Germany's Sixteen Greatest World War I Heroes - A sixteen part series featured in the
Dunkirk Evening Observer, September 3 - 27, 1927

History has proved that the greatest blunder the Kaiser and his World War leaders made was the declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare, bringing into the conflict the great man power and resources of the United States.

But regardless of the policies of the Kaiser's war lords, the dusty files of the German war office at Berlin reveal that in the ranks of Germany's armed forces were many men whose feats in fighting for a cause they believed to be right rival the heroic tales of the allies' gallant soldiers.

Most of the German feats of heroism have never been told in America.

Milton Bronner, writer for NEA Service and the OBSERVER, recently spent several weeks examining the official German war records and interviewing scores of prominent Germans intimately connected with the war. He has prepared a series of 16 articles, telling for the first time in this country, the true stories of Germany's 16 greatest heroes.

Each story is full of thrills and daring adventure. And when you have finished the series you will realize why America's commander-in-chief, the late President Wilson, often stated that America was not fighting the German people, but the German war lords.

For you will find that Germany's greatest heroes were much like those of America or any of the allied countries. The Germans in the ranks were part of a great, stern and sometimes ruthless military machine, but individually they were much like the men of other countries.

This series begins in The OBSERVER on Wednesday, September 7. There is nothing in the articles to which any fair-minded person will object. You will want to read all the articles, because they will give you a new picture of the individual German of war days, in addition to revealing thrilling feats and almost impossible adventures.

Wednesday, September 7, 1927, Dunkirk Evening Observer, page 15

Beginning the Thrilling series, "Germany's Greatest War Heroes"


Many Ships Sunk Without Loss of Single Life

Editor's note: This is the first of a series of articles on Germany's greatest war heroes. These thrilling stories of what happened on the other side of the Rhine during the World War, written especially for the OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner (NEA Service Writer)

Berlin, Sept. 7. - The surprise of your life comes when you learn that an American sailing vessel became one of Germany's most daring raiders in the late war.

She was the Pass of Balmaha, amd she belonged to the Boston Lumber Company. In August 1915 on her way to Archangle with a cargo of cotton, whe was captured by a German U-Boat and sent to Bremen.

Shortly afterwards Count Felix von Luckner, pet of the Kaiser, ex beach comber, ex prize fighter, ex Salvation Army worker in Australia, ex-Mexican soldier of President Diaz in Mexico, ex-sailor-before-the-mast in English and American merchantmen, was called before the German naval staff.

He was to take the Pass of Balmaha through the British blockade and prey on allied shipping.

A Daring Venture

"Will you trust yourself," they said to him, "in a sailing vessel as an auxiliary cruiser to break through the British blockade?"

When Felix von Luckner was a boy in his teens, he had failed in school and run away to sea. He loved a wind jammer, and a request from the general staff was as good as an order. And so began the romantic preparation for the most cunning expedition that ever sailed the main.

On Christmas Day, 1916, a British patrol boat in the North Sea hailed a sailing vessel, the three-masted Norwegian bark Irma, bound for Australia with a cargo of lumber.

The skipper spoke Norwegian, and so did the crew. They spoke glibly of the towns in Norway from which they came. The log was Norwegian. There was a picture of the king and queen of Norway in the skipper's cabin. And the ship was loaded with lumber, loaded clear to the gunwales.

British Were Deceived

The British officers came aboard, made their inspection, pronounced everything in order, and gave the word that the Irma should continue on its way.

A few days later the ship Irma showed her true colors. Overboard went the cargo of lumber. From under the hatches came two four-inch guns, six machine guns, two gasoline launches, and a crew of German sailors. Two concealed auxiliary motors began to hum.

The well-drilled crew of Norwegians who had passed inspection before the British navy officers became, as if by magic, Germans, who celebrated Christmas day with special gifts, put aboard by Baroness von Krupp.

The name Irma still stayed on, but the true name of the ship now was the Seeadler - the Sea Eagle - and it was none other than the American ship Pass of Balmaha, done over for its buccaneering expedition in the South Atlantic and South Pacific.

The American ship Pass of Balmaha rechristened Seeadler, by March 7, 1917, had captured 11 ships and taken 277 prisoners. When she made her twelfth capture she put her prisoners aboard and sent them into Rio de Janeiro, thus releasing her secret and informing the world that the Seeadler was at large, ready for battle.

She rounded Cape Horn and began operations in the South Pacific. In all, she sank $25,000,000 worth of shipping, and her fame spread over the high seas.

Von Luckner had a rare sense of humor - he was a perfect actor, and he would have made a perfect pirate, only he was too considerate of his prisoners.

Pursuing an English merchantman on day, von Luckner called out "Make ready the torpedoes."

The Englishman surrendered. On board the Seeadler, he asked to see the torpedo tubes.

"We have none."

At another time the captain of a French sailing vessel was captured.

"Serves me right!" he said. "Two other French captains warned me to avoid this route. Now they are safely on their way home and I am a prisoner, my ship sunk."

"What were the ships?"

"Antonin and La Rochefoucauld."

Von Luckner turned to a seaman and told him to bring No. 5 and No. 6.

The amazed Frenchman rubbed his eyes. There before him were the captains of the Antonin and La Rochefoucauld.

Repeat Robinson Crusoe Story

And so went the cruise for 230 days and 33,000 miles. Then came the catastrophe.

Von Luckner put in at the French Island of Mopeha, near Tahiti, to give his crew rest and to get fresh water. Kind hearted buccaneer that he was he organized a picnic for prisoners and crew. While they were on shore a tidal wave lifted the Seeadler over an uncharted reef and broke its back.


They salvaged all the lumber they could, got up the wireless station, built huts, and prepared to make the best of it.

Von Luckner had thought the island uninhabited but he was wrong. It was inhabited by three Tahitians, pig and chicken raisers from Papeete. The natives were expecting a supply ship but before it arrived von Luckner and his men set out in an armed motorboat hoping to capture a merchantman and come back for the crew and prisoners. They reached Cook Island, 2200 miles away, deceived local authorities, but were taken in by Fiji constabulary and turned over to the British.

They were sent to a prison camp in New Zealand, but von Luckner was to make one more characteristic and glorious adventure.

Organizing German prisoners in the camp, he managed to escape in an open boat. They traveled 500 miles, suffering greatly from lack of water and food, but they were finally run down and brought back to New Zealand, where they stayed till the war was over.

Friendly Enemies

Von Luckner made friends of all his captives, and when he sailed into New York harbor last November aboard his vessel Vaterland bound for a good will cruise around the world, he was entertained by some of the skippers whose ships he had sent to the bottom.

He was the world's most kindhearted pirate, for on his whole cruise he never took a human life.


Tomorrow: "The Wasp" and his 62 victories.


The Fate of Von Luckner's Marooned Crew and Prisoners

The story of what happened to the crew of the Seeadler and the prisoners left on Mopeha is an adventure in itself.

Two weeks after von Luckner set out in his motor boat to capture another ship, a Tahitian barque came to the island with supplies for the three native chicken raisers.

Lieut. Kling captured the boat, and with 73 of the Seeadler's crew sailed away. They were captured by a Chilean schooner and interned by the Chilean government.

After this main body of Germans left, a French captain took command.

In September, seven of the prisoners set out in an open boat to seek help. Eight days later they returned, exhausted.

A second expedition of four men under Captain Smith, the American skipper of the Slade, one the the Seeadler's victims, set out in a leaky whaleboat. After ten days sailing, covering 1000 miles, they reached Tutuila, an American island in the Samoan group.

Wireless to Papeete set out a relief expedition and late in October 1917 the last of the prisoners was freed.

Thursday,September 8, 1927, Dunkirk Evening Observer, Page 17


Ace Udet, Who will Soon Fly to United States, Brought Down Sixty-Two Allied Planes.

Editor's Note: This is the second of a series of articles on Germany's greatest war heroes. These thrilling stories of what happened on the other side of the Rhine during the World War, written especially for OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.

By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer.

Berlin, Sept. 8 - One of Germany's greatest war aces plans an aerial trip to America in the near future.

He is Ernst Udet, victor in 62 combats with allied planes, known to his squadron in 1918 as "The Wasp," and today one of Europe s most prominent peace-time aviators.

Today the knickname "The Flea" has replaced his war time moniker. It has been given him by friends because of his habit of hopping gaily all about Europe.

Risked Life Many Times

Udet plans to hop from Hamburg to the Azores and thence to America. It seems safe to predict that if he starts he will finish; his life must be proof against catastrophe. If he could possibly have killed himself he would have done it long ago.

At 13 he had built a successful glider. Not much later he was a motorcycle racer. Finding those sports tame, he took to ski jumping, and at 18 he became a flyer. He had been flying a year when the war broke out and he was ordered to the western front.

Throughout the war he sought danger, took the greatest risks.

He preferred to fly alone and his chief delight was to drop into the middle of an allied squadron of a dozen planes, shoot down one of them and let the other eleven chase him.

When he was promoted to the command of a squadron he was grieved, for now he must fly with others. His style ws cramped.

Stalked Death Four Years

He came through the whole war almost without a scratch, and is flying today with nerves unshaken by catastrophes which made mental and nervous wrecks of hundreds of men in the air services of both sides.

He tells today of his most tragic experience in war time, an experience which in itself would make most people never wish to see an airplane again:

"Cruising along about a mile and a half above the earth one day, there dropped from the clouds above me a live man, legs spread apart, hands wildly waving. He was whizzing down to certain death. I never learned who he was, his nationality, or from where he had fallen."

Through horrors like this, Udet lived and fought for four years.

Udet's first service was as flying observer for an artillery regiment.

"We were then in Alsace," he says, "and my second flight came near being my last.

"I had an observer with me and we had flown about three miles high when we hit a tremendous thick cloud bank in which we were completely lost. Worse yet, our controls went. We came down through the clouds and estimated we must be 15 miles within the enemy lines. By good luck we just managed to glide to earth in a potato field one mile back of our own lines. I got the Iron Cross, second class for that.

