The entire convoy sailed from Albany on 1st November It was timed to pass some 50 miles east of the Cocos Islands on the morning of the 9th November Sydneythe nearest warship to the Cocos group was ordered to proceed at full speed. Emden opened fire at a range of some 10, yards using the then very high elevation of thirty degrees.
The next was on target and for the next ten minutes the Australian cruiser came under heavy fire. Four ratings were killed and several wounded.
It was to no avail. Sydneytaking full advantage of superior speed and firepower, raked the German cruiser.
Shortly afterwards the forward funnel toppled overboard and then the foremast, carrying away the primary fire control station and wrecking the fire-bridge. Despite the damage and the inevitable end, Muller continued the engagement.
Shortly after Emden was seen to be fast on the North Keeling Island reef. She lost men killed in action, or died of wounds.
Note: Many of the survivors of Emden taken on board Sydney after the battle were almost naked and clothes were provided by the crew of the Australian cruiser. Surgeon Darby who treated many of the wounded received several mentions in German records for his kindness and humane treatment of the prisoners. Author A. Research — We can help!