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PART 10: June 10, 1915  
Reporting - Table of Contents
Part 1 June 13, 1915 - The New York Times
Reporting from the Wake of Mr. Constantine Kallikantzari
Part 2 June 14, 1915 - The London Times
A German Ploy?
Part 3 June 14, 1915 - Imperator
Auction Announcement
Part 4 June 15, 1915 - All main daily American Newspapers
An Announcement by the Entente
Part 5 June 15, 1915 - Public Auction Draws Vast Crowd
Part 6 June 14, 1915 - "The Sea Chase!" "British Warships Vs. SMS Strassburg and SS Imperator!"
Part 7 Sacramento Times-Union, June 15, 1915
German Liner Runs Blockade after Firey Duel with Warship!
Part 8 June 15, 1915 - Reporting from the Funeral of Mr. Constantine Kallikantzari
Part 9 THE WORLD 16 JUNE 1915 - Senators Warn Wilson!
Part 10 The World 16 June 1915 - Social News TR Throws a Party
Part 11 THE TIMES 17 June 1915 - TR Gives Speech

June 13, 1915 - The New York Times

Reporting from the Wake of Mr. Constantine Kallikantzari

"It has come to my attention," said the German spokesman, "that the British have claimed that both Imperator and the Canadian warship Niobe were in international waters when Niobe fired upon our unarmed passenger liner.

Certainly, there are no lines drawn in the waters off the coast of the United States, or off any other coast, for that matter. It is a sad fact that Great Britain remains at war with my nation, and that the member nations of the British Commonwealth are all active belligerents against the nation of Germany. This, of course, explains why a Canadian man-of-war was lurking just out of sight of the coast of the United States. That is, to attempt to blockade the United States, to shut her off from enjoying the increase in prosperity that would naturally result from communication and commerce with a significant number of the world's economies, including those of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. This is regrettable. It is especially to be lamented here, today, because it has cost Mr. Constantine Kallikantzari, a citizen of Greece, his life.

No longer can it be avowed, as the British Prime Minister has done so repeatedly on the floor of the British Parliament, that no citizen of a neutral nation has lost his or her life to their blockade efforts. Nor, let me assure you, is Mr. Kallikantzari the first to lose his life at the hands of the British navy. Many lives have been lost or diminished all over the world due to the reduction in trade, the reduction in US commerce, and the lost profits caused by the British and their Commonwealth partners and their allies in this great and unfortunate conflict. Many more will be lost, including those of US citizens.
"Yet, it is true that Niobe is a warship of Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth. It is also true that Imperator proudly flies the flag of my nation and that Canada is at war with us. I understand that the British have claimed that, if the roles had been reversed, that the German warship would have behaved identically. That is, if a German warship happened upon a Canadian one on the high seas, that the German would do the same if a British, Canadian, or French ship failed to stop upon the challenge. And, furthermore, that this is the nature of war. Members of the US press have asked me if the British were not been correct in their statement. I admit here and now, that they are largely correct. Indeed, war is a terrible condition and one in which many have suffered already and many more will suffer in the days ahead. I regret this, and so does my Kaiser, who authorized this sailing in an effort to increase commerce and traffic between our great nations. Perhaps your efforts and those of your enlightened President will succeed in ending this conflict which is a blight upon this planet that we share.
"Today, however, my government has instructed me to offer our deepest apologies to Greece and to the family of the deceased. It is to our profound shame and regret that Mr. Kallikantzari lost his life while traveling under our flag. We shall strive to make such passages safer for all, but we shall not cease them, not even were Great Britain, her Commonwealth members, and her other Allies to interpose their entire combined navies between our two great nations. We regret any additional suffering that may occur.
"To the family of Mr. Constantine Kallikantzari, let me say these final words. His killers will rue this day. He shall be avenged."

jim (Letterstime)

June 14, 1915 -- The London Times

A German Ploy?

