Monday, 2 November 2015

SMS Emden, Captain. Von Muller gentleman in uniform - 02

Emden Captain Karl Von


Europe produced a galaxy of  war heroes during the first world War I and II, but, in the case of WW I, among them, exploits of German captain Karl Von Muller were foremost, not because he  saved hundreds of  lives of  soldiers and ship passengers  or captured valiantly  so many  ships with a single war ship while in action and sent them to the bottom of the ocean,  but because of his humane attitude in all his raids on allied ships In the annals of naval warfare, the exploits and heroism of many officers have attracted the attention of war experts and the public. None became more famous and got a long lasting name  than the brave  German capt. Karl Von Muller and his formidable cruiser S.S.Emden during the World War I. His gentle attitude, leadership and aura kept him apart and won the admiration of not only Germans but also Europeans and other nationals world over.

Emden, German  warship. warspot

1914 S.M.S Emden Von Müller Silver Medal

On his raids, Von Muller never failed to use his discretion and  
tried to  avoid inflicting not only enemy soldiers but also non-combatants and civilians. There was no room for casualties. Among his  fourteen prizes, the only merchant sailors 
killed  by  the Emden‍ ' s guns, were five victims of a bombardment of British company's oil tanks and a merchant ship at the port of Madras off the east coast of the Bay of Bengal (on the night of 22 September, 1914), and it was not intentional. On his raids on Penang, Malaya (28 October, 1914) Emden rescued thirty-six French survivors from Mousquet. Muller saw to it that those who  died  were buried at sea with full honors. The French were taken aboard the British ship that was stopped by Emden not for attack but for their safe transfer. When he took the first prize Russian  mail steamer ''Rjäsan,'' he captured the ship and took the crew and passengers to Tsingtao, North Chinese port for safe custody.
It was not that easy to be at sea for a ship captain for a long period  when the war was on and to manage a  single ship with a very large crew and raid powerful enemy ships; simply it was suicidal. As for Emden, her engines were coal-fired and had to depend on regular supply of coal, besides provisions for more than 370 navy men, et al. It is quite amazing under Muller's command, the German cruiser virtually terrorized the allied shipping in  Far East  without  causing any  loss  of  human  life, largely depending  on  the coal  and  provisions  seized  from allied  ships; a feat that requires ingenuity, foresight, precision in execution and above all formidable risk.

 Von Muller's adventure at sea ended during the night of 8–9 November, near Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Emden took the first hit from the Australian ship HMAS Sydney (under the command of John Glossop) and subsequently Emden beached. Of Emden‍ ' s crew, 134 were killed and 69 wounded, compared to only 4 killed and 16 wounded aboard Sydney. This bombardment continued, though the german ship displayed the surrender flag . The Australian captain said he had to do knock down the German ship with heavy heart. Von Muller was was held in great esteem and the world gave a sigh of relief when news flashed that Captain Von Muller was alive after the attack on Emden by the Australian warship.
Emden warship. you tube

A Street in Hanover in honor of cap. Muller,
 The following are the comments made by famous newspapers  after the destruction of Emden:

Daily Telegraph:

''It is almost in our heart to regret that the Emeden has been captured  and destroyed. We certainly hope that Commander Karl Von Muller, her Commander, has not been killed, for, as the phrase goes, he has shown himself an officer and a gentleman. He has  been enterprising  ......... has revealed a nice sense of humor. He 

has , more over, shown very possible consideration to the crews of his prizes.  So far as is known, he destroyed 74,000 tons of shipping without the loss of a single life. There is not a survivor who does nor speak  well of this young German, the officers under him, and the crew obedient to his orders. The war on the sea will lose something of a piquancy, its humor, and its interest now that the Emden has gone, but she had to go because she was expensive.''                                       ...... Nov. 11, 1914

The Time says:

'' We rejoice that the cruiser Emden has been destroyed at last, but we salute Capt. Von Muller as  a brave and chivalrous foe. We trust  his life has been saved, for if he came to London he would receive  a generous welcome"                     ....... Nov. 11. 1914

The Morning Post says:

''The conduct of Capt. Von Muller, who seems to have been  brave without brutality, is something to set against the inhuman practices of the German army.''       ........  Quoted from The New York Times                                                            November 11, 1914