
not one of their scout cruisers. They'd had four of them, and they'd captured
a Brit AMC. That meant five armed German ships remained totally unaccounted
for - and who knew how many captured merchants. The Atlantic was vast,
but there sure were a lot of ships missing out there, somewhere.
---- Texas (BB-35), course 010, speed 18 knots
Admiral McDonald was justifiably proud of his flagship, named for his
home State of Texas. He was proud of her size, her guns, and her armor.
Just then, though, he'd've given much for a bit of a better turn of speed,
for all four of the dreadnoughts he had along, actually. Not only did
he have to accept that Admiral Higgins would reach the Germans well before
his own command did, but also that those same Germans were quite capable
steaming him under the horizon if they so wished. The only thing worse
would be that the Germans might be long gone before he even got there.
Another five knots, he thought again, and he'd already be there by now.
While their admiral several decks above was wishing for 23 knots, those
down in the port propulsion spaces were praying that they could keep up
18. Nearly all those there retained vivid memories of the propulsion casualty
during their high speed trials. They'd repaired, rebuilt, replaced, and
retested it afterwards, and then exercised it again on their run down
from Boston, but the bridge seemed in a bit more of a hurry this time.
It was getting hot outside; it was already hot in the engine rooms, with
hot fog condensing out on every possible surface. Flank in June was like
The combination of the heat, the humidity, and the bearings had the snipes
sweating rivers, soaking their uniforms and squelching in their shoes.
The temperature started the process, the mist accelerated it, and fear
of bearing failures did all the rest.
If the bearings failed - or anything else, for that matter - the Admiral
would be signally displeased, the Old Man would be humiliated, the Engineer
would be choleric, and the Chief would have their hides for throw rugs,
but - most of all - they'd've let Texas down. The State, whose silver
set graced the wardroom. The ship, whose soul was theirs.
"Come on, TEXAS!" They shouted, as they splashed about, trying
everything they could to keep the bearing temperatures below redline.
Wet rags, blowers, and prayers were all being liberally applied with vast
and frenetic fervor.
"Come on, TEXAS!" It'd worked on their later runs, and it'd
become tradition. It'd even been used successfully to summon reinforcements
in a tavern brawl (NOTE 3), but the officers did
not "officially" know that.
Meanwhile, back on the flag bridge, McDonald was thinking that 25 knots
would be even better. Yes, that would let them keep pace with the Germans
and show them they could never get away from an American force bent on
"Officer of the Deck," began Captain Stang, "another coal
update, if you please."
"Aye, aye, sir." It was not what Lucterhand had had in mind
to do, but at least it was something. Still, he could not resist a tiny
suspicion that his Captain had just given him a bit of busy work. He gave
the necessary orders and resumed the waiting.
"Officer of the Deck," Stang declared, sharply. "I do
NOT want everyone aloft staring at the verdammt Amerikaners! Lookouts
are to maintain a sharp watch on ALL bearings!"
"Aye, aye, sir!"
Several more minutes would pass before Lucterhand began to wonder if
the flurry of orders reflected his own superior's nervousness with waiting.
"Sir, aspect change! The American force is altering course to the
What in the devil were they up to now?
---- Bridge of von der Tann
The parallax again gave Dirk's lookouts a somewhat better perspective.
"Sir, the Americans have gone to a more north-easterly course -
we're calling it 030. According to the plot, they've also reduced speed.
Previous speed estimate was 19 knots. Current speed might be as low as
"Very well," answered Dirk.
The unpredictable Americans appeared to be staying well beyond gunnery
range out here in International Waters. Not an imprudent decision. As
more minutes passed, they gave every appearance of heading out into the
Atlantic. If so, why had they reduced speed? Were they trying to place
a force to seaward of the Germans?
Were they simply scouting? Why? Their navy was not at war - was it?
It was so much simpler with the British - one simply opened fire on them.
"Sir! Smoke plume - bearing 270!"
That was almost the same exact bearing as the original American force.
Coincidence? Not likely, thought Hanzik.
