Genuine Emden Battle Relic


History: Genuine Emden Battle Relic.
Denomination 50pf.
Naturally toned



READS: KANTIN. SMS. EMDEN. On the observe side.

Reads 50 pF of on the reverse side.

These tokens were used on board The Emden for on board trading of cigarettes and general goods.

These tokens ranged up to 500pF for officers.

Tokens were issued to all enlisted men and officers as barter in exchange for Deutschmarks whilst German ships were at sea.

All tokens were redeemable when shore leave was given to sailors and officers on reaching friendly port of calls.

This 50pF was a canteen token and used many times over.

A surviving sailor had this in his possession prior to the outbreak of World War 1. The rarity of the token does not so much lay in the fact it is one of a few that have survived. The provenance of the coin is indisputable due our researched history. Researchers should read of Kantin, and the history of the Emden.

The canteen token is offered for sale at $1000.00 which includes all certificates and letters of provenance that can be supplied.

SMS Emden was a Dresden class light cruiser who became the best known German commerce raider of the First World War. At the start of the war she was present in Tsingtao, Germany’s colony in China.

Emden left Tsingtau on 31 July under the command of Captain von Müller. Once at sea she received news of the outbreak of war between Germany and Russia, and steamed toward the Korean Strait, where on 4 August she captured the Russian steamer Riasan. As she sailed back to Tsingtau with her prize she learnt of the outbreak of war with Britain. Riasan was armed and turned into the commerce raider Cormoran, and Emden set off again, this time to join Admiral von Spee at Pagan Island in the Mariana Islands, part of Germany’s Pacific Island empire.

The Emden reached von Spee at Pagan Island before 13 August. While von Spee pondered his options, and moved west to the Marshall Islands, on 13 August Emden was detached into the Indian Ocean, supported by his supply tender, the Markomannia.

From the Mariana Islands, the Emden sailed south, before turning west along the southern coast of Java and then Sumatra, just missing a an encounter with British warships in the Java Strait, and then at Simalur Island, off the west coast of Sumatra. From there she sailed directly into the Bay of Bengal. By 10 September she was on the shipping lane between Colombo and Calcutta, just north of Sri Lanka, and her successful career was about to begin.

Her first capture was the Greek steamship Pontoporos, carrying 6,000 tons of coal. Although a neutral ship, she was carrying contraband cargo, and so was commandeered, to serve as a second collier, with the Markomannia.

For the moment the Emden was just about the only warship in the Bay of Bengal. The British fleet that should have been there was accompanying the Indian Army expedition in the Arabian Sea. Meanwhile, trade had picked up after a brief pause at the start of the war.

Over the next few days the Emden captured and sank the Indus, Lovat, Killin, Diplomat, Trabboch and Clan Matheson (the last of these was captured at just before midnight on 14 September). The Kabinga, carrying a neutral cargo was also compelled to accompany the Emden, and then on 14 September released with all the prisoners captured from the other ships. Finally, a neutral Italian ship, the Loredano was encountered but let go. The captain of the Loredano spread the news, although his ship lacked a radio, and at 2 pm on 14 September the message finally reached Calcutta.

From the vicinity of Calcutta, the Emden sailed east towards Burma, but news of her presence had prevented any ships from sailing. At the same time the British response was developing. HMS Hampshire, HMS Yarmouth and the Japanese cruiser Chikuma were dispatched from Singapore into the Bay of Bengal to begin the hunt. Their search would be largely futile, with news of the Emden reaching them too late to be of use.

Captain von Müller then turned west. Aware that the British would be patrolling the entrance to the Bay of Bengal he decided to attackMadras, then escape south out of the bay. She arrived at Madras at 9.20 pm on 22 September, just over twelve hours after the Bay of Bengal had been declared safe for shipping


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