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Hunt The Kaiser's Cruisers! -

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In the deserts of Arabia, of countless caravans. the wind has blown away the traces But one of them has become the stuff of legends. A caravan of sailors. halfway around the world. Sailors on their flight THEME MUSIC of the German kaiser, The pride and joy the navy was intended to help make the new German empire a world power. In just a few years, Kaiser Wilhelm II had built up a mighty battle fleet. Britain, the great naval power, was alarmed by this arms race. Which in 1914, to encompass the entire world. was to culminate in the first war the world's oceans Just who would ultimately dominate was to be decided overseas. On the other side of the world, on the east coast of China, lies Tsingtao.

had secured a lease on the port The German Imperial Navy as a colony. only overseas naval base. It was Germany's from the mother country. 12,000 nautical miles away In June 1914, arrived from Germany the long awaited relief force

for the East Asian Squadron. To celebrate the occasion, Admiral Graf Spee held a sports day. Much to the amazement of the locals. for a possible war overseas. But the Germans were ill-prepared could bunker fuel and munitions. It was only in Tsingtao that they were controlled by the British navy. All other supply lines

a patrol voyage in the South Seas. The Imperial Squadron put to sea on None of the 2,500 men aboard never see Tsingtao or Germany again. had any idea that most of them would The third of August 1914, the shock news arrived by radio. The First World War had broken out. War against Britain,

and colonies around the globe. the one country with naval bases back to the distant homeland Graf Spee decided to try to make it via South America. A single ship was left behind - the cruiser Emden. Although not heavily armoured, she was fast and manoeuvrable. the withdrawal of the squadron, Her job was to cover alone. on enemy freighters, Her orders were to wage war in order to draw British warships. for the Indian Ocean. The Emden set course From now on, she was on her own. was Helmuth von Mucke. The first officer 33 years old, an impoverished aristocrat. to get quicker promotion. He'd sought an overseas posting He wanted to get married soon. But now, his return to Germany seemed more than doubtful. dreamed of having his own command. For years, Lieutenant von Mucke on a suicide mission. And now he was first officer his letter would ever arrive home. Von Mucke didn't know whether He wrote -

in the Indian Ocean "We're alone here "without any support. "All ports are closed to us "but don't worry, British freighters to deal with. "so far, we've had only is still keeping out of sight." "The Royal Navy Ja. Helmuth. All hands on deck. An enemy ship had been sighted. about attacking freighters. Von Mucke was not exactly happy of the enemy ships. He had to take care of the crews LOUD EXPLOSIONS with my boarding party. "I transfer to the ship

to pack their things We give the sailors time to the Emden, before I bring them back as involuntary passengers. to a neutral ship, soon after. In order to hand them over But before that, we have to sink their freighter. under the wrong flag." Destroy it just because it's sailing German cruiser spelled certain doom. For cargo ships, an encounter with a In just a few months, privateering cruiser the Emden became the deadliest of the First World War.

was safe. No freighter in South-East Asia dared venture Hardly any British steamships beyond the safety of the ports. Merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean was virtually paralysed. set its massive naval power The Royal Navy against the pestilent cruiser. At first, to no avail. over 30 freighters. The Emden was able to sink The audacity of the German cruiser British historians, today. still fascinates The story of the Emden against all the odds. is one of an impossible success in the Indian Ocean area. The Emden is operating largely by British possessions - Ceylon, An area bounded

and up here, Calcutta. here we have Madras,

This is the British Indian Ocean. And here is this one small German cruiser with one captain, Von Muller, and he's able to move around in this area, one step ahead of the British constantly. And he's able to do things that nobody should be able to do in Britain's Indian Ocean. And all the while, there are 20 or 30 British ships that could have sunk the Emden, but they never quite catch her. And as long as his luck lasted, he was successful. But eventually, that luck was going to run out. He knew that, they all knew it. The Emden couldn't go on forever. Helmuth von Mucke wrote in his diary - "I'm under no illusion. "We won't be able to play this role for long. "20 warships are said to be after us, "it's a losing battle. "Commander intends to do as much damage "as possible before we, ourselves, go down." By now, the trade routes were deserted. The British cargo ships had taken refuge in safe harbours. Suddenly, there were no more spoils for the Emden.

So, the captain came to a madcap decision. To venture into the ports themselves and make a killing there. On the night of 27 October 1914, off the coast of Malaya, the Emden cut speed in order to strike at the port of Penang.

