HMS E9 and Max Horton Postcard

The submarine HMS E9 and her captain, Lieutenant-Commander Max Horton were early heroes of World War One. On the 13th September 1913 HMS E9 torpedoed the German light cruiser SMS Hela off the Heligoland Bight. HMS E9 fired two torpedoes at 600 yards that struck Hela amidships sinking in less than half an hour. Luckily all but two of her crew were rescued by a German U-Boat and a patrol vessel. HMS E9 was pursued by the German forces, but managed to slip past them and return safely to England.

This early victory in the naval war was obviously an ideal subject to be commemorated on a postcard and here we have an example with both the submarine and its commander depicted:

Max Horton was to go on to have a distinguished career, a week after sinking HMS Hela he commanded the E9 again when it sank the German destroyer S116 and for these two victories he was awarded the D.S.O. He spent the rest of the First World War on submarines and in the interwar period captained the battleship HMS Resolution before being promoted to Rear Admiral in 1932. It was during the Second World War that he secured his place in history however as commander in chief of Western Approaches Command, in charge of the organisation of the Atlantic Convoys that brought food to a besieged United Kingdom. He retired in 1945 and died in 1951.

HMS E9 was not idle during World War One either, serving the war in the Baltic and sinking the Cruiser SMS Bremen in 1915. She was deliberately scuttled in the Baltic to prevent her being captured by the Germans in April 1918. She was salvaged in 1953 and taken to Finland for scrapping.

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