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Story of Captainís Courage Resurfaces After 98 years
The Telegraph ^ | 21 Jun 2013 | Hayley Dixon

Posted on 06/21/2013 5:10:14 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Captain John Bell was hailed a hero when he faced down the might of a German U-boat by ramming it with his tiny, unarmed cargo ship, becoming the first to sink such a vessel.

But like the U-boat Captain Bell’s story sunk into obscurity - until now, almost 100 years after the event, when his medals are to go for auction.

He went on the offensive after the fearsome submarine fired a torpedo at his small steamship in the English Channel.

He steered full steam ahead towards the U-boat's periscope until he and his crew heard a loud crash from beneath them.

Minutes later oil from the stricken sub floated to the surface of the sea and it was never seen again.

Although just a few months into the First World War, German U-boats posed a real menace to Royal Navy shipping, with five cruisers being lost to them in the first 10 weeks.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: ww1

1 posted on 06/21/2013 5:10:14 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Gutsy and badass.


2 posted on 06/21/2013 5:18:17 PM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: nickcarraway
Must have been early in the war, 'cause any U-boat commander with brains would have lowered his periscope, dived deeper and changed course to avoid being rammed.

Don't get me wrong; the ship captain was brave, but the U-boat captain was in idiot.

3 posted on 06/21/2013 5:29:56 PM PDT by ZOOKER (Until further notice the /s is implied...)
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To: andyk

Yep. When you figure you have nothing else to lose...do like he did.

We’re getting to that point in the U.S.A.


4 posted on 06/21/2013 5:30:23 PM PDT by SatinDoll (NATURAL BORN CITZEN: BORN IN THE USA OF CITIZEN PARENTS.)
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To: ZOOKER

Did you read it? That was THE FIRST U-Boat ever sunk. It was about 6 months into the war. No U-Boat had ever been sunk before, so I guess the U-Boat captain didn’t have a lot of experience to draw on.


5 posted on 06/21/2013 5:35:25 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: ZOOKER

Did you read it? That was THE FIRST U-Boat ever sunk. It was about 6 months into the war. No U-Boat had ever been sunk before, so I guess the U-Boat captain didn’t have a lot of experience to draw on.


6 posted on 06/21/2013 5:35:25 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Technically all subs are sunk until they surface, or not.


7 posted on 06/21/2013 5:40:51 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: nickcarraway

The era of iron men did not end with wooden ships. That is true of the Germans too.


8 posted on 06/21/2013 5:50:07 PM PDT by yarddog (There Are Three Things That Remain--Faith, Hope, and Love--and,the Greatest of These is Love..)
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To: nickcarraway
"..Damn the torpedo's and full schpeed ahead.!!"

Yup, A good motto for "us chickens" sooner-or-later here.
Admirable. d:^) Schneeks..

9 posted on 06/21/2013 6:13:15 PM PDT by CopperTop
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To: nickcarraway

First successful German U Boats in 1890; I had to check. I had no idea they went back that far. Did a lot of damage/death in WWI shipping.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-boat

Then the US Civil War had some pretty interesting, ptimitive underwater hardware, doing R&D.

‘Course the CSA had the HL Hunley in 1863, during the CW. Though it sank 3x and lost all crews, it was resurrected
for museum duty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._L._Hunley_(submarine)

Suicide runs.


10 posted on 06/21/2013 6:20:48 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Guns kill people, pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk & spoons make you fat.)
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To: nickcarraway

In my mind’s eye I can see the same slack-jawed expression of disbelief on the U-Boat Captain’s face as I would expect on a bulky punk mugger’s when Granny pulls out a Judge...


11 posted on 06/21/2013 6:21:39 PM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: nickcarraway
That was THE FIRST U-Boat ever sunk.

You're reading too much into it. The article said it was the first U-boat sunk by an unarmed cargo ship. I'd be surprised if it was the first U-boat sunk ever. I'm sure the U-boat Captain was as surprised as anybody when the cargo ship decided to ram him. I don't know if that makes him an idiot, but he certainly didn't anticipate the attack.

12 posted on 06/21/2013 6:23:28 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I am a dissident. Will you join me? My name is John....)
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To: carriage_hill
Then there was the submarine Turtle in the War of Independence.
13 posted on 06/21/2013 6:24:58 PM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: nickcarraway; ZOOKER
Gentleman, you are both wrong

It wasn't the first U-boat to be sunk, or even the first to be sunk by ramming: that would be the U-12, rammed and sunk by the cruiser HNS Birmingham 9 August 1914.

Furthermore Captain Bell's Feb 1915 hit (U-6) wasn't even sunk, it was damaged but made it back to base.

That said, ramming was a very effective method of sinking U-boats as the U12, U29, UC46, UC26, UC36, UB27, U44, U49, UC33, UC47, UC69, UB18, U87, U84, U89, UB119, UC78, U103, UC75, UB110 would find out (and that's just the 1st World War).

And major kudos to Captian Hayes of RMS Olympic, who, when attacked by U-103 in 1918, made a complete turn and ran the U-boat down.

Most. Badass. Ocean. Liner. Ever!

14 posted on 06/21/2013 6:38:39 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy ("New Yorks Finest" are now "The Untouchables")
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To: Oztrich Boy

Probably the greatest accomplishment of any U-Boat was by Gunther Prien who sunk the British Battleship Royal Oak in Scapa Flow which was the Home base of the British fleet.


15 posted on 06/21/2013 6:42:41 PM PDT by yarddog (There Are Three Things That Remain--Faith, Hope, and Love--and,the Greatest of These is Love..)
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To: yarddog

The Finns sank a Russian freighter using a surplus German training sub during WWI. Treaty of Versailles banned them from having subs as they could threaten the Soviet Navy operating from Leningrad.

Finland always fought on the German side as they would have ended up like Poland ( inside the Iron Curtain ) if they were on Russia’s side.


16 posted on 06/21/2013 6:55:44 PM PDT by alpo (What would Selco do?)
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To: alpo

I think the Hunley was maybe the bravest crew ever. After it sank twice killing all on board, the Confederates pulled their blackened corpses out and another crew volunteered. After repeating the first sinking they had to pull them all out again.

The third crew also lost their lives but they did what no one else had ever done. They sank the equivalent of a Union battleship with a sub.


17 posted on 06/21/2013 7:01:29 PM PDT by yarddog (There Are Three Things That Remain--Faith, Hope, and Love--and,the Greatest of These is Love..)
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To: yarddog; All

Maybe - although I believe it was Archerfish that sank Shinano, a much bigger Japanese aircraft carrier, in Japan’ s inland sea.


18 posted on 06/21/2013 7:53:39 PM PDT by bt_dooftlook (Democrats - the party of Amnesty, Abortion, and Adolescence)
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To: nickcarraway

Picture of Bell, his citations and watch inscription:

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/redcar-war-heros-medal-go-4304520


19 posted on 06/21/2013 7:58:21 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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