Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

Submarines since the days of Captain Nemo are suspected of piracy. And if on the contrary - the submarine tracks pirates? As it was in October 1927, not far from the Chinese Bias Bay ...

“We are not gangsters, we are noble pirates”

China of the 20s was still a hot place. Natural piracy flourished on the shores of the South China Sea. Particularly “famous” places northeast of Hong Kong - for example, Bias Bay. They even robbed British ships. The pirates got on board under the guise of ordinary passengers - and then suddenly took out their weapons.

The British gathered joint expeditions of the fleet and the Hong Kong police, smashed pirate lairs ... and almost immediately everything returned to normal. Ordinary ships could not catch filibusters red-handed. And then the British came up with a cunning plan - to use submarines against them.

On the evening of October 20, 1927, the L4 submarine in the darkness of night saw a ship sailing without lights.

This ship was the steamer "Irene" - 1343 tons of displacement. The team is a regular international for those places: the captain is Norwegian, six officers are Europeans (three of them are British), the flag is Chinese.

On the night of October 17, Irene left Shanghai. Onboard were Chinese passengers and cargo. On the road, “Irene” entered the port of Amoy (now Samyn), where she received more passengers. Among them were seventeen pirates. The bandits calmly carried the weapon under their clothes and in their luggage and waited for the right moment.

Under siege

On the morning of October 19, a scene worthy of the movie “Pirates of the 20th Century” or “Under Siege” (Under Siege) took place on board the Irene. Armed gangsters rushed to the bridge and within seconds captured the ship. Most officers then had a peaceful breakfast. After the capture, the gangsters began to rob the ship and passengers.

All this and the next day, "Irene" went the usual course to Hong Kong. Other ships and one British ship passed by. The ship's michman meticulously saluted - outwardly, everything looked fine. No one suspected something was wrong.

By Thursday night, October 20, the steamer approached Bias Bay. Here the pirates forced the crew to turn off the lights, change course towards the bay and prepare the boats for descent.The robbers obviously wanted to escape from the ship, along with the loot and valuable hostages, after setting up a fire on board. The usual tactics of local pirates. Ends in the water, so to speak.

It was then that the L4 appeared. It became clear to the sailors that something was unclean. And the submarine with a signal light transmitted the order to stop. Then she lit the ship with a searchlight. Captain "Irene" complied and gave the command "stop" on the machine telegraph, but the pirates threatened to shoot the mechanics if they slow down. And after all began firing on a submarine of automatic pistols.

In response, the submarine fired a blank 102-mm cannon as a warning. Then again. "Irene" continued to go further.

What to do? On the one hand, the captain of the submarine has an order to fight pirates. On the other - on board is clearly a lot of innocent passengers. Shoot the ship? It will sink, and people together with it.

Then the submariners fired a land mine in front of the vessel, which covered the Irene with a fountain of water. The steamer stubbornly continued on his way.

Very carefully aiming, the gunners slammed the projectile in the stern. The shot came out extremely successful. The ammunition exploded in the engine room and killed one of the sea robbers on the spot. At the same time, the steam line was interrupted, and the ship stopped.

"So what are you bot have sunk?"

The same shell caused a fire. A panic began, filibusters on the deck firing far and wide. The submarine, despite the shooting, stood next to the burning steamer. And at the same time, on the radio, I received help - submarine L5, the cruiser Delhi, the minesweeper Magnolia and the destroyer Stormmklaud, plus the sea tug.

Submariners, tirelessly, pulled on board the passengers and the team "Irene." Including the ladies - who are not only completely undressed, they are also hysterical. The problem was solved simply - they caught a few bales of silk, and gave out a rescued lady - to wrap themselves.

At the same time in the windings, they could no longer run in panic.

Among those lifted aboard were four seriously injured: a young man wounded by pirates and three burned passengers.

By 10 o'clock at night, "Irene" was burning from nose to stern. By the time there was no one on deck. By three o'clock in the morning L4 got all the survivors out of the water, and finally other ships came to the rescue. On a boat of 70 m in length, 222 fire victims have accumulated, not counting 36 people of their own team.

Of the 258 people aboard the unfortunate steamer, only 14 were lost. The British considered that the majority of the perished were pirates - “why should I feel sorry for their infidelity?”.Discovered among the passengers the bandits were tried and hanged.

For the total of 1927, 15 pirates were executed in China.

In gratitude, the Chinese company - the owner of the steamer "Irene" ... rolled out a claim to Captain L4 by £ 53,000 (multiply by sixty for modern prices - and evaluate greed). After 15 months of litigation, the Chinese retreated.

Later, some eyewitnesses said that the shots on the ship was made more. But, with the exception of the first, all shots to kill were made by armor-piercing shells - so as not to catch the passengers. Boats L4 and L5, thanks to stealth, have established themselves as an excellent means of dealing with pirates.

As a result, the captain of L4 Halahan received from the British Empire Cross for Outstanding Merit. But no pirates, no, yes, and they are still robbing - but just south.

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  • Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

    Who Whom: British Submarine against Chinese Pirates

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