British cable steamer cuts Germany's trans-Atlantic submarine cables

Events around time of this event

Show later events
Sep 1914
start of US navy delivery of gold to the Jewish settlement in Ottoman Palestine
Creation of separate jewish units in British Army is proposed
30 Aug 1914
end of Battle of Tannenberg
26 Aug 1914
Battle of Le Cateau
end of Togoland Campaign
start of Battle of Tannenberg
late Aug 1914
start of Massacre of Galician Ruthenes during Austro-Hungarian retreat
24 Aug 1914
end of Battle of Cer - Serbian victory over Austria-Hungary
23 Aug 1914
Republic of China cancels the German lease
start of Battle of Galicia
end of Battle of Mons
22 Aug 1914
start of Battle of Mons
21 Aug 1914
KfdO decides to send Alfred Klee, A. Robinson and Franz Oppenheimer to Czenstochowa in occupied Poland to distribute pro-German propaganda
German army enters Brussels
19 Aug 1914
Max Bodenheimer sends another memorandum to the German Foreign Ministry
17 Aug 1914
Establishment of the Deutsches Komitee zur Befreiung der russischen Juden
15 Aug 1914
start of Battle of Cer - Serbian victory over Austria-Hungary
Battle of Beleaguer (or Agbéluvhoé or Agbeluwoe; also known as the Battle of Tsewie)
Bodenheimer learns that Warburg and Sokolow have already presented the German Foreign Ministry with suggestions for collaboration between Zionist leaders and Germany
14 Aug 1914
Bodenheimer reaches Berlin, in response to summons from General Staff
11 Aug 1914
Bodenheimer receives telegram summoning him to Berlin, to a meeting with an officer in the General Staff
9 Aug 1914
start of Togoland Campaign
7 Aug 1914
end of Escape of Goeben and Breslau
Otto Sprenger sends memorandum to Langwerth stressing utility of Zionist movement to German war effort
6 Aug 1914
start of Escape of Goeben and Breslau
end of Three-day extension of August bank holiday in Britain, caused by financial effects of European crisis
5 Aug 1914
British cable steamer cuts Germany's trans-Atlantic submarine cables
4 Aug 1914
First shots of WW1 in Mediterranean - German ships bombard French ports in Algeria
Germany invades Belgium
start of Three-day extension of August bank holiday in Britain, caused by financial effects of European crisis
Britain declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary
Bodenheimer sends memorandum to German Foreign Ministry urging that the discontent of Russian Jews be used to further German interests
3 Aug 1914
Projected start of Cowes Week
Germany declares war on France
European crisis causes stock exchanges in Johannesburg, Sydney and Melbourne to stop trading
2 Aug 1914
Secret signing of Ottoman-German Alliance
Germany invades Luxembourg
European crisis causes British government to declare a moratorium on payment of bills of exchange
early Aug 1914
start of World War I
1 Aug 1914
Irish Volunteers land German guns at Kilcoole
Aug 1914
[S]ome six thousand Belgians summarily executed during the first weeks of the war
Fezzan tribes counter-attack against the Libyan invasion
start of Austria invades Serbia
1 Aug 1914
German troops occupy Troisvierges in Luxembourg
Germany declares war on Russia
31 Jul 1914
Russia orders a general mobilization
start of Closure of London stock exchange, for first time in history, caused by European crisis
European crisis causes stock exchange in New York to stop trading
Cancellation of Cowes Week
Winston Churchill orders seizure of Turkish ship being completed in a Tyne shipyard
30 Jul 1914
European crisis causes stock exchanges in Shanghai and Cairo to stop trading
29 Jul 1914
Tuekey, suspecting that Britain is about to seize its two ships nearing completion in Britain, orders their departure for Constantinople
European crisis causes stock exchanges in Amsterdam, Berlin, St Petersburg, Montreal and Rome to stop trading
28 Jul 1914
Austro-Hungarian troops invade Serbia
Winston Churchill asks British Admiralty to formulate plans for seizing Turkish ships being completed in British yards
European crisis causes stock exchanges in Spain and Portugal to stop trading
Funeral of people killed in Bachelors Walk massacre
Austrian gunboats shell Belgrade in opening salvoes of World War I
27 Jul 1914
European crisis causes merchant banks to stop( accepting new sterling bills
Hungary closes its borders
European crisis causes Paris Coulisse market (the unofficial stock exchange) to stop trading
26 Jul 1914
European crisis causes Vienna, Budapest, Brussels and Oslo stock exchanges to close
Irish Volunteers land guns at Howth
Bachelors Walk massacre
25 Jul 1914
Guns are transferred from Kelpie to Chotah off Welsh coast
23 Jul 1914
Austria-Hungary issues ultimatum to Serbia
Show earlier events

British cable steamer cuts Germany's trans-Atlantic submarine cables

Date: Wednesday, 5 Aug 1914
<<Previous day                 ^This day                 Next day >>

Many authors say that the cable steamer was the CS Telconia. However, in this book, J R Winkler says that all references to the CS Telconia are incorrect and based on this book by B Tuchman; instead, referring to a memo of the British GPO, dated 7 August 1914, Winkler says that the ship which cut the cables was the CS Alert and says that the operation was conducted near the lightship on the Varne Bank. Winkler says that the first cable was found just after 03:30 on 5 August and that the last, fifth, cable was cut just after 07:00. This other book also says that the cables were cut by the CS Alert.

In line with the (possibly incorrect) majority view, page 70 of this book says:
In the misty dawn of August 5, when the war was only five hours old, the British cable ship Teleconia dragged her grappling irons along the muddy bottom of the southern North Sea. Five German overseas cables, snaking down the Channel, from the port city of Emden, on the Dutch frontier, were her quarry. One to Brest, in France, another to Vigo, in Spain, a third to Tenerife, in North Africa, and two to New York. One by one, Teleconia fished up and cut all five of the heavy, slime-covered cables. That same day, a British cruiser severed two German overseas cables near the Azores. Thus, from the wars first day, Germany was cut off from direct cable communication with the world beyond Europe.
As a result the Germans could communicate with their own embassies in the Americas by only two methods: by radio from Nauen (near Berlin) to Saybille (on Long Island) or by by a route passing from Stockholm to Buenos Aires, known as the "Swedish roundabout".

People/entities cited in reports on this event: Add a rogue or hero

Material about this event in the database

Number of related articles: 7
Number of related maps: 0
Number of related audio/visual clips: 0
Number of related quotations: 0


To refer someone else to this item, use this URL: 

A disclaimer applies to this page. This page is not part of the official UCC website. This page is part of a research database of opinions on Palestine and related topics which is maintained by members of the UCC Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which comprises a group of students and staff in the university. The emphasis in this research project is on provenance -- we aim to provide as much information as possible on the background of the people whose opinions are in the database, so that readers can make up their own minds on the credibility that they wish to attach to these opinions.