Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor merchant

Photo courtesy of Rick Cox Collection

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage5,128 tons
Completed1920 - Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Mij NV, Amsterdam 
OwnerKnut Knutsen O.A.S., Haugesund 
Date of attack10 Apr 1940Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-37 (Werner Hartmann)
Position62° 52'N, 7° 34'W - Grid AE 9272
Complement34 (2 dead and 32 survivors).
RouteTalcahuano, Chile - Cristobal (13 Mar) - Cartagena, Columbia (15 Mar) - Eitrheim, Norway 
CargoGeneral cargo, including 2000 tons of zinc concentrate, 2000 tons of cotton seed, 1000 tons of lead, wheat and beans 
History Completed in November 1920 for Den Norske Russlandslinje A/S, Kristiania. In April 1929 sold to Knut Knutsen O.A.S., Haugesund. 
Notes on event

At 03.23 hours on 10 April 1940 the unescorted Tosca (Master Aksel Meier Lidahl) was hit on the port side near the aft mast by one torpedo from U-37 about 45 miles northwest of the Faroe Islands. At noon on 9 April, the ship had already been northeast of the Faroes but upon hearing of the German invasion of Norway she turned around to reach Kirkwall or another Scottish port. During the night they came across the burning Sveaborg, which had been torpedoed by the same U-boat at 01.36 hours and decided to assist the crew, but was herself torpedoed and sank by the stern within a few minutes. The crew managed to launch the starboard lifeboat safely, but the port boat capsized and spilled the occupants into the water, while others rescued themselves onto a raft. The men in the lifeboat rescued the survivors swimming in the water and located the swamped motorboat, which was bailed and then took the lifeboat in tow towards the Faroe Islands. Later that morning, the survivors from both ships were picked up by the British armed boarding vessel HMS Northern Chief (4.34) (Lt H. Kirkwood, RN) and landed in Kirkwall on 11 April.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 33 people who were on board

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