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Our ship was sunk by a pocket battleship

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Our ship was sunk by a pocket battleship

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Our ship was sunk by a pocket battleship.
it was the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer (wrongly reported actually it was, The Admiral Graf Spee), which sank the British cargo steamer, Clement in the South Atlantic. On 30 September 1939. This news was established when the Clements master Captain F. C. P. Harris, eventually arrived in London, and his story as reported in the Daily Telegraph is given below.

Captain Harris who was accompanied by the chief engineer, Mr W. Bryant stated. That when making for Bahia, Brazil, he saw the battleship a long way off. When she was between four and five miles away a seaplane took off from her. The plane circled over us, he continued, and without any warning, spattered the bridge with machine gun fire. Then I knew that she must be a German raider. Three times the plane circled round us, sending machine gun bullets into the bridge each turn. I do not know how I escaped, but the only one hit was my chief officer. He was slightly wounded in the hand. Believing that we would be shelled I ordered my crew of fifty to the boats, and had gone into one myself when a picket boat from the German battleship came alongside. They told me and Mr Bryant, to get into the picket boat, and our boats were allowed to go. The Germans, then carried a number of bombs from the picket boat on to the Clement, but for some reason they did not explode. We were taken on board the battleship, and I recognized her at once as the Admiral Scheer (wrongly reported actually it was, The Admiral Graf Spee). When the bombs failed to explode the Admiral Scheer (wrongly reported actually it was, The Admiral Graf Spee) sank the Clement by shell fire for about a mile of. We were quite well treated, while on board, her. We were asked to give word of honour, that we would not attempt sabotage or espionage, but strangely enough they did not as good as any questions, and I said very little. We were only five hours on board the Admiral Scheer (wrongly reported actually it was, The Admiral Graf Spee). They then overtook the Greek vessel Papalemos 3,748 tons and transferred us to her. Captain Harris, and that Mr Bryant were landed at St Vincent, and after 17 days wait there were taken to Le Havre by a Dutch boat. The Clement's crew were landed in Brazil.

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Admiral Graf Spee picture 2

Admiral Scheer picture 1

Clement survivors picture 1

Clements captain F. C. P. Harris and chief engineer Bryant picture 1

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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