"Lookouts report the plume looks to be heavy - multiple ships."
"Very well," answered Stang. "One of those American dreadnought
pairs, I'd bet." It would provide some explanation with respect to
the behavior of the first trio of Americans.
"Certainly not something I would wager against," agreed Hanzik.
"Sir, cagemasts. Lookouts have sighted cagemasts."
Dreadnoughts, right enough, and not British, in any case.
Admiral Hanzik had encountered three American admirals so far - all of
very disparate temperment. He found himself wondering which of the three
was advancing on him this time.
"Sir, three dreadnoughts - repeat, three dreadnoughts ...."
Hanzik's brows furrowed at the unexpected number. Three? Stang blinked.
"... range estimate 26,000 yards. Four escorts, Destroyer class
---- Flag Bridge, USS North Dakota (BB-29), course 085, speed 17 knots
Admiral Higgins regarded the two German battlecruisers, each so oddly
embracing a captured merchantman. His orders were clear: meet and ascertain
intentions as part of a show of force.
"Sir, we have confirmed receipt by Texas, New York, and Arkansas."
So, Vice-Admiral Stennis, Commander - Atlantic Fleet, now knew they'd
closed to visual range. Though Higgins expected nothing of the sort, Stennis
would now have about ample opportunity to change his orders.
"Sir, both Germans have steam up."
That was hardly unexpected, out here where the British could appear at
any moment. Actually, Higgins would not have been surprised if the Brits
DID make an appearance. Surely, they'd known when the Germans had broken
through, and then sent a pursuit force off after them. Battlecruiser and
liner speed had gotten them a good head start, but the Royal Navy reaction
Yes, thought Higgins, if I were the German flag officer, I'd be getting
a bit nervous by now.
---- New York Times
"Liner Convoy Sails"
"Next Port Unknown"
-- by Maxwell Browning of the Sacramento Union-Times
" ... last report before our departure ...."
" ... and all those who were asked also claimed ignorance of our
next destination. Doubtless, there are some aboard, perhaps many, who
have full knowledge of all the particulars, but this reporter has not
yet found any who will admit to it.
"Several passengers expressed their concern that the British would
again try to hunt the liners down, as they had Kronprincessen Cecilie
in August last year and did again earlier this month with Imperator off
New York harbor. 'Hopefully, we can just outrun them,' said ...."
"Another three American dreadnoughts," commented Stang. "That
brings to seven the number they have sortied to face us this last week.
How many more do they have? I think not more than two."
"They took little enough time finding us," noted Hanzik.
"Ja, richtig. At least the others," continued Stang inaccurately,
"are back south in their New York City."
"Report status of the other American force," ordered Hanzik.
From the bridge, all he could make out was an indistinct plume somewhere
to the north-north-west.
"Admiral, the other American force is on bearing 340, range 21,000
yards. Plot has them on course 040, speed 12 knots."
"Very well." Hanzik turned to Stang. "Shrewd, very shrewd."
There was not a damn thing they could do but wait.
"Sir, flags going up on the lead American dreadnought. Request permission
to come aboard."
"Very well, give the affirmative. Captain Stang, if you would ...."
The signals went back and forth as the American dreadnought force drew
near. The detached scout force - that was how Hanzik categorized it -
continued to nose about to the northeast.
"Welcome aboard, sir," Hanzik began, as still another American
flag officer came aboard his flagship.
"Thank you, sir," replied Admiral Higgins, evincing no surprise
at the other's English. "And a good day to you."
The formalities continued, with the admirals - Higgins and Hanzik - making
all the normal introductions. Higgins had brought three men with him,
all staff officers, it seemed, including his chief of staff, a translator,
and a more junior aide. Higgins wanted an explanation for the continued
presence of the German squadron. Per Hanzik, they were all well out in
International Waters. Since the American Navy had never objected to the
Royal Navy presence out here, why should the USN be objecting now?
