His E-9 has taken a position with Neufarvasser. It should be noted here that the Russian ships, long before the events described, put up enough minefields in the area, and this forced the German sailors to go out and return to Neyfarwasser strictly along the safe fairway. So, M. Horton’s position was largely simplified by the fact that it was his boat that two months ago revealed the position of this fairway. At the same time, the Germans, although they were afraid of the appearance of submarines here, still believed that the density of minefields prevented their actions. In other words, while taking the necessary protection measures “just in case”, the Germans did not consider that they could meet here with Russian or British submarine submarines.
As a result ... exactly what happened should have happened. Rear Admiral Hopman was in Danzig with the armored cruisers "Prince Heinrich" and "Prince Adalbert." Formally, these two ships carried out a long-distance cover for the detachment of Commodore I. Karf, but in fact they did not even stand under pairs, ready to leave. In general, judging by the description of G. Rollman, von Hopman didn’t really hurry anywhere.
The first radiogram of "Augsburg", in which he reported on the successful completion of the assignment, of course, should not have promoted the rear admiral to exploits. But in 08.12, a radiogram was received (given in clear text from Augsburg):
“Armored cruisers and Squadron II. The adversary is in the 003 square. Attack, bypass and cut! ”
However, neither the radiogram text, nor the lack of a cipher prompted von Gopman to take any action — by observing the Olympic calm, he remained in place. The German rear admiral gave the order to breed couples only after Roon reported in 08.48:
"Place in the square 117, course WNW, speed 19 nodes."
Further, from the words of G. Rollman: “Thanks to the exceptionally friendly work of the entire staff and the alarming time of the day,” Prince Adalbert and Prince Genirh at 12.00, that is, more than three hours after receiving the order, from the mouth of the Vistula. They were accompanied by (again, it is impossible to refrain from quoting G. Rollman):
"Only two destroyers who were able to quickly prepare for the campaign."
That is, it turns out that the destroyers were more than two, but when it took urgently to go to sea, only two could accompany the cruisers. And this despite the fact that the armored cruisers von Hopman were going 3 hours! If we assume that G. Rollman was wrong, and that the rear admiral ordered to bring the ships immediately after receiving a radiogram from 08.12, it turns out that it took him not even 3, but 4 hours! That's a cover, so cover.
Apparently realizing, finally, that such sluggishness could prove fatal for the ships of I. Karf, von Hopman led his detachment along the fairway on 17 nodes. However, as soon as the German ships circled around the Hel lighthouse, they landed in a strip of fog, which, apparently, 19 June stood over the entire Baltic Sea. Destroyers, marching ahead and searching for submarines, pulled back to the flagship. After about half an hour, I got up, but sending the destroyers ahead von Gopman found it completely unnecessary - first, the ships proceeded with a large enough stroke, which made it difficult to enter the torpedo attack, secondly, the next band of approaching fog was visible, and third, the cruiser and the destroyers were just among the Russian minefields, where no submarines were supposed to be by definition.
Alas, everything once happens for the first time - in 6 miles from Richtsgefta, E-9 was waiting for them eagerly. Max Horton discovered a German squad at a distance of four miles, von Hopman’s ships were approaching. In 14.57, they were already in some kind of two cables from the E-9, and the boat produced a two-shot volley.
The commander of "Prince Adalbert", captain tsur zee Michelsen, saw a bubble formed from the launch of torpedoes in 350-400 meters from his ship, then the periscope and, finally, the trail from the torpedo. Immediately, an order was given to increase the speed, but no action could save the cruiser from a strike.
The first torpedo landed right under the Prince Adalbert bridge and exploded, throwing up clouds of smoke and coal dust. On the cruiser, it was thought that the second torpedo hit the stern, because the ship was shaken again, but in fact this did not happen - the torpedo detonated from hitting the ground. However, even one hit has done things - water rushed through a two-meter hole, flooding the first stoker, the cellar of the bow tower of the main caliber, the central post and the department of onboard torpedo tubes. I must say that the Germans were incredibly lucky, because the "Prince Adalbert" was literally a hair from death - the energy of the explosion smashed the military charging compartment of one of the torpedoes, but it did not explode. If the warhead of the German torpedo had also been detonated, it is possible that the cruiser was killed with most of its crew, but it didn’t do without losses in any case - two non-commissioned officers and eight sailors were killed by an explosion.
