The Battle of Coronel on 31 October 1914 was a distratrous event for the Royal Navy in the early years of the First World War, and the first defeat in over a century of Britain’s dominance of the seas. A squadron of cruisers under the command of Rear-Admiral Christopher Craddock clashed with Vice-Admiral Maximilian von Spee’s German East Asiatic Squadron off the West Coast of South America. Craddock’s flagship HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth, both outdated armoured cruisers, were lost with all hands after a fierce engagement in which the British ships were completely outclassed and outgunned by their German counterparts, which included the cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Surviving the battle was the light cruiser HMS Glasgow, who counted amongst her Ships Company a seaman gunner that wrote a record of the battle, Petty Officer Samuel Hobbs. His account, reproduced in this article which is the second published part of his diary from the war years, provides a detailed narrative of the tumultuous events of the battle, and the days that followed as the Glasgow sought refuge to carry out battle damage repairs.
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