Hanzik found himself comparing Higgins with the other three American
admirals he'd already met. Alton had been very tense, but matter of fact
and very professional. Stennis had come across as an aristocrat or perhaps
a politician or a statesman. McDonald had felt combative and confrontational,
a pugilist or fighter at heart. Higgins seemed most erudite and reflective,
more of a scholar or professor. This was itself a discomfiting insight.
The American system was producing a very diverse officer corps. What Admiral
Beatty would do in a given situation had been simple to divine: engage,
attack, and never relent. Peacetime familiarization with the RN personalities
and their system had yielded a treasure trove of such biographical insights.
The Americans, in contrast, had been an unpredictable enigma to the Kaiserliche
Marine, and Hanzik now felt that he had proof that they would likely forever
remain just that.
After his introduction, Lucterhand had not given the flag officers any
of his attention. Instead, he had devoted much of his concentration on
the American dreadnoughts and their torpedo ships. The latter continued
to stand well clear, but the dreadnoughts remained quite close abeam.
Thus, he instantly noted when several new flags started going up on the
flagship's halyards. Glancing at the Americans, he realized that the junior-most
officer had spotted them, also. In fact, Lucterhand belatedly realized
that the young man had been facing that direction all along, and now he
moved to get his admiral's attention.
Lucterhand swallowed, was this a trap?!
"Captain," Lucterhand wanted his CO, and wanted him NOW. It
was with great effort that he kept most of his emotion out of his voice.
Stang caught the intensity and turned. His eyes narrowed as he discerned
the situation. Higgins and Hanzik pivoted next.
"Ist there something you wish to tell me, sir?" Hanzik's tone
was cool, and Lucterhand felt he was an instant away from ordering battle
"Nothing threatening, Herr Admiral," Higgins stated carefully,
after a glance at the flags. "You have a light cruiser standing by
at about, er, 50,000 yards to the, oh, northeast. A picket, I presume?"
"Yes. Of course. You are at peace; we are not."
Higgins nodded serenely. A British force sortieing from Halifax might
well come from that direction. He was not fooled by the other's blandness.
Hanzik would have realized this as inevitable once the North Carolina
(ACR-12) force continued up that way. He wouldn't have liked it, though,
Higgins was well assured of that.
Captain Speck, aboard Augsburg, hadn't liked it either.
Still, Higgins apparent placidity was not completely honest, either. Excluding
his captures, Hanzik had three other light cruisers still unaccounted
for and the German had not taken the implied invitation to add that they
were picketed elsewhere nearby.
"Sir, from von der Tann: multiple plumes, bearing 215."
Hanzik clenched his fists hard behind him, fighting to keep his emotions
off his face. They could be from Bermuda, of course, but he realized now
that the American's demeanor had been shouting all along that he'd been
expecting significant, imminent reinforcements. The American translator
relayed the sighting report to Higgins, who then turned almost languidly
to scan his own halyards. Sure enough, several new flags were going up
to further festoon the American's upperworks.
"Sir, von der Tann reports cagemasts, multiple cagemasts."
Higgins' translator passed that on, as well, with the American admiral
raising one eyebrow, at finding out that cagemasts were used directly
by the Germans as conclusive identification.
"Four dreadnoughts, multiple light ships. Range ...."
"Yes, that should be Admirals McDonald and Alton."
Hanzik smiled, somewhat politely. Gott, he hated this! Literally surrounded
by no fewer than seven dreadnoughts, a great many torpedo craft loitering
about, a detached scout force somewhere between him and the North Atlantic
He continued to make courteous noises at the American officers as their
navy drew near in such arrogantly overwhelming force.
"Sir, new contacts! Large plume, bearing 275."
Higgins' pivoted abruptly, Germans forgotten, when this was translated.
The British?! His heart thudded in his chest, as his first thought was
that the RN had arrived off Boston from Halifax in force, and then come
out to sea in pursuit. With Higgins, the ranking USN flag officer caught
on the deck of the German flagship! Seven American dreadnoughts between
two German battlecruisers and some portion of the Grand Fleet? His ship's
flags were now echoing the sighting report, but nothing else. He licked
his lips. Why wasn't his flagcaptain doing anything more?
