Title: Swan of the East – The life and death of the German cruiser Emden in World War I
Author: Hoyt, Edwin Palmer
Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 1960
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 200 pages
Comments: The story of SMS Emden during World War One. Previous owner’s name on front end paper.
SMS Emden (“His Majesty’s Ship Emden”) was the second and final member of the Dresden class of light cruisers built for the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). Named for the town of Emden, she was laid down at the Kaiserliche Werft (Imperial Dockyard) in Danzig in 1906. The hull was launched in May 1908, and completed in July 1909. She had one sister ship, Dresden. Like the preceding Königsberg-class cruisers, Emden was armed with ten 10.5 cm (4.1 in) guns and two torpedo tubes.
Emden spent the majority of her career overseas in the German East Asia Squadron, based in Tsingtao, in the Kiautschou Bay concession in China. In 1913, Karl von Müller took command of the ship. At the outbreak of World War I, Emden captured a Russian steamer and converted her into the commerce raider Cormoran. Emden rejoined the East Asia Squadron, then was detached for independent raiding in the Indian Ocean. The cruiser spent nearly two months operating in the region, and captured nearly two dozen ships. On 28 October 1914, Emden launched a surprise attack on Penang; in the resulting Battle of Penang, she sank the Russian cruiser Zhemchug and the French destroyer Mousquet.
Müller then took Emden to raid the Cocos Islands, where he landed a contingent of sailors to destroy British facilities. There, Emden was attacked by the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney on 9 November 1914. The more powerful Australian ship quickly inflicted serious damage and forced Müller to run his ship aground to avoid sinking. Out of a crew of 376, 133 were killed in the battle. Most of the survivors were taken prisoner; the landing party, led by Hellmuth von Mücke, commandeered an old schooner and eventually returned to Germany. Emden’s wreck was quickly destroyed by wave action, and was broken up for scrap in the 1950s.