You are not logged in.
Battle of Mas a Tierra 1915 in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- Battle of Mas a Tierra 1915 in the Great War -


Great War>The Battles
skip to content


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.


If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.



    Site Home

    Great War

    Search

    Add Stories & Photos

 Features

    Allied Army

    Day by Day

    War in the Air

    Prisoners of War

    The Royal Navy

    Training for War

    The Battles

    Those Who Served

    Hospitals

    Civilian Service

    Life on Home Front

    Central Powers Army

    Central Powers' Navy

    Library

    World War Two

 Submissions

    Add Stories & Photos

    Time Capsule

 Information

    Help & FAQ's

    Our Facebook Page

    Volunteering

    News

    Events

    Contact us

    Great War Books

    About


Research your Family History.











World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great

Battle of Mas a Tierra 1915



14th March 1915 Battle of Más a Tierra 1915  The Battle of Más a Tierra was a First World War sea battle fought on 14 March 1915, near the Chilean island of Más a Tierra, between a British squadron and a German light cruiser. The battle saw the last remnant of the German East Asia Squadron destroyed, when SMS Dresden was cornered and sunk in Cumberland Bay.

Background

After escaping from the Battle of the Falkland Islands, SMS Dresden and several auxiliaries retreated into the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to commence raiding operations against Allied shipping. These operations did little to stop shipping in the area, but still proved troublesome to the British, who had to expend resources to counter the cruiser. On 8 March, his ship low on supplies and in need of repairs, the captain of the Dresden decided to hide his vessel and attempt to coal in Cumberland Bay near the neutral island of Más a Tierra. By coaling in a neutral port rather than at sea, Dresden's Captain Lüdecke gained the advantage of being able to intern the ship if it was discovered by enemy vessels. British naval forces had been actively searching for the German cruiser and had intercepted coded wireless messages between German ships. Although they possessed copies of captured German code books, these also required a "key" which was changed from time to time. However, Charles Stuart, the signals officer, managed to decode a message from Dresden for a collier to meet her at Juan Fernandez on 9 March. A squadron made up of the cruisers HMS Kent and Glasgow along with the auxiliary cruiser Orama cornered the Dresden in the bay on 14 March, challenging it to battle.

Battle

Glasgow opened fire on Dresden, damaging the vessel and setting it afire. After returning fire for a short period of time, the captain of Dresden decided the situation was hopeless as his vessel was vastly outgunned and outnumbered, while stranded in the bay with empty coal bunkers and worn out engines. Captain Lüdecke gave the order to abandon and scuttle his vessel. The German crew fled the cruiser in open boats to reach the safety of the island, which was neutral territory. The British cruisers kept up their fire on Dresden and the fleeing boats until the light cruiser eventually exploded, but it is unclear whether the explosion was caused by the firing from the British ships or from scuttling charges set off by the Germans. After the ship exploded, the British commander ordered his ships to capture any survivors from Dresden. Three Germans were killed in action and 15 wounded. The British suffered no casualties.

Aftermath

With the sinking of Dresden, the last remnant of the German East Asian Squadron was destroyed, as all the other ships of the squadron had been sunk or interned. The only German presence left in the Pacific Ocean was a few isolated commerce raiders, such as SMS Seeadler and Wolf. Because the island of Más a Tierra was a possession of Chile, a neutral country, the German Consulate in Chile protested that the British had broken international law by attacking an enemy combatant in neutral waters. The wounded German sailors were taken to Valparaíso, Chile for treatment, where one later died of wounds received during the action. The 315 of Dresden's crew who remained were interned by Chile until the end of the war, when those who did not wish to remain in Chile were repatriated to Germany. One of the crew—Lieutenant Wilhelm Canaris, the future admiral and head of Abwehr — escaped internment in August 1915 and made it back to Germany, where he returned to active duty in the Imperial Navy.

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.



Want to know more about Battle of Mas a Tierra 1915?


There are:1 articles tagged Battle of Mas a Tierra 1915 available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.


Those known to have served in

Battle of Mas a Tierra 1915

during the Great War 1914-1918.

    The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List


    Looking for help with Family History Research?   

    Please see Family History FAQ's

    We are unable to provide individual research free of charge, but do offer a paid service at competitive rates, the small profit from these services will be put towards the costs of keeping this website running. For more information please see our Research Services Leaflet

    Can you help?

    The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors.

    If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.

    If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.


    Announcements

    • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

      This website has been running for 16 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

    • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

    Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch.





    We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates, add a comment or ask a question.

    If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.


    Mar 2017

        Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 229915 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

    World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
    Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.




    Want to know more about Battle of Mas a Tierra 1915?


    There are:1 articles tagged Battle of Mas a Tierra 1915 available in our Library





    Recomended Reading.

    Available at discounted prices.







    Links


      Suggest a link















      The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

      This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

      If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.


      Hosted by:

      The Wartime Memories Project Website

      is archived for preservation by the British Library





      Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
      - All Rights Reserved