But at the entrance to the harbour, they were in for an unpleasant surprise. At the last minute, they spotted a Russian battle cruiser and two French torpedo destroyers. But there was no going back. Open fire. LOUD EXPLOSIONS By the skin of her teeth, the Emden escaped unscathed. The more ships she sank, the more pursuers she attracted. And not just British warships, anymore. Emden's success was paralysing Britain's concentration of troops. The British Empire was sending troops

to serve on the Western Front.

And the Australia New Zealand Army Corp or ANZAC was going to be the largest concentration coming in from overseas. The British wanted those troops in France, immediately. But they couldn't be sailed while the Emden was at large.

So, the British have to assemble a big convoy escort for the most important and largest military convoy of 1914. A total of 28,000 troops from Australia and New Zealand were distributed among the convoy. To join the war on the other side of the Earth, they had to cross the Indian Ocean - where the Emden lay in wait. That's why they were escorted by the heavy battle cruisers. The convoy's first objective was the British radio station on Keeling Island. An idyllic coral atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean. And it was off this remote island, of all places, that the Emden had dropped anchor. In the early morning of 9 November 1914, Helmuth von Mucke was ordered on deck. He was to head the landing party to knock out the British radio station on the island. No great task. But von Mucke was taking no chances. Gut. (Speaks German)

He chose his best men for the expedition. (Speaks German) The young lieutenant took on his first command. His son explains what happened next. TRANSLATOR: The landing force was assembled, consisting of 49 men and my father, who was first officer and the captain's deputy, and had been put in charge of this landing party. They had to reckon with a military guard on the islands. So, the landing party was armed. Including four machine guns. They landed, woke everyone they could find, and told them to assemble in one place, while the party went about destroying everything that could be of any military importance whatsoever. This station was important because a cable from Australia to Europe crossed the atoll. And the telegraph post was also an important radio link.

What they didn't know was that a troop transport was on its way at that moment from Australia to Europe. And was passing close to the Keeling Islands. At the head of the Allied convoy, a signal had been received from Keeling Island which suddenly broke off - "SOS. Emden here. SOS." The Australian battle cruiser, Sydney, was dispatched to investigate. TRANSLATOR: Smoke had been spotted on the horizon which they believed, at first, was the coal tender of the Emden. The Emden had seen it but done nothing, on the assumption that it was our own ship that was approaching. But then the pall of smoke came closer at a considerable speed, which made the Emden suspicious. They had to assume that it wasn't the coal tender. On the Emden they finally made out just what was approaching at top speed - enemy cruiser of the latest design with superior armament. The Sydney opened fire immediately. With her long-range guns, she kept the Emden at a distance and just hammered in the shells. The Emden's weaker firepower couldn't compete. "Can't get at the enemy. Badly hit in the bows.

"Forward guns out of action. "Focsle head, fire astern. "Direct hit. "Rudder out of action. No chance of escape. "Trying to reach safety of reef to run aground. "Lifeboats shot to pieces. Every man for himself." From the beach at Keeling Island, the landing party watched its cruiser's engagement on the distant horizon. Von Mucke stood on the roof of the radio station, dumbfounded. What was he to do? The Emden was no more. It was as if the men on Keeling Island were paralysed. The first officer now had to take complete charge. Should he try to defend this tiny palm-fringed atoll?

Von Mucke was determined not to lose any of his men. Not even to an Australian prison camp.

He had to come up with something. In the lagoon,

he found an old trading schooner and confiscated it on the spot. The British staff of the radio station even gave the German landing party their provisions and plenty of good advice. It wasn't long before von Mucke understood why the British looked so cheerful on the farewell photo. The old wooden ship would prove to be rotten and leaky. What's more, someone had removed the sealing rings from the bilge pumps.

So, that was why the British radio operators had been in such a good mood. But nobody wanted to turn back. The prospect of a happy homecoming was too tempting. And the victorious Australian cruiser could turn up at any moment. They set off with all haste. (Speaks German) They headed straight for the reef. So as not to lose any time, they had to find their way through the razor sharp coral reefs

of the offshore islands. (Speaks German) Finally, they reached the open sea. The confiscated three-master bore the name of the wife of Mohammed - Ayesha. They had no idea, as yet, how prophetic that would be. Von Mucke estimated that the nearest coast was well over 1,000 miles away. He was fully aware that his plan was pure madness. But he'd resolved to get his men back home, even if it took them halfway around the world.

