To-morrow the Goeben is to be blown up, or there will be a revolution, or a massacre heaven knows what! Into an atmosphere like this, with wounded pouring back in thousands from the Dardanelles, there came the news of the bombardment of Gallipoli.
It was never discovered whether she was a victim of a torpedo, a mine, or an internal explosion. It is possible that a spy had placed a heavy charge of explosives within her hull. Only fourteen men of her entire complement survived the disaster. It was in November, 1914, also, that the sometime German cruisers Goeben and Breslau, now flying the Turkish flag, became active again.
The band of the Goeben was placed on a raft and ordered on a given moment to play the German national airs after an appreciable period. Meanwhile, under the cover of the night's darkness the two German ships steamed away. After they had a good start the band on the raft began to play. The British patrols heard the airs and immediately all British ships were searching for the source of the music.
The object of the attempt was to sink the Turkish battle cruiser Sultan Selim, formerly the Goeben. The submarine submerged and got as far as Nagara. But she had to travel "blind" and her captain, being unfamiliar with those waters, struck some rocks near the shore and immediately brought her to the surface.
The damage done to the Goeben was not enough to put her out of commission; the Evstafi suffered slight damage and had twenty-four of her crew killed.
"They must be the Breslau and Goeben," he was saying, "though I am unable to account for the manner in which they escaped the blockade at Libau. They were supposed to be tightly bottled up there and I was informed that their escape was impossible." "Something has evidently gone wrong," suggested Lieutenant Hetherington.
For two days they sailed about in the sunny Mediterranean, sighting neither friend nor foe, and then suddenly had encountered the two German cruisers, the Breslau and the Goeben, and the skirmish with these two ships, described at the opening of this story, ensued.
As to writing to the Army Council apart from K., the War Office is an oubliette. The foregoing sage reflections were jotted down between 10 and 10.30 a.m., when I was clapped into solitary confinement under armour. An aeroplane had reported that the Goeben had come into the Narrows, presumably to fire over the Peninsula with her big guns.
Destroyers accompanying the allied fleets kept diligent watch for attacks from them. The Goeben, one of the German battle cruisers that had escaped British and French fleets in the Mediterranean during the first weeks of the war, and which was now a part of the Turkish navy, was brought to the scene and aided the Turkish forts in their bombardment of the hostile warships.
Meanwhile the French were pushing into their lost provinces, occupying Altkirch, Mulhausen and Saarburg; the Russians were invading Bukovina and East Prussia; the Goeben, the Breslau and the Panther had been sunk by the newspapers in an imaginary battle in the Mediterranean, and Togoland was captured by the French and British.