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461 hits since 5 Nov 2016
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse05 Nov 2016 9:45 p.m. PST

… the Pacific.

"In the first two decades of the new German Empire, after its proclamation in 1870, and before Germany embarked on construction of the world's second-largest navy in the world, German naval units were active in some very unexpected places. This was in support of efforts to establish colonies overseas and to protect German commercial interests in the Far East. In reading about this I stumbled on the story of the small gunboat SMS Iltis (1880) which was to have a very active career which included such a surprising event as a confrontation between Germany and Spain that was only solved by Papal intervention.

in 1880, the Iltis was a typical small gunboat of a type common in many navies of the time and suited to interventions in remote colonial areas. Of 560 tons and 155 ft overall she had a single 142 hp engine that gave her a maximum speed of eight knots. Considered to be a good sea boat, the Iltis carried a barquentine rig a significant advantage when operating far from coaling stations. To minimise drag when under sail her propeller could be hoisted. She was more than adequately armed for what was expected of her two 125 mm and two 87mm breech-loaders, supplemented by two 37 mm revolvers (essentially like overgrown hand guns). Her crew was 85.
The Iltis's first assignment was to Germany's "East Asia Station" and she was to remain in eastern waters for almost five years. As Germany had no naval base in the Far East the Iltis seems to have mainly operated out of the British possession of Hong Kong…"
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Amicalement
Armand

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