Many Narrow Escapes

"It was some time before I began really to have command over machines. I had several accidents in which either the machine or I or both sustained injuries.

"I had two air combats in which nothing serious happened to either side, but in my third I made my first kill. I was high in the air when I saw a squadron of 18 French airplanes. I made a straight drop like a hawk, which brought me by surprise among them.

"At the short distance of 150 feet I let the nearest machine have the full contents of my machine guns. The French plane dropped burning to earth near Muehlhausen. That's how I won the Iron Cross, first class.

"On September 10, 1917 the French for the first time flew over that part of our lines with bombs. I dropped down amid a squadron of them and my shooting forced one of them to land. I had to do the same thing because of severe shooting my plane received. The comical thing was that the French loser made a beautiful landing and I, the German winner, made a rotten landing. The French came out of their machine and shook hand cordially. They even looked sheepishly at the sign they had painted on their machine - 'Here comes the destroyer'. We had a laugh together over that."

Preferred Solo Fighting

"As long as I was merely a fighter in the air, I preferred to go with my plane alone instead of making part of a group. A group was easily spotted and the enemy had warning that you were coming.

"I like to fly high, hidden often from the foe by the glare of the sun, I could thus drop like a kite amid even overwhelming numbers of enemy machines and put one of them or even two out of business. You see, they often got in each other's way and were often afriad to fire, lest they injure their own side.

"Later, when I was promoted leader of a battle squadron and later still made chief of a whole group of 50 planes, I had to change my tactics and lead my men. That somewhat cramped my style.

"Pride over my promotion gave me one of my greatest scares. I wanted to mark my elevation by smashing a big captive enemy balloon. Just when I was hovering over the thing, about ten English Sopwiths appeared on the scene and made for me.

"I rose into a very thick cloud bank. After a while I thought I would take a look above it. I dived back. Some of the Sopwiths were faithfully waiting for me. I took a look below. Some were there too. Finally I escaped them, but my compass went wrong and only by good luck did I reach our own lines, 70 miles from where I started.

"My closest shave was once when I sent an English plane to earth. Wanting to land myself and thinking we were back of our own lines, I was nearly on the ground when I saw several hundred Tommies coming on the run, rifles in their hands. I just did manage to rise and get out of harm's way.

"Your American fellows were good sports. My first encounter with them was when a squadron of ours encountered a squadron of Nieuports on which were painted the French colors.

"I shot down one of them and landed next to it. The young pilot was wounded in the leg and head [or hand?]. We shook hands. I greeted him in French but he did not seem to understand a word and then I realized I had at last met an American.

"I told him we had shot down two others of his squadron. He ga??ly said:

'Oh, a very good morning for us! But we'll do better. This is only the first inning.'"

Ace Udet to now 31.

Killer that he was in war time, he has none of the air of a killer today. He is rather chunky of build, smiling, blue eyed kindly. He has a liking for American cigarets and English "visky" soda.

Theoretically, his home is in Munich, where his father was an engineer, but Ernst Udet is seldom there. When I talked to him he had just flown in from Copenhagen, Denmark. When he had told his story he hopped off for Augsburg. From there he was to go to Bucharest, Rumania; then back to Constantinople and from there back to Copenhagen - all as a matter of course for a flying flea.


Tomorrow: How a German undersea raider foiled England's submarine nets and won a decoration for extreme heroism.

Friday, September 9, 1927, Dunkirk Evening Observer, [page 15]



Named "Ocarina" in Jest, Ancient Craft Becomes Toast of German Navy


Editor's Note: This is the third of a series of articles telling of the exploits of Germany's outstanding World War heroes. These articles, written especially for OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.

. . . .

By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer

(Copyright 1927, NEA Service Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 9 - The German submarine U-22 was known as the Ocarina.

It was the funniest looking thing in the German Navy, antiquated, shaped like a runt sweet potato and so cramped inside that the crew slept doubled up like jackknives.

In 1915 the command of this misshapen jest was given to Oberleutnant Heine von Heimburg, with orders to proceed through the British blockade, through the North Sea, southward through the Atlantic, through the narrow straits of Gilbraltar, through the Mediterranean, and over to the Dardenelles, where the allies were seeking to win Gallipoli.

One Chance in Fifty

His chances of getting through in the old fashioned submersible were perhaps one in fifty. The cruise of the big Deutschland to America was a lily pond adventure in comparison, and so when his comrades said goodbye to the skipper of the sea-going Ocarina, they never expected to see him again.

Three weeks laters Heine von Heimburg had gone through the Dardenelles; had won the German order of bravery, "Pour le Merité", had been caught in a steel net and successfully made his escape; had become the first, of not the only German U-boat commander to disable an allied submarine with a torpedo.

By 1915 the British had learned how to war against submarines. Steel nets had been placed at harbor entrances. Attached to the nets were big glass floats. They were invisible to the submarine, but if a U-boat became enmeshed, the glass float trailed along on the surface, making a wake which the allied destroyers could observe. Also, the depth charge had been developed, and was the U-boat's greatest hazard.

The first part of von Heimburg's trip was the routine stuff - sailing on the surface when no enemy was in sight, submerging when there was.

Then he came into Mediterranean waters and performed the first part of his job, which was to sink enemy transports. He left his "calling card," as the Germans dubbed their torpedos, twice. One of his victims was the Royal Edward, an 11,000-ton transport with 2,000 soldiers bound for Gallipoli and the southland.

Caught in Steel Net

Then he came to the Dardenelles. He knew the English had strong land batteries on both sides of the river and a strong patrol of destroyers and trawlers. He was forced to submerge if he wanted to pass.

This was at 6:30 in the morning. For two hours and a half the Ocarina went along beautifully. Then von Heimburg thought it was time to come up for fresh air and to replenish his storage batteries.

He heard a metallic banging and scratching on his little boat and realized that he was caught in a steel net.

The strands, finger thick, were all over the boat. Von Heimburg gave orders to submerge still deeper.

The boat went down 150 feet below the surface.

He tried to go forward. Nothing doing. The net stopped him. He tried to go backwards. The net tore, but part of it stuck to the boat, its upper end floating on the surface of the waters. A dead give away!

The allies were now firing down into the water, but he was too deep for them. Von Heimburg gave orders that his engines should be put full speed ahead, and soon they were pulling the net down so that the glass floats no longer revealed where they were.

Engine Goes Dead

Then his motor stopped. The steel net had wound around the screw. Engines fall on again. The screw tore loose from the netting - the Ocarina could move, even though it carried vast net with it.

Von Heimburg knew his only chance was to lie as deep as possible until dark. It was now 10 a.m. That meant waiting ten long hours, in the meantime the enemy had tossed depth bombs, which had come dangerously close.

At last night came. The Ocarina came to the surface. No enemy was in sight.

The whole crew, with hammers, hatchets and [saws?] began the work of clearing the submarine of a net 600 feet long. In two hours this was accomplished. There were still stands around the screw, but that didn't stop its revolutions. The Ocarina had escaped.

Sinks British Sub

It was later, when the U-22 was cruising around in the sea of Marmora, that von Heimburg came across the English submarine. He got within two miles of it. The English vessel was cruising on the surface, but the Ocarina was submerged, only the periscope showing. Von Heimburg let loose a torpedo and made a clean hit.

Looking through his periscope he saw black objects floundering in the water. It seemed almost impossible that these could be humans, but in some miraculous manner nine men had escaped from their frail steel cigar. Von Heimburg rescued them all - eight men and their commander.

The two young commanders sat together on the German submarine over a glass of something stronger than water. There ensued a funny lying match.

"How did you get through the Turkish nets?" asked the German.

"Oh, I put full speed on and tore through them," drawled the Englishman. "How did you get through our nets?"

"Funnily enough, I did the same thing."

They got along famously together.


Tomorrow: How an "army" of five men captured a fort.



In all, Germany had approximately 300 submarines.

About 200 of these submarines were lost.

It is doubtful if there were ever more than twenty of these submarines at sea at one time.

To combat this force of U-boats, the allied navies made use of some 5,000 destroyers, sub chasers, cruisers and battleships. Over 3,000 of these defense ships were kept busy about the British Isles. Hundreds of airplanes also aided.

During the four years of the war the allies lost some 21,400,000 tons of shipping, deadweight.

The total number of vessels sunk by submarines were about 2,750. In round numbers, these losses were divided as follows: Great Britain 2,200, France 240, Italy 230, U.S. 50, Japan 30.

At the beginning of the war there were 73,000,000 deadweight tons of shipping in commission. The German U-boats sank an equivalent of 30 per cent of this amount, although many of the losses were replaced by ships built during the war.

The actual loss of ships and cargo from the U-boats is estimated at nearly $8,000,000,000.

[Page Ten], Dunkirk Evening Observer, Saturday, September 10, 1927


Editor's Note: This is the fourth of a series of articles telling of Germany's outstanding World War heroes. These articles, written especially for OBSERVER and NEA Services by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily

. . . .

By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer

Berlin, Sept. 10 - The big war was only three weeks old when Lieutenant Otto von der Linde found himself celebrated in all Germany as an authentic hero - the first and youngest junior officer to win the most coveted of German military decorations, "Pour le Merité," instituted by the foremost of the Hohenzollerns, Frederick the Great, who wrote and talked French in preference to any other language.

Young von der Linde goose-stepped his way to glory.

He was an officer in the crack Fifth Regiment of Foot Guards, already mobilized when war was declared. It was in the lead when the westward advance of the gray-clad army got underway for what was to be a one-two-three march through Belgium, France, on to Paris, and a speedy end to this whole business before the snow flew.

Stopped at Namur

The unlooked for resistance of the Belgians threw the German general staff's time table out of gear by some two weeks.

The path of the Fifth Guards was blocked on August 23 by the forts of Namur. The particular hurdle which the goose-steppers could not take was Fort Malonne. It was a well laid out stronghold. Its approach was a bare, flat plain. To cross that plain, exposed to ruines [sic] and the raking fire of the fortress, was suicide, unless there was artillery preparation, and the commander of the Fifth Guards did not like the idea of waiting for artillery to come to his aid.

