Ships hit by U-boats


Greek Steam merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,708 tons
Completed1914 - Irvine’s Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co Ltd, Middleton Shipyard, West Hartlepool 
OwnerAntonios G. Lemos’ Sons, Chios 
Date of attack11 Dec 1939Nationality:      Greek
FateSunk by U-38 (Heinrich Liebe)
Position64° 36'N, 10° 42'E - Grid AF 6480
Complement29 (4 dead and 25 survivors).
RouteOslo - Trondheim - Kirkenes 
History Launched as Grampian Range for Furness, Withy & Co Ltd, Liverpool. Completed in April 1914 as Orange River for British Empire Steam Navigation Co Ltd (Houlder Bros & Co), West Hartlepool. 1934 sold to Greece and renamed Garoufalia
Notes on event

At 08.19 hours on 11 Dec 1939 the neutral Garoufalia was hit by one torpedo from U-38, while proceeding inside the Norwegian territorial waters. The torpedo struck in the engine room and killed the crew on watch below. She was sunk with a second torpedo 30 minutes after the first. The survivors, among them two Norwegian pilots, were picked up by the Norwegian steam merchant Tellus. They had observed the U-boat before the attack and this proved to both British and Norwegian authorities that German U-boats operated inside Norwegian territorial waters. This was a huge propaganda blunder for the Germans and they did not send other U-boats on such patrols. U-38 operated as far east as Murmansk and Liebe disregarded all respect of neutral shipping or warning before attack. But most torpedoes failed or missed.


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