File No. 763.72/1765
The Ambassador in Germany (Gerard) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 15, 5 p. m.]
2228. Gave note embodying your telegram 1624, May 5, 4 p. m. to Von Jagow. Two days later member of Foreign Office called in reference to this and gave me a printed book of alleged Russian atrocities in East Prussia last September. I said that hardly seemed to meet situation in Sea of Marmora and have now received from the Foreign Office a note the substance of which follows:
According to report from German Ambassador, Constantinople, British submarine recently attacked in Sea of Marmora Turkish transport carrying wounded from Gallipoli to Constantinople although ship was marked as hospital ship. Turkish hospital near Maidos flying the flag of red half moon [was] set on fire by British and French shells. Ten wounded burned to death. Turkish Minister of War then decided to arrest British and French nationals in Constantinople and place them in hospital ship menaced by enemy’s fire and on wounded transports.
German Ambassador pointed out to American Ambassador when he called that action of enemy was contrary to international law and provoked Turkish retaliation. He did, however, in conjunction with Austrian Ambassador make representations to Turkish Government to have deportation order revoked. Turkish Government, desirous of conducting war in accordance with dictates of humanity regardless of the enemy’s cruelty and infractions of international law, has now caused the fifty non-combatants already deported to Dardanelles to be brought back. Joint action of German and Austrian Ambassadors was known to their American colleague.