April 6th 1916

We have noted an Admiralty despatch of March 25th regarding an encounter during a blizzard in the North Sea between a division of German destroyers and some of our light cruisers. During this engagement HMS Cleopatra (on which Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt flies his pennant) rammed and sank one of the enemy destroyers.

HMS Cleopatra

HMS Cleopatra

 

“The snow hid the ships from each other until they were at close range. The Cleopatra recognised an enemy at once and rushed headlong at her, pouring in at the same time a staggering fire. The enemy was absolutely paralysed by the swiftness of the rush and the deadly character of the gunnery.

The Cleopatra was moving at great speed and, light as she is, her sharp bows drove deeply into the hull of the enemy, hurling the destroyer ahead of her.

Listing heavily, with the sea pouring into her shattered hull, the stricken enemy fell away from the bows of the cruiser and the blinding snow came down and hid her from view, as the cruiser plunged on in the darkness.

There was a rush to the place where the destroyer was last seen, but the storm held and the snow descended steadily, and when the spot where the destroyer had been was located, there was nothing on the wind-driven surface of the sea but some debris and a film of oil.”

 

 

 

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