Damaged 105mm cartridge case : SMS Emden

Unit German Navy
Place Oceans: Indian Ocean, Cocos Keeling Islands
Accession Number REL/00378
Collection type Technology
Object type Munition
Physical description Brass
Maker Unknown
Place made Germany
Date made c 1913
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

105 mm naval cartridge case. Half the case wall is missing and the headstamps have worn off.

History / Summary

This shell was recovered from the surf in the vicinity of the wreck of SMS Emden in 1974. It is of the same calibre as ammunition fired by some of the Emden's guns and it is assumed that it was one of the shells fired by the Emden during its engagement with HMAS Sydney in November 1914.

Emden was a cruiser that, at the start of the First World War, formed part of the German East Asiatic Squadron. She was detached to stalk the shipping routes across the Indian Ocean and quickly became the scourge of the Allied navies. Between August and October 1914, Emden captured or sank 21 vessels.

In November 1914, nine Allied vessels were involved in the hunt for Emden, and the threat she posed led to a particularly heavy escort of four warships being allocated to the first Australian and New Zealand troop convoy. Surprised by one of these escorts, HMAS Sydney, while in the process of destroying the British radio station on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Emden was destroyed on 9 November 1914.