Letterstime - Ein Geleitzug
- Meeting Engagements, Part XXIX
(Late Afternoon and Evening, June 21, 1915)
---- New York Times (Exclusive to the Times)
1137 Entente Prisoners!
Germans Provide List to Red Cross
"... including the commanding officers of HMAS Sydney, HMAS Melbourne,
and HMS Val's Tract. The complete list can be found on A-12, 'Red Cross
"When asked about the fate of the Allied commander, Vice-Admiral
Patey, German Commodore von Hoban stated that the list that they had provided
included all those who had been rescued by German forces after the battle.
The Times contacted the embassies of France and Great Britain, but officials
at both embassies declined to comment, as did the senior Entente officer
at the hospital. The Canadian embassy released an official statement (complete
text on A-14, "Canada") thanking the officers and men of the
United States Navy and Coast Guard for their 'efforts in rescuing 228
officers and men following the tragic loss of HMCS Niobe,' sunk by German
warships in the great sea battle off New York on June 18. It should be
noted that the Red Cross list contains another 168 names identified as
crewmen from Niobe, leaving the number of her crew that remain unaccounted
for at 315."
The Baron's visit had made it clear that Jeff Lantz had pleased his boss.
Jeff, however, had more than one of those.
"Yes," Jeff admitted bravely enough. "Report at noon at
"You were to have 30 days!" She blinked, and blinked again.
"Liebchen ...." The sparkle that was not dew grabbed at him.
He extended his good arm to touch the affected cheek.
"You were to have 30 days!"
"It's not Stettin. It's just a desk job. I'm not going anywhere.
He clasped her then, incongruously pleased at just how he tightly he
could do so without much discomfort at all. He eased up a hand to stroke
the bright blonde tresses that had so caught his eye not so many years
"We were to have 30 days." Jeff noted the slight but significant
wording change, the muting of tone.
"We still will, Liebchen. We still will."
"But why? Why?"
"HE came - personally! - kicked everybody out and asked me."
Jeff did not need to identify who "HE" was. "Told me he
needed me. ME!"
"Ich auch," she protested into his chest, blushing slightly
at the double entendre. Then she remembered again that she'd almost lost
him, and moved to eliminate the ambiguity.
---- New York Times (others similar)
Greek Salamis Sails For Philadelphia
Great Crowd Gives Battleship Greater Send Off
"... represents a basic change in the balance of power in the Mediterranean.
'Greece,' His Excellency stated, 'is poised and ready to return to her
rightful place in the world family of nations as .... It may be hard for
Americans to truly understand what Salamis represents to the people of
Greece,' he added, 'but Salamis is more than simply a modern warship.
No, she is a pivotal and profound symbol. Consider, for example, the very
origin of her name ....' "
---- Bridge of ACR Montana, course 220, speed 6 knots
Once their Greek charge had gotten searoom, she'd slowed to the present
bell. Captain Peace did not profess to understand their reasoning, though
they had spent some of the time speculating on the matter. His XO, CDR
Campbell, had opined that the Greeks may had a deadline to meet of some
sort and, once they'd gotten back to near the Three Mile Limit, that they'd
met it. As for the deadline itself, and why, well, he had nothing to offer
on that. Nor, it seemed, did any of them.
In fact, Peace found himself so frustrated over the matter that he struggled
to resist chewing on his pipestem. Just a handful of days ago, he'd felt
much the same way. Then, there'd been no logical reason for the Germans
to proceed as they had with Strassburg. It had taken the timely arrival
of a force with not less than two battlecruisers - a bizarre turn of events,
indeed - to have it make any sense at all, and Peace was still not sure
that it did.
"There is still a piece missing from this puzzle, XO," Peace
commented. "Maybe more than one." It was maddening; that's what
it was. Yet, at the same time, invigorating.
"Sir," it was LT Green, "the plot puts them right at the
channel mouth one hour before dawn." Just as you'd predicted, Captain,
Green did not add.
"Very well," Peace replied. No mystery there. A night transit
up the channel would be - especially for an incomplete vessel such as
Salamis most clearly was - patently imprudent, so an hour before dawn
would enable Salamis to dock about as early as she could reasonably expect.
Was that it? Or could there be something important about being at the
Delaware bay entrance itself at that specific time?
He scratched his head absently, then reached for his pouch. They weren't
hiding anything, that was for sure. Whatever it might be, the Greeks and
Germans had gone to great lengths to ensure a total absence of secrecy
over this transit. If it was not secrecy, could there be something that
the Greeks, or perhaps the Germans, wanted the USN to see there at that
time? Could it be that they wanted someone to see the USN there at that
---- New York Times (others similar)
Third German Warship Docks
Turns Over 144 More British Wounded
"Tempers appeared somewhat frayed today after the German light cruiser
Kolberg docked at the HAPAG Terminal berth that, just moments before,
had been vacated by the German cruiser Rostock. Conspicuous on her topsides
were 144 more Allied prisoners of war that were promptly marched off and
turned over to US Naval authorities. The men were immediately whisked
away by waiting ambulances, indicating that their arrival had been expected.
