Scharnhorst

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Operation "Berlin"

Early in December 1940, the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst went to Kiel to prepare for a breakout into the North Atlantic.

On 28 December 1940, in company with Gneisenau, an attempt was made to break out into the Atlantic for commerce-raiding but storm damage forced the postponement of the operation and a return to Germany. The Gneisenau returned to Kiel and the Scharnhorst to Gotenhafen (Gdynia) where it remained until 19 January 1941.

On 22 January 1941 Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sailed from Kiel on a second attempt to embark on the Atlantic anti-convoy operation codenamed "Berlin". The Commander-in-Chief of the German operation was Admiral Günther Lütjens and his flagship was Gneisenau.

Photo: Taken from the bridge of the Scharnhorst. Ahead of the Scharnhorst her sistership Gneisenau can be seen.

Although every effort had been made to enforce secrecy, the two ships were spotted by a British agent as they steamed through the Great Belt that separates Zealand from the mainland of Denmark. The report was radioed to the Admiralty in London. Admiral John Tovey put to sea with three battleships, eight cruisers and eleven destroyers, hoping to meet Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at a point somewhere south of Iceland.

The British assumpted that the German task force would make the way into the Atlantic through the Iceland-Faroe passage. This was also what Admiral Günther Lütjens originally had planned. But then the German task force sighted two British cruisers. Admiral Lütjens changed course and headed for the Denmark Strait instead of using the originally planned Iceland-Faroe passage.

One of the two British cruisers, HMS Naiad, had also seen a glimpse of the German ships but did not make any attempt to shadow them. Admiral Tovey concluded that the sighting had been an illusion and went back to Scapa Flow with his force.

The German battleships met up with the tanker Adria on 30 January and refuelled which due to bad weather wasn't completed until 2 February. Both ships took on about 3.400 tons of fuel.

Immediately after having refuelled the German battleships began their journey through the Denmark Strait. A tragic incident happened when a seaman named Liske fell overboard from the Gneisenau and was never found again. At dawn on 4 February, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau steamed out into the Atlantic.

On 5 February Scharnhorst and Gneisenau shipped about 1.500 tons of fuel from the tanker Schlettstadt. The refuelling was completed on 6 February.

There was a choice of two killing-grounds. One lay to the north where the convoys (designated HX and SC) crossed the Atlantic between Canada and Britain. The other (designated SL and OG) was between Britain, Gibraltar and Freetown on the west coast of Africa. Admiral Lütjens decided to concentrate on the route between Canada and Britain for a start.

Photo: The Scharnhorst photographed from sistership, Gneisenau, off New-foundland. In the foreground a look-out on the Gneisenau can be seen.

The German intelligence had reported that a convoy, HX-106 had left Halifax on 31 January and was now on a north-easterly course.

The convoy, HX-106, was sighted on 9 February at 08:30. At 09:47 the range was established to be about 28 kilometers. The Germans discovered that the convoy's escort contained at least one battleship. 11 minutes later the Germans identified the battleship to be HMS Ramilies. Admiral Lütjens called off the German action when he heard about the presence of the British battleship.

Admiral Lütjens was certain that the British had seen the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and was most unhappy about the situation as it would make it difficult to achieve success with the opration, not to mention the risk that it would lead to a confrontation with large British warships as Royal Navy would look for them.

Luckily for the Germans the British had sighted only one ship and the lookouts had mistakenly identified her for the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. A reason for the misidentification most likely was due to the fact that the British knew that Admiral Hipper was at sea while, since Admiral Tovey had discounted the report from HMS Naiad, they believed the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau still was in habour in Germany.

On 15 February Scharnhorst and Gneisenau refuelled from the tankers Esso Hamburg and Schlettstadt.

Photo: The Scharnhorst during Operation "Berlin".

The German task force resumed patrol on 17 February. Admiral Lütjens hoped to meet up with convoy HX-111 which was eastbound. After two days of fruitless searching the Germans gave up and headed westwards. It seemed as if the Atlantic in its immensity had become barren of ships.

On 22 February the Gneisenau's lookouts reported a promising feather of smoke on the horizon. Immediately, the men went to their action stations, and the two ships put on speed to intercept. As the convoy came into closer range, the picture turned out to be disappointing. The vessels were not fat with food and war materials for Britain. They were returning to the United States. They were hardly worth the trouble of an attack.

