Ships of the Samoa Advance Party

Ships of the Samoa Advance Party

This photo shows some of the ships that transported and escorted the Samoa Advance Party at anchor in Apia Harbour in 1914, shortly after the capture of German Samoa.

The three warships in the image – HMS Philomel closest to shore, HMS Psyche behind her and HMS Pyramus to the right of centre – formed the initial escort of New Zealand's troopships (one of which is seen on the far right). These outdated warships were no match for the modern ships of the German East Asia Squadron, the location of which was unknown to Allied forces at the beginning of the war. Had the convoy been discovered by the enemy, it is unlikely that German Samoa would have been captured with such ease.

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