"I'll take it," spoke up young von der Linde.

Monocled senior officers stared at him in amazement. This was a "frech bursch," - a saucy fellow.

"And pray, how many men do you want with you!" asked one of them with heavy irony.

"Oh, about four."

"What are you relying on?"


The youngster seemed so much in earnest, it was decided to give him a chance. Von der Linde asked for volunteers. Forty came forward. He chose his imposing army of four, buttoned his gloves, drew his sword and gaily commanded: "March forth!"

His amazed compatriots saw him and his valiant four goose-step across the plain towards the fort just as if they were drilling in peace time in the barracks at Potsdam. The Belgian commander and his troops were apparently just as much amused. On came the four. They could not come clear up to the fort because it was surrounded by a deep flooded moat and the drawbridge was up.

"Heh, dah!" shouted von der Linde.

"What do you want?" answered a Belgian officer.

"I want the surrender of your fort and your men within ten minutes. Our regiments with artillery are posted in the forests all around you. We want to avoid the effusion of blood if possible."

The drawbridge let down. The ponderous gates were opened. Von der Linde's party of four, with guns ready, marched in.

Then the young lieutenant ordered officers and men to hie past, one by one, be searched for weapons, and pass on in to the fort's prison room. Five officers and twenty men thus surrendered.

Garrison Escaped

Four hundred escpaed by the back way because von der Linde's "army" could not surround the fort and guard all the exits. He captured four heavy cannon, many of smaller caliber, 100 rifles and pistols and 500 big shells.

The Begian flag was solemnly hauled down the flag pole. The young commander had no German flag with him, so he made one using a pair of the black breeches Belgian troopers wear, the white shirt of an officer and the red undershirt of a private soldier.

Shortly afterwards a German general riding by saw the homemade flag flying over the fort. He drove over and was received with honors and ceremony by five German soldiers.

The general scowled.

"Who's in command here?"

"I am, Excellency."

"Where are the rest of your men?"

"There aren't any more."

"Lost in the fight?"

Then von der Linde told his story. The general forgot his dignity, but the distinguished decoration quickly followed.


Monday: A daring pirate, a tramp steamer and a sea plane.

Monday, September 12, 1927, Dunkirk Evening Observer, Page Fifteen

He Outdid Capt. Kidd with Seaplane in the Pacific


Editor's Note: This is the fifth of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's outstanding war heroes. These articles, written especially for the OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.

By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer

Berlin, Sept. 12 - Just as every small boy in America dreams of what he would have done aboard the ship of John LaFitte or the high handed Captain Kidd, so every boy in Germany reads and dreams of the heroic things he could have done aboard the German ship Wolf.

The brand of piracy which flourished aboard the Wolf was buccaneering that would make Blackbeard somewhat of a piker.

In the first place, the Wolf was no fleet corsair of the seas. She was a tramp freighter of 6,000 tons and the best speed she could make was perhaps 10 knots an hour. It was no insult to call her a tub, though she was new.

The Wolf's Cub

In the second place, the privateering she did had a Lindbergh complex, for the Wolf had a cub—the Wolfchen—a seaplane.

It was the first seaplane in history which was carried by an auxilliary cruiser. It was the first seaplane in history which itself took prizes in the open sea. It was the only seaplane of any flag which carried battle banners into the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Piracy with a seaplane—As the Germans found out, it was as much sport as they imagined it would be.

They had some narrow escapes, but they succeeded in running the British blockade twice. They sailed 64,000 miles through three oceans, cruised from Iceland to New Zealand, strewed mines outside a dozen harbors, captured British, Japanese, Spanish, French and even American shipping vessels, had one glorious adventure after another for 431 days, and returned to their home port with 400 prisoners and valuable war supplies. The heroes of the nation. Even the Kaiserin got enthusiastic and did them homage in person.

Pane [sic] Steers the Ship

Frigate Captain von Nerger, a young German naval officer, who might be called handsome if his ears were not quite so large, was commander of the whole expedition.

When he was told that part of his armament was to be a seaplane, he was no well pleased as Lieutenant D. Stein and Flightmaster II. [Second Class] Fabeck, the two naval aviators who were assigned to fly the Wolfchen.

"Freguttenkepitan" Nerger figured that the seaplane would take up too much room aboard his tub—room which he would have preferred to use for mine storage, or coal. Also, he figured that the seaplane would mean extra work for his crew, getting the pesky thing into the sea and then fishing it out again.

Once on the high seas, though, he saw that the seaplane was his best friend. From a height of two or three miles, the Wolfchen seaplane could view the seascape for 80 or 90 miles in every direction, telling him how to avoid warships and pointing his nose toward his victims.

It was the cub Wolfchen, which made possible the success of its mother.

Wolfchen Makes Capture

Probably the greatest of the Wolfchen's feats was the capture of the British freighter Walruna, way over on the other side of the world near the Sunday Islands. The Wolf's coal bunkers were about empty. The only way to refuel was to capture an allied vessel and transfer its coal.

When the seaplane from a lofty lookout saw the Walruna over the horizon, its officers begged von Nerger to let them capture it alone. The raider captain did not believe the seaplane could do the trick alone, but he dared not give chase to the faster British vessel himself, for fear that it would wireless to the world his whereabouts and battleships would swoop down to sink him.

He needed coal, however, so he sanctioned the flight and the two aviators took off.

Bomb Forces Surrender

Circling over the vessel, from a height of 250 feet they dropped to the decks a canvas bag. A seaman gingerly picked it up and opened it. He handed the message to his captain:
   "Steer a southerly course immediately to meet German cruiser. Make no use of your aireless. Destroy no ship's papers.
    If you don't obey orders at once we will bomb you."

The Walruna slowed down but did not change course till the Wolfchen dropped a bomb just ahead of the vessel's path. The commander saw the point.

By this time the Wolf weighed anchor and meeting the British ship, sent a prize crew aboard her and made her captive. To the Wolf, she was a life saver; fresh meat and a thousand tons of coal. When the cargo and prisoners were transferred, the Walruna, first ship to be captured by a seaplane, was sent to the bottom by gunfire.

Wolf Steals Home

It got to be a habit.

Ship after ship fell victim to the raiding Wolf and her cub.

It was Captain Nerger's practice to use his captures as prison and supply ships until new victims were sighted. Then—seal them up and sink them, destroying all evidence.

Once, while the Wolf was trying to take coal from a captured ship in mid ocean, the swell was so heavy that the two ships rammed heavily. The Wolf was badly damaged, but not as badly that she couldn't make her way through the triple lines of the British blockade without being caught.



November 30, 1919 - Sailed from Germany, proceeding around Africa to Indian Ocean.
December-January 1916[1917] - Laid mines off Cape of Good Hope, Bombay and Columbo.
February 1917 - Captured British steamship Turitella in Indian Ocean, Turitella recaptured by British warship.
March 1917 - British steamer Jumna captured and sunk in Indian Ocean.
April 1917 - British steamships Wordsworth and Dee captured and sunk.
June 1917 - British steamer Walruna captured and sunk in Pacific.
July 1917 - American steamers Winslow, Beluga and Encore captured and sunk in Pacific. Sowed mines off Australia and New Zealand.
August 1917 - British steamer Matunga captured off New Guinea. Wolf overhauled in secluded natural harbor of Dutch New Guinea without being found.
September 1917 - Set sail again, sowing mines off Singapore and in China Sea. Japanese steamer Hitachi Maru captured and sunk in Indian Ocean.
November 1917 - Spanish steamship Igotz Mendi captured in Indian Ocean with cargo of 5000 tons of coal, American sailing vessel John H. Kirby captured and sunk. French sailing vessel Marechal Davout captured and sunk.
December 1917 - Wolf and Igotz Mendi sail into Atlantic Ocean.
January 7, 1918- Wolf sinks Norwegian bark Storkbror in North Sea.
February 6, 1918 - Wolf coals for last time from Igotz Mendi in North Sea.
February 19, 1918 - Wolf runs British blockade and arrives safely in Germany.


Tomorrow: Boelcke—the original "we" aviator.


First "By-Laws"

Islands are wonderfully interesting places—but why is it that they always have to stick them away out in the water somewhere they are so hard to get to? On the map it is only a short jump from Kamar, on the Swedish coast, to the island of Gothland, in the Baltic Sea. The ancient city of Visby, on this island, is a point of rare interest. "By" means "town," and the laws of this town were accepted so widely at one time that they came to be known in the world of trade as "by laws," and the term is now a fixture in the English language—Pathfinder Magazine.

Tuesday, September 13, 1927, Page Five



Used Lindy's Expression in Speaking of His Deed


Taught Kaiser's Airmen How to Fight.


Editor's Note: This is the sixth in a series of articles telling of the thrilling World War heroes. These articles, especially written for the OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.

By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer
(copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 13 - The first man who ever spoke of himself and his plane as "we" was Oswald Boelcke, Germany's flying centaur, victor of forty combats in the air, decorated with every medal the kaiser had to bestow, made a captain when he was but twenty-four, the man who taught German pilots the science of sky fighting and then led his pupils to battle over the Somme.

Boelcke, of course, did not say "we." It was "wir" who did thus and so the British airmen attacked not "us" but "uns."

A great combination was "wir"—Boelcke and his plane. Boelcke even made his plane talk, for "wir" signalled to other German planes by a prearranged code of wing tilts, beckoning comrades on to attack, commanding them to take new formations, designing how the great sky battles over the Somme should be fought.

Once Forbidden to Fly

When the battle of the Somme began in the fall of 1916 the British had unquestioned superiority of the air. British planes were better, British pilots were better. A German plane that ventured over the British lines was as good as lost.

Boelcke, in the spring of that year, had been forbidden to fly by order of the German general staff. He had at that time cut sixteen notches in the stick of his plane—one notch for every British shot down,—and German generals considered that his experience was worth more than any additional notches in his stick.