A remarkable show is being put on in New York. The wake of the Greek National, one Mr. Constantine Kilikantzar.

There a German correspondent is waging a rabid and typically blunt assault upon the reputation of His Majesty's government and of that of the Royal Navy itself.

Claims of atrocity and of future justice being dealt out to the 'brutal aggressors (That being the Royal Navy and in the larger picture, the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom) are being bombastically thrown out for all to see and hear.

The correspondent also quotes that the German government has expressed shame and grief on the death of said national who along with others were passengers on a German liner whose intentions even now remain shrouded in mystery and has expressed its apologies for the incident.

A remarkable turn of events indeed. While it cannot be denied that a ship of His Majesty's government did indeed fire on what was thought to be a suspected German blockade runner, one that might very well be attempting to run weapons back to the waiting arms of the Central Powers, this author must now ask the question,

Has the Tiger changed its stripes?

Can this same solemn and grief-stricken German government, be the same government who sanctioned the deliberate and unprovoked violation of a neutral country's borders?

And once those borders were violated, against all common decency and customs of international law, oversaw the execution of innocent Belgium nationals whose only crime was that they chose to defend their sacred lands from a brutal army of occupation?

Can this be the same government that sanctioned the use of vile and deadly poison gas along the Eastern Front with the Russian army?

Can this indeed be the same government that has brutally invaded the homeland of the heroic and gallant French? And who even now continue to abase and abuse those lands and the peoples therein who find themselves on this cold day on the wrong side of a senseless conflict?

And finally, can this indeed be the same government who on the one hand condemns the regrettable result of what may very well have been a deliberate ploy by this same shamefaced German government to provoke sympathy on the part of a neutral, be the same government that has relentlessly and cold bloodedly attacked the innocent citizens of His Majesty's government both above and below the seas? Where is the 'regret' and shame when a neutral or Commonwealth merchant is torpedoed without warning? Where is the shame and grief when, even when the Hun chooses to follow International Law and first allow those citizens to evacuate their ship, only to be cast adrift to fend for themselves in a cold and merciless sea?

Let it be stated that, regardless of whatever devious German mind was at work behind this "incident", while regretting the loss of any innocent lives in this large and wasteful conflict, His Majesty's government and the Royal Navy remain unwavering in their sense of honor and justice and will not stand meekly aside while Europe - nay the world - is brought, whether by the brutal hand of aggression, or by a sinister web of deception, under the cold mailed gauntlet of the Kaiser and his forces.

To the correspondent in New York, I say, seek not false justice or vengeance. It may be that this 'shame and grief' stricken German government on which so many have already suffered, those without voice or representation, will themselves face Justice.


Imperator Auction Announcement

A public auction will be held tomorrow (June 14, 1915) at noon in the warehouse at the foot of the dock where Imperator is berthed (see directions below). Sealed bids will be accepted up until 11:00 AM. Lots to be placed under the gavel include the following:
- Lots 1 - 25: freshly brewed, imported German beer, in kegs, 20 to a Lot. These kegs have been maintained cold since shortly after brewing in the refrigerated compartments of Imperator. See below for details of brews, including brand and source.
- Lots 26 - 50: white wine, in jeroboams, 20 to a Lot. These containers have been maintained cold since departure from Germany and include various brands. All vintages date from before 1900. See below for details, including vineyards of origin.
- Lots 51 - 100: Bavarian pretzels, 10 barrels to a Lot. These pretzels were all hand-cooked by Bavarian chefs on or after June 2 and all seals are available for inspection prior to bids.
- Lots 101 - 151: Cheese rounds, 10 rounds to a Lot. These rounds are all aged (details are Lot-specific) and sealed in wax and represent a great variety of types and flavors.
- Lots 152 - 200: Grandfather clocks, 10 to a Lot. These clocks are distinctive examples of skilled German woodworking and clockmaking, and are available in a great variety of styles, woods, and finishes.
- Lots 200 - 208: Oil paintings, 1 to a Lot. These original paintings are great works of art by internationally recognized painters. Provenance provided.
- Lots 209 - 210: Oil paintings, 1 to a Lot. These paintings are similar to Lots 200 - 208, but show damage from shrapnel and fire (from the Canadian warship Niobe). Restoration may be possible.
- Lots 211 - 250: Reproductions of oil paintings, 1 to a Lot. These limited edition copies are of naval scenes, recently-commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II, and include the famous "Derfflinger at Dogger Bank."


