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Dogger Bank - The Attack

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It was just before midnight on Friday 21st October 1904 and around 40 vessels of the Hull Gamecock fleet were trawling near the Dogger Bank.  The Russian Fleet (Russia was at war with Japan at the time) of seven battleships, six cruisers and several torpedo boats was en-route to Port Arthur in the Far East when the Hull trawlers were spotted in the darkness.

In the early morning half-light of the 22nd October, the Hull fishermen were suddenly dazzled by the glare of Russian searchlights.  Mistaking the fishing fleet for Japanese torpedo boats, the Russians launched a twenty minute attack, bombarding the defenseless trawlers with almost 300 shells.

Skipper George Smith and Third Hand William Leggett on board the "Crane" were killed in the first and heaviest Russian salvo.  The Mate, the Second Engineer and several crew were also injured in the attack.  The dead and wounded were transferred aboard the "Gull" just before the "Crane" sank.

The "Gull", the "Mino" and the "Moulmein" received damage from shell splinters and the attack ended as the Russian Fleet steamed away into to darkness.

Hullwebs would like to express their appreciation to Kevin Lee
for allowing the puplication of his extensive research on these pages.


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A very special thanks to Hull Local Studies Library for their help with our research projects.