Besides, Germany had run out of decorations to give this young man. After his eighth victory he had been made a captain, though he was one twenty-four, and though German army regulations do not permit captains to be younger than thirty.

Led Famous Squadron

So Boelcke was retired and sent to the Prussian front as a teacher. He was, by the way, the son of a humble school master.

Then, in midsummer the British air forces had driven the German high command to distraction. The kaiser's air forces were literally swept from the skies, and orders went forth to young Boelcke to organize a flying squadron that could save the day.

Boelcke picked his men with care. And the creed, almost the religion, of his flight became the idea that it was the duty of every German airman to pursue and shoot down every allied plane in sight. He held that as the British airplanes were the eyes of every enemy, it was his duty to inflict blindness.

It was Boelcke and his plane, "wir," who began German aggressiveness in the air and made the British admit that the German fliers were their equals.

Boelcke's squadron became famous, as Boelcke himself gained glory. His score of sixteen planes shot down soon became twenty. Then it was twenty-five, twenty-seven, thirty.

Boelcke was the man who brought knighthood into flower again. As his victims went to earth in their flaming coffins, he would tilt his wings—a last salute to those vanquished in the skies of battle. It was not a boast. It was a tribute to his enemy.

Outside the circle of his pupils, Boelcke was close lipped. His worshippers besieged him to tell the stories of his combats, taking all the joy out of his leaves and his visits home. His answer was always the same:
"Oh, I fly and shoot."

A Boelcke myth sprang up, in spite of his reticence and nowhere did this myth spread more than among the British airmen. There was glory unlimited for the knight of the air who could bring down Boelcke. It was an honor no allied airman ever won, for Boelcke was never defeated. On October 27, Boelcke made his fortieth kill.

The next day, returning from pursuit of a hostile squadron with half a dozen of his pupils, Boelcke was attacked by a British airman who came out of a cloud and dived to combat in spite of the fact that he was outnumbered.

The End of "Uns"

Boelcke and the Englishman spun around in circles. From above, a German dived to attack in aid of "uns." Boelcke did not see his pupil coming to help and while the other Germans hovered, waiting for the right moment to strike, they saw Boelcke and his pupil brush wings.

There was no impact, but the tremendous speed of the two ships in midair made the accident disasterous.

As Boelcke's plane disappeared in low hanging cloud banks, it was seen that the wing tip of his place was torn off. They followed him down, saw him crash landed to see that underneath the wrecked plane was Boelcke himself—dead.

"Wir"—plane and man—had met their end as one, just as they had fought.


TOMORROW: The sea raider the British never could capture.

Wednesday, September 14, 1927, Page Ten



Took 41 Prizes and Booty Worth $50,000,000 in Amazing Cruises


Editor's Note:This is the seventh of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's outstanding World War heroes. These articles, written especially for OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.


By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer
(Copyright NEA Service, Inc.)

Hamburg, Sept. 14 -- The German wartime raider who did the most damage in allied shipping was Graf Nicholas zu Dohna-Schlodien, commander of the disguised cruiser Moewe—Seagull.

His prizes numbered forty-one and his prisoners numbered nearly 2,000 and his booty was perhaps worth $50,000,000, richest booty in the whole history of piracy.

When I made the appointment to meet this bold buccaneer, I remembered the worst movie villains I had ever seen, multiplied their combined ugliness by six and with fear and trembling set out to keep the date.

In a shaded street of old Hamburg, the pirate kept his den. It was a living room such as you will find in old German houses of Cinncinati or St. Louis.

Pirate Perfect Gentleman

The pirate himself was a whimsical disappointment. He was immaculately dressed. His correct Vandyke beard was perfectly barbered. His manners were right out of a book of etiquette. He was royalty—a count. Everything about him suggested the society favorite who should be lolling in luxury and yachting clothes at Newport or Nice.

What kind of pirate could this be?

To Graf Nicholas zu Dohna Schlodien and his cruiser Moewe go the honor of having run the British blockade four times, making two round trips from German waters into the Atlantic where they sowed mines and preyed on allied shipping while the British fleet scoured the sea in fruitless search.

The first cruise of the Moewe began on Christmas Day, 1915, and ended on March 4, 1916, netting fifteen captures.

That one cruise satisfied the German naval staff, and they were ready to grant Graf Nicholas a soft berth for the duration of the war. Graf Nicholas himself would not have it so.

He begged the admirals to send him out again, and they let him go. The second cruise was even more successful than the first. It began December 2, 1916 and ended March 22, 1917. On it Graf Nicholas bagged 26 prizes, came back safe and **********. The *** with a prize crew of 15 men brought into a German port the captured Yarrowdale with a heavy cargo of *****, 117 trucks, 5000 tons of food, **** rolls of barbed wire, 6??? cases of rifle cartridges, and 2,200 tons of steel, not to mention 46 prisoners.

Ship Perfectly Disguised

[Unable to decipher last 4 lines at bottom of page.] vessels testified, the Moewe was well fitted for her job.

She carried sails to hide her super structure, and her gun ports were hidden by rails which were dropped only when the Moewe had been maneuvered into position where she could do the most damage to her victims. Then--up went the battleflag and down went the bulwarks and a shot came zipping across the merchantman's bows.

Disguised though the Moewe was, she was not a superior fighting ship. She carried a crew of 210 men. Her maximum speed was around 15 knots, which isn't much. Any one of fifty allied war vessels could have knocked the Moewe to mere driftwood in half an hour. The joke of it was that for months at a time all those fifty ships, and more too, were looking for the Moewe, the phantom pirate ship with a reputation almost thick enough to see and shoot at.

When the Moewe set out on her final cruise, she sailed all around the British Isles, sowing mines wholesale. Then she headed for the open sea and her raiding.

Ships began to disappear, mysteriously. The British blamed the U-boats.

But when ships were reported missing in mid-Atlantic, they knew that no submarine was responsible.

The Moewe announced her presence to the world when the British merchantman Appam, which the Moewe had captured in mid-Atlantic, sailed into Newport News, Va. loaded with prisoners. The million marks gold bars which the Appam was bringing from South africa to England had of course been transferred to the hold of the Moewe.

When the Moewe, with 15 captures to her credit, turned her nose toward home late in February, Graf Nicholas was provided with a quiet chuckle. British prisoners on board made bets with the prisoners of other nations that the ship would not be able to run the blockaide. The British lost.

Renewed Her Raids

While the English admiralty grieved that they had been unable to capture the Moewe, it was a relief for them to know that the raider was no longer at large. That relief ended in late December 1916, when more shipping began to disappear mysteriously.

The U-boats again got the blame till, on January 16,1917, the Japanese steamer Hudson Maru sailed unexpectantly into Pernanmbuco, Brazil with 237 men taken from six ships which the Moewe had captured and sunk off the Azores.

The British called her a Moewe the second, but it was really the same old Moewe, running up and down the Atlantic as of yore.

"Of course we were lucky," admits the gentleman buccaneer. "We went through the British blockade four times without dangerous adventure, and we escaped contact with all enemy war vessels."


Tomorrow: A school-master hero at Verdun.


Thrills of a War-Time Raider

These are the experiences which the commander of the German raider Moewe told Milton Bronner were most vivid in his memory:
"My hardest task on my two cruises? Coaling in the open sea from ships we had captured.
"My most joyous moment? When we captured the Appam and had the pleasure of restoring to freedom German men and women whom the British had made prisoners in Africa.
"My most nervous moments? When ships we had hailed sought to give news of their predicament by sending out wireless messages. We always solved this by quick artillery shots to put their wireless out of business. We could not afford to have our position and activities wirelessed all over the ocean.
"My funniest moment? When the captain of a French ship we had captured gravely complained to me of the quality of the coffee."

Thursday, September 15, 1927, Page Fifteen



Took Contested Trench after 16 Failures


EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the eighth of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's outstanding World War heroes. These articles, written especially for the OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.


By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer (copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 15-Sixteen times in the battle and siege of Verdun the Germans stormed a little T work east of Fort Vaux.

Every one of the sixteen attacks met with failure and heavy losses.

On the seventeenth attempt, the attack was led by a Bavarian school teacher—Acting Sergeant Hans Schott—dark haired, gentle-voiced, mild mannered, timid.

For four days before that seventeenth attempt, July 16, 1916, Schott's regiment, the Third Bavarian Jaegers, had hid in shell holes and burrows, to be buried alive or shot into the next world by the murderous baking fire of the French guns.

The Orders

On July 4 Schott's company numbered twenty-one men, and Schott, only an acting sergeant, found himself signing for orders which a runner had somehow brought up: the company was to attack at 5:30 in the afternoon and take the T work.

Twenty-one men were to take T work which had held out against repeated hammerings staged at auspicious moments ever since the Verdun offensive began on February 21.

In the defense of Verdun, there were two spots which soaked up more blood than all the rest of the sector. One of these spots was the famous "Mort Homme,"—Dead Man's Hill. The other was Fort Vaux.

Schott, for all his hiding in shell holes, knew the land he was to cover. Fort Vaux sat upon a promontory. Before the promontory ran a deep ravine. To the west of the fort proper was the T work.

The story of Schott's eventful afternoon is found in the official Bavarian army records in Munich but the story as told by the school teacher-sergeant himself has an appeal that is lost in the uninspired, business-like German of the military.

"When I was finished making the muster of my company, it was 5:10," he relates. "Then the firing from the French began heavier than ever. It was as if they knew we were ordered to attack.

"Despite orders, I saw that it was impossible to make a flank attack. My best chance was to go straight forward in a frontal attack across the shell-torn heights, then down the ravine and up the other side.

"I howled into the ear of the next man. He passed the word along, and then we started. It was a case of running from one shell hole to the next.

"A long breath, a dash across ground, a leap into a shell crater. A corporal leaped in beside me. He had lost his arm.

