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Cocos 1914: The Encounter between the HMAS Sydney and SMS Eden

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31 North 62 East Film

50 min

Located in the Indian Ocean, midway between Australia and Sri Lanka lies a collection of coral islands collectively known as Cocos (Keeling) Islands, part of the Australian Offshore Territory. 

During the First World War, a Cable and Wireless station was set up on one of the islands, named Direction Island to facilitate communication between Australia and London. SMS Emden, a German Cruiser causing chaos to British shipping in the Indian Ocean, was the most successful naval boat in history. Under the command of legendary Captain Karl Freidrich Max Von Muller, the SMS Emden arrived off this key facility on Direction Island to destroy it, at 06:00 on the morning of 9 November 1914. 

On approach, the Emden was seen and a distress signal was sent out. Nearby HMAS Sydney, Captained by John C.T Glossop, a much larger and more powerful ship, responded. Captain Von Muller had no option but to enter into battle with HMAS Sydney. 

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