Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Live Bait Squadron: the Sinking of HMS Aboukir, Hogue, and Cressy, 22 September 1914 (Video)

In September 1914, three Royal Navy ships of the obsolete "Armored Cruiser" class were patrolling the English Channel. Under-armed, under-armored, and not very maneuverable, they were sitting ducks or "live bait" in British sailor speak. German U-9's captain saw his opportunity and seized it. In short order, the Aboukir, Hogue, and Cressy were sent to the bottom. Almost all of the 1,500 seamen aboard the vessels went down with their ships. This fascinating documentary looks at the event from three perspectives: 1) the attack, 2) the shock wave sent through the Royal Navy, when it was made clear how vulnerable their ships were to the enemy's U-boats, and 3) the human tragedy reaching home to the sailor's communities caused by the sudden and massive loss of life.

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