But, as Admiral Lütjens quickly realized, he had no alternative. As soon as the convoy noticed the lean grey hulls of the battleships, with their towering super structures, the ships began to scatter. Simultaneously, the air became alive with radio signals. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had undoubtedly been identified. When the first warning shots were fired, the captains of the merchant vessels seemed to pay no attention. They maintained their courses and the chatter on the wavelengths increased. It was now almost 11:00 and Admiral Lütjens decided it was time to exercise his guns in anger.

At 10:55 the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau together sank the passenger-cargo ship Kantara (3.237 grt). Gneisenau sank at 13:12 the passenger-cargo ship Trelawny (4.689 grt). Scharnhorst dispatched the tanker Lustrous (6.156 grt). At 16:23 the Gneisenau sank the cargo ship A. D. Huff (5.866 grt) whilst Scharnhorst steamed off in pursuit of another tanker, which escaped.

A passenger-cargo ship of 5.483 grt. named the Harlesden was known to be about fifty miles away. Something had to be done about her, if only to put her wireless out of action. The crew of one of Gneisenau's seaplanes was given the task. When, about an hour later, the aircraft returned, the pilot reported that he had destroyed Harlesden's W/T aerial. He had, however, been subjected to machine gun fire. But the freighter's time was running out. She was picked up on the radar screens, pursued, and, at 23:08, sunk.

Within the last twelve hours, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst had sunk 5 ships totalling 25.431 gros registered tons. But, since the firing took place at very long range, the cost in ammunition was high. That night, Admiral Lütjens used his radio for the first time since 8 February. He reported his success and ordered the tankers Schlettstadt and Esso Hamburg to meet him at a point near the Azores.

When the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau met up with the tankers Ermland and Friedrich Breme on 26 February, 180 captives were put on board Ermland. They had been taken during the attack on 22 February which produced only eleven casualties among the merchant seamen. The refuelling was completed at 07:00 on 28 February.

By March 1941, the two ships had steamed 11.000 nautical miles, half the distance round the world. Admiral Lütjens used the occasion to tell his men: "I take this opportunity of expressing my complete satisfaction with the performance of the personnel, and especially the engine-room ratings". Those on board Scharnhorst were particularly entitled to praise, for they had been kept hard at work throughout the trip. The trouble came from the superheated boilers. They were of an advanced design - too advanced, possibly, for the steel tubes were not able to withstand such very high temperatures. Gneisenau appears to have been more fortunate in this respect.

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were now threatening the convoy route from Freetown to Britain. On 3 March they reached the vicinity of the Cape Verde Islands. On the 5 March one of Scharnhorst's aircraft went missing for four hours. It was eventually discovered riding on the water, having run out of fuel.

The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau met U-124 on 6 March and the crew on both ships saluted.

Photo: The Scharnhorst, on 6 March 1941, seen from the German submarine U-124 in the Atlantic during Operation "Berlin".

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were now steaming up and down a line between the Cape Verde Islands and the coast of Africa, cutting their speed to 12 knots to conserve fuel.

On 7 March at 09:20 hours a lookout in Scharnhorst's foretop noticed a mast on the horizon. A closer examination showed that it was the mainmast of a battleship which soon was identifued as HMS Malaya. Where there was a battleship, it was reasonable to assume that a convoy could not be far away. Gneisenau worked up speed in readiness for a little cautious reconnaissance and two hours later her lookouts picked up the masts of twelve steamers travelling due south. The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had orders to avoid engagement with enemy capital ships and decided not the attack the convoy due to the presence of HMS Malaya.

Instead the German ships shadowed the convoy to lead German submarines to the area to attack the convoy. At 01:42 on 8 March U-124 picked up the convoy and an hour later U-105 did likewise. During the next fifteen minutes, U-124 sank five ships in the centre column, and U-105 accounted for a vessel of 10,000 tons.

The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau set off for yet another meeting with the tankers Ermland and Uckermark. On 9 March on their way to the rendezvous, Scharnhorst, almost casually, sank a Greek freighter Marathon (6.352 grt.). She was carrying coal to Alexandria.

On 11 March Scharnhorst and Gneisenau met up with the supply ships Uckermark and Ermland (previously named Altmark) to refuel and take on board more supplies. Uckermark and Ermland would join Scharnhorst and Gneisenau from now on and help search for victims. They were to operate in the western part of the convoy route, between 39°N and 46°W, steaming abreast with an interval of 56 kilometers (30 sea miles) between each ship. Given reasonable visibility, they should be able to scan a distance of about 220 kilometers (120 sea miles). The order of the line was the tanker Uckermark, Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, and the tanker Ermland. Of their first victims, four were detected by Uckermark and two by Scharnhorst.

