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NAVAL. ) "MUST mt BEEN TREACHERY191 -00- GERMAN OFFICERS' PLAINT. THEIR STORY OF NAVAL 11 FIGHTi I I -— YMUIDEN", Wednesday, I Nine petty officers were landed from the j damaged German destroyer V 69 and brought to the Willem Barentz Hotel, Ymuiden, to- night. My correspondent engaged them in conversation at a. late hour. The following is the story of one of the petty officers, a waarra-nt offioer:- My watch on deck was from 6.30 p.m. yesterday (Monday) to 12.30 this morning. We had left port at 1 p. m. on Monday for an ordinary patrol, so far as we knew. With one ether destroyer we formed a rearguard to the flotilla of 11 vessels, whose comman- der flew his flag aboard our ship. As all was quiet during the night I went below after my watch, but feeling uneasy I put on my overcoat and went on deck at 3 a.m. It was a clear night, and as nothing happened I re- turned to my bunk. I had hardly been there five minutes when the alarm bell raiyg and I had to take up my j post on deck to look after the ammunition supply. I had just reached the deck when we discovered the enemy abeam at long ) range and opened fire. The enemy's Marksmanship was very accurate and we were soon hit. We tried to get home to a German port by all possible means, but we wonder how we got away, for we were faced by two British squadrons of four to ix big ships each. There must have been treachery, be- cause all precautions had been taken to a void being overtaken. Both steering gears having been destroyed and also the com- passes, we steered by the stye's and by our screws. If it bad not been for four British destroyers, which we sighted when we were off Ymuiden, we should have reached the Mouth of the Ems. As soon as we sighted them we decided to run the ship ashore on tdi,p Dutch coast, we were not sure at what point we were. But a Dutch steam trawler told us that we were off Ymuiden and might make that port.. In A r Main action teak place about 30 miles off Zeebrugge. We escaped, j so far as we know, owincr to the fact that we were the rearguard. We do not know what happened to the other vessels, but they must have got it badly. This is my fourth de- stroyer. My escape in the Jutland battle ) was a good de-al more miraculou? t-hsn this. I have been in three raids hn the English coast. "—(" Times" correspondent.) "FICTION." ADMIRALTY AND A GERMAN: DENIAL. THE BRUTAL SINKING OF THE WESTMINSTER. 1 The Secretary of tlie, Admiralty Last' night issued the foUov.fcg In 17, the German Government attempted to refute the statements contained in the British Admiralty cor.-munique published in the Press on December 30> giving details of the brutal sinking of the British steamship Westminster. Those particu- lars were based on the sta,temellt.sof the survivors made on oath; but, on receipt of the German denial, the survivors were minutely cross-examined, and as a result of this further investigation the facts re- main unchanged. The vessel was torpedoed without warn- ing and struck by two torpedoes. The survivors of the explosion took to the boats, and were Shelled by the submarine, • j the captain and chief engineer being killed by shell fire. Furthermore, this cross-examination has elicited the fact that no other ship was in sight when the submarine opened fire, and the only surviving boat was not picked up until twenty-seven hours later. The statement in the German submarine officer's alleged report, that rescue by the submarine was made impos.sible by the approach of a patrol steamer, must there- fore be regarded as fiction. DAZZLED BY SEARCH- LIGHTS. GERMAN FLOTILLA WAS SURROUNDED. AMSTERDAM, Wednesday. i't, is confirmed tha/t the Gemi-in flotilla wae isuroiuided, and that a short but very severe engagement followed, the scene being illuminated by British searchlights, which appear to lw.ve daz/led the Germans. The British gximiers fired with rapidity and great accuracy. Whi'e ii, nunrbrr of the surprised German vessels managed to escape to Zeebruggc, j the remainder became involved in a running light. the vessels engaged proceeding in a northerly direction. So far deilixite information is lacking re- garding the exact number of German vessel? sunk.—("Morning Post" corres- pondent. )

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