Reach Ravine Edge

"I was off again. Run, jump. Run, jump. As I leaped into another shell hole I found two of my men already there. I shouted something, but they did not reply. Then I looked. They were both dead.

"We were now on the edge of the ravine. Our artillery had done some shooting, and we saw that one of the iron doors of the works had been blown in. There was our chance.

"One handful rushed the ravine. Down into the bottom, up the steep side, and then we were on top of the earthworks, before we were discovered.

"Perhaps we were as much surprised as the French. They had expected us from the flank, and here we were, in front of them. We had all expected to be dead, but there were some of us alive."

Three hundred prisoners were taken on this one little exploit. Deep down under the ground, secure against shell fire, Acting Sergeant Schott and the survivors of his company of 21, found 300 Frenchmen. They were trapped completely, and quick work with German potato mashers, the deadly long handled grenades made the whole garrison of the T works prisoners.

Even the frugal Bavarian army officers, who gave decoration so sparingly during the war, saw the heroism of the young school teacher's leadership.


Hans Schott has gone back to school teaching again. He has a class of boys in the little village of New Otting, in what was formerly the kingdom of Bavaria.

"Teaching school may be a dull occupation to many," he says, "but it is a better occupation than storming Fort Vaux at any time."


TOMORROW: Immelmann, the Eagle of Lille.



The Battle of Verdun began February 21, 1916.

The Crown Prince and von Falkenhayn, commanding an army of 500,000 men, estimated they could take the city in eight days.

The French defense was north of the Verdun forts, ten miles from the city. On March 4 the Germans had taken only the first line of fortresses.

The second period of the Verdun battle, March 5-22, was marked by a deadlock on the Dead Man's Hill-Fort Vaux line.

The third period, March 22-April 30, was a period of French counter attacks and heavy German losses.

In the fourth period, May 1 to apporximately July 10, the Crown Prince again took the offensive, capturing and holding both Fort Vaux and Dead Man's Hill.

The Battle of the Somme, launched by Joffre and Haig June 30 caused the Germans to withdraw troops from Verdun and abandon the battle.

In October, the French in three days recaptured all that it had taken the Germans four months to capture.

Friday, September 16, 1927, Page Fifteen

Immelmann, "Eagle of Lille", Germany's Best-Loved Ace


Modest and Brave, He Won Heart of Whole Empire


Editor's Note: This is the ninth of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's outstanding heroes of the World War. These articles, written expressly for OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.


By MILTON BRONNER, NEA Service Writer (copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 16-"The Eagle of the Lille" the Germans called young Max Immelmann, their first air hero.

Like an eagle he rose, like an eagle he swooped, like an eagle he fell, unconquered by any foe except fate. Today, eleven years after his death, when a German war film is shown, Immelmann's picture is sure to be displayed and sure to be greeted with applause.

Before Immelmann died he achieved fifteen victories over the enemies of his country. Not many, compared with the records made by Udet, Boelcke, Jacobs, and others, but it was great for the time and the kind of planes Immelmann had used.

Taught Germany to Fly

What is more, Immelmann invented much of the air fighting technique which was afterwards followed and improved by his successors.

It was he who thought out the eagle climb, straight into the face of the sun, to be folowed by a dazzling downward swoop on the surprised enemy.

It was he who invented the spiral loop or Immelmann turn which brought face to face with the machine he desired to attack.

"I often got so close," Immelmann told a companion, "that I will swear I could see the whites of the enemy pilot's eyes."

His First Victory

Immelmann's first victory, in August 1915, was full of real drama. He was one of a squadron of Germans who pursued a group of enemy planes. Immelmann shot quickly and silenced the guns of his opponent, who tried to glide back to his own lines.

Immelmann got in front of him with his own machine and forced his foe to descend within the Germa lines. The two planes landed in an isolated flat meadow as serene and peaceful and unoccupied as if war were hundreds of miles away.

Immelmann's machine gun had gone out of commission. There were two foes in the other machine. He did not know what they might do, but he boldly advanced, calling out "prisoners" in French.

Then for the first time he saw only one man in the machine. The observer was killed and had fallen out. The pilot had his hand raised to show he surrendered.

Gave Prisoner First Aid

"Bon jour, monsieur," said Immelmann, as he shook hands with his foe. The latter replied in English.
"Ah! You are Englishman?"
"You are my prisoner."
"I know. My arm is broken. You shot very well."

Immelmann at once helped his foe out of the machine, stretched him out on the grass and gave him first aid.

Such was chivalry of the knights of the air.

He won victory after victory over the enemy. He was given promotion after promotion. He won all the Prussian decorations including the highest, the "Pour le Merite." The kaiser himself wrote him a letter of congratulation. The son of the factory owner in then aristocratic Germany sat down at meals with the King of Saxony and the Crown Prince of Bavaria.

Through it all he preserved the modesty, poise and distinction that our young Lindbergh did recently when he, too, was honored by the mighty of many nations.

Immelmann wrote constant letters from the front to his widowed mother. They were gay letters and tender. He would not have her worry. In the beginning, when he had made his first flights as student officer, he said to her:
"A fall of about 1,500 feet would last at least 10 seconds, so that one would have time to sing 'Hail the conquering Hero!' and even ejaculate 'Hail to his Majesty!'"

A Birthday Remembrance

In the midst of constant campaigns in the air in the feverish days of October 1915, he found time to write:
"Tomorrow is your birthday. To send you a real birthday present is, alas, impossible in these war-time days. No one is ever served with good wishes alone, so I will try to give you a birthday joy by writing more fully than usual about my doings."

His career came to a sudden and mysterious end on June 18, 1916. About 10 p.m., when he was flying a mile and a half over Sallaumines, in northern France, his machine suddenly plunged to earth and his broken body was found under it. Nobody ever did know conclusively whether machine trouble or a shot from an enemy plane brought his brilliant career to a close at the age of 26.


Tomorrow: The Emden.

Caption under picture of Immelmann: As long as men fight in the air, aviators will learn what the "Immelmann turn" is and how it is done. This diagram explains the maneuver which Immelmann invented. Starting at position one, the plane shoots up as in position two, turns over as in position three and heads into its new course as in position four. Immelmann is shown at the right.


How War in the Air Began

Max Immelmann has been called the man who taught Germany how to fight in the air.

At the beginning of the war, planes were used for reconnaissance only. The pilots were armed with pistols or rifles.

The war had been on a year when the first bombing planes came into general use. It was then that the machine gun was fitted to the plane and the war in the air began.

The first full fighting squadrons arrived at the front early in 1916.

Immelmann, as much as any other German flyer, developed the strategy of aerial combat by his skillful handling of planes.

Saturday, September 17, 1927, Page Five

"The Paul Jones of Germany"


Editor's note: This is the tenth of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's outstanding heroes of the World War. These articles, written expressly for OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.


By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer (Copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 17-German historians are beginning to call Captain Karl von Mueller the John Paul Jones of the Fatherland.

In the first ninety five days of the World War, with his cruiser Emden, he destroyed or captured over a score of steamers having an aggregate of 100,000 tons, and a value of $20,000,000, sank a French torpedo boat and a Russian cruiser, bombarded naval bases at Penang and Madras, struck terror into all allied shipping in the Indian ocean, destroyed cables and wireless at Keeling Island, and successfully dodged 16 French, British, Russian and Japanese war vessels, any one of which could have whipped him hands down.

They got him in the end, of course, but while the fun lasted the crew of the Emden experienced great days.

His Greatest Adventure

The most impudent thing von Mueller did was to sail into a remote British island harbor, way off in the Indian ocean, and leisurely scrap the barnacles from the bottom of his ship while the 16 allied war vessels combed the seas for him.

This one incident itself makes von Mueller one of the boldest naval heroes of all times.

The island which von Mueller chose for his hiding place and repair station is called Diego Garcia. It's out in the Indian ocean. When the Emden came into the tiny harbor the British flag was flying on shore. An old Englishman who was in charge of the island's plantations put off in a small boat, bringing with him fresh fish, eggs and beans for the officers' mess.

He was actually and obviously glad to see the Germans. Receiving mail only once in six months and having no wireless, he asked for news of the world. He had not heard that the war was on, and crafty John Paul Jones von Mueller did not disillusion him.

Became Flying Dutchman

For five days the Emden made repairs, while the crew fished and took life easy. The wireless signals picked up by the Emden showed that the British cruiser Hampton was coming closer and closer. Von Mueller weighed anchor and departed in broad daylight.

Five days later the British auxiliary steamer, Empress of India, dropped into Diego Garcia by chance, and the most astonished Englishman in the world learned that he had entertained and been entertained by the most wanted man in the whole Indian ocean. Von Mueller, by that time, was up around Ceylon, hundreds of miles away, sinking more vessels.

He became known as "The Flying Dutchman." No trade route in the whole ocean was safe. The British admiralty issued warning after warning that ships must proceed without lights, and avoid all customary routes.

The Emden was erroneously reported sunk on several occasions.

On September 18, only six weeks after war was declared, there was a huge dinner at the leading English club in Madras, India to celebrate the reopening of trade routes after the first reported sinking of the Emden.

The cruiser's searchlights were thrown upon the big oil tanks in which was stored fuel for Britain's navy. The first shots fell short, hitting a steamer. The second burst scored hits, and two out of three filled tanks were set on fire. The Emden then stepped out of range of the shore batteries and disappeared.

The dinner at the leading Madras club had been spoiled completely.

Had Fake Funnel

For his attack on the French naval station at Penang, one of the "active" bases for operations against the Emden, von Mueller resorted to one of his smartest bits of strategy.

The Emden had only three funnels. British cruisers all had four. Von Mueller built his fourth funnel of wood and painted canvas, and set out for another display of impudence.

The main body of the French fleet was stationed some distance from Penang harbor. Guarding Penang were the Russian cruiser Yenchong, the French cruiser D'Iberville, and the French torpedo boat Mousquet.

At dawn October 23 the four funneled Emden got past the patrol, came within 350 yards of the Yenchong and sank her with two torpedos and a few well-placed shots within twenty-eight minutes.