At 21:00 on 11 March a long signal from Navy Group West arrived to Admiral Lütjens. As from 18 March, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were to cease operating against Halifax convoys. Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper were due to sail into the North Atlantic during the period of the new moon. According to B-Dienst (German intelligence) a force made up of the battlecruiser Repulse, the aircraft carrier Furious and two destroyers had already left Gibraltar on a westerly course. The two battleships were required to act as a diversion while Admiral Hipper and Admiral Scheer negotiated the Iceland passage. The best way in which they could do it would be to make for Brest in France. But this was not the end of it. By the last week of April, Bismarck and Prinz Eugen would be ready for service, and Scharnhorst and Gneisenau would be needed for a new operation.

The road to Brest was by way of the North Atlantic and the FIX convoy route. The ships completed refuelling on 12 March.

15 March the German force (Uckermark) sighted several tankers steaming without escort. The killing could begin again.

The action was brief and virtually bloodless. Gneisenau captured the Norwegian tanker Bianca (5.688 grt.) at 10:20, British tanker San Casimiro (8.046 tons) at 13:40 and Norwegian tanker Polykarb (6.405 grt.) at 17:50. Prize crews were put on board with orders to sail for Bordeaux. In fact, only one (Polykarb) reached her destination. On passage, Bianca and San Casimiro encountered HMS Renown. 46 British prisoners were released, and the German sailors were taken into captivity. But, before leaving the tankers, they managed to scuttle them.

In addition to the three prizes, Gneisenau sank the British tanker Simnia (6.197 grt.). Scharnhorst sank the British tankers Athelfoam (6.554 grt.) and British Strength (7.139 grt.).

At 01.00 hours on 16 March, Uckermark and Ermland signalled that they had sighted the silhouettes of merchant vessels against the night sky. At dawn, it became clear that the fleet had steamed right into the middle of the convoy.

The Gneisenau sank the British passenger-cargo ship Rio Dorado (4.507 grt.) at 04:28, the British cargo ship Empire Industry (3.648 grt.) at 08:55, the Norwegian passenger-cargo ship Granli (1.577 grt.) at 10:22, the French passenger-cargo ship Myson (4.564 grt.) at 13:25 and the British passenger-cargo ship Royal Crown (4.364 grt.) at 15:50.

The Scharnhorst sank the Dutch (former German) freighter Mangkai (8.298 grt.), British freighter Silverfir (4.347 grt.), British freighter Demerton (5.251 grt.), British passenger-cargo ship Sardinian Prince (3.491 grt.).

Photo: Crewmembers of one of the engaged merchant ships during Operation "Berlin" is taken on board the Scharnhorst.

In every community, there is the odd man out; in every battle, the hero who makes the last desperate stand. In this cluster of harmless merchant ships there was a Danish firebrand named Chilean Reefer.

Chilean Reefer registered no more than 1,831 gross registered tons. The moment the German giants were sighted, her captain sent off an accurate report of his position. He made smoke and actually had the temerity to return Gneisenau's fire with his small gun. The Gneisenau's commanding officer, Captain Fein, was perplexed. The tiny merchant ship's defiance was beyond his experience. Did this show of force mean that she was a carefully disguised armed cruiser? Could she be scouting for a force of warships? Might she, and this was the more immediate problem, be armed with torpedoes? Prudently, he edged his ship away to a safer distance, and then let fly with his 11-inch guns. The sea was so large and Chilean Reefer so small, that it took 73 rounds (more than the total expended on any other single target during the cruise) to send the little freighter to her death in a curtain of flame.

Lutjens's concern was as great as Captain Fein's. The possibility that Chilean Reefer might be a scout was supported by a blip on the radar screen, indicating an approaching ship at a range of 20,000 yards. Fifteen minutes later, the form of HMS Rodney bulked huge on the horizon. When she flashed a challenge, Captain Fein replied with the call sign of the British cruiser, HMS Emerald. Understandably, the people in Rodney were perplexed. Emerald had been commissioned in 1920. She registered 7,550 tons and had three smokestacks. She could not, under any circumstances, be mistaken for Gneisenau. The question "What ship?" was repeated, but Captain Fein had no intention of becoming involved in a conversation. His battleship was now working up to 32 knots, and heading away to the south as fast as possible. The last view was of the dying flames of Chilean Reefer joined in a pattern of illumination by the battleship's searchlights. HMS Rodney was, presumably, picking up the little merchantman's survivors.

