Jump to content

Did You Know?

Recommended Posts

I found this to be a particularly interesting snippet of information!

Does anybody else have any bizarre stories to share?

From Der Krieg Zur See: Der Handelskrieg mit U-Booten ed. Arno Spindler (German official history):

The Loss of U 28, Kapit?nleutnant Georg Schmidt, on 2.9.1917

On 19.8.[19]17 U 28 left Emden for the war on shipping in the Arctic Sea. Officially confirmed newspaper reports state that, on 2.9.17 at 1155 a.m., 85 miles NbE1/2E from North Cape, in position 72?34N, 27?56E, the U-Boat attacked the armed English steamer Olive Branch, 4649 t., carrying munitions from England for Archangel. Since the steamer was not sunk by a torpedo hit, U 28 came to close range to finish her with gunfire. The second shell hit the cargo of munitions, which detonated with an enormous explosion, whereby the U-Boat was so badly damaged that it sank. Some men of the crew of U 28 were seen swimming, but were not picked up by the Olive Branch's lifeboats. No survivors.

The First World War German submarine U 28 was sunk in remarkable circumstances. One account, in Under the Black Ensign by R.S. Gwatkin-Williams (London: Hutchinson, 1926), says that when the cargo of ammunition carried by the British ship Olive Branch was touched off by one of U 28's shells in a close range surface bombardment, a truck carried as deck cargo was blown into the air, only to land (from a great height) on the U-Boat, sinking it.

Althouth this version first appears in print several years after the event, it is feasible that the blast of the explosion, followed by the resultant tidal wave could have laid the submarine over far enough to swamp her open hatches.

A heavy lorry crashing down on deck would have contributed to the damage, though probably not sufficiently to be fatal to a strongly built vessel like a submarine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

U 132 (KaptLt zS Ernst Vogelsang) was also a victim of her last victim, though sources vary as to whether it was the "Empire Lynx" exploding on 3 November 1942 or the "Hatimura" blowing up on 5 November 1942.

The most peculiar naval loss I've ever heard of is the only civilian vessel to be sunk by both sides simultaneously. :Cat-Scratch::speechless1:

The Hamburg-America Line 7,369 vessel "Seattle" had run the British blockade and was scooting along on the home stretch heading south off Kristiansand Norway

on 9 April 1940 :unsure:

when she ran headlong into the German invasion fleet headed in the OPPOSITE direction.

"Seattle" was promptly attacked by Stukas, and while veering around ablaze in the middle of the convoy, was torpedo'd by the Norwegian destroyer "Gyller" and sunk. :banger:


How about the British submarine which scored a sinking at a railway station? :catjava: ---


Then there was the Luckiest Uboat Commander ever-- served on 4 submarines-- 3 of which were sunk as soon as he'd transferred...


was one of the very few sub-to-sub "aces" of either war...


lived to tell the tale (along with his British submarine prisoners) of ALMOST being crushed to the bottom beneath one of his sinking victims:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was another German U-boat in WWII that blew up an ammunition-packed frieghter in (I beleive) the Med. A bunch of stuff was blown onto the deck in a similar manner. Sorry for being so vague but I don't have the exact details before me.

One of the items in my shrinking TR collection is the cap insignia from this U-boat, made of brass. Two of the items blown onto the deck were a shee up brass plating and an ax. The ax was stuck in the deck ( :speechless1: ). The captain picked up the ax, which read "[some town], USA" on it and ordered that the new distinctive cap insignia for his boat would be a brass ax with "USA" stamped on it.

I beleive it was U-73 but I'll have to check on that.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...