Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27th, 1914

- West of Krakow the German 47th Reserve Division, dispatched by Ludendorff southwards to assist the beleaguered Austro-Hungarians, begins to detrain today at Oderberg and Oswiecim.

- At Abrolhos Rocks off the Brazilian coast Vice-Admiral Sturdee holds a conference of captains to plan the pursuit of the German East Asiatic Squadron.  He intends to sail to the Falklands Islands and use it as a base should the Germans sail up the middle of the Atlantic, while also sending his light cruisers to inspect the various harbours and bays along the southeastern coast of South America in case the Germans attempted to remain close to shore.  He also announces that the squadron will sail in two days' time.  The captain of Glasgow objects, fearing that the Germans might try to reach the Falklands before the British.  He manages to convince Sturdee to advance the date of departure to tomorrow, a decision, as shall be seen, of vital importance.

- Yesterday the convoy carrying the thousands of volunteers from Australia and New Zealand departed the port of Aden, a British colony on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula near the mouth of the Red Sea.  Their destination at that time remained England, where they were to encamp and undergo training on Salisbury Plain alongside the Canadian contingent.  The experiences of the Canadians to date, however, show that Salisbury Plain leaves much to be desired.  There are not nearly enough huts to house all of the soldiers, so most sleep under canvass.  Further, the weather is terrible - near constant rain and cold temperatures not only make conditions miserable but impede the training regimen of the Canadians.  The Australian representative at the British War Office, realizing the misery of the Canadians on Salisbury Plain, does not want the same conditions inflicted on the Australians and New Zealanders.  He suggested to Lord Kitchener that the convoy be redirected to Egypt, where they will be able to train in more amenable circumstances.  Kitchener agrees, and word reaches the convoy today that they are to be redirected to Egypt, where the Australians and New Zealanders will encamp just outside Cairo.  At present there is still every intention that once sufficiently prepared they will be dispatched to the Western Front.

- Overnight the Dutch destroyer Lynx returns to continue following the schooner Ayesha as it approaches Padang.  The attention of Lynx is welcome in one sense, as given that the German crew of Ayesha have no charts of Padang they are able to know if their course will take them onto reefs by whether Lynx turns away.  On the other hand, the attention is regretted by First Officer Mücke - it gives the impression, in his words, of a burly policeman bringing in a disreputable scoundrel, while also indicating that perhaps the Dutch have been expecting them.  Twice Mücke signals Lynx as to why they are being followed, but the Dutch give no response.  The Germans take some satisfaction, however, in the sight of their powerful escort forced to limit itself to the speed of one mile per hour so as to not overshoot Ayesha.

No comments:

Post a Comment