On 18 March the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau refuelled once more from the supply ships Uckermark and Ermland. Also 200 prisoners was transferred to the supply ships.

Early in the morning of 19 March, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau fell in one behind the other and, at a speed of 23 knots, set course for Brest.

For the moment, Lütjens's problem was that of reaching the French port. He knew that HMS Malaya was in the vicinity of the Cape Verde Islands, and that the British Gibraltar based "Force H" was somewhere at sea. Beyond this, even B-Dienst (German intelligence) had little to offer in the way of information. The best that Lütjens could hope to do was to make the final, and most dangerous, stage of the journey by dark. He planned to reach the approaches to Brest at dawn on the 22nd.

If Lutjens was uncertain about the disposition of British ships, the Royal Navy was equally unsure as to the whereabouts of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. After the sighting of Gneisenau by Rodney on 16 March, there was no news until the 20th, when an aircraft from Force H's Ark Royal caught a glimpse of them. Lütjens altered course to the north, and the ships presently overtook Polykarb, which was labouring on towards the Gironde with her prize crew.

An air escort was due to fly out and meet the two battleships at noon on 21 March, but the day began with fog. It was not until 16:30 that visibility had improved sufficiently for three He-115's to take off. At 19:00 the torpedo boats Iltis and Jaguar arrived from Brest to act as an anti-submarine escort.

The rest of the voyage was without incident. At 03:00 on 22 March, the two ships were met by destroyers from the flotilla stationed at Brest. At 07:00 hours the entrance to the port loomed in sight. Two days later, Uckermark and Ermland docked at La Pallice, an outer port of La Rochelle, which had been constructed to accommodate the larger, ocean-going passenger liners.

The cruise of 17,800 miles in sixty days created a record for German capital ships.

Scharnhorst having sunk 8 merchant vessels totalling 47.588 gross registered tons.

Gneisenau sunk or captured 13 merchant vessels totalling 62.865 gross registered tons.

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau together sunk 1 merchant vessel on 3.237 gross registered tons.

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sunk and captured all together 22 merchant vessels totalling 113.690 gross registered tons.

The voyage was over. Scharnhorst was now berthed alongside the Quai de la Ninon at Brest, where once the famous French battleship Dunkerque had lain. Gneisenau, in need of a few minor repairs, was installed in Number 8 dry dock. As for Admiral Lütjens, he was packing his bags before returning to Germany for a new assignment. In six weeks' time, he would once more be worrying about the problems of penetrating the Denmark Strait. Bismarck and Prinz Eugen were almost ready for action, and he had been appointed Fleet Commander.

