Direction Island Revisited

On November 9, 1914, Direction Island was the scene of an attack by the German Imperial Navy raider, the SMS Emden, the purpose being to destroy the British Cable and Wireless installations on the Island. World War 1 had just commenced. The destruction of the installations was succesful, but during the morning, the SMS Emden was destroyed by the HMAS Sydney in a naval battle lasting just under two hours.
I am indebted to John DeShazo, retired US Navy Captain, for the following photos. In 1971, John and his wife visited Direction Island in their American yacht, "Whiffet", and spent seven pleasant days there.
Original Admiralty Chart used by John in 1971. At night, and in bright moonlight, John navigated his craft into the lagoon, no mean feat considering the very strong winds at the time and the coral reefs.

John's reflection on the event, is of interest. "When I entered that lagoon at night, I was a young man. As a mature naval officer, I would never do that. However, had the captain of the "Emden" been so bold, he would have done his deed and gotten clean away!"
Vegetation on the Island
water tank
Old fresh water tank
The Cables
Direction Island Paradise! The girl in the bikini is Rosemary Bradley of Swarthmore Pennsylvania, a crew member of the Yacht, Whiffet.
Click here
To view John's Yacht, Whiffet, and his log of raw sextant observations.

Return to Emden Page

| About the Emden | Cocos (Keeling) Islands | Emden's War Exploits | Battle Map |
| The Battle | Contact | Cable and Wireless Station | Memorabilia and Photos | The Ayesha |