According to the Red Cross List (see related story at A-12), even with
the addition of those handed over today, it would appear that the great
majority of Entente prisoners remain prisoners aboard the German squadron
reportedly 50 miles off shore.
"Today's transfer of Entente wounded took place in a far less orderly
handover fashion than American authorities apparently had planned. As
the German Kolberg was approaching her HAPAG Terminal berth, the Greek
dreadnought Salamis was making her grand departure one berth over (see
A-1, Salamis). Greek officials and several bus loads of well-wishers ...."
---- New York base hospital
Captain Theargus - "The Senior Entente Officer" - was standing
out in the open air at the entrance, awaiting the return of the ambulances
with the remaining two score Allied wounded. Truth be told, there had
been few enough among the first century or so with wounds that were more
than superficial, and the rest were said to be fitter still. Neither he
nor any of the others were complaining at the label, however, as soft
Yank hospital beds bettered hard Hun battlecruiser decks by no minor margin.
As he watched the return convoy and the escort force of police or military
vehicles begin to wind their way slowly up the access road, he could not
help but note the arrival of a single military car. Initially, he assigned
it no significance. Even when it pulled up right beside him at the entrance,
he gave it but little notice. Then the front doors both opened and the
Ensign who came out of the passenger's seat hastened to open the rear
door. The auto sported no distinguishing placard nor a senior officer's
pennant, so that seemed an odd duty for an officer, but it was really
the look that the Yank gave him that tipped him off.
The youngster had registered surprise (no problem there) and more than
a bit of discomfort at the presence of Theargus, even dismay. Now, the
Aussie captain did not recognize the Yank and, thus, definitely doubted
that the Yank knew HIM. Thus, though there were definitely some with good
reason to react like that, he'd hardly expect this Yank to be among them.
As he ran his fingers absently through his red beard, Theargus decided
that it had been his attire that had provoked the reaction, for the Aussie
was dressed precisely as he'd dearly wished to have been a few hours earlier
when he'd faced dame battle axe: in a proper uniform, courtesy of chancellory
And so it came as no surprise - he'd already straightened his stance
- when a German naval officer emerged, and then another. After all, the
Germans had done something not too dissimilar to him but three days before.
It had all the makings of a really awkward moment, the tableau did. The
Aussie bulked large in the entranceway, sling or no sling. The slighter,
slender Kapitäleutnant turned slowly from the auto to face the other
squarely. Time seemed to slow. Ensign Kevin Jones swallowed, convulsively,
knowing full well that whatever was about to transpire would be blamed
on him, somehow. On the far side of the car, LT Lionel opened his mouth
as if to speak only to close it again, and then wince at the slight but
audible "click" that resulted. Meanwhile, the enlisted driver
dipped his head slightly to better see out through the passenger side
windows, his face displaying the frank and open curiosity of the not responsible.
"Good day, Kapitän," Dahm intoned, near the very limit
of his English vocabulary. As he spoke, he came to attention and saluted
the senior officer. With the Aussie's right arm in the sling, Dahm did
not hold the salute.
"Guten Tag, Kapitäleutnant," replied Theargus, nodding
in tempo anyway, his face deadpan.
"Good afternoon, Captain," Lionel said. Taking his cue from
Dahm, he saluted as he came around the car.
"Lieutenant," answered Theargus, nodding again.
"Sir," said Jones, adding to the rendered salutes total.
Without further ado, the trio went on into the hospital, leaving the
Aussie exchanging looks with the spectating driver. After a moment, the
enlisted man gave the foreign officer a shrug and put the car in gear.
Theargus, his collarbone burning like hell, did not return the shrug,
especially since it had seemed to be one of disappointment. Instead, he
turned to be better in view of his countrymen, the two-score within the
ambulances even then turning into the circle a dozen yards distant.
---- Philadelphia Inquirer
German Liners Depart!
Fanfare includes three bands
"Long a fixture of the skyline, the German liner Vaterland cast
off at noon today with a series of thunderous blasts from her great steam
whistle, and headed down the channel and out to sea. Nor was she alone.
Leaving with her were the three other newly-arrived liners, sister-ship
Imperator, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Kronprinz Wilhelm. They were seen off
by a great host of well wishers and officials, including ...."
" 'We just read about them going to be leaving at noon and all,'
said Mr. John Grant of Hoboken, New Jersey, 'so I packed up the missus
and kids and all and came to watch. Wouldn't have missed it for the world!