The submarine of the British was seen not only on the "Prince Adalbert", it was also noticed on the destroyer "S-138", who immediately rushed to the attack, trying to ram the E-9. However, M. Horton, fixing a hit in the "Prince Adalbert", immediately increased the speed and ordered to take water into the tank of a quick dive, as a result of which the boat evaded a collision and lay down on the ground at a depth of 12 meters.
Rear Admiral Hopman immediately sent the "Prince Heinrich" back to Danzig, and he himself went ashore in order to be able to throw himself at him if the flooding became uncontrollable. This did not happen, but the armored cruiser still took 1 200 t of water, its draft increased to 9 meters and could not return to Neufarvasser. Then the rear admiral made the decision to go to Sweimemunde. "Prince Adalbert" was accompanied only by the destroyer "S-139", because "S-138" remained at the site of the attack in order to continue the search for E-9. This was not enough, and von Hopman included in his squad a Indianola floating base, whose minesweepers were working nearby.
On the "Prince Adalbert", fearing a repeated attack of the submarine, they tried to move the 15 nodes, but almost immediately were forced to reduce it to 12. However, at this speed, the bulkheads were subjected to too much pressure of the water entering the hull, so that soon the speed was reduced to 10 nodes. In fact, it was even smaller, because the cars gave the number of revolutions corresponding to the 10 nodes, but the ship, which took a lot of water and with an increased draft, at the same time, of course, could not give 10 nodes.
By evening, the forecastle went under the water on the uppermost deck. Water continued to flow into the hull, and a roll appeared. The Germans thought about counter-flooding to straighten it, but then the water found a “loophole” in the coal pits of the left side, and the lurch strained itself. However, the situation was catastrophic in all respects.
Under these conditions, the commander of the ship offered von Hopman to interrupt the march and anchor in order to carry out rescue work not on the move, which was to increase their effectiveness. They did that - at 20.30, the Prince Adalbert dropped anchor near Stompmüld, and his crew set about work that lasted all night. Interestingly, the food for the damaged armored cruiser had to be delivered from Indianola, because its own food supplies were in the water. Even worse, drinking water tanks were also mostly out of operation, and the reserves of boiler water were greatly reduced.
By four o'clock in the morning of June 20 it became clear that it would not be possible to “pull out” the nose of the ship from the water. Then it was decided to lead the ship in Swinemünde astern, but at first this plan was not crowned with success. Snake reached 11,5 m, being in shallow water, the cruiser almost did not listen to the helm, and the left machine could not work at all. The situation improved only after the “Prince Adalbert” reached the “big water” - here he managed to go ahead, developing the speed of the order of 6 nodes. At this time, the armored cruiser was accompanied, in addition to the "Indianola", two more destroyers and three tugs. However, with the available draft, the ship could not pass in Swinemünde, at the same time the weather was very quiet and it was decided to lead the cruiser directly to Kiel.
By evening, the draft was reduced slightly (to 11 meters), but the water still flowed into the hull - the ship had already taken 2 000 t, while its buoyancy margin was 2 500 t. Nevertheless, Prince Adalbert could return to Kiel on June 21 . Upon his arrival on board, Gross-Admiral Prince Heinrich rose, who expressed his gratitude to the commander and crew for saving the old ship.
Without a doubt, in the struggle for the survivability of the "Prince Adalbert" his crew showed skill and professionalism worthy of the highest praise. Being torpedoed, "Prince Adalbert" passed 295 miles, of which 240 miles - in reverse. Von Hopman himself by this time was no longer on the ship - he transferred to the destroyer and returned to Neufarwasser.
