Ships hit by U-boats

Castillo Montealegre

Spanish Motor merchant

NameCastillo Montealegre
Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage3,972 tons
Completed1931 - Zavod No 190 (A. Zhdanov), Leningrad 
OwnerCompañía Transmediterránea SA, Valencia 
Date of attack8 Apr 1943Nationality:      Spanish
FateSunk by U-123 (Horst von Schroeter)
Position9° 46'N, 16° 50'W - Grid ET 2452
Complement41 (12 dead and 29 survivors).
RouteFernando Po - Valencia 
CargoGeneral cargo and timber 
History Completed in September 1931 as Soviet Max Hoelts for the Baltic Office of Sovtorgflot (STF-BGK). 1934 transferred to Baltijskoe Gosudarstvennoe Morskoe Parohodstvo (BGMP). On 2 Nov 1938, seized by the Spanish Nationalist minelayer Vulcano in the Mediterranean. 1939 renamed Castillo Montealegre for Compañía Transmediterránea SA, Valencia. 
Notes on event

At 14.12 hours on 8 April 1943, U-123 fired a spread of three torpedoes at the neutral Castillo Montealegre (Master Francisco Zamora Esclarans) and observed two hits after 37 and 38 seconds. The steamer capsized to starboard and sank after two minutes west of Conakry, French Guinea. The survivors were questioned by the Germans and answered Espaniol when they were asked about the name of the ship. The Germans had identified the ship too late as a Spanish freighter of the Castillo Montealegre type and the BdU initially ordered the commander to held this sinking top secret and to remove the incident from the war diary, but some days later the order was given to write the incident into the KTB. The master and 28 survivors were picked up by HMS Inkpen (T 225), but twelve survivors had abandoned ship on a raft and were never seen again.

Some sources claim that the Italian submarine Archimede (TV Guido Saccardo) was responsible for the sinking of Castillo Montealegre because the Germans did not admit an attack in the area and the Italian submarine did not return from her patrol. But on that day the submarine operated off the Brazilian coast and on 15 April was sunk by two PBY-5A Catalina aircraft (VP-83 USN) northeast of Natal in position 03°23’ S, 30°28’W.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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