"Still making a lot of water. Course north-west. "Hope the longitude is right "but there's no trusting the chronometer we found.

"Two to three weeks to Sumatra if the wind's with us. "Today - dead calm, again." TRANSLATOR: They had enough to eat. They'd taken enough canned food from the Keeling Islands. There was nothing fresh, of course, and they were worried that they might go down with scurvy. They had no medicines, either. So, if someone were to fall sick, there'd be little help for him. Unfortunately, they hadn't been able to clean out the fresh water tanks before setting off.

And three of the four tanks were stagnant. So, they had very little drinking water. It was strictly rationed. Basically, there was only enough water for the crew to last one week. "Collected rainwater, tonight. "It proves to be reasonably potable. "For want of tobacco, the crew is smoking tea. "Try in vain to catch fish. "No sign of wind." Von Mucke began to have doubts, maybe his escape plan had been over optimistic. The rotten sailing ship would never get them to Germany. They'd have to swap to a steamer, but where could they find one? After three weeks, they finally reached Sumatra. The island was under Dutch colonial administration. But how would the neutral Dutch react in time of war? "It's to be hoped they'll believe we're in distress.

"They can't refuse us everything.

"I must somehow be able to organise our onward journey on Sumatra." TRANSLATOR: In Padang, my father succeeded, despite surveillance by the Dutch, who were very concerned as a neutral state not to allow the Germans to receive any appreciable help, in delivering a note in which arrangements were made

for a rendezvous with a German steamer. After 24 hours, they had to put to sea again, in the hope that the German consul would manage to organise a serviceable freighter. The position for the rendezvous had been set as latitude - three degrees 21 minutes, longitude - 99 degrees 19 minutes. Nothing but a dot in the immense vastness of the Indian Ocean. Was their position correct? Far and wide, there was no steamer in sight. Then suddenly. (Speaks German) At last, a freighter heading straight for them. It's the Choy Sing, flying the German flag. They transferred to her with great relief. But with a note of sadness, with no port to go to, they had to sink the Ayesha. "From the rail of the Choy Sing we watch her slowly go down. "The loss affected us deeply. "It's to her, entirely, that we owe our freedom." SHIP HORN BLASTS The imperial landing corp, cut off and isolated, could rest for the first time, on the German freighter. But on board the Choy Sing, they learned that all coastlines within reach were now in enemy hands. TRANSLATOR: Up till then, they'd actually had no clear idea

of where they were heading. Then, in a newspaper he found on the Choy Sing,

my father read about battles between Turkish and British forces in Arabia. It told him that Turkey had entered the war on the side of the German Reich against Britain and France. And that gave him the idea of finding a route home via Turkey. In the night of 7 January 1915, the freighter headed for the coast of the Yemen, the southern tip of the Ottoman empire.

The onward passage through the Red Sea was blocked by Allied warships. But von Mucke came up with a brilliant plan. He'd learned from the ship's library that a new railway line had been built to Hodaidah in the Yemen. "So, we just need to buy our tickets "to get on the train and travel home." TRANSLATOR: The Choy Sing brought the landing party straight to the coastal zone of Hodaidah. There they saw a string of lights which they assumed to be a pier. Until they noticed that this pier had two masts and four funnels. It was a French battle cruiser moored there. But no-one noticed the landing party disembarking a few kilometres further up the coast from the Choy Sing's rowing boats. As soon as they were ashore,

they were confronted by armed Bedouins. Von Mucke tried to convince them they weren't enemies but Germans, comrades in arms of the Turks. But to no avail. (Speaks German) Would they perhaps recognise a German coin bearing a picture of the kaiser? Our money. The money! It worked. The stranded landing party pressed on confidently towards Hodaidah. Their first officer hoped that after a short rest, they would reach the railway.

In Hodaidah, the German sailors were stared at like creatures from another planet. They were taken to the Turkish fort, the garrison of their allies. Von Mucke couldn't help feeling that the Turkish officers really wanted to keep them there as reinforcements. They had landed in the southernmost tip of the Greater Ottoman Empire. Way off to the north, far from the Arabian peninsula,

lay Constantinople - the seat of the Turkish sultan. But his empire was shaky. There was turmoil in the occupied provinces which sought independence. The superior Turkish army had, so far, been able to suppress every uprising. But the empire of the Turks was simply too large and the supply routes too long.

