Talk:Baralong incidents

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Who is Captain Manning? I assume the captain of the Nicosian?

"the "Baralong Incident" was used to justify increased cruelty at sea both during World War One and after."

could we please rephrase this?

The reference that as added intially, was added with no content- which means it could not be a 'reference'. I certainly approve of the re-write now however, with all the details etc. included with the addition of a reference. Nautical 06:01, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

'Baralong' and 'Wiarda'[edit]

According to Conway's [1], the Q-ship that sank U-41 was HMS 'Wyandra', not 'Wiarda' as the article has it. Conway's makes no mention of 'Wyandra' being the same ship as 'Baralong', although this could simply be an omission (the section on Q-ships is somewhat perfunctory). John Moore 309 21:09, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

May I refer you to the Spring 2006 edition of Iris na Mara.[2]
The Baralong was renamed Whyalla and as such sank U-41 September 23 1915.
Then they changed it, again, to Manica. In 1922 she was sold to Japan and was renames Kyokuto Maru and later Shinsei Maru
ps - we have a John Moore in the MII - any connection? ClemMcGann 22:25, 5 August 2006 (UTC)


  1. ^ Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships, 1906-1921 (Conway Maritime Press, 1985) ISBN: 0-85177-245-5)
  2. ^ Iris na Mara, Spring 2006, issn 1649-3249


The section The Incident, 19 August 1915 ends with the sentence

The four were killed by the Liverpudlians.

However, nowhere in the article is Liverpool ever mentioned. This should be clarified. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AdrianLozano (talkcontribs) 13:49, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. When I read the article for the first time, I was sure this was vandalism. However, the "Liverpudlians" term is in the article since the first version. It is very confusing. HagenUK (talk) 19:47, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

"It should be noted"[edit]

I am reading this article for the first time. It seems to me the current first paragraph and last paragraph contradict one another.

third paragraph twelfth paragraph

On August 19, 1915, about 100 miles south of Queenstown, Ireland, U-27, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wegener, <large>stopped the British steamer Nicosian in accordance with the rules laid down by the London Treaty.</large> A boarding party of six from the U-27 discovered that Nicosian was carrying munitions and 250 American mules intended for the use of the British army in France. They ordered the freighter's crew and passengers into lifeboats, which soon pulled away. They were preparing to sink the freighter.

It should be noted submarine crews on both sides were not treated well since they did not generally take prisoners of ships they sunk either, as there were no accommodations on board a submarine for this. <large>In Unrestricted submarine warfare</large> survival would depend on other ships being around to rescue, or on occasion, if it were possible, to get into lifeboats. Poor treatment of an enemy who used what was viewed as a more cruel weapon was common, for example, the soldiers who operated flame-throwers in WWI were many times not taken prisoner, but killed, to discourage the use of it.

So, if the Germans had fully complied with international law, how could this possibly justify the British justify breaking international law themselves?

I haven't read about this incident. But I read a book on the Lusitania, which explained that Germany had fully complied with international law in early years of the war. It quoted correspondence between Fisher, the First Sea Lord, and a high ranking German officer, where Fisher acknowledged Germany's compliance. Surprisingly, these two officers, who had remained friends for decades, even as tensions rose between their nations, continued to engage in a warm, cordial, personal correspondence, even as their two nations slugged it out. Fisher expressed admiration for his opposite number forbearance, for continuing to comply with international law, when he (Fisher) would have abandoned it much earlier.

In some of the articles I work on, I find contributors inserting paragraphs that start with similar wording to the twelth paragraph here. Last night I excised a POV paragraph of editorializing that started with: *It should be born in mind..." If a verifiable, authoritative, reliable source noted it, by all means cite that source. quote that source, paraphrase that source, with a reference. But, IMO, without a reliable source this paragraph does not comply with the policy of neutrality, and the the policy of no original research.

FWIW vessels like the Lusitania were routinely covertly carrying munitions, making them legitimate targets. The Lusitania sank quickly, and it is now generally acknowledged that it was carrying munitions, and was a legitimate target to be sunk on sight. The Germans had published a specific warning to Lusitania passengers that they knew it was covertly carrying munitions, and was a legitimate target.

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 18:08, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

London Treaty[edit]

The link to 'London Treaty' in the article goes to this disambiguation page, and it's not clear to me which of the various treaties of London it's referring to. Anyone got an idea? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Olaf Davis (talkcontribs) 17:30, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Regarding WW1 we seem to live in a time of propaganda, which is certainly due to Hitler and the atrocities of WW2. I just read a new book "The Kaiser's U-boats" based on papers from the foreign offices as well as witness reports, in that respect i looked up wikipedia for certain incidents described. While i will not comment on the Baralong incident itself, in the last paragraph i read:

" ... It should be noted submarine crews on both sides were not treated well since they did not generally take prisoners of ships they sunk either, as there were no accommodations on board a submarine for this. ..."

