During 1915, all the Atlantic powers launched naval campaigns to gain control of the shipping lanes. During the first three months of the year, over one hundred merchant ships were lost to raids. Spy's came into their element here: they told when a convoy was leaving and what kind of escorts it had. In early April, one of Great Britains most renowned spy warned that an American convoy was leaving for Germany in a few days time. Its cargo included a number of 75mm artillery guns. These were the same model whose accuracy and power was feared by the Entente soldiers. Knowing they had to be stopped, the Royal Navy scrounged together eight ships, including three of their battle cruisers, under the command of Admiral Horace Hood. Little did they know, their favorite spy has double crossed them, lured by American money. He told the US Navy when and where the British were waiting.
Two squadrons of the American Atlantic Fleet left New York harbor and headed to where the Royal Navy was waiting, inside the mouth of the St. Lawrence river on the north side of Newfoundland. A day later, they approached.
At 0930, US Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman had the American fleet to belch smoke, creating thick black columns of smoke rising into the air.
Around 1015 the Royal Navy spotted the smoke and believed it was the merchant ships and got underway. By 1025 they were nearing the ambush point. After rounding a small island, the Royal Navy was in position and attacked. To their horror they found not hapless merchant ships, but dreadnoughts and cruisers of the US Navy. Having no choice, the Royal Navy engaged the Americans.
At approximately 1034, Admiral Hoods flagship, HMS Indefatigable, took a direct hit to the powder magazine. The resulting explosion tore the ship in two. There were no survivors.
Minutes later, another battle cruiser, the HMS Lion, capsized from American fire. The loss of these ships force the surviving ships to retreat. The real merchant ships carrying the artillery pieces came through hours later and reach Windhelmshaven two weeks later.