1) Lots that do not reach minimum may be broken into smaller Lots and re-offered.
2) Bonded purchasing agents are invited to attend a pre-auction party tonight at which time portions of the beer, wine, cheese, pretzels, and other items not listed will be freely available for sampling.
3) Accredited journalists are also welcome to attend the pre-auction party.

Jim (Letterstime)


15 June 1915


The Ambassadors of His Most Britannic Majesty King George V, His Imperial Majesty Czar Nicholas II; HRH King Leopold of the Belgians; His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Japan and The Republic of France wish to bring the following information to the attention of all Americans:

Yesterday a German Steamer arrived bearing a cargo of stolen, plundered and other contraband goods. These goods are being offered for auction in contravention of the laws of war and the natural law of man. These goods are simply stolen property of subjects and citizens of nations who are victims of German agression.

Specifically, the offered lots include objects 'd art and other items that have been plundered from occupied territories, manufactured using materials stolen from people of occupied territories and/or made with slave labor under the heel of the German opressor.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the governments of the afore noted countries will take immediate legal action by filing suit in court to prevent any purchaser of the goods listed by the Huns, from taking poesession of this stolen property. Such suits will be undertaken will all possible vigor immediately upon the sale of such items. Therefore any perspective purchaser should be aware considerable expense will be incurred following any purchase of these plundered goods.

PERSPECTIVE BUYERS ARE ADVISED they should be aware the above noted governments are prepared to spare no expense to prevent these stolen goods from being sold by the thieves.

Therefore, be advised perspective purchasers will bid on these items at their peril.

by Sir Henry Porter, k.g,; k.c.b.

Public Auction Draws Vast Crowd

"Quite Satisfied" - Ballin

By most accounts, the public auction of goods brought ashore from the recently arrived German liner Imperator was a huge success. Per most participants, the pre-auction festivities were even a greater success. Mr. Ballin, owner of the Hamburg American Line, stated that the level of interest in the merchandise demonstrated that the American public seriously missed German products in their day-to-day life. When informed that British authorities had denounced the sale and had attempted to block the auction, Mr. Ballin stated that US Customs officials had examined all items offered for sale, and that Hamburg American Lines had paid handsome duties on all of them. Furthermore, Ballin stated, provenance was provided on all items in the auction. "Lawyers are lawyers," Ballin said, "and they can produce an argument for anything. After all, that's their job. German lawyers could easily claim that all goods from the British Empire are tainted by the labor of slaves and other oppressed peoples in India and in so many other places that the sun never sets on them all. By the way, that position actually would be correct, but our countries are at war and enemies have been known to say anything."

Bidding was spirited for the wine, clocks, and cheese, but the auction's greatest interest generators by far were the lots of cold beer. The agents grew quite impassioned, some consulting by phone with their principals as the shouted amounts far exceeded expectations. The paintings drew much more modest interest, though many of the intelligentia expressed outrage over the damage inflicted by the Canadian warship Niobe. One successful bidder for a damaged painting stated that he would not attempt to restore his purchase, indicating hope that the historic occasion of the damage might actually increase its value.
Some lots went for the amounts in sealed bids. These items generally were not widely advertised, but commercial interests clearly had been informed by other means. Mr. Ballin stated that prices for those items also met or exceeded expectations. Goods in this category included pallets of drums of industrial solvents and reagents, and crates of pharmaceutical products.