First let me say this is true for the British side, probably because of Churchill's order already from february 1915: "Survivors [of submarines] should be taken prisoner, or shot - whatever seems more practical".

However german U-boat commanders in WW1 mostly fought the war utilizing the prize regulation according to international public law: - Enemy warships: These were allowed to be attacked without warning anywhere but in neutral harbours. - Enemy trade ships (merchants): Allowed to be sunk anywhere with regard to international public law, the so-called prize regulation treaty. Stop the ship, allow th ecrew to leave, then sink it by deck gun or torpedo. -Neutral ships - they had to be stopped, searched, and its papers controlled, and only if the ship had contraband, weapons or whatever on board it was allowed to sink them. Again the crew was allowed to leave the ship first.

British submarines sank ships disregarding this international treaty, e.g. in the mediterranean sea at Gallipoli, but also while sneaking into the baltic sea and sinking trade ships and designated hospital ships. As well german trade ships were captured and sunk in neutral ports all over the world.

" ... submarine tactics were often regarded as "cruel" or indiscriminate. Enemy soldiers who used "cruel" weapons and tactics were commonly treated more harshly: for example, soldiers who operated flame-throwers in WWI were often killed, instead of captured, to discourage the use of that weapon ..."

It was common policy for England to ostracize the german boats because it had no weapon to counter it. The surface fleet was virtually unable to fight the U-boats, indeed the british navy suffered heavy losses with their numerous battle cruisers sunk by torpedoes. Contradicting to the passage in the wiki you can read in the papers that german submarines indeed took survivors onboard their own ships, or even towed lifeboats to the coast. This was not an exception, but commen practice, and it was closely watched and appreciated by the neutral nations.

Greetings, (talk) 13:07, 29 June 2008 (UTC) Kai

German reaction[edit]

"The Germans also put the Nicosian and her crew on the "Black List", meaning that any member of her crew was to be shot on sight if captured."

The Nicosian? Should that be the Baralong/Wyandra/Manica? (talk) 20:37, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

This did happen, Germans put the “Nicosian” and her crew on the “Black List”, meaning that any member of her crew was to be shot on sight if captured. The ship’s name was changed to “Nevisian” and the crew were issued with new Discharge Books, with this particular voyage omitted.
Our text incorrectly states Herbert sent a party of twelve Royal Marines led by Sergeant Collins aboard the steamer to hunt them down, and they were discovered in the engine room where they were shot on sight,
What actually happened is that the Marines refused the surrender, satisfied themselves that the Germans were unarmed, withdrew and allowed the Nicosian crew exact a horrible revenge for the loss of other ships. ClemMcGann (talk) 21:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I've read an account which says that the Nicosian's stokers and firemen killed the Germans... but I doubted its truth since most sources agree that the crew been had ordered into the lifeboats before the U-27 had started shelling the Nicosian. Salmanazar (talk) 21:35, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

"War crime" categorization[edit]

Is it not problematic and POV to categorize this article as a "war crime"? Some have referred to it as a war crime, but no one was ever prosecuted for the incident and certainly no one was ever convicted of a crime with regards to it. The "war crimes" categories really should be reserved for incidents that have been held by courts and tribunals to have been war crimes. Good Ol’factory (talk) 02:33, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

In fact, the Imperial German Consulate in New Orleans collected signed depositions from members of the Nicosian's crew. These were intended to be used at a future war crimes trial of Lt. Com. Herbert and those responsible for the U-27 massacre. I am aware of several historians, including Alan Coles, Tony Bridgland, and Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, who have classified the treatment of the U-27's crew as a war crime. Unfortunately, there was no Allied equivalent to the Leipzig trials after the end of World War I. However, if you object to the classification of World War I crimes which were never prosected, there are several others included under Category:World War I crimes. They include the Abschwangen massacre of German civilians by the Imperial Russian Army in 1914, the Armenian Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide, and the Greek Genocide, all of which were committed by the Ottoman Empire.Kingstowngalway (talk) 15:16, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Leipzig War Crimes Trial mentions 45 names but lists only three cases related to naval warfare. GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:36, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
  • If there is no conviction and there is a live debate as to whether or not something was a war crime, I think the issue should be discussed with citations in the article, but I think categorization is too blunt a tool to use. When a category is applied that says that something is a "war crime", that makes it appeared cut and dried with no debate possible. The issue is far too nuanced, which is why categories shouldn't be used to classify things when the application of the category is debatable and contestable by reasonable individuals. Good Ol’factory (talk) 01:58, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
    • A conviction was impossible due to "victors' justice" so the argument is nonsensical. It amounts to the stipulation that only the losers in a war can have committed war crimes. It begs the question. What do reliable sources say? Edison (talk) 01:37, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

summary execution phrasing[edit]

The linked article implies that summary execution is being killed after being captured, rather than while unarmed or attempting to escape, etc. The latter being what I would call "shot out of hand". Is it the right phrase/wikilink for lede? GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:31, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

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