Them whistles scared little Susie at first, but the rest of my brood said
it was more fun than the circus.' "
---- Table Three, Imperator, Grand Ballroom
There were a total of eight at the table, six men and two ladies. Accepting
the normal, mixed reactions to their professions, the two reporters and
the other men sat down once the ladies had been seated. The folk were
not among those they had seen aboard during the transit from New York,
so the pair both had reached the tentative conclusion that they had boarded
in Philadelphia. Indeed, the greater reaction to Blue's affiliation (Philadelphia
Inquirer) over Max's (Sacramento-Union Times and New York Times) seemed
to offer support for their conjecture.
"... and when they threw in a cruise - in first class! - to boot
for me and the wife, both, well, let me tell you that was a deal I just
couldn't pass up ...."
"But," began Max, "aren't you concerned about the risks?"
"Risks? What risks?"
"Good evening, ladies, gentlemen," interrupted their waiter
gently. "Have you decided?"
"Dear?" The lady nodded demurely and pointed at a selection.
"Ah, my wife will have the ...."
Blue looked about the room as Hans took their orders. The head table
was also seated but, though two waiters stood nearby, neither had yet
approached. Instead, both remained a few steps distant, their attention
clearly on Herr Ballin, who was speaking. Blue could not help but smile;
obviously the HAPAG servers knew whose ship this was. Next, his eyes were
drawn to what would have been just a minor fidget by anyone with a form
less majestic than Hadi's. This almost drew out another smile; the Ottoman
wanted to eat but was trying mightily to face the delay with forbearance.
A flicker of motion of the Countess' rich red tresses caught his eye as
she turned to make some aside to the young lady seemingly under her wing.
---- New York Times
"... reported that the number of patients is threatening to overwhelm
both staff and facilities. Care has not suffered, Dr, O'Brien asserted,
thanks, to a great extent, to the remarkable response from the community.
"It is a testament to the inherent generosity of the American people,
and New Yorkers in particular," Dr. O'Brien stated, "that so
many have come forward to give so selflessly of their time and energy
---- New York base hospital
Dahm felt thoroughly ashamed now at his earlier reservations. His men,
and all the German wounded here, had been so visibly grateful to see him,
and to hear news of their ships, their shipmates. The doctor had spoken
German and had provided him a small store of analgesics even as he had
rewrapped his torso in a much more comfortable pattern. Better, the doctor
had demonstrated the method and had taken the time to assure the both
of them that Dahm could reproduce it himself.
So, yes, the time had been well spent. Dahm would admit that now, but
Kolberg .... He restrained his features as he and LT Lionel followed ENS
Kevin Jones through the corridor labyrinth back out of this place. Yes,
his (new) command was in the eminently capable hands of the Kommodore,
but it was HIS command. And he was not aboard her. Neither was his acting-XO,
LT Peter David Diele.
With his mind thus occupied, Dahm had paid no attention to their route
when the dull roar brought him back to the there and now. The passageway
had an unfamiliar look. From the expression on the face of their American
guide, it may have been unfamiliar to him, as well. Certainly, the tableau
they came upon was an unexpected one for him, as well as the two Germans.
The arrival of another 144 shipmates just liberated from captivity had
roused the Allied patients, filling them with joy, energy, and noise.
There already had been too many for any one ward, and now they filled
almost an entire wing. The staff had endeavored to keep the new arrivals
separate for the decreed 24 hour period as before, but the American hospital
was not a German battlecruiser. And the enforcers were not grim Huns with
rifles, but pretty young women in pink-striped skirts.
Well, most of them.
Captain Theargus had settled two wards and was enroute to a third when
he heard the commotion building ahead of him. His slung arm, various stitches,
and a nagging limp slowed him and the women pushing tea caddies or whatever
about in the halls hampered him even more. As he finally neared the open
double doors from which the din originated, he noted a trio of somewhat
familiar bystanders, staring slack-jawed at what transpired within. A
few more steps and he became all too well aware of what so transfixed
them. He slowed his pace and eased up beside them, shaking his head slightly
with a sigh.
"Ach, du lieber Himmel," said Theargus, in a fit of whimsy.
Lionel flinched, though more at a vast and threatening gesture within,
than the Aussie's words at his ear.
Dahm flicked his eyes away from the ongoing rampage.
"Good Gott Almighty," he replied, with perhaps a tiny crinkling
at the corners of his eyes.
" 'Good Gott,' indeed," the Aussie agreed, and then, with a
small but distinct nod, he bravely sortied into the ward to confront Dame
Terrilyn once again. At least, he consoled himself, this time he wore
more than a borrowed bath robe.