Wait! The Germans! They weren't reacting either! Were they expecting
Oh! Of course ....
"Ah, yes, Admiral Higgins. This brings me to our other reason for
being out here."
---- Imperator, course 085, speed 20 knots
Lannon and Browning stared thunderstruck at the tableau growing ahead
of them. Frantically, they worked to get their cameras back on their tripods.
The liners had gone to their current speed as soon as they had cleared
the outer harbor. The scene was one of great beauty, as white bow waves
and wakes contrasted well with the bright blue waves. From where they
stood, at a rail high on the starboard front corner of the superstructure,
they could stare down what was almost a line of liners. Instead of repeating
the line ahead formation that had been the custom from New York to Philadelphia
and then from Philadelphia to Boston, Ballin's ships had gone to a line
abreast pattern with a spacing of what seemed to be about 4,000 yards,
with Imperator the one furthest north and Vaterland the one furthest south.
Ballin had not made himself available to them, his aides said he was
very busy and would likely remain so until at least the evening meal.
Still, it had not taken the reporters long to work out the most probable
reasons for the change.
The Germans commanding the liners were looking for ships, to find and
be found. The abreast formation maximized their plume, Lannon had opined.
Browning had agreed, adding that putting the tallest liners at each end
of the line maximized their sighting arc. Keeping Vaterland well under
20,000 yards from Imperator ensured that flag signals could be quickly
read by all the ships. The spacing also meant that whistles could be heard
by each ship's immediate neighbors.
Ballin expected to rendezvous with an escort force, but would be ready
to turn and run back into Boston if they sighted a foe. Fox had theorized
that, should the latter occur, the Germans probably already had their
"British Blockade" press releases ready for issuance.
They would not need them now. Not in the company of two German battlecruisers,
seven American dreadnoughts, and more Destroyers than they could easily
count. Their cameras clicked happily away.
1) The text asserts, essentially, that symphony concerts
- especially those with a clear German linkage - would be well-received
by the citizens of Boston in June 1915. There is actually considerable
support for precisely that position! The Boston Symphony Orchestra (or
BSO) has a long history - as opposed to the Boston Philharmonic founded
as recently as 1979. The BSO dates back to 1881 and the BSO's history
contains items quite relevant and worthy of note in Letterstime. In particular,
from the BSO website:
"Bostonian Henry Lee Higginson's long-standing dream of a great
and permanent orchestra in his hometown became a reality in 1881. In October
of that year, conductor Georg Henschel directed the first Boston Symphony
Orchestra (= BSO) concert. For nearly twenty years BSO concerts were held
in the Old Boston Music Hall. Symphony Hall, one of the world's most highly
regarded concert halls, was inaugurated on October 15, 1900."The
first BSO concert, in the Old Boston Music Hall, was performed under the
direction of Georg Henschel. Symphony Hall, one of the world's most highly
regarded concert halls, was inaugurated on October 15, 1900. Henschel's
tenure as Music Director ended in 1884. He was succeeded by a series of
German-born and -trained conductors including Wilhelm Gericke, Arthur
Nikisch, Emil Paur, Max Fiedler, and Karl Muck, who served two tenures
as music director, 1906-1908 and 1912-1918. In 1915, the orchestra made
its first transcontinental trip to San Francisco where it played thirteen
concerts at the Panama-Pacific Exposition."
Clearly, the citizens of Boston had eagerly accepted and generously supported
a symphony orchestra for decades to enable the construction of an expensive,
world-class facility to house it. The BSO had achieved significant respect
and renown by 1915 for it to have received the invitation to play what
was the World's Fair all the way on the other side of the country. The
BSO had been German-conducted since its inception, and Boston had been
without such music for over six months.
