America's War for Humanity eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 688 pages of information about America's War for Humanity.

“There was a fountain of water, a burst of smoke, a flash of fire, and part of the cruiser rose in the air.


“Its crew were brave and, even with death staring them in the face, kept to their posts.  I submerged at once.  But I had stayed on top long enough to see the other cruisers, which I learned were the Cressy and the Hogue, turn and steam full speed to their dying sister.

“As I reached my torpedo depth I sent a second charge at the nearest of the oncoming vessels, which was the Hogue.  The English were playing my game, for I had scarcely to move out of my position, which was a great aid, since it helped to keep me from detection.

“The attack on the Hogue went true.  But this time I did not have the advantageous aid of having the torpedo detonate under the magazine, so for twenty minutes the Hogue lay wounded and helpless on the surface before it heaved, half turned over, and sank.

“By this time the third cruiser knew, of course, that the enemy was upon it, and it sought as best it could to defend itself.  It loosed its torpedo defense batteries on bows, star-board, and port, and stood its ground as if more anxious to help the many sailors in the water than to save itself.

“In the common method of defending itself against a submarine attack, it steamed in a zigzag course, and this made it necessary for me to hold my torpedoes until I could lay a true course for them, which also made it necessary for me to get nearer to the Cressy.

“I had to come to the surface for a view, and saw how wildly the fire was being sent from the ship.  Small wonder that was when they did not know where to shoot, although one shot went unpleasantly near us.

“When I got within suitable range I sent away my third attack.  This time I sent a second torpedo after the first to make the strike doubly certain.  My crew were aiming like sharpshooters and both torpedoes went to their bull’s-eye.  My luck was with me again, for the enemy was made useless and at once began sinking by the head.  Then it careened far over, but all the while its men stayed at the guns looking for their invisible foe.

“They were brave and true to their country’s sea traditions.  Then it eventually suffered a boiler explosion and completely turned turtle.  With its keel uppermost it floated until the air got out from under it and then it sank with a loud sound, as if from a creature in pain.

“The whole affair had taken less than one hour from the time of shooting off the first torpedo until the Cressy went to the bottom.

“I set my course for home.  Before I got far some British cruisers and destroyers were on the spot and the destroyers took up the chase.

“I kept under water most of the way, but managed to get off a wireless to the German fleet that I was heading homeward and being pursued.  But although British destroyers saw me plainly at dusk on the 22d and made a final effort to stop me, they abandoned the attempt, as it was taking them too far from safety and needlessly exposing them to attack from our fleet and submarines.”

Project Gutenberg
America's War for Humanity from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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