VIA: Remembering world war 1 in 2014 100 years

On this day, 107 years ago

Commemorating the 62 officers and 1,397 men killed by the sinking of the three British armoured cruisers HMS Aboukir, HMS Hogue, and HMS Cressy by the German submarine U-9 on 22 September 1914.

While patrolling in the region of the southern North Sea known as the "Broad Fourteens", the U-9 intercepted the three warships of the Seventh Cruiser Squadron. Captain Otto Weddigen (1882-1915) fired off all six of his torpedoes, reloaded while submerged, and in less than an hour sank the three British armoured cruisers. Only 837 survived. Weddigen was awarded the Iron Cross, second and first class.

After sinking HMS Hawke and some merchant ships, Weddigen received Prussia's highest military order, the Pour le Mérite. He also received the highest military honours of the other kingdoms of the German Empire: The Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph of the Bavaria (making him one of only six non-Bavarians to receive this), the Knight's Cross of Saxony's Military Order of St. Henry and the Knight's Cross of Württemberg's Military Merit Order.

Weddigen died while commanding the submarine U-29. On 18 March 1915 U-29 was rammed by the British battleship HMS Dreadnought in the Pentland Firth. U-29 had broken the surface immediately ahead of Dreadnought after firing a torpedo at HMS Neptune and Dreadnought cut the submarine in two after a short chase. There were no survivors from the submarine.