Ships Sunk by Scharnhorst during Operation "Berlin"
LUSTROUS
Type of Ship Tanker
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 22 February 1941
Position of Sinking 47-12N/40-13W
Dead 0
Prisoner Of War 37
Owner Moss & Co. (Lustrous Steamship Co. Ltd.)
Builder Palmer’s Shipbuilding
Commissioned 1927
Gross Registered Tons 6.156
Deadweight Tons 9.910
Dimensions 420-6* x 54-6 x 26-11
Max. Speed 11 knots
MARATHON
Type of Ship Steam freighter
Nationality Greek
Date of Sinking 9 March 1941
Position of Sinking 21N/25W
Dead 0
Prisoner Of War 38
Owner A. Lusi Ltd. (C. Bacalas, A Lusi, and S. P. Synodinos)
Builder Harland and Wolff Ltd
Commissioned 1919
Gross Registered Tons 6.352
Deadweight Tons 10.210
Dimensions 465 x 58-5 x 27-6
Max. Speed 12 knots
ATHELFOAM
Type of Ship Motor tanker
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 15 March 1941
Position of Sinking 42N/43-25W
Dead 2
Prisoner Of War 45
Owner United Molasses Co. Ltd. (Athel Line)
Builder Cammel Laird and Co. Ltd
Commissioned 1931
Gross Registered Tons 6.554
Deadweight Tons 10.148
Dimensions 440 x 55-11 x 26-9
Max. Speed 11 knots
BRITISH STRENGTH
Type of Ship British
Nationality Motor tanker
Date of Sinking 15 March 1941
Position of Sinking 42N/43W
Dead 2
Prisoner Of War ?
Owner British Tanker Co. Ltd
Builder Palmer’s Shipbuilding
Commissioned 1931
Gross Registered Tons 7.139
Deadweight Tons 11.095
Dimensions 456 x 59-9 x 27-1
Max. Speed 10 knots
MANGKAI
Type of Ship Freighter
Nationality Dutch (German ship seized by the Dutch 10 May 1940)
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 43-15N/43-05W
Dead 36
Prisoner Of War 9
Owner German ship seized by the Dutch 10 May 1940
Builder Flensburger Schiffsbau-geselschaft
Commissioned 1915
Gross Registered Tons 8.298
Deadweight Tons 12.377
Dimensions 477-11* x 62-4 x 27-8
Max. Speed 12
SILVERFIR
Type of Ship Motor freighter
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 42N/43W
Dead 1
Prisoner Of War 40
Owner Silver Line Ltd
Builder William Doxford & Sons Ltd
Commissioned 1924
Gross Registered Tons 4.347
Deadweight Tons 8.225
Dimensions 395 x 52-8 x 25-5
Max. Speed 10.5 knots
SARDINIAN PRINCE
Type of Ship Passenger-cargo ship
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 44N/43W
Dead 0
Prisoner Of War 44
Owner Prince Line Ltd. (Rio Cape Line Ltd.)
Builder Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd
Commissioned 1922
Gross Registered Tons 3.491
Deadweight Tons 5.858
Dimensions 363-4* x 52-2 x 22-8
Max. Speed 12 knots
DEMETERTON
Type of Ship Freighter
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 46-30N/43-40W
Dead 0
Prisoner Of War ?
Owner R. Chapman & Son (Carlton Steamship Co. Ltd.)
Builder Short Bros. Ltd.
Commissioned 1926
Gross Registered Tons 5.251
Deadweight Tons 8.820
Dimensions 410-10 x 54 x 25-7
Max. Speed 10 knots
Ship Sunk by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau during Operation "Berlin"
KANTARA
Type of Ship Passenger-cargo ship
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 22 February 1941
Position of Sinking 47-12N/40-13W
Dead
Prisoner Of War ?
Owner Moss Hutchison Line Ltd
Builder Barclay, Curle & Co. Ltd
Commissioned 1925
Gross Registered Tons 3.237
Deadweight Tons 4.830
Dimensions 330-11* x 46-9 x 21-9
Max. Speed 10 knots
Ships Captured or Sunk by Gneisenau during Operation "Berlin"
TRELAWNY
Type of Ship Passenger-cargo ship
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 22 February 1941
Position of Sinking 47-12N/40-13W
Dead 1
Prisoner Of War 39
Owner The Hain Steamship Co. Ltd
Builder R. & W. Hawthorne, Leslie & Co. Ltd
Commissioned 1927
Gross Registered Tons 4.689
Deadweight Tons 8.775
Dimensions 419-6 x 54-9 x 24-9
Max. Speed 12 knots
A. D. HUFF
Type of Ship Cargo ship
Nationality British (former American vessel acquired 1940)
Date of Sinking 22 February 1941
Position of Sinking 47-12N/40-13W
Dead 0 (accordig to another source: 2 dead)
Prisoner Of War 42 (accordig to another source: 37 POW)
Owner Former American vessel acquired 1940
Builder Ames Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.
(accordig to another source: Pacific Atlantic Steamship Co.)
Completed 1920
Gross Registered Tons 5.866
Deadweight Tons 8.855
Dimensions 423-2 x 54-2 x 25-9
Max. Speed 11 knots
HARLESDEN
Type of Ship Passenger-cargo ship
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 22 February 1941
Position of Sinking 47-12N/40-18W
Dead 7
Prisoner Of War 34
