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Author Topic: 'A CUT FLOWER, DOOMED TO DIE': END FOR I.M.S DRESDEN - 1915  (Read 17 times)
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« on: March 14, 2018, 09:14:30 am »

One of the fastest warships afloat, I.M.S DRESDEN, a light cruiser, first came to fame off South America's west coast, when as part of Admiral Maximilian von Spee's Far East Squadron [which, ironically, had previously detached DRESDEN's sister ship I.M.S EMDEN to commerce raid in the Pacific (and for whom the title quote was made by Winston Churchill)], she participated in the annihilation of a British squadron under Admiral Craddock at Coronel.

She next came into the news when Spee's squadron was intercepted near the Falkland Islands by a British squadron which included two battlecruisers, and sunk in its entirety - with the exception of DRESDEN, which escaped through a combination of foul weather and superior speed.

DRESDEN spent the period between Spee's destruction in 1914, and March, 1915 commerce raiding. She took a number of cargo ships off the southern part of Chile. and despite their best efforts, the British couldn't catch her, until she laid up in Cumberland Bay, in an archipelago of islands off Chile's coast.

Dresden was in Cumberland Bay effecting repairs after almost constant operations and sailing since before she joined Spee's squadron. But it was there the British found her. And after a brief, desultory exchange of fire, DRESDEN ran up the white flag. But she had no intent of surrendering. While a German officer negotiated a truce, DRESDEN scuttled herself - to the cheers of not only her crew, but the crews of the two British warships standing by. 

In the brief period between the beginning of World War I, and her sinking on March 13, 1915, DRESDEN had sailed over 20,000 miles, participated in two of the major sea battles of World War I, and disrupted seaborne trade off South America. But by March 14, 1915, she was gone, except in accounts of naval history, and the hearts and memories of naval devotees forever.

You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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