1914 Daring German Warship Emden Visits Cochin Photos
Photographs taken by the crew of the German warship SMS Emden’s visit to Cochin in one of their daring expeditions. The light cruiser operated with stealth and cunning in WWI. One of the targets was Madras (now Chennai) then under British rule. The city was bombarded on the night of September 22, 1914.
Which kicked off a huge panic amongst the people. So much so there was a wild exodus from the city for several days. The Emden slipped through the British Indian naval fleet by sheer ingenuity. Adding a fake smokestack succeeded in passing it off as a British merchant ship. German ships had three smokestacks whereas British vessels had four at that time.
Only a specific area is shown on this map of the ship’s expeditions. These photos were taken by the crew members. Not many know that some of the crew had also clandestinely visited Cochin (or Kochi) on their expedition. A possible recce of the place? The photo marked in German “Cochin in Indien” is likely proof.
It shows locals standing around two hand-pulled rickshaws with some foreigners seated on them. Probably crew members? Hand-pulled rickshaws were in use in Fort Cochin (Kerala) till around the 1950s-60s. The other Indian photo shows a scene from a village either near Kochi or Madras.
The remaining photos show a view of Port Said (Egypt). Sudsee, maybe referring to the South Sea Islands although not entirely sure. Lastly, there is “Ind. Ocean, Vor Port Clais” again not sure about the place. Click on the photo for better view.
Read more The Astounding Voyage of SMS Emden.
Did you know- the name Emden was taken from the city of its namesake in Germany.
From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#1)., Queen’s Statue Esplanade Road Mumbai-Old Postcard., Bombay The European City Of India – Old Print 1910., First Train In India Bombay to Thane – Old Print 1853