21. februar 1915. SMS Dresden på kapertogt

Christian Stöckler fra Rørkær ved Tønder var fyrbøder på krydseren SMS Dresden, der som det eneste tyske skibe var undsluppet søslaget ved Falklandsøerne den 8. december 1914. Siden da havde skibet skjult sig i den store skærgård ved Sydamerikas sydspids, men i februar 1915 blev skjulestedet opdaget og det måtte bryde op.

SMS Dresden

En Uge efter at vi var kommet til Søs, begyndte Forretningerne. En smuk, hvid, engelsk Fuldrigger Conway Castle var kommet paa vor Vej. Den blev standset med et Skud for Boven, Mandskabet ført om Bord paa Dresden og det smukke Skib sænket med et Par skarpe Skud. Det sank med alle Sejl oppe, inden vi var kommet ret langt bort.

Dets Kaptajn bandede og skældte, for i Havnene havde Englænderne udbredt det Rygte, at Dresden var sænket ved Falkland, og at Havet helt var befriet for de tyske Krigsskibe.

Et Par Dage efter stoppede vi en snavset peruansk Damper, hvis Besætning for rundt som Fluer i en Flaske, da vi lagde paa Siden af deres Skib.

De troede, at de saa et Gengangerskib, for ogsaa de havde faaet den Besked, at Dresden laa paa Havets Bund. De raabte og skreg under Manøvrerne, og om det saa var Grisen, de havde med, saa skreg den op. Vi gjorde dog ikke det neutrale Skib andet end at give det Conway Castles Mandskab om Bord.

De fangne Englændere, som vi allesammen var kommet til at holde af, tog Afsked med os paa en pæn Maade. Før de gik i Baadene, udbragte de et Leve for Dresdens Besætning, og vi svarede med et rask Hurra for vore Gæster, der var blevet et smukt Skib fattigere, men en ejendommelig Oplevelse rigere.

Christensen, Christen P. (Christian Støckler): Kejserens sidste kaperkrydser (1934) Fyrbøder Christian Støcklers hæsblæsende beskrivelse af SMS Dresden og den tyske Stillehavseskadres skæbne.

3 tanker om “21. februar 1915. SMS Dresden på kapertogt”

  1. Hello, please accept my apologies for writing in English but I do not speak Danish. I was very interested to read the Google translation of this post as I have just found out one of my great-grandfathers was First Mate on the Conway Castle. Would anyone reading this be able to do a better job of translating Christian Stöckler’s words into English please? Tak på forhånd,
    Andy

    1. Hello Andy
      Thx for your question. I’ll give it a try.
      Best regards
      René

      A week after we put to sea, action began. A beautiful, white, English Full Rigger, Conway Castle, had come in our way. It was stopped with a shot across the bows, her crew taken on board the Dresden and the beautiful ship sunk with a quick shot. It sank with all sails up before we had come very far.

      Its captain swore and cursed, for in every port the Englishmen had spread the rumour, that Dresden had been sunk in the Falklands, and that the sea was completely liberated from the German warships.

      A few days later we stopped at a dirty Peruvian steamer, whose crew ran around on the deck like flies in a bottle, when we went alongside their ship.

      They thought they saw a phantom ship, for they too had received the news that Dresden was lying on the bottom of the sea. They cried and yelled during maneuvers, and so did the pig, they had on board. We didn’t do the neutral ship any harm, but only sent the crew of the Conway Castle on board.

      We had all grown fond of the captioned Englishmen, and we parted in a nice and polite manner. Before they went in the boats, they cheered a hearty hooray for Dresden’s crew, and we responded for our guests, who had lost a beautiful ship, but won a strange experience.

  2. René,
    That’s fantastic, thank you very much. It makes much more sense than the Google translation! It makes me happy to think that although here in Europe men were killing each other without a thought, at least humanity survived somewhere in the world. The sailors were still brothers even though their countries were enemies.
    regards
    Andy

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