The D'Iberville thought this was a misunderstanding between two *** warships and allowed the Emden to escape.

The Mousquet, seeing the four funneled cruiser coming from the general direction of the harbor mouth, **** to and saluted her superior. At **** yards the Emden ran up her colors and opened fire. The third ***** struck and the Frenchman went down fighting but not before von Mueller had with much correctness rescued 40 of the crew of 60.

The Last Scrap

In order to cripple allied communication, von Mueller planned a magnificent attack on Keeling Island, an important cable and wireless station. Approaching the island, he dispatched a landing party under Lieutenant Captain Von Muecke to wreck the station. Von Muecke succeeded but not before the wireless operator was able to send a message. "Strange ship off ***rance."

Those four words were enough to ***** the British cruiser Sydney steaming down toward Keeling Island. She was perhaps 100 miles away. Wireless operators on the Emden, hearing this ship calling the now disabled Keeling Island station, estimated that she was 200 miles away.

End of the Emden

The landing party under von Muecke finished its job and at 10 p.m. was ready to return to the cruiser. To its surprse, the Emden was signalling with its searchlights, had run up its battle flag, and was firing on an enemy invisible to those on land. The Sydney had run down its prey.

The British vessel was bigger, faster, and had longer range guns than its opponent. In an hour and twenty minutes, the Emden had been driven on the reefs, badly disabled. Leaving her there, the Sydney set off to get the German auxiliary prison and depot ships. At 4 a.m. the Sydney returned and half an hour later opened fire on the stranded von Mueller, who still refused to haul down his colors.

Five minutes fire, however, and a plea from the British to avoid needless slaughter of his men made the gallant German change his mind.


Monday: The fate of von Muecke.

Monday, September 19, 1927, Page Five


Editor's Note:This is the eleventh of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's greatest war heroes. These articles, written especially for NEA Service and OBSERVER by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.


By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer (copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 19-Lieutenant-Captain, Helmuth von Muecke, five ensigns and 49 German sailors stood helpless on the shore of Keeling Island, way out in the Indian ocean, and watched the British cruiser Sydney sink their German ship Emden, late corsair of the seas.

Von Muecke was second in command to the German John Paul Jones, Captain von Mueller, the Emden's skipper.

When von Mueller, on November 9, 1914, decided to disable the British cable and wireless station on Keeling Island, he had sent von Muecke and 49 of the Emden's crew as landing party to do the job. They had success, but they had not been able to get back on board the Emden before it was attacked and driven on the reefs by the Sydney.

A Dash for Freedom

Able Lieutenant-Captain von Muecke and his 49 men were thus stranded on lonely Keeling Island.

What to do—sit there and rot?

Most emphatically, "No."

Lieutenant-Captain von Muecke looked over the contents of the small harbor at Keeling Island and found therein a 97 ton British sailing vessel, the Ayesha. She had a rotten bottom, and she had been out of commission for years. She was 90 foot long and 21 feet of beam.

In 32 days von Muecke and his men had put her in some sort of shape to sail, had stored on her water supplies for four weeks, food for eight, four machine guns, twenty-seven rifles, and not much ammunition.

"I will say for the Englishmen," says von Muecke, "they are good sports. When I finally escaped from the island on the Ayesha, the Englishmen helped me fit her up. Maybe, though, they thought the bottom would drop out on my way home. At any rate, they treated me well while I was there."

Greatest Escape of War

And so began the most adventuresome escapade of the whole war.

Leaving Keeling Island, von Muecke decided to sail first for the Dutch neutral port of Padang, in Sumatra, East Indies.

They were two weeks on the way. The crew smoked tea leaves for lack of tobacco.

When the Ayesha landed in Padang harbor, the Dutch made all kinds of trouble. They wanted to intern his boat, but von Muecke claimed the rights of a belligerent vessel to make reasonable repairs in any port and he pointed out the rotten condition of the Ayesha's bottom.

In Padang von Muecke found various German freight vessels, among others the Choising. As a naval man, he gave the commander instruction to run his vessel out to sea and meet him at a given point. Here, on December 16, 1914, von Muecke transferred his forces from the little Ayesha to the 1,700 ton Choising. He then sank the schooner on which he had safely sailed 1,700 miles.

He now had more room for his men and he could at least steam along, but the Choising was no ocean greyhound. Seven miles an hour was her capacity. Often she only made four, because of bad coal.

To avoid serious questioning by allied vessels, he painted the name "Chenir of Genoa" on his ship, because she looked like an Italian boat of that name. Needing an Italian flag for the subterfuge, he mixed blue and yellow paint and daubed an old white shirt with the home-made green.

He then set a straight course across the vast expanses of the Indian ocean.

His plan was to creep by Aden and Perim at the narrow entrances to the Red Sea, land at an Arabian port and claim the aid of Germany's only allies in that part of the world.

On January 7, 1915, under cover of darkness and with all lights out, the Choising slipped past Perim.

Von Muecke had so far escaped contact with all allied warships. He made for Hodeida in Arabia which he hoped was in Turkish hands.

The British had been active in this part of the world and had also succeeded in getting Arabian allies, so von Muecke took part of his little force in boats and landed below Hodeida. He was at once surrounded by armed Arabs wildly talking their own tongue.

He tried them in English, German, French and Malay, but they could not understand. At last, in desperation, he pulled out the only German gold coin he had. The shield meant nothing to them, but as soon as they saw the head of the kaiser they called out "Aleman" and indicated that they were friends and not foes.

Fight Way Across Desert

They helped him carry his supplies to Hodeida, but von Muecke stayed there only a few days as the hot climate gave his men serious illnesses. Accordingly, they formed a caravan and in seven days marched to the hill town of Sansa. The climate was bad there too, and von Muecke decided to return to the sea, which he did after various interferences from his Turkish allies.

To fool the allied spies, who were thick in Arabia, he gave out that he was going to use an old small steam vessel then in a bight near Hodeida. He really embarked his men on March 14, on two Arabian flat-bottomed sailing vessels known as "sambulks." They were only 45 feet long, and were very filthy.

Knowing that British auxiliary vessels would eventually hear what he had really done, he sailed his sambuks [sic] in a dangerous shallow stretch of water near the Arabian shore. He was safe from the British for he was behind coral reefs which they could not cross and where it was hard to locate him.

One Boat Wrecked

One dark night one of his two sambuks was wrecked on a reef. Then followed the dangerous work of rescuing all his men. They were now 70—some of the Choising's crew having been added to his original party—and they were all crowded on a vessel 42 feet long.

He finally landed not far from Mecca and began an overland camel caravan trip across the sands for the railway line. He was soon attacked by Bedouins.

His little band dug trenches in the sand and stood three days siege. Just when their water was all gone, when 40 of the 110 camels and some of his men had been killed, and when his ammunition was almost exhausted, rescue came in the shape of an Arab band under the command of a son of the Sherife of Mecca.

Once again he marched to sea, got a sambuk and sailed farther up coast where he landed at El Weg on april 29. Another march across the sands and he finally reached the railway which took him on the long way across Anatolia and to Constantinople, which he reached in mid May.

He closed his epic with the terse telegram to Berlin:
         "Report for duty landing party from the Emden. Strength, five offiers, seven non commissioned officers, 37 men.


Tomorrow: How airplanes fight with tanks.

Wednesday, September 21, 1927, Page Sixteen


Editor's Note: This is the twelfth of a series of articles telling of the heroic exploits of Germany's war heros. These articles, especially written for the OBSERVER and NEA Service, by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.


By MILTON BRONNER, NEA Service Writer (Copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 21- In two days near the end of the war, Herman Lechner had two planes literally shot from under him. The planes themselves were riddled and wrecked, but the pilot came out of both his escapades alive.

On the second of these two most eventful days of the young flyer's life he fought one of the most spectacular engagements of those last days of hard fighting a battle between one airplane and five French tanks—a hawk against five fighting wild boars.

It all took place north of Fismes, in the Chemin des Dames country, in October, 1918. The Germans were retreating, hard pushed by fresher troops. The German army was a beaten army, though still a fighting army, contesting every inch of ground.

Lechner's Own Story

On October 5, the German flyer was put over the lines in a combat plane carrying three machine guns and eight bombs. Behind a hill he saw a machine gun company preparing to go into action.

"We had orders to destroy such formations if possible," von Lechner relates, "but in order to make my own machine gun work effective it was necessary to me to swoop down to within forty or fifty feet of the ground. That, of course, brought me within range of their fire, but I had a certain advantage in that I was firing down at them and moving rather fast.

"Some of the men were killed by my fire and some took to the underbrush for protection, but some stuck to their guns.

"I was not hit myself, but I felt that they were doing execution to my machine, so I started off to get back into our own lines, and just did succeed.

"As I circled to land and was about to do it, my machine just seemed to crack all to pieces. The machine gun fire had riddled the wings of my plane and shot off part of the tail. But those brave gunners never got a chance to do much I was able to give our artillery a pretty accurate idea of where your men were located and it was then easy to drop shells on their stronghold."

New Plane—Back Again

"The next day I was shot right back into service with another plane, although in the closing days of the war we had precious few of them and were greatly outnumbered by the allies. I located an infantry regiment in an advantageous position to advance and envelop a German battalion. My duty was clear. I must stop this encircling movement if possible. The troops were accompanied by five French tanks.

"I swooped down almost as low as 15 feet from the ground and let go with my machine guns for all I was worth.

"I succeeded in putting four of the French tanks out of business with my bombs. Then I was pursued by a bunch of French planes. One of them, or perhaps a rifleman, planted a bullet in the radiator of my machine. At any rate, it interfered with the water supply and my propeller was going 500 instead of 1,400 revolutions.

"I tried to get back into our own lines, but the machine came down with me in the no man's land between the lines."

