An officer aboard the famous German frigate the SMS Emden (The ship itself being awarded the Iron Cross) He was left stranded on an island after going ashore to take out a telecommunications post in the Cocos after the Emden was caught by the HMS Sydney and sunk he led 50 of his men from the Cocos in a captured boat and made an epic journey from Padang a Dutch outpost through the middle east and Ottoman Empire all the while being harassed by Bedouin’s, Turkish officials being held up for months before finally managing to reach Constantinople and make it back to Germany.
All in all his journey took him from November 09 1914 when the Emden was sunk to May 1915 and managed to lose only three of his men despite being attacked by well over a hundred Bedouin’s and constantly hunted by the British and hounded by corrupt Turkish officials. His leadership ingenuity and personal bravery managed to save the lives of many of those under his command. Just as a side note however the Captain of the Emden Karl Von Muller was also a bit of a bamf and managed to raid over thirty ships in the course of a year as well as launch an attack on the well defended Indian Harbour of Madras.
After the end of World War I Von Mucke went on to like many other members of the Military to join the DNVP but later embraced pacifism and wrote two books about his Career which were best sellers in America. He was a very outspoken opponent of Adolf Hitler and his writings were banned for being subversive and was put into a concentration camp later being let out becuase many viewed him as a national hero. His son was killed on the Russian front and he continued to support peace and pacifism after the war before his death in 1957.
Just as a wee note for whoever reads this at History crushes: I used to be fascinated by the British Navy in World War I and I kept seeing the name Emden popping up so I went and looked in my fathers library and we had a big book labelled ”The Emden” an historical look at the ship and I was instantly enthralled I would read it on the train to and from school it was a fantastic book I even hear there is a movie about Von Mucke coming out in Germany? Anyway feel free to correct me it was a long time ago I read the book and I’m going mostly off memory and wikipedia.