All the auctioned goods were gone from the warehouse within hours after the last gavel fell. However, the dock has remained hugely busy. Hundreds of German sailors were seen earlier to leave Imperator and board the German liner Kaiser Wilhelm II at the next pier. That liner also has begun to prepare for departure. Other crewmen from Imperator reportedly have boarded trains, most for Boston with others for Philadelphia. Pallets and nets of other materials were also being winched aboard the liners. Pinkerton dock security was tight. Reportedly, most of the goods going aboard were billets of metal, at least some of it tin, drums of natural rubber, and sacks of wheat grain.

Both liners also have begun to board passengers. Most appear to be single men, perhaps adventurers or thrill seekers. A number of families were also seen to be boarding.

Mr. Ballin stated that the German warship escort was expected shortly, hopefully, he said, in time for Mr. Killikantzari's funeral.

by Jim (Letterstime)

~ Two Newspapers in New York, one in Boston, one in Chicago, and one Washington D.C. all carried stories roughly similiar to this one. This is the Chicago paper's story. These papers also carried the stories by the Countess, both of her own experiences on the journey and of British repression in Ireland and the Boer Republics of the native, white, christian peoples in those lands, but they will not be covered, as you can guess the contents. Instead, this story will be covered, the account of a young, more junior officer on the Imperator and his version of the events of the "Sea Chase" off the American coast.~


"The Sea Chase!" "British Warships Vs. SMS Strassburg and SS Imperator!"

The Gallant story of the Liner Imperator and the Cruiser SMS Strassburg as they are pursued by the British all along the American coast, as told by Fourth Officer Karl Mueller of the Liner Imperator. Read about events as witnessed from his own eyes! Experience the thunder of war and the excitement of a chase on the High Seas for yourself!

Read the first hand recounting of the fast paced, action-packed events as the British blockading warships try to sink the Liner Imperator and the Cruiser Strassburg as they race at maximum speed to reach the safety of American waters! Hear of daring feats of courage and valour as the Strassburg's crew tries to defend the massive Imperator and battle the forces of the Royal Navy, invincible at sea since our great Frigates of the War of 1812 defeated and humbled the British and their sea might!

Here are the fourth officer's words, as transcribed:

"It was three fifteen in the afternoon; Local time. We were approaching the American coast when Imperator and Strassburg caught sight of an Armed Merchant Cruiser, English, altering course to intercept us; They'd already seen our smoke, and this one was close enough to try for visual sighting, unlike all the others that had missed us as we dashed through the blockade.

"They were coming in at about ninety degrees, due east, charging at us at a good seventeen knots, while we making twenty-two knots to the west-northwest. The combined closing speed made it certain that they'd get close, I realized quickly. The Strassburg was slightly behind us, then, and to our port. We were further south than we wanted to be, and with no bad weather to help us, we'd have to run past the Britisher.

"Strassburg was a new cruiser of a type the German Navy has been building, of a special type, armed with a large number of 5.9in guns. Her crew was eager for battle, having missed Dogger Bank and Skaggerak both, and so we held course, the Strassburg covering behind us, waiting for the right moment to come out and do battle with the Britisher.

"We sighted a new ship, then, on a bearing of two-seven-zero degrees; A second AMC, it was. The new Britisher then shifted course to the east as well, to intercept us. They had sighted Imperator, surely, but it seemed like Strassburg was still hidden in the shadow of the great liner on which I serve.

"By about three fourty-five PM, we were turning away, to the north. The range was only ten miles by then, as the first AMC closed with us; The other was holding back, because of bad positioning, no doubt. They didn't have a chance to catch us. The first, though, was closing, and had a good range to her guns.

"She was about twenty-thousand yards off when Strassburg sprung her trap on the Britisher. You see, Strassburg had been hiding behind the Imperator; the massive bulk of the liner prevented her from being seen and her smoke mixed with our smoke. The Britisher thought we were an easy kill, or, at worse, another AMC.