That's why Turkey had secured the help of Kaiser Wilhelm. German-built railways were to cut through the country. One of them being the Hejaz railway to Arabia.

However, construction work on the Arabian peninsula had ground to a halt in the political turmoil. The last section, to the Yemen, was never completed. So, the landing force's homecoming became a remote prospect. Von Mucke recorded his dismay in his diary. "Regretfully, I had to recognise "that the railway is a mirage. "It just doesn't exist here." No point in bemoaning their fate. They had to press on in a bid to reach the railway terminal somewhere to the north, beyond the high mountains of the Yemen. The unfamiliar food and the climate took their toll. The first cases of malaria, dysentery and diphtheria broke out among the landing party. They had no medicines to treat them. If von Mucke didn't reach the railway lifeline soon, he'd start losing men. Only one man in the landing party spoke Arabic and could ask the locals the way - Seaman Pinkert. This former foreign legionnaire noted in his diary - "We have to get to San'a. "According to the Turks, it lies beyond the mountains. "There are no maps. It's all up hill and down dale." "We are bringing up the rear with our sick men, "progress is slow. "But at least, they're a bit better in the cooler mountain air. "On the evening of the sixth day, "we reach the mountain town of Manaka, "our goal for this stage. "Nothing has been prepared for us, of course.

"Although that's what we'd been promised. "In other respects too, "the Turks are wide of the mark. "They seem to have long since lost control of the Yemen. "I hear from locals that militant tribes in the north "are already in revolt against the Turks. "We must press on as fast as possible." "Ahead of us now is the road to San'a "which winds through the mountains like a snake." "It's around 5:00 when the city suddenly comes into sight, "like something out of 'A thousand and one nights'." After taking up quarters, Pinkert played chef for his comrades. He'd found everything he needed in the market which offered a rich variety. Thanks to Pinkert's cooking, the wasted, sick men soon recovered. After two weeks, von Mucke's men were ready to continue the march. But the Turkish military governor blocked their departure, claiming he had to wait for orders from above from distant Constantinople.

Von Mucke waited. Day after day, week after week. "I've lost two months to no avail. "I believe there are completely different reasons "for the difficulties placed in the way of my departure. "The governor wants to keep my unit here "in order to deploy them against the approaching rebels. "Never! "I shall get my men back home, with or without the Turks." Von Mucke presented the Turkish military governor with an ultimatum, which expired without reaction. What should they do? San'a, fine though it was, had proved to be a dead end. They had to press on to the railway. Von Mucke's patience was exhausted. He wasn't going to be kept waiting any longer. (Speaks German) All we hear are the same old excuses about waiting for orders to come down from higher authorities in Constantinople. TRANSLATOR: No further help could be expected from the Turkish side. Then chance intervened. My father got to know a retired Turkish general who was worried about his cash reserves. It couldn't be ruled out that the Arab rebels might lay siege to San'a again and capture the city. And then he'd lose all his money. He was willing to make a loan of his cash to the landing force which would then be repaid later by the German Reich. My father gladly accepted this loan. Which meant he could then get to Hodaidah again, independent of the Turkish military. On 12 March, they reached the coast.

The Red Sea was their last chance. But they couldn't afford to encounter a British cruiser. They left the Yemen in two innocent looking fishing boats.

Under cover of darkness, they set course for the north. They were heading for the treacherous reefs of the Farasan Bank. The shallow coral reefs were impassable for British warships but not for the fishing boats. Or so they hoped. Two days later, they believed they'd got through the reefs and felt fairly safe. TRANSLATOR: The next destination was the port of Kunfiddah. Kunfiddah lies directly behind the coral reef. The lighter dhow, which my father was on, just managed to scrape over it without damage. But the bigger dhow, with the deeper draft, hit the reef with such force that the bottom was ripped open and the dhow sank. "Despite the sharks, everyone on board was rescued. "But the sick men were further weakened by the shipwreck. "The remaining dhow now held over 70 men, including the Arab crew. "The boat was so low in the water "that I had everything that could be spared, thrown overboard. "Including provisions and water. "The remainder would last for three days." On 18 March, they finally reached Kunfiddah. In the Arab port, von Mucke was to have an unusual encounter. In a teahouse he met Sami Bei, a former Turkish official, and his young Arab wife. The couple had been stuck here for weeks. Sami Bei said that the sea route to the north was blocked by warships. He'd also heard that the British were secretly supplying the Arabs with arms for an uprising against the Turks. The Bedouin tribes were still disunited

but it was only a question of time, he said, before the whole of Arabia would rise against the Ottoman Empire. They must leave at once, Sami Bei entreated von Mucke. But the route to the railway passed right through the Arabs' holy land. It was closed to Christians and could prove fatal. But with Allah's help, 50 men and four machine guns, they might just do it. Camels and local drivers were hastily hired.

