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[Page 226]

[Text incorporates handwritten corrections by E.A.B.]
Up to the middle of May our destroyer flotillas About the middle of May the work of our destroyers was increased greatly and their responsibilities to an incalculable extent by the arrival of the first of the enemy's submarines in the Eastern Mediterranean. Hitherto our battleships had been able to lie off the coast at anchor or else cruise at liberty from one point to another covering the operations of our armies at Helles and Anzac. The news of the gradual approach of German submarines down the Mediterranean was not unexpected for such a move had long been anticipated. At first therefore the Fleet did not retire to a protected harbour for cover but the most valuable ships were sent away and older craft kept off the coast to protect the army's flanks.

It was the duty of the Destroyer Flotillas to guard these battleships and crusiers while engaged in this work. This is done by patrolling the sea in the immediate neighbourhood of the battleship cruising round and round her with the keenest eyes on the bridge seraching every yard of the water for the first suspicious ripple, or the top of a periscope. At this time we had no other projection except that afforded by the destroyers and certain of the Trawlers carrying small three pounder guns. Who will ever forget the Excitement of those early submarine scares. A destroyer or a Trawler or a transport reports that she has sighted a periscope. Sometimes this turned out to be an empty biscuit case floating on the water, sometimes a log of drift wood and more often than not a dead horse floating with one of its legs in the air.

There is the historic story of the Young Commander of a Destroyer who reported to the Admiral "that he had seen the most extraordinary Submarine with no less than four periscopes, and that on his opening fire on it the [four words deleted] using poisoned gas". Now whenever ones of these scares occurred every Destroyer in the neighbourhood dashed at top speed in the direction indicated endeavouriong to ram or to harass the enemy from the neighbourhood. Meawhile the Battleships would up anchor together with the transports and commence a series of revolutions at top speed dash-

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