Buried by Machine

"I was crumpled up with the machine lying on top of me. Singularly enough, I was not hurt and I was not unconscious, but I lay there for three hours, pinned down by the weight of the machine and unable to wiggle out from under the wreckage. My release finally came when some of our good troops charged yours and got me back home."

For his achievements on these two memorable days, Lechner received the Iron Cross first and second class, the Hohenzollern medal, and the Max Joseph order of Bavaria, which ennobles its bearer and gives him the coveted "von" in front of his name. Whereas he was plain Herman Lechner when he went into the war, he was Herman Ritter von Lechner when he came out.

Von Lechner fought on through the war. He was wounded five times in all, and received his fifth wound in the last week of the struggle during a combat with a French Spad, which the Germans brought down.

Stayed in the Air

Like so many of the war flyers, von Lechner has stuck to the air. When the Red Republic ruled in Munich he joined its flying force and fought the anti-revolutionists. Then he went to Lithuana [sic] to organize the flying forces of that country, but his service came to an end when the allied commission objected.

Now he has a post that puts him in contact with flying men all day long. He is a director for the German Lufthansa at its great flying field in Fuerth, Bavaria. At this point every hour of the day passenger planes come in from Munich, Dresden, Frankfort and Berlin.

Von Lechner wears a monocle now, but that hardly detracts from the glory of his war record. He was an ace—with twelve victories to his credit.


Tomorrow: Germany's greatest U-boat hero.

Thursday, September 22, 1927, Page Seventeen


Editor's Note: This is the thirteenth of a series of articles telling of the thrilling exploits of Germany's greatest World War heroes. These articles, written especially for OBSERVER and NEA Service, are appearing daily.


By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer (copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept, 22-The man who was responsible for the success of Germany's submarine warfare was Otto Weddingen, son of a prosperous Westphalian linen weaver.

In the winter of 1914-1915 he took his tiny little U-9 and circumnavigated the British Isles, just to show the German staff that a sub could operate on long cruises, far away from its base.

It was a great achievment, of course, but the exploits which made Weddingen the hero of Germany in those early days of the war were his famous sea battles.

Otto Weddingen was married on August 16, 1914, less than two weeks after war was declared, to his childhood sweetheart, Fraulein Prete of Hamburg. The day after his marriage he was ordered to sea in his famous U-9.

Five weeks later the German admiralty gave out a brief official statement:
      "The German submarine U-9 on the morning of September 22, about 20 miles northwest of the Hook of Holland,
       sank three English armored cruisers, the Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy."

The characteristically terse sentence served to excite the whole world. It was a loss such as a nation sustains in a major sea battle, but it had been caused by a little U-boat with a crew of only 26 men.

How was it done?

Story from Crew

Let a member of Weddingen's crew tell the story of the battle—a battle which he did not see, but in which he played a prominent part.

"Early in the morning of September 22, we saw three British warships. Captain Weddingen was at his periscope.

"He rang his signal bell and called 'Make ready!'

"Followed what seemed endless waiting. Then the sharp, curt order 'Fire.'

"It seemed a year while we waited down there in suspense. Then came one word to us. 'Hit.' That finished the Aboukir.

The same dialog followed when the Hogue was sunk, but we had a better chance to weigh his coolness when the Cressy made directly for us as if to ram us. She was going at terrific speed, If she as much as scratched us with her great weight we were done for. But Weddingen quietly called down, 'Fill all tanks!'

"The little U-9 answered all demands upon it. We got into deep water just in the nick of time. After a short interval we rose to the surface and finished off the Cressy. It was a good day's work— three enemy warships so we went home."

One Hour's Work

The whole affair had taken less than an hour. Survivors of the cruisers declared that the attack had been made by two subs, and that one of them had been sunk by a shot from the Cressy, but it was not true.

Weddingen know [sic] that the British vessels had wirelessed for destroyers, and that his only move was to head for home, but he still had one card up his sleeve. Using his own radio, he informed Germany that he was coming home as a strategem to draw the English pursuers into the clutches of the German fleet.

He permitted himself to be seen on several occasions, and at dusk on the day of the battle British destroyers made a final effort to head off the plucky U-boat and sink it. Weddingen drew them on, coming to the surface and then submerging till his pursuers were so close to the German patrolled zones that they dared not proceed.

On the next day, Weddingen was back in Germany, and a day later he took up his honeymoon where he had left it a month before.

Sinks Cruiser Hawke

In October, 1914, he set out on his second war-time cruise.

They say in Germany that Weddingen was not one of the disciples of ruthlessness. When he sank a merchantman, he gave it warning and allowed the crew to take to the boats. If he was not pursued he gave them a tow to the nearest land.

With war vessels, his tactics were of course different. When he met the British cruisers Hawke and Theseus of Aberdeen in mid-October, he loosed the torpedo that sent the Hawke down in eight minutes, with only 73 of her crew of 400 saved. The Theseus took to its heels, obeying admiralty instructions and not coming to the relief of the stricken ship, as the Cressy had done, to provide the U-boat with another victim.

It was after this victory that Weddingen sailed around the British Isles, winning the "Pour le Merite" decoration, highest award of kaiserdom for bravery.

They gave Weddingen a new submarine, the U-29, in the spring of 1915. It was the biggest and best submarine in the German navy. Weddingen set out from Keil.

On March 11 he sank a French vessel, and on March 13 he sank four Britishers.

The captain of one of these vessels was picked up by the U-29 and Weddingen gave his wine and cigars. Before the Briton was put in on one of his rescue boats...[image cut off]



The fame of Otto Weddingen has been kept alive by a German film named after the sub commander's craft—"The U-9."

It is a picture which shows the tragic end of the U-boat in the North Sea. The sub is shown on the bottom of the ocean. It has been rammed and disabled.

Closeups then show what is going on inside. The crew is faced with certain death. The supply of oxygen will soon be exhausted. The sailors are shown crouched in their bunks in despair. Weddingen goes among his men to make a final farewell, then turns to his cabin, buries his head in his arms, and the film ends.



[Diagram labels for parts of the submarine]

  • A - Bow Torpedo Tube
  • B - Accommodation for Crew of 30, Suitable for Long Voyage
  • C - Two 200 H.P. Diesel Motors For Surface Running
  • D - Two 500 H.P. Electric Motors for Submerged Running
  • E - Broadside Tubes, 8 Tubes in All, 16 Torpedos Are Carried
  • F - Gun Lying In Recess In Deck
  • G - Gun Raised and Recess Closed. The First Shot Can Be Fired in 20 Seconds
  • H - Two Periscopes

Caption under diagram: This diagram shows the construction of a German U-boat—the location of its guns, torpedo tubes, machinery, control rooms and the like. At the top, left, is a sketch of one of the deck guns. When the submarine goes under water the water-tight door closes and the gun is swung out on deck, in position for firing. The inset is a picture of Otto Weddingen.

Saturday, September 24, 1927, Page Sixteen


Editor's Note:This is the fourteenth of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's greatest war heroes. These articles, written especially for NEA Service and OBSERVER by Milton Bronner, are appearing daily.


By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer (copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 24 - The first French tanks to be used in the Aisne sector were coming down the Guignicourt road.

"Alles is wurscht für mich, [It's all sausage to me]" is the German equivalent for "Everything is average for me," and it was with this classical expression that Lieutenant Friedrich Ibach kept those eight allied tanks from capturing a whole German division in the Battle of the Aisne, April 1917.

Ibach won the Max Joseph Order, highest Bavarian decoration, for his tank whipping exploit. It was one of the coolest duels of the war, fought between the eight tanks and Ibach's three howitzers in the middle of the road.

Picture if you can, the drama of the situation.

Here come the tanks, the first tanks which the Germans in this sector have seen. They are so new that the Germans have not even had time to name them. Eight big lumbering armored battleships on land, wheelless, clanging along on their unpadded caterpillar treads with enough noise to be heard in the midst of shellfire.

German Troops Flee

The seasoned German infantry try rifle fire and hand grenades with no results. Paper wads and pea shooters would do just as much damage.

The tanks, in return, spit machine gun fire from their armored turrets. Seasoned German troops are routed, running for cover. And the French infantry is following along in the wake of the tanks, mopping up. The business of war, from the allied point of view, is most flourishing. The French are cutting the German lines, are enveloping the German flank.

It was at this juncture that Lieutenant Ibach declares that everything is sausage to him. Ibach is in command of four 105 centimeter howitzers. One of his howitzers is out of commission. He has 20 men. And here come the tanks.

Duel Begins

"My men," says Ibach, "were frightened by the tanks. I told them that they need not fear anything they could shoot at, that we were there to shoot at the enemy, no matter what form he took.

"We missed the first one twice, but the third shot put it out of business.

"Then we smashed the second one quickly.

"The howitzer went out of action, disabled by fire from one of the tanks.

"One of the tanks got past us before we brought a second howitzer on the road."

Simply, Lieutenant Ibach says, "We smashed the rest," but that isn't all there is to the story.

One Tank Does Damage

The one tank that had got past was doing wholesale damage, and the French infantry in support was now centering its efforts on this one howitzer, stuck up so brazenly in the center of the road.

Six of Ibach's 20 men were killed outright, others were badly wounded,and the few survivors were blackened from dirt and smoke.

With seven of the eight tanks accounted for, the howitzer was banging away at the French infantry, but it was fighting a lonely battle. It was almost ********** and the day looked well lost, if every a day looked that way.

Ibach sent a message to headquarters that he expected to hold on as long as he had a man or a round of ammunition left. Under the circumstances, it was as nervy a message as could be sent, for the cumbersome four inch gun was in the middle of the road, an obvious target that must certainly give up or be blown up.

Shock Troops to Rescue

Ibach, preferring to be blown up, stuck to his guns, stuck to his banging away at the French, and finally German shock troops came to his rescue.

What became of the one tank that had escaped while the Germans were bringing up their second howitzer? Oh yes, it surrendered. Too much Ibach. Too much sausage.

As for Ibach, he was decorated and given a short rest. Then back to the lines he came, and he was there till the war ended.

