Ships hit by U-boats


Swedish Steam merchant

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,119 tons
Completed1922 - Blyth Shipbuilding & Dry Docks Co Ltd, Blyth 
OwnerRederi-A/B Bifrost (J.R. Trapp), Gothenburg 
Date of attack3 Dec 1939Nationality:      Swedish
FateSunk by U-56 (Wilhelm Zahn)
Position56° 15'N, 1° 25'W - Grid AN 5134
Complement23 (9 dead and 14 survivors).
RouteWest Hartlepool (2 Dec) - Malmö 
Cargo2760 tons of coal 
History Completed in September 1922 as British Shildon for J. Ridley Son & Tully. 1936 sold to Sweden and renamed Rudolf for Rederi-A/B Bifrost (J.R. Trapp), Gothenburg. 
Notes on event

At 00.13 hours on 3 Dec 1939 the unescorted and neutral Rudolf (Master Bertil Persson) was hit in the stern by one G7e torpedo from U-56 while steaming at 8 knots about 40 miles east of May Island. The ship had been spotted about 45 minutes earlier and was attacked because no nationality markings were visible. The explosion blew away the whole after part, destroying the crew quarters and killing nine crew members. The survivors abandoned ship in two lifeboats and remained nearby until she sank about one hour after the hit. Six survivors in one boat were picked up the same day by the British trawler Cardew and landed at Dundee. The eight men in the other boat were rescued on 4 December by the Swedish steam merchant Gunlög and landed at Newcastle. On 6 December, one of the abandoned lifeboats was located three miles north of Longstone and towed into Holy Island Harbour.

On boardWe have details of 10 people who were on board

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