The Samoa (N.Z.) Expeditionary Force 1914–1915
Chapter VIII. — Operation Orders
Orders for the attack, under the hand of the Rear Admiral, were issued as follows:—
"Australia" at Sea.
It is possible that German cruisers "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau," and light cruiser "Nurnberg" may be in the vicinity of Samoa.
It is my intention to arrive at Apia at daylight on 29th August, 1914. "Australia," "Melbourne" and "Montcalm" will, after the arrival of the expedition, prevent any interference from seaward.
Captain H. J. T. Marshall, R.N., H.M.S. "Psyche," will take charge of, and issue the necessary orders for, the disembarkation of the troops.
The Squadron will approach Samoa from the South-east. "Psyche" will proceed when ordered, arriving at Apia at daylight, flying a flag of truce, and will communicate with the authorities. Detailed instructions will be issued separately to Captain H. J. T. Marshall, R.N.
Should any men-of-war be discovered in the harbour on "Psyche" approaching, she will at once inform me of the type of vessel and retire to join me.
Squadron will arrive in position five miles NNE. of East Reef at 7 a.m., 29th August. "Australia" and "Melbourne" will remain there. "Philomel" and "Pyramus" and Transports will proceed towards Apia, stopping at a distance of three-quarters of a mile N. of East Reef, and await orders from "Psyche" to enter harbour.page 54
Should the German authorities refuse to surrender the town, or should no answer to the summons to do so be forthcoming, 'Psyche" will order "Philomel" and "Pyramus" to enter the harbour, and are to be prepared to open fire as directed by "Psyche."
Transports will then remain outside until orders are received from "Psyche" to enter harbour.
The disembarkation will take place as soon as possible after Transports have anchored in Apia Harbour, under the directions of Captain H. J. T. Marshall, R.N., H.M.S. "Psyche." I am to be informed as soon as troops are landed.
(Signed) George E. Patey.
Rear Admiral Commanding H.M. Australian Fleet.
page 56To Respective Officers Commanding Ships and Troops in Expedition to Samoa.
O.C. Troops also issued orders as under:—
(107) Landing Orders: Until further notice breakfast will be at 6.0 a.m. and must be finished and all tables cleared away and decks cleaned by 7.0 a.m.
(a) Machine Gun Detachment will parade at 7.15 a.m. with guns ready to lower into surf boat on the lower deck by forehold. (b) General fall-in will be sounded at 7.30 a.m. and personnel of all boats will fall-in in the places allotted to them on upper deck and will stand to attention in perfect silence. O.C. boats will immediately report all present and correct to the Adjutant at No. 3 Lifeboat on starboard side of upper deck. (c)
Signal to proceed to stations will be one G, when personnel of No. 1 Lifeboat will proceed to its station by the forward gangway, and personnel of No. 3 Lifeboat will reach its station by passing down 1st saloon steps and on to lower deck by means of the main alleyway.
Personnel of No. 5 Lifeboat, followed by that of the small Lifeboat, will proceed to their stations by means of the after gangway.page 55
Personnel of No. 4 Lifeboat, followed by that of No. 2 Lifeboat, will proceed to lower deck by means of the after gangway and will take up their respective stations.
O.C. boats of 2nd trip on hearing one G sounded will immediately bring their respective crews by the shortest route to the upper deck, falling in on the stations allotted to boats' crews for the first trip.
On hearing two G's being sounded they will proceed to the lower deck to their appointed stations as above detailed.
Rifles: Rifles will not be taken into boats by the men, but will be passed down into boats by the last four men of each boat's personnel. General Instructions:
Immediately boats' crews fall-in at respective stations on the upper deck magazines will be charged, cuts-off closed, and safety-catch placed at safety. O.C. Boats are responsible for seeing that this is done.
All units wearing the ordinary haversack are to wear them fastened as high as possible under the armpit. Every man must carry his ration of meat on the morning of disembarkation, also bis ration of tea, sugar and biscuit, in his canteen or haversack.
Strict silence is to be maintained and when one G is sounded every man is to proceed at the double to bis station on the lower deck. Immediately boat stations are reached on the lower deck men are to stand closely against the ship and away from the rail, in order that members of the ship's crew who are working the boats may have free access to same. Strict silence must be maintained. Immediately the men are in the boats the waistbelt of the mills web equipment is to be unfastened in order that it may be thrown off should the boat overturn. The same order will be maintained with regard to silence both in the boats and on landing. Men are to be on the alert and to carry out promptly any orders that are given.
(108) Kits: All kits must be packed on the night of the 28th instant before lights-out and Unit Commanders will see that they are stacked in some convenient place close to men's quarters, where they will be left until brought on deck by the baggage guard after the force has disembarked.
An endeavour was made to rehearse the orders for landing, but the heaviest weather yet experienced kept the majority busy with their own misfortunes and left little thought for the events of the morrow.