German Motor merchant
|Completed||1922 - Deutsche Werft AG, Betrieb Finkenwärder, Hamburg|
|Owner||Hamburg-Amerika Linie (Hapag), Hamburg|
|Date of attack||31 Jan 1942||Nationality: German|
|Fate||Sunk by U-333 (Peter-Erich Cremer)|
|Position||45° 12'N, 24° 50'W - Grid BE 7142|
|Complement||152 (72 dead and 80 survivors).|
|Route||Dairen, Manchuria - Bordeaux|
|Cargo||3365 tons of rubber, 230 tons of tin and 20 tons of tungsten and quinine|
|History||Built as Spreewald 1935 renamed Anubis 1939 renamed Spreewald |
|Notes on event|
At 16.50 hours on 31 Jan 1942 the German blockade runner Spreewald was hit by one torpedo from U-333 and sunk by a coup de grâce at 18.33 hours. Cremer had spotted an unescorted and zigzagging steamer and examined it from 400 metres distance before firing his second last torpedo, but he could not identify the Spreewald as own ship because she was camouflaged as Norwegian Elg and after the first hit they sent an open emergency call with the name Britanny. The German ship was ahead of schedule and transported 86 prisoners from ships that had been sunk by the German raider Kormoran.
Cremer was court-martialled immediately after returning from patrol, but after he had the possibility to explain his mistake and an analyse of the situation, it was decided that he was not guilty.
|On board||We have details of 60 people who were on board.|
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