During WW1, a German naval officer led his landing party on a 11000 km escape back to Germany after watching his ship sink in the Indian Ocean.
Von Mucke was the Executive Officer and First Lieutenant of the German Light Cruiser SMS Emden of the Imperial German Navy. The ship was very successfully as a commerce raider in the Indian Ocean on the autumn of 1914.
On November, the ship’s captain dispatched Mucke to lead a 53 man landing party onto Direction Island to destroy wireless stations and the shore facilities. British wireless operators however, spotted the ship’s smoke on the horizon and responded by dispatching a wireless message stating that an unknown ship was approaching.
The alert was heard, and the ship was encountered and defeated. Mucke and his landing party witnessed the demise from just 17 miles away and felt their hope sink along with their beloved ship.
Over the next 6 monthes, Mucke led his command on one of the longest escapes ever recorded, over 11 000 km by land and sea, and lost only a total of 4 men; which seems tragic but was quite an accomplishment at the time.