And to gauge the importance of his duel with the tanks, you have only to look at his decoration—the Order of Max Joseph. The kaiser and his general passed out iron crosses as the French passed out croix de guerre. But when a man got the Max Joseph, the merits of the case are weighed by a commission of from ten to twenty officers, and few pass the test

Saved Whole Division

Ibach saved a whole division, possibly a whole army or a whole battle. It was worth a Max Joseph any day.

As an officer of the Third German field artillery regiment, he lived to pay his compliments in shell to several American division.

"They were too brave," says Ibach of the American soldiers. "Had you men been in the first years of the war, they would have been massacred. They came in mass formations, too eager to get at us and they offered wonderful targets. We could not stop them when they did come because we were through, all of us."


Monday: A hero on the Russian Front.



The allies had superiority in tanks at all times during the war.

The tank was conceived by a British officer, Lieutenant Colonel E.D. Swinton, in October 1916. The first tanks were completed and tested in March 1916 and in August of that year 250 tanks arrived in France.

Forty-nine of these British tanks were used in the battle of the Somme, September 1916, but only a few of them did effective work, and they did not come into general use for a year.

In December 1915, Colonel Etienne, a Frenchman, also conceived the idea for a tank similar to the Swinton tank.

The first French tanks were delivered in November 1916, and went into action at the battle of the Aisne in the spring of 1917.

Monday, September 26, 1927, Page Ten


Editor's Note:This is the fifteenth of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's outstanding heroes of the World War. The last of these articles, which was written especially for the OBSERVER and NEA Service by Milton Bronner, will appear tomorrow.


By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer (copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 26 - Friedrich von Raffler, the handsome, blond Bavarian ***** engineer, has upon his body the scars of wounds from sixteen Russian bayonets.

He got them all on one night in November 1915, when unarmed himself and no one to aid him. He faced a whole detachment of Russian soldiers in a ******* though unsuccessful effort to save the secret codes of the German signal service on the eastern front.

As a ******* in the **** Bavarian field wireless company von Raffler saw service around Volhynia, a desolate region of trackless forests alternating with swamps and marshes and flat sandy wastes on which not even a shrub could grow. Roads were practically nonexistent so the mobile wireless service became all the more important.

Attacked in Swamp

Headquarters for the Prussian reserve division to which he was attached, were set up in a little village called New**. Officers' quarters were in a typical one story dwelling of a well-to-do land holder. Enlisted men were quartered in a neighboring building.

Between the Germans and the Russians lay a vast stretch of swamps, seemingly impassable, and for this reason the headquarters were not strongly guarded.

"One thing that we overlooked," admits von Raffler today, "was that in late November the swamps had become frozen and it was possible to cross them.

"On the night of Nov. 27, 1915, I went to bed about ten. At two in the morning I was suddenly awakened by a tremendous noise of exploding hand grenades and shattering window panes.

"I jumped up, hurried into my clothes, but could not find my shoes. Officers and men were running in the dark. Most of us had no weapons. I heard calls. The Russians! The Russians! and I rushed back to my room to find my pistol."

Russian bayonets were already prying the door open and Russian shots were being fired point blank into the room. A salvo and a high German officer fell dead.

Goes Back For Code

"Then a terrible thought flashed through my mind. My secret cipher for the wireless was in a purse I had left by my bedside. If the Russians got that, they could decipher every message sent on our entire eastern front. Now at last I had something I could and must do. At all costs, I must get that cipher.

"I didn't think of danger—I simply bounded into my sleeping room, thrust aside the stabbing Russian bayonets, grabbed my purse and ran out again, rejoining my fellow countrymen.

"It was a close shave, because shots intended for me splintered the door. I looked into my purse. The cipher was still there! What to do with it in the face of certain death or capture.

"I thought of burning or swallowing it, but concluded I had better walk because if I made away with it and were then rescued, I myself would have no copy of the precious paper,

Returns Second Time

Then another terrible thing shot through my agitated brain. Somewhere in my room there was a paper with the secret all for every one of our wireless stations on the eastern front, together with the names of the staff attached in each. There was also a leather map with the ciphered calls. Even if the Russians did not possess our whole cipher, with these things in their possession they could do untold damage. I must get them.

I rushed back again. A dagger stabbed at me. I grabbed at it and cut my hand badly. The next Russian tried to bayonet me. I knocked his gun from his hand and choked him. Then they got me. A wild mass of hairy, angry soldiers surrounded me. Their bayonets made a metallic sound as they jarred against each other in their stabbing of me.

"There were 15 men and I got just exactly 15 bayonet wounds—five in the right lung, seven in the right arm, two in my thigh and one in the foot.

"I sank to the floor, the blood welling from me. Then I fainted."

Gets Sixteenth Wound

"How long I lay, I do not know, but at last I heard voices. The Russians once more. They were coming back to make sure they had finished me off.

"I tried to hold my breath, but could not. A Russian heard me, flashed his pocket lamp at me, saw my open eyes and heaving chest and started to bayonet me. Weakly I fought to defend myself with a stool, but he soon gave me the deepest stab of all—this one through the left side into the lung."

The rest of the story comes from official records of the Bavarian army, on file at Munich. These records tell why von Raffler is one of the select group of heroes who received the Max Joseph order for bravery.

Warns of Stolen Code

It was daylight when he regained consciousness. The Russians were gone and the Germans had come at last. They were calling into the little room where the young officer lay, trying to find the wounded who had survived the raid.

The first aid men declared that the hero's mouth was filled with blood from his lung wounds. With his left hand he had opened his mouth and allowed this blood to run out, and had feebly called for help.

Von Lechner [sic] made them understand that he wanted a wireless operator. They thought he was raving and tried to quiet him, but he persisted in his demand and finally one of his operators was brought.

Under von Lechner's [sic] direction the set was put in order and a warning sent to all stations on the eastern front that the code should be changed. The reply was received, and then and then only did the young Bavarian permit his sixteen wounds to be treated.


Tomorrow: Four years in the air.

Tuesday, September 27, 1927, Page Nine


Editor's Note:This is the last of a series of articles telling of the thrilling deeds of Germany's outstanding heroes of World War.


By Milton Bronner, NEA Service Writer (copyright 1927, NEA Service, Inc.)

Berlin, Sept. 27-A German mother once uttered in all sincerity a great sentence of irony:
"I have," she said, "three sons—and a flyer."

Joseph Karl Jacobs, victor of 42 aerial combats, survivor of four years war in the air, carrying now on his body scars from six wounds received in the air, quoted this remark as an expression of what horrors aerial combat hold.

There are only a few men in Germany who fought through four years of the war and lived to tell the tale. Max Jacobs is one of them.

Flyer at 19

When the war broke out, though not yet 20, he hastened to Bonn and Darmstadt as a volunteer. He learned flying and was soon attached to the Third Flying Battalion. From the beginning of 1915 he was on the French front.

From La Fere he made a reconaisance toward Paris. His first planes were Fokker monoplanes and the machine guns they carried were not adjusted so as to shoot through the propeller blades. That only came later. In those first planes the aviator had to level his weapon above the propeller.

He won his first victory when he brought down a French battle plane over Le Bourget. From that time on he constantly added to the notches on his stick, shooting, and being shot at.

Chivalry of the Air

"Terrible as were the war days," says Jacobs, "there was a certain fine chivalry among the airmen that put them in a class apart.

"In the land battles for a piece of ground or strip of trench men did not stop trying to kill each other until all were dead or until the whote flag was shown and surrender was absolute.

"With the airmen it was different. As long as we were in the air and contending against each other, it was grim work enough. It was real battle to the death and often a death worse than merely being shot and killed, for it might mean being burned to death in your own plane or hurled from a great height to crash upon the earth.

"But once you forced an enemy airman to the ground or he did the same to you, there was no further continuation of hostilities. Like the old knights, you had won in the lists of the air. Your enemy was defeated. His mount was in your possession. You extended him your hand. You offered him hospitality—one of your cigarets. You often exchanged compliments. If he was injured you sent for first aid at once."

Luck Played Big Part

"I don't think any airman who was very successful in the war will attribute it all to his own skill. Often the god of luck was on your side. Enemy airmen often could spiral and curve and manuever as well as we; could shoot just as quickly and as accurately; had just as much fighting spirits and initiative. And yet, in the combat, your enemy often only made hits on your machine, whereas you killed or disabled him."

A peculiar—no, a typical hero is this Max Jacobs.

He will talk in generalities about the war, about flying, about the experience of others. Of his own exploits he is mum. The terrific air battles in which he won his iron crosses and his "Pour le Merite" he refuses to discuss.

In his four years in the air Max Jacobs fought against English, French and American flyers. Most of his victories were against French planes.

"The English were good fighters and good flyers," Jacobs declares. "You might seem to have an advantage over an English pilot, but he would take his chance with you and come at you just the same.

"I remember when we first came up against American flyers we thought that they would be easy, but they learned rapidly and at the end of the war we knew that when we encountered an American we were in for a real fight."

A Trifle Bored

Out in the newly built and rapidly growing Kaiserdamm section of Berlin, Joseph Karl Jacobs has a prosperous automobile business, but very often Joseph Karl may be seen looking up at the blue sky and sighing. The plain truth is that mere making money bores him.

"I don't want to see any more wars," says Jacobs, "but life becomes terribly boring sometimes. I'd like to get the old stir of the nerves again, even if it were only in auto racing."

His bored, pale blue eyes show that he means it.



Although Russia was not a belligerent on the eastern front after the overthrow of the czar, the Russian war losses were heavier than those of any other power.

The czar's army was mobilized at 12,000,000 men.

Of these, 1,700,00 [sic] were killed in battle, thousands of them slain by machine gun fire from German planes, as Russia had no air service, and no defense against aircraft.

Russian prisoners numbered 2,500,000 and her wounded were 1,900,000, making total losses 9,150,000, or 76.3 per cent of her mobilized strength.

France, second heaviest loser, had casualties of 73.3 per cent of her mobilized strength.