Owner J. & C. Harrison Ltd
Builder R. & W. Hawthorne, Leslie & Co. Ltd
Commissioned 1932
Gross Registered Tons 5.483
Deadweight Tons 9.200
Dimensions 443 x 56-4 x 24-9
Max. Speed 11 knots
BIANCA
Type of Ship Motor tanker
Nationality Norwegian
Date of Capturing 15 March 1941
Position of Capturing 40N/43W (later intercepted by RN and scuttled)
Dead
Prisoner Of War
Survivors 34
Owner Arthur H. Mathiesen (Rederi-A/S Mascot)
Builder Götaverken A/B
Commissioned 1926
Gross Registered Tons 5.688
Deadweight Tons 8.300
Dimensions 395 x 55-2 x 26-2
Max. Speed 10 knots
SAN CASIMIRO
Type of Ship Motor tanker
Nationality British
Date of Capturing 15 March 1941
Position of Capturing 39-58N/43-19W (later intercepted by RN and sunk)
Dead
Prisoner Of War 3
Survivors 38
Owner Eagle Oil & Shipping Co. Ltd
Builder Blythswood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd
Commissioned 1936
Gross Registered Tons 8.046
Deadweight Tons 12.067
Dimensions 483 x 59-2 x 27-7
Max. Speed 12 knots
POLYKARP
Type of Ship Motor tanker
Nationality Norwegian
Date of Capturing 15 March 1941
Position of Capturing 45-40N/23-26W
Dead ?
Prisoner Of War ?
Survivors ?
Owner Einar Rasmussen (Kristiansands Tankrederi-A/S):
Builder Eriksbergs Mekaniske Verkstads A/B
Commissioned 1931
Gross Registered Tons 6.405
Deadweight Tons 9.765
Dimensions 422-7 x 55-4 x 26-9
Max. Speed 12 knots
SIMNIA
Type of Ship Motor tanker
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 15 March 1941
Position of Sinking 40-28N/43-30W
Dead 3
Prisoner Of War 54
Owner Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co. Ltd
Builder Harland & Wolff Ltd
Commissioned 1936
Gross Registered Tons 6.197
Deadweight Tons 9.233
Dimensions 446-4 x 54-8 x 25-7
Max. Speed 12 knots
RIO DORADO
Type of Ship Passenger-cargo ship
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 42N/43W
Dead 39
Prisoner Of War
Survivors No survivors
Owner Thompson Steamshipping Co. Ltd
Builder Blyth Shipbuilding & Dry Docks Co. Ltd
Commissioned 1924
Gross Registered Tons 4.507
Deadweight Tons 8.200
Dimensions 390* x 55-4 x 25-1
Max. Speed 12 knots
EMPIRE INDUSTRY
Type of Ship Cargo ship
Nationality British (German ship seized by the British 17 November 1939)
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 43-28N 45-24W
Dead 0
Prisoner Of War 38
Owner German ship seized by the British 17 November 1939
Builder A. Vuijk & Zonen
Commissioned 1916
Gross Registered Tons 3.648
Deadweight Tons 5.950
Dimensions 360* x 48-3 x 20-11
Max. Speed 8,5 knots
GRANLI
Type of Ship Passenger-cargo ship
Nationality Norwegian
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 300 miles east of Newfoundland
Dead 0
Prisoner Of War 18
Owner Rolf Ugelstad (A/S Granli)
Builder Nylands Verksted
Commissioned 1934
Gross Registered Tons 1.577
Deadweight Tons 2.255
Dimensions 258 x 39-3 x 17-5*
Max. Speed 11 knots
MYSON
Type of Ship Passenger-cargo ship
Nationality British (French ship seized by the British 3 July 1940)
Date of Capturing 16 March 1941
Position of Capturing 42N/43W
Dead 0
Prisoner Of War 43
Owner French ship seized by the British 3 July 1940
Builder W. Gray & Co. Ltd
Commissioned 1927
Gross Registered Tons 4.564
Deadweight Tons 8.420
Dimensions 400* x 53 x 24-9
Max. Speed 10 knots
ROYAL CROWN
Type of Ship Passenger-cargo ship
Nationality British
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 42N/43W
Dead 0
Prisoner Of War 39
Owner Hall Brothers (Hall Brothers Steamship Co. Ltd.)
Builder W. Dobson & Co.
Commissioned 1927
Gross Registered Tons 4.364
Deadweight Tons 8.560
Dimensions 411-10 x 53 x 24-10
Max. Speed 11 knots
CHILEAN REEFER
Type of Ship Motor cargo ship
Nationality British (Danish ship seized by the British 22 April 1940)
Date of Sinking 16 March 1941
Position of Sinking 46-13N/44-45W
Dead 9
Prisoner Of War 3
Survivors 27
Owner Danish ship seized by the British 22 April 1940
Builder Nakskov Skibsværft A/S
Commissioned 1936
Gross Registered Tons 1.831
Deadweight Tons 2.400
Dimensions 311-4 x 44-8 x 18-6
Max. Speed 13.5 knots
Comments to Ship Dimensions
Dimensions are given in feet-inches. Length is overall length except for those marked with an asterisk, which indicates registered length. Since each country has its own system of registering length, it’s not as useful a statistic. You’ll also see an asterisk for Granli’s draft; in fact, it is not Granli’s draft but her registered depth.


© John Asmussen, 2001 - 2010. All rights reserved.