And provisions were bought for the march across the desert. The caravan of sailors set off. But the ships of the desert were a new experience for all of them. The constant swaying made some of the sailors seasick, for the first time in their lives. They left behind them the grave of fellow seaman, Kyle, who had died of malaria. You must keep your eyes ahead, the commander told them.

He couldn't let his men lose their faith in their homecoming. The unremitting heat and the dusty sand were hard on the sailors. Nevertheless, they rode and marched for up to 16 hours a day. We can rest in the train.

The unshakable optimism of their commander kept them all going. Seaman Pinkert wrote in his diary - "When we drop anchor, us sailors keep a sharp lookout "for a glimpse of the dark eyes "of Sami Bei's wife. "She must be very young. "But her husband watches her like a hawk." Setting off again, their destination was the Mecca region, where the railway was said to begin. They didn't know that they were marching right into the lion's den. Mecca, the holiest city of Islam, was also the centre of Arab resistance. The emir of Mecca intended to free his people from the yoke of foreign rule by Turkey. He dreamed of an independent Arabia, with himself as king. His two sons wanted to unite the feuding tribes. While the elder, Faisal, was receiving modern weaponry from the British, the younger brother, Abdullah, favoured the idea of taking important foreigners hostage. He believed it was the only way to force the great powers to intervene. 1 April 1915,

the caravan of sailors was passing through a region

which the native drivers called 'the father of the wolf'. As they rode into a basin of dunes, suddenly shots rang out - an ambush. Among the dunes, the attackers had perfect cover. Lieutenant Schmitt received a shot in the stomach. He was carried behind the firing line, but he was beyond help. They still couldn't make out who the enemy were. Were they after their weapons? Only the machine guns forced the attackers to keep their distance. But who were they? As a scouting party reached the crest of the dunes, the attackers appeared to withdraw. Von Mucke sent Pinkert to reconnoitre. As a former foreign legionnaire, he had experience of desert fighting. Before long, Pinkert returned with a captured rifle. A brand new British Enfield. He'd seen the enemy, they weren't marauding Bedouins. They were far too well armed for that. And highly organised. On the second day, only a few isolated shots were fired. Were the Arabs simply waiting for them to surrender? By the third day, their water was running low. Their position was desperate. But at least, the shooting had stopped. Suddenly, two men appeared, finely dressed. They seemed to want to negotiate. Von Mucke went towards them. "One is dressed in European clothing. "He translated for me. "Abdullah, the son of the emir of Mecca, had sent them. "With his bodyguard, he'd forced the bandits to flee, he said. "Strange that we hadn't noticed anything." The negotiator invited them to accompany him to Abdullah's camp. He offered his German allies his personal protection. They were taken to Abdullah's camp. Surrounded by hundreds of Bedouins, all armed with British rifles.

But they were greeted with great civility. They were brought to the emir's son. Abdullah promised them safe conduct to Jeddah, the port near Mecca. He invited them to be his guests there. But von Mucke couldn't help feeling they were more like prisoners than guests. What had Abdullah in mind for them? The next day, von Mucke began to take precautionary measures. "I secretly sent Pinkert down to the harbour "to look for a dhow, complete with a trustworthy pilot." When Abdullah left for Mecca to see his father, they seized the opportunity to get away. To their surprise, the sea was completely deserted. No British gunboat to be seen, far and wide. Von Mucke was unaware that the Allies had, in the meantime, their naval forces in the Mediterranean, for a landing in Turkey. They sailed north along the coast. Their goal was over 400 nautical miles away. Not far from Al Wajh, according to their pilot, ran the railway. Von Mucke believed him. He had to believe him. On 29 April 1915, they reached Al Wajh. By this time, they'd already been under way for six months. But the Hejaz railway, with which their commander seemed to be obsessed, was still out of reach. It was supposed to run through the middle of the Hejaz mountains. Gathering their remaining strength, they set off. It can't be much further. How often had they heard that from their lieutenant? But they could see no railway lines, far and wide. Let alone, a station. Just desert, sand and stones. Six of the comrades already lay buried in Arabian soil. The rest privately wondered who would be next. Surely, the idea of getting home by train had long since proved to be an illusion. Their commander's obsession. In Germany, spring had arrived. It was 7 May 1915. No-one really believed von Mucke when he said he could see a railway line at the end of the valley. But there it was. The line ran to the station of Al Ula. Von Mucke had been proved right. There, the first photos were taken of the caravan of sailors and of their exhausted but delighted commander. Of Sami Bei and his young wife, who was reluctant to part with her rifle. They had no idea how famous they'd all become in the meantime. As the heroic survivors of the sunken German overseas squadron. The joy they felt on their train journey through the desert, was indescribable. But the last stretch through Syria to Constantinople took far too long for the sailors. They couldn't wait to get home. But the train stopped at every station. The bands played to welcome them and local dignitaries lined up to be photographed with them.

