On this day in Yorkshire 1915

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Hull captain’s effort to sink submarine

The following is Captain Howgate’s report sent from Leith regarding tho loss of his ship, the Wilson liner Truro which was sunk by a German submarine, last Thursday.

“May 6th. 6 a.m. dense fog set in; 10am for cleared: 1.30 p.m., sighted a submarine W. by N. course W.S.W.

At once crowded on all speed. Submarine had hoisted signal, but I did not trouble to find out what it was.

He at once began to fire upon the ship, the shots first falling short, then ahead.

I zig-zagged the ship to prevent him getting the range. After firing for about twenty minutes he headed straight for us, coming up rapidly. He then altered his course again to fire at us, his shots being very close, both ahead and at each side, until finally he struck us astern.

“The steering gear jammed for a little time, and there was a perceptible change in the engines, also our speed seemed to diminish.

After few more shots he again steered straight for us. When about a mile off he again commenced firing, apparently making the bridge his target, as the shots were just clearing.

As he drew nearer I consulted the officers, and decided try and ram him. We altered our helm hard to starboard, he altered his a-port, and went to our starboard quarter.

1 altered the helm hard a-port, he went a-starboard my port quarter. As the ships’s speed had diminished, and I could do nothing else, I had no alternative but to surrender. He gave me ten minutes to clear the ship.

He fired one torpedo into the engine room on the port side, and three shots into the ship on the starboard side, the ship taking 43 minutes to sink.

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