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The FIRST WORLD WAR - two of the Imperial German Navy's light cruisers , SMS Dresden and SMS Emden wage a trade war against British ships far from home. The Dresden initially operated off the East Coast of South America and the Emden in the Indian Ocean. In order to avoid British Warships the Dresden made its way into the Pacific to join the German East Asia Squadron.
In the first naval battle of the First World War, a Royal Navy Squadron was able to narrowly avoid defeat in an action in which two British Warships were sunk. The subsequent attack on Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands failed however and all the German ships except the Dresden were lost.
Crippled the Dresden hid in bays around the South of Chile until 14 March 1915 when she was discovered by three British warships and fired upon. The Captain decided to scuttle his ship.
The Emden however, cleverly avoided enemy contact and was thus able to destroy the Oil Storage Unit at Madras. During later actions, two small British cruisers and many merchant ships also fell victim to the Emden. The Emden was however, rendered unfit for action whilst under fire from the Australian cruiser Sydney on its way to the Coco Islands (early in November 1914). The captain was forced to run his ship aground in order to prevent her sinking. Later as a special commendation, all surviving crew members were permitted to bear the additional title Emden .
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