And what was the British doing at this time? Max Horton “overheated” the searches performed by S-138 and remained in position. At X-NUMX 16.00 on June, E-19 saw the return of Commodore I. Kraff’s ships to the Bay of Danzig: Augsburg, Roon, and Lübeck were accompanied by destroyers. The British submarine tried to go on the attack, but this time M. Horton did not succeed, and he could not get closer to the German ships than on the 9 miles, which was too long a torpedo attack. After this, M. Horton quite rightly considered that his task was completed and took his boat home. E-1,5 arrived in Revel 9 June without any incident.
Interestingly, the British commander did not know who it was he was torpedoing. Max Horton was convinced that a battleship of the Braunschweig or Doychland type was attacking, and this error was very tenacious. Even D. Corbett in the 3 volume of the official description of world war at sea (first published in 1923 g) claims that E-9 attacked and hit the battleship Pommern. On the other hand, the Germans knew for sure that they were attacked by the British - a heater was later found on the Prince Adalbert's shuttle, which hit the torpedo ship with details that clearly identified its English origin.
In general, it can be stated that the British submariners have achieved remarkable success. As a result of their attack, the von Gopman squad could not take part in the battle near Gotland and also did not render assistance to the Albatross. Although the “Prince Adalbert” did not sink, he nevertheless received heavy damage, as a result of which he was forced to be repaired for more than two months, greatly weakening the already insignificant German forces permanently operating in the Baltic. While paying tribute to the professionalism of the British and their commander, Max Horton, we should also note the good work of the Russian staff officers, because they were the ones who appointed the position of the only truly capable boat at their disposal, exactly where it turned out to be necessary.
However, as a result of the battle, another battle of submarines took place near Gotland. The fact is that at dawn 19, the Russian submarine “Shark” took to sea at the start of June.
"Shark" on the background of another participant in the battle of Gotland 19 June 1915 g - armored cruiser "Rurik"
At noon, the commander of the boat, Senior Lieutenant N.A. Humming received an order to go to the Swedish coast of Gotland, in order to prevent the disintegration of the Albatross, if the Germans suddenly have such a desire. In 18.40, a German seaplane attacked a boat, dropping 2 bombs on it, but the Shark did not receive any damage.
At five o'clock in the morning of 20 June, the Shark approached and examined the Albatross from a distance of all 7 cables. It was then that it turned out that the “Nympha-type cruiser” was in fact a high-speed mine layer, and four Swedish destroyers were anchored next to it. ON. Humming, by virtue of his orders, continued to observe.
The Germans tried to help the Albatross and also sent their submarine to it, which they were obliged to prevent the ship from further destruction if the Russians made such an attempt. But the German boat "UA" came out later in the morning of June 20. The next morning, she arrived at the scene and also inspected the Albatross, and then turned east to replenish the charge on the batteries. But there was a Russian "Shark" ...
The first to notice the enemy were Russian submariners (the “Shark” was on the surface), and N.A. Hoot immediately ordered the dive. A few minutes later, they also saw in the German boat “an object, the size and shape of which was difficult to see against the sun. “UA” immediately turned on an unidentified “object” and became ready to attack. For some time, both submarines were underwater, ready for battle. But then, on the "UA", apparently decided that the "object" they only imagined, and surfaced. ON. Hudim discovered “UA” in the 12 cable, immediately turned on it and after three minutes from a distance in the 10 cable he fired a torpedo. At the same time, the Shark continued to converge and two minutes after the first shot fired the second torpedo. Alas, the first torpedo did not reach “UA” (as one can understand, it simply sank along the road), and the boat dodged the second torpedo with an energetic maneuver. The Germans observed the traces of both torpedoes. The boats dispersed and, although both remained in their positions (near the Albatross) until the evening of the next day, they no longer saw each other and did not enter into battle.
At this battle at the Gotland ended. And it remains for us to only summarize the conclusions that we drew throughout the entire cycle of articles, and also to give a description of the consequences to which he led. And that's why…
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