Thus, concerts such as Ballin's liners put on in Letterstime - Ein Geleitzug
would have created a sensation much as was described in the text. A couple
2) Letterstime - Ein Geleitzug presents an almost
totally positive reaction by the US public and newspapers to the arrival
of German passenger liners and quasi-merchantmen. Is that a reasonable
position? It turns out that there is a remarkable precedent that strongly
supports the author's postulate! Historically, USW and the sinking of
the Lusitania both had negative impacts on the views of both American
newspapers and the general American public towards Germany and especially
for her u-boats. Nonetheless, on July 9, 1916, the German u-boat "Deutschland"
arrived in Baltimore, Maryland and was given a tremendously positive reception.
The reason was that the Deutschland was a merchant u-boat! Her cargo included
hard-to-get dye stuffs and she departed - after almost a month of wining,
dining, and other photo opportunities! - with a cargo of rubber, nickel,
and tin (some reportedly strapped outside the hull!). For some photographs
of her arrival and stay, see the Maryland Historical Society website images
There are three or four photographs, 754 - 757, of which the one above
is the first. The items are the last ones in "Box 1 Folder 2"
and the very first one in "Box 1 Folder 3." Or, perhaps more
simply, just change the last three digits to select the other shots.
In fact, one tugboat that met Deutschland and led her in to Baltimore
harbor still exists! See:
Deutchland's reception ceremonies in Baltimore included a 1,000 seat
reception banquet hosted by Maryland's governor and Baltimore's mayor!
For a recent reference to that reception, see:
Nor was that the only (what is now called) "photo-op." See:
There are even some film reels from Woodrow Wilson records:
excerpt from above:
"07:02:41 Baltimore Md. Piloted by the tug Timmins the first German
merchant submarine 'Deutschland' arrives in Baltimore Harbour. Various
shots sub under way. Map shows 300 mile journey.07:03:33 Title - The Daring
Crew of the Deutschland - Captain Koenig who eluded allied warships. Captain
stands with two other men. Falg raised on ship. Ship underway semi submerged"
Readers may recall that the author asserted in earlier chapters that
US inspectors would go through the German liners, including even the former
raider Kronprinz Wilhelm, and eventually declare them civilian merchantmen
entitled to treatment as such. One of the bases for that position was
that those same inspectors would search, inspect, and declare even a u-boat
a proper merchantman - even though a period of USW had already occurred!
In fact, the Maryland Historical Society still has all those Deutschland
merchant records! See:
"DEUTSCHLAND PAPERS, MS. 1661 Baltimore entry and departure papers,
cargo manifests, and inspectors' reports of the German submarine, Deutschland,
Paul Konig, commander. 20 items, 1916-17 "
So, was the peaceable US reception in Baltimore a fluke? A one-shot thing
that the Germans "got away with" simply because of its uniqueness?
This turns out NOT to be the case. You see, the Deutschland repeated her
trans-Atlantic crossing, arriving this time in New London, Connecticut,
on November 1, 1916. She cast off on November 17, 1916, but an unfortunate
accident took place during her outbound harbor transit that cost the lives
of five Americans on a tug that got swept in front of her by an ebb tide.
She returned to the pier, waited out the inquiry, and left on November
21, 1916, and still a huge of spectators watched from the shoreline, rooftops,
A good picture of Deutschland in New London can be seen here, in the
For some more neat pictures of Deutschland, see:
But the author's favorite, and one that indicates just how positive the
impact of Deutschland's visit really was, is that a beer drivers union
put out a commemorative tray! See:
The British took quite a dim view of the matter. In particular, they
especially hated the fact that Deutschland could get rubber back to Germany
in the face of their (pre-war illegal) declaration that rubber was absolute
contraband that they would punish Neutral US for shipping. See:
In summary, the LT - EG reception by the US public and newspapers would
be expected to be a vastly positive media event that would capture the
attention of the entire Eastern seaboard and beyond. The potentially negative
impacts by visits by small German warships would be greatly offset by
their unusual or even "exotic" status, the Strassburg events,
the resulting sea battle that proved RN blockade, etc.
One last note while readers are exploring the excellent Maryland Historical
Society collections. Could this below be an Auntie T sighting?!?! See:
3) Per personal correspondence between the author
and former USS Texas (BB-35) curator.