"And then, just as the Britisher opened fire, the first ranging salvo going long. It was aimed for Imperator, despite the fact we'd done nothing to indicate we were armed. At that moment, I wish we had been, so we could have unmasked 5.9in inchers and got the Britisher good, but then we couldn't have legally carried our cargo to America, despite the need for protection from the British pirates even if you're only carrying bread and bandages. But we didn't need guns; We had Strassburg!

"The Strassburg raced out from our cover gallantly, as soon as the British armed merchant cruiser had opened fire, and swung about, charging straight for her and readying her guns and torpedoes! I watched the entire thing through my binoculars. With the second Britisher too far off to engage and too slow to intervene, the closer Britisher ceased firing double-quick and turned to flee, Strassburg looking glorious as she gave chase!

"As Strassburg stunned the Britishers and sent both of them fleeing, Imperator made good on her own attempt for American waters, engines carrying us at a steady twenty-two knots; Not even flank speed. We got out of there quickly, and the Strassburg let the Britisher run. It would have been a dishonourable slaughter to engage just one AMC with a new cruiser and the other AMC was beyond hope of being run down. Her cowardly captain had fled early; At least the captain of the closer Britisher had guts, even if he was dastardly enough to open fire on an unarmed liner!

"After the chase, though, we realized we couldn't make our original destination, so we headed for New York at twenty-three knots as the Strassburg swung back to take up position with us. We knew the Britishers were on to us, now, so we had to be quick about things, especially sighting any smoke trails that might be more attacking Britishers!

"Over the deck hour or so, the Britisher, the closer one, pursued us, but we had four or five knots on her and she was left in our wakes soon enough; Before long I doubt she even saw our smoke, but she knew our course, and she had a wireless. That was clear enough within short order.

"Things had calmed down and it seemed as though we could dash into New York safely. It was around five-thirty PM, local time, when we sighted the ship that was closing. It was a warship on a southerly heading! We weren't sure yet whose, or just what it was, but it was definitely a warship, and heading towards us at a good clip of speed. That we could be sure of.

"Strassburg was preparing for combat again, and we were preparing to evade her; We knew we'd come close, perhaps gun-range close, and we also had to worry about the Britishers we'd left behind catching up if we turned to a new course. But we took the risk, and began to angle rather more towards our destination, maintaining twenty-three knots.

"Perhaps ten minutes later it became clear that the Britisher was slower than us by a good measure of knots, but we could not be sure how many. She'd also sighted us; She was on an intercept course and the smoke billowing from those four funnels was impressive even in the evening!

"It was a terrible sight; Like something out of hell, from Dante's Inferno, steaming down upon you. We held our course, and in the boiler rooms, the stokers worked harder. They knew their lives were at stake. The passengers who were strong enough for the job even voulunteered to have their turns with the shovel to keep the boilers hot.

"As the minutes passed, we could make her out more clearly. It was a Diadem class Protected Cruiser. We knew it had to be the Canuck, Niobe, then. A big ship, her reciprocating engines could and probably were making over twenty knots for us. The Diadem class has sixteen six-inch guns and outclassed the Strassburg in all but torpedoes and speed! They're devilish looking ships with all those stacks and that ram bow curving into the water; I admit, it frightened me some to see that cruiser against us, but I was too excited at the time to think of fear.

"The Captain ordered us to Forced Draught, hellish for the men in the boiler rooms but necessary if we were to escape to the safety of American territorial waters! It was then that we saw the flashes of the lights of the lighthouses to the northwest and the southwest and we knew we were saved, if only we could get to American waters in time!

"And we knew, too, just like Strassburg's crew did, that the only way to do that would be for Strassburg to fight the Canuck cruiser. Indeed, it was then that we had the greatest shock, for the Niobe opened fire with every gun she could bear upon the Strassburg, the great shell splashes rising as the crack of guns thundered across the water to us and the tongues of flame were seen from the Niobe! The battle was joined!

