On 1 August SMS Emden, a light cruiser, left the German naval base at Tsingtao, China, and headed towards Pagan Island, where it was determined that Captain von Müller would use the Emden to intercept Allied ships in the Indian Ocean. Between 19–25 August it travelled through Dutch neutral waters to the Bay of Bengal where, by 14 September, it had captured seven Allied ships. Müller then turned west and destroyed 450,000 gallons of oil in British Madras. At Ceylon (Sri Lanka) there were further Allied ship captures. The Emden diverted to the British Chagos Islands where it took on fresh supplies, having lost escort supply ships. The Emden proceeded to Penang where, on 28 October, it sank two Allied ships. On 9 November, the Australian HMAS Sydney beached the Emden (which had sunk 24 ships) at the Cocos Islands, before it destroyed a vital Allied telegraph link.
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