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[Page 61]

"Goliath", which had just been sunk by a torpedo as she lay off Morto Bay, covering the right wing of the French, This terrible disaster occurred as follows. It was customary to leave the ship on the right wing of the French every day and also during the night. She was covered by two destroyers further up the Straits. Nevertheless there were many who foresaw that sooner or later a disaster would be incurred. On the afternoon of the 12th the "Goliath" relieved the Cornwallis" as the flanking ship. The flanking ship was not allowed to use her searchlight which I think was a great mistake, as otherwise she could have swept the Straits, and perhaps have discovered the approach of a hostile craft. It was pitch dark night and a Turkish destroyer or torpedo boat drifted down on the current, unobserved by our covering destroyers.
She was sighted by an old Quarter-Master as she crossed the bows of the battleship, but instead of giving the order to fire at her at once, he hesitated, thinking it might be one of our own vessels, and challenged her instead. A reply was made in English and immediately afterwards a torpedo struck the "Goliath" in the bows, and she listed to port. This was followed by two others all of which got home. The unfortunate battleship turned over and sank in under three minutes. The majority of the crew were caught like rats in a trap, and were drowned below, and only about 20 officers and 130 men were saved. These were picked up by the boats of the other ships further down the Straits, or else by destroyers. Although the "Goliath" was lying within about 100 yards the shore, so strong is the current that not a single survivor succeeded in swimming across. The Turkish torpedo boat then made her way back up the Straits still unobserved, and her signals were picked up by one of our ships as she sent a wireless to the Goeben announcing the successful result of her attack.

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