"We were going to keep our course and best speed, with Strassburg dueling Niobe until she was out of range, but then that became impossible. For, moments later, we sighted a second cruiser! This one looked to be a modern light cruiser, bearing two-three-five, closing with us and only twenty-thousand yards out!

"We went to course two-four-zero and Herr Ballin ordered the Captain to tie down the safeties and make like the devil was on our tail to reach American waters! In the meantime, the Strassburg, outnumbered and outgunned, charged ahead at flank speed, right towards the Light Cruiser! All the while, shell splashes were raising up around her from the Niobe's guns...

"It was after six fourty PM when it happened. As the sun was dimming, Strassburg charged off to duel closely with the Light Cruiser. Straight ahead, guns and torpedoes swinging to bear, closing bow to bow! And the, of all things, the cowardly canadians on the Niobe swung their guns to bear on the Imperator! They chose to reduce a civilian liner carrying legal goods instead of engaging a cruiser which was racing straight for one of their own!

"We were under heavy fire by then, as Strassburg prepared to engage the light cruiser. With the two ships negating each other, the Niobe could fire at us as long as we were in range. We'd changed course again; No particular orders, just "Straight for the Light!" We were headed for the light we'd seen, on a point on the American coast, so we could get into territorial waters and safety all the faster. By then we were maybe making twenty-five knots.. A knot or more faster than Imperator had ever made before!

"The hell in the engine rooms was intense then, I've heard from the men who were stoking since the battle. They were throwing in the coal and all but breaking their backs to keep up Imperator's speed, the safeties tied down and everything running in the red-line! It was America-or-Burst for us, either from British shells or our own boilers!

"Then, we were hit, and I mean hit hard! First, the Niobe straddled us with her fire, the shell splashes coming up so close that as I stood on the bridge wing, watching her and watching Strassburg close with the light cruiser, too, I was soaked with water from one of the columns made by the shells!

"But, on Niobe's next salvo, she got us good; Three shells landed in the after superstructure. They were high-explosive, to chew apart unarmoured hulls and rip flesh. Two of them blew and ripped up the superstructure like you can see in all the photos, killing a number of good men, civilians all! The third, thank God, was a dud!

"It was then that Strassburg was preparing to really let that Light Cruiser have it in revenge, when she realized it wasn't a light cruiser at all. It was one of your big American Destroyers! The Captain of the Strassburg, as soon as he saw it, ordered the guns and torpedo tubes back to centerline. Strassburg's crew was good enough to catch it before any mistake was made.

"And then it was time for Niobe! We were inside the territorial waters by the time we were hit, but it was clear she wasn't giving up, still firing! She and those Canucks wanted us bad, and they were giving pursuit. They might not have been inside American waters, but we definitely were. It didn't matter to the Canucks.

"The American flashed a message to the Strassburg and she replied with an apology by blinker-light as she swung about, making over twenty-seven knots, easy, towards Niobe! The old Protected Cruiser might have been nice for demolishing an unarmed liner, but seeing Strassburg and her crew, furious at the attack on us, racing towards them with a bone in her teeth... That definitely made them think twice!

"The Canucks couldn't take the thread of those 5.9in guns opening up on their unprotected sides or the torpedoes ripping open their hull; They never even got the range on Strassburg. Instead, they just turned and fled. The Britishers really shouldn't give ships to them. You might hate the Britishers, but at least they're not cowards.

"So, Niobe ran flat-out, and she probably made the best speed of her life, too, running from Strassburg until it was clear that the Imperator was safe. Onboard, I'd ended up leading another damage control party to help control the fires, but we had them contained quick enough, and we slowed to let the engines rest, well inside American waters and heading for New York, now.

"With the Canucks fleeing like madmen, the Captain of the Strassburg had more important things to do. He broke off the chase and let them run, returning to Imperator. We flashed messages back and forth. Once we were clearly safe within American waters, knowing that American warships were about and wouldn't let any harm come to us now that they'd seen the perfidious Britishers fire on an unarmed liner, Strassburg broke off. She had her own mission to attend to.