They were kitted out with brand new uniforms. Not much further to Constantinople, they were told. And from there, a mere stone's throw to Germany. What they weren't told was that the capital of the Ottoman Empire was in great danger. The planned Allied landing on the Turkish coast had begun, at Gallipoli,

the last stronghold before Constantinople. But the attack had not caught the Turkish defences unprepared. The British navy launched the major offensive with its heaviest artillery. was borne by Australian soldiers. But the main burden of the assault from the troop convey The very same soldiers off Keeling Island. which had sunk the Emden They'd been training for months, as to the risks of the offensive. the British were in no doubt To put it mildly, it was a disaster. were killed. Tens of thousands of Australians was thwarted. The landing on the Turkish coast that von Mucke and his men It was at this point, Constantinople. arrived at the rescued 23 May 1915. since the sports day in Tsingtao. One year exactly How the world had changed. the Bosporus. A torpedo boat carried them over from Germany's overseas squadron The only men to return by the most senior admirals. were welcomed of the sunken Emden. They went ashore bearing the flag I beg to report, sir, present and correct. the landing force of the Emden, were celebrated The sailors of the kaiser as though they had saved the city.

to see them. Tens of thousands turned out After a short period of recuperation, to the various war fronts. the sailors were dispatched In next to no time, nearly half of them were killed. Mucke was shocked. This was their homecoming. He was ordered to Berlin at the station. where his mother met him to find all the fuss, excessive. She was not the only one Germany was to lose the war. and went into exile. The kaiser abdicated

Helmuth von Mucke's sole happiness his wife and their four children. was his family -

had changed von Mucke. His war experiences He'd become a pacifist. caused offence on all sides. And his new outlook family moved to the island of Fur. TRANSLATOR: In the late-'20s, the From 1929 on, against the National Socialists, my father took a public stand and especially against Hitler, both verbally and in print. when the Nazis came to power, As a result, and banned from working. he was stripped of his position We couldn't keep up the house on Fur which had to be auctioned. Privately, though, against the Nazis again and again. my father continued to stand up In 1937 and 1939, to a concentration camp. he was consigned in the Second World War, With the death of his eldest son he was in the depths of despair. the peace movement After the war, he helped found Germany's rearmament. and protested against with being declared He was threatened for his actions. no longer responsible In 1956, died of heart failure, Helmuth von Mucke long forgotten by the public. In the Arab world, though, of the extraordinary story people still tell of the caravan of sailors which crossed the desert, long ago. Closed captions by CSI CC

Good evening, Australia's

head swimming coach says the

women's relay surprise gold

medal was due to tactics,

foresight and hope. The four Queenslanders winning gold

after dominating the race in

the first leg after a swim by

Stephanie Rice, Eamon Sullivan

lost by a frarkz of a second in

the 1 00m freestyle. It's been

a dramatic day in Tasmania, the

top police officer forced to

stand aside pending a criminal

police investigation. Jack

Johnston was interviewed last

night and the Premier said

today there was reason to

suspect a crime may have been

committed involving the

disclosure of official secrets.

Top bravery medals finally to be awarded to three Australian

officers from the Vietnam War

more than 40 years later. The

men were recommended for medals

after the Battle for Long Tan

in 1966 but they were

downgraded. 18 Australians died

when 100 soldiers led by Major

Harry Smith fought more than

1,000 treeth. The review called

for a reinstatementment of the

Star of Gallantry, and the

medal for two of his comrades.

More news on 'Lateline', at

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