The thrilling story of the Old Emden

Accession Number RCDIG0001152
Collection number MSS1228
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 1
Object type Memoir
Physical description 23 Image/s captured
Maker Harmes-Emden, Hans Heinz
Nell, Bryan
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Potts Point, Indian Ocean: Cocos Keeling Islands
Date made 1931; 1963; 1988
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Digital format and content protected by copyright.

Account relating to the First World War service of Petty Officer Hans Heinz Harmes-Emden, Imperial German Navy. This account was originally written by Harmes-Emden in 1931 for the North China Daily News in Shanghai. This volume was transcribed and bound in 1988 and includes the original account along with correspondence relating to its copy history.

The account itself was written by Harmes-Emden about his time as a petty officer in the engine room of the German light cruiser SMS Emden and the fateful battle with HMAS Sydney on 9 November 1914. It includes details which he believed had not yet come to light in other accounts. The account covers: biographical details on Harmes-Emden, including his motivations for joining the Imperial German Navy and his naval lineage; his brother’s death during the battle of the Falkland Islands whilst serving aboard SMS Nürnberg; comments on German enlistment in the Imperial German Navy; the history of Emden’s service in the First World War; the events of 9 November 1914 off the Cocos Islands; the raiding party led ashore by Captain Hellmuth von Mücke to destroy the cable station; a detailed account of the battle with HMAS Sydney and the damage the Emden sustained; the actions of Captain Karl Friedrich Max von Müller; Harmes-Emden’s story of survival and the actions for which he was awarded the Iron Cross (First Class); the experience of the survivors who made it ashore; being picked up the Sydney after the battle; transfer to Colombo and then to Malta; treatment at the hands of the French and British; the survival story of those that escaped on the schooner “Ayesha” led by von Mücke; the battle of Penang and the French destroyer Mousquet that the Emden sunk; Second Officer Robert Witthoefft who served on the Emden and later became captain of KMS Emden (1925); the lasting impact of the experience on the survivors; the granting of permission by Kaiser Wilhelm II to the surviving members of the Emden to adopt the name in their surname.