Daily Event for October 23, 2013

The cruiser SMS Prinz Adalbert was used as a gunnery training ship from her commissioning in 1904 until the beginning of the Great War. After the start of the war the ship was moved to the Baltic and was assigned to the cruiser squadron. She was part of the group of ships that helped in the capture of Liepāja (Libau), Latvia in May of 1915, but two months later became a victim of a British submarine.

On July 2, 1915 while en route to aid a cruiser squadron under attack by Russian warships, Prinz Adalbert was torpedoed by Lt. Commander Max K. Horton, D.S.O. (later Admiral Sir Max K. Horton, G.C.B., D.S.O., S.G.M.) from HMS E-9. The damage caused the ship to take on a list and she had to put into Kiel for repairs.

SMS Prinz Adalbert completed repairs in Oct. and returned to the Baltic with a new commanding officer, Kapitän zur See Wilhelm Bunnemann. On October 23, 1915 she was 20 miles off the city she helped capture in May, Liepāja, when she was again torpedoed by a British submarine, HMS E-8 (sister to E-9) and Lt. Commander Francis H. H. Goodhart.

Goodhart fired two torpedoes at the formation of three ships hitting Prinz Adalbert. As the seconds ticked by Goodhart and his men must have felt some anxiety, but what happened next they probably did not expect. The torpedoes hit the ship and she exploded, actually coming out of the water before going straight to the bottom. The explosion of her magazines was so violent that the ship sank in seconds taking almost 700 men with her. Like HMS Hood in the next war, only three men survived.

Lt. Cdr. Goodhart and HMS E-8 along with HMS E-6 and Lt. Commander Cecil P. Talbot (later Vice Admiral Sir Cecil P. Talbot, K.C.B., K.B.E., D.S.O.) were the first British submarines to sail after the war began, they sailed into the Heligoland Bight only hours after hostilities began.

Goodhart received the Vladimir Medal from a Russian captain after making the voyage through the Baltic and
for sinking Prinz Adalbert Goodhart was awarded the Cross of St. George, presented to him by Tsar Nicholas II himself. In 1916 Goodhart was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, he later received one further award. In April of 1918 King George V approved the Albert Medal in Gold (posthumously) for Commander Goodhart. In Jan. of 1917 he was commanding officer of HMS K-14, but on the 29th of the month he was in HMS K-13 while they were conducting diving trials. The boat sank and Goodhart offered to escape to the surface and get help. Using the pressure method the conning tower was flooded and when the hatch was opened he was propelled upward. Sadly he struck his head on the boat killing him instantly.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock

SMS Prinz Adalbert, date and location unknown.

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