"Safely, we made our way into New York, and of course everyone knows about our arrival and all the made jumble that's happened since. I wish I could, since it's so exciting, but I can't speak of Strassburg's mission or of what we're doing here. The English care not for the laws of war and put spies everywhere, you know. It's not hard to read a newspaper, anyway.

"Well, that's it. We had a close call with death, and some good men got it from those Canuck shells, but the Britishers ran when faced with the new cruiser and even with their disrespect for American territorial waters we got to New York safely. Now we've learned all their routines, and we should have an easy time on our way back to Germany... No more shell hits, that's for sure!

Archivist's Note: The pictures that went with these columns have been lost, but are described as follows:

  1. The first is a random sort of quickly drawn and coloured image, naturally inaccurate but quite daring, showing the view from Imperator as she is torn by fire from Niobe, with Niobe and Strassburg exchanging fire at what couldn't be more than a hundred yards in the picture.
  2. The next picture is a picture of Imperator before the war, including the area damaged.
  3. Next to it is the third picture, of Imperator, just taken in New York harbour, showing the physical damage to the ship. Before and After.
  4. The fourth and final picture shows a group of German seaman from the Imperator holding up Niobe's dud 6in shell like a prize for the camera, also just taken at the dockside.

by Marina O'Leary

Sacramento Times-Union, June 15, 1915

German Liner Runs Blockade after Firey Duel with Warship!
Great Excitement in NYC!

June 15, 1915 - by wire - New York City

The grand German luxury liner SS Imperator arrived yesterday in New York harbor, after escaping by the skin of her teeth from her angry British pursuers. Yesterday afternoon, Imperator, premier flagship of the Hamburg-American Lines, sailed majestically into New York after running the British blockade of the Atlantic, a feat previously thought impossible. Imperator looked proud, even with her obvious battle damage still sending acrid smoke into the air. Eyewitnesses described the exciting high speed chase as the liner fled from her British and Canadian pursuers, unable to defend herself.

"It was terrible," said Kevin O'Reilly, a passenger who had booked what was supposed to be a luxury passage to the United States. "They were shooting at us... some of the shot hit the ship, and many people were killed! They were just innocent passengers, they didn't deserve to die."

"Horrible, just horrible - my friend was killed. I tried to get him below, but he was already dead," said Spyridon Mehta, another passenger from the neutral nation of Greece, wiping his eyes as he related the harrowing experience. "I never thought we'd be in any danger, never."

The New York representative of the Hamburg-American line, Mr. Meyers, with typical German stoicism, would only comment publicly, "Yes, our ship was shot by a Canadian warship while we were trying to seek peaceful commerce with our long time trading partner, the United States. The Hamburg-Amercian Line is distressed and regrets that we could not protect our passengers, who certainly were not expecting to hazard their lives on a sea-journey."

Representatives from the British Embassy say that Imperator should have stopped when the initial warning shot was fired across her bows, but German officials contend the ship had reached the neutral and safe territorial waters of the US and so should not have been fired upon in the first place. They also aver that firing upon a defenseless passenger ship is tantamount to murder. Given the carnage aboard the liner, native New Yorkers could only agree.

"It's criminal, what happened to them guys!" said Martin Howard, as he wrapped fish for his customers at the bustling Fulton Fish Market. "I wouldn't treat my mother-in-law that way! Shootin' them in the back like that! It's despicable, that's what it is!" The native of Brooklyn chewed his cigar, emitting a cloud of smoke almost as dense as that of the local ships as he spoke. "My grandma's from Ireland and she always said the British couldn't be trusted!"

Our correspondent on location will be filing regular dispatches as this exciting story continues! Buy the Times-Union every day to be sure you don't miss a thing!

by Colleen Winters

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