The Cruise of the German Pacific Squadron August–November 1914


Map Code: Ax00436

While most of the naval warfare in World War I occurred in the North Sea, there were engagements in the Pacific theatre. At the beginning of August 1914, the German East India Squadron, under Admiral von Spee, exited the Pacific theatre from their base at Tsingtao and headed towards Germany. While returning home, Spee’s main squadron, which had been operating in the Pacific region since the 1890s, anchored at Pagan Island in the northern Marianas on the 26 August to plan logistics. This included despatching the Nürnberg to Fanning Island in September 1914 where it successfully destroyed the island’s communication cables, used to connect the Pacific Allied forces. The SMS Emden was sent to the British Crown colony in Penang where, on 28 October, it raided the harbour, destroying two Allied ships. The main squadron, joined by the Dresden and Leipzig at Easter Island from 12–18 October, continued to coastal South America.

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