LONDON, Jan. 22, 1915 (UP) - The English steamer Durward, from Leith to Rotterdam, was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine yesterday, 22 miles northwest of the Bus lightship, near the mouth of the Maas, it was officially announced today. The crew was rescued by a Dutch pilot boat and landed at the Hook.
This act by Germany strengthened England's belief that the kaiser is now planning his most desperate war measures.
Torpedoing of the Durward was generally accepted as the first move in the policy announced by the German grand admiral, Von Tirpitz, in an interview given Karl H. Von Wiegand of the United Press on Dec. 2, of "declaring submarine war on all the enemy's merchant ships."
"America has not raised her voice in protest and has taken little or no action against England's closing of the North sea to neutral shipping," said Von Tirpitz. "What will America say if Germany declares submarine war on all the enemy's merchant ships?
"Why not? England wants to starve us. We can play the same game. We can bottle her up and torpedo every English or allies' ship which nears any harbor in Great Britain, thereby cutting off her large food supplies."
It was expected that Lloyds' risk on merchant vessels would probably increase as a result of the feeling over the Durward's sinking.
This is the first time that a German unterseeboten has apparently deliberately sunk a merchantman.