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Autor Thema: Frachtdampfer NANTAISE (ex VAUX)  (Gelesen 636 mal)

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Offline Dimitris Galon

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Frachtdampfer NANTAISE (ex VAUX)
« am: 03 Oktober 2017, 19:34:45 »
Im Rahmen des „Tenedos Tauchprojekts“* haben wir etwa sieben Seemeilen westlich der Insel Tenedos (Turkisch „Bozcaada“) ein Schiffswrack betaucht, welches einwandfrei als den französischen Dampfer NANTAISE (ex VAUX, 1727 GRT) identifizierten. Die NANTAISE wurde am 16 Januar 1943 7 August 1943 von dem britischen U-Boot HMS RORQUAL (N 74)  torpediert und versenkt.

Hier der englische Bericht über die Entdeckung:   
 
French steam freighter NANTAISE

After repetitive dives and thorough documentation we were also able to identify the last but not least target of our project as the French steamer S/S NANTAISE (ex VAUX, 1727 GRT), which was seized by Nazi Germany on 16 January 1943 in Marseille, France.

Name: NANTAISE (ex VAUX)
Flag: Nazi Germany
Size (GRT): 1798
Size (NRT): 961
Length (m): 79,2
Width (m): 11,2
Depth (m): 5,2
Construction: S.P. Austin & Son, Wear Dock (Sunderland), Great Britain
Yard No.: 289
Completion: 1920
Engine: Three-cylinder reciprocating steam engine
Engine manufacturer: Richardsons, Westgarth & Co Ltd, Sunderland, Great Britain
Output: 201 NHP
Propeller: 1
Speed (kn): 9,5
Last owner: Mittelmeer Reederei GmbH, Hamburg, Germany

In 1919, the shipbuilding company “S.P. Austin & Son” built the freighter S/S VAUX as yard no. 289 in the Wear Dock (Sunderland), Great Britain, for the British maritime company “Normandy Shipping Co. Ltd.” (manag. Stephenson, Clarke & Co.), London. The vessel was launched on 9 December 1919 and has been completed during March 1920. In 1925 she was sold to Fernand Bouet, Caen (France) and renamed NANTAISE. In 1928 the French maritime company “Société Anonyme Armateurs Caennais” bought her and in 1934 she became property of the “Société Navale Caennaise” (manag. G. Lamy & Cie). In June 1940, after the Battle of France, she remained in the merchant fleet of the Vichy France (Régime de Vichy). After the “Laval-Kaufmann Agreement”, according to which a large portion of the French merchant fleet landed in German possession, S/S NANTAISE was seized on 16.01.1943 by the German army in Marseille (France), became property of the German maritime company “Mittelmeer Reederei GmbH”, Hamburg, and was used as a freighter for military transports. The “Mittelmeer-Reederei GmbH”, widely known as “MMR”, was a half-state company founded by the German Nazi government in the Second World War and was responsible for the entire ship's space, which was captured or confiscated by the German Reich in the Mediterranean.

On 7 August 1943, while steaming under German flag from Varna (Bulgaria) to Piraeus (Greece), S/S NANTAISE was attacked with four torpedoes at the position 30° 49,5´ N / 25° 48,6´ E (north Aegean) by the Porpoise-class British submarine HMS RORQUAL (N 74) and sank without any loss approximately seven marine miles at the west off “Cape Ponente” of the island of Tenedos. After passing the Dardanelles and heading to the Aegean, S/S NANTAISE was steaming in convoy with the French vessel S/S THISBE escorted by five German submarine chasers (UJ-2101, UJ-2102, UJ-2104, UJ-2105 and UJ-2110) of the 21 UJ-Flottille, four R-Boats (R-34, R-194, R-195 and R-210) of the 12 Räumbootsflottille and three Arado aircrafts. Leader of the convoy was the German submarine chaser UJ-2104 (ex British whalecatcher KOS XXIII converted to minesweeper for the Royal Navy in 1941) under the command of Oblt.z.S. Nikolai von Ruckteschell. The war diary of HMS RORQUAL (Commander Lt. Lennox William Napier, RN) reports the following concerning the torpedo attack against S/S NANTAISE:

“7 August 1943, 05.00 hours [British operational time], dived between Lemnos and Tenedos.
18.15 hours, sighted smoke, vessels approaching from the Dardanelles. 
18.25 hours, identified the targets as a convoy made up of two merchant vessels of about 2500 tons [S/S NANTAISE and S/S THISBE] escorted by three AS trawlers and two E-boats. Two aircraft were also seen patrolling overhead. Started attack.
18.52 hours, fired four torpedoes in position 39° 51' N / 25° 48' E from 4000 yards. Weather calm, good visibility; enemy course and speed 180° 8 knots. One hit obtained and avoiding action taken.
19.20 hours, no counter attack whatsoever having developed came to periscope depth. Target was stopped; as I was in the center of a semi-circle of six AS vessels (an armed yacht having appeared), I decided against firing a further torpedo and withdraw. Six depth charges were dropped over a long period, none near.
20.50 hours, periscope depth; the damaged ship had disappeared and I do not think she could have possibly have steamed or been towed away. Only on AS vessel was in sight, far to the southward.”


The wreck of S/S NANTAISE rests almost upright at 52 meters of water on a sandy bottom. At the forecastle and at the auxiliary ruder room there are naval cannons assembled on gun carriages. At the bow a hole at the starboard side is conspicuous and indicates the point where the torpedo of HMS RORQUAL hitted the vessel.

Sources:

Lloyds Register of Shipping
KTB des Admirals Südost - Marinegruppenkommando Süd (NARA)
KTB des kommandierenden Admirals Ägäis (NARA)
KTB des Seetransportchefs Marinegruppenkommando Süd (NARA)
KTB der 21. UJ-Flottille (NARA)
KTB der 12. R-Bootflottille (NARA)
ADM 199/1878 (The National Archives, Kew Garden)
Schmelzkopf, Reinhart: Fremde Schiffe in deutscher Hand 1939-1945, Strandgut 2004
Fenton, Roy: Coasters – An Illustrated History, 2011

*) Das "Tenedos Dive Project" ist ein internationales Projekt, das als Ziel hat, sowohl die noch unbekannten historischen Wracks der Insel Tenedos (türkisch "Bozcaada", nordöstliche Ägäis) zu orten, zu betauchen, zu untersuchen und zu dokumentieren, als auch die verschiedenen Aspekte der Marinegeschichte während der beiden Weltkriege in dieser Gegend zu hervorheben. Die Projektteilnehmer, die lange Erfahrung in der Archiv- und Feldforschung, Dokumentation und tiefem Wracktauchen vorweisen, sind Selçuk Kolay, Savaş Karakaş, Erol Öztunali, Hasan Tan, Odak Bingöl und Rabia Türk aus der Türkei, Derk Remmers, Jarek Grüber und Markus Kerwath aus Deutschland, sowie Dimitri Galon aus Griechenland. Die Tauchaktivitäten des "Tenedos Dive Project" für das Jahr 2017 fanden statt vom 18. bis 23. September 2017.
« Letzte Änderung: 05 Oktober 2017, 10:01:02 von Dimitris Galon »

Offline de domenico

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Re: Frachtdampfer NANTAISE (ex VAUX)
« Antwort #1 am: 04 Oktober 2017, 13:23:00 »
A little additional info: on 12 June 1940 NANTAISE took part in the evacuation of the last French troops from Le Havre. On 25 June 1940 she was at Bayonne on the  Biscay  coast  and fell into German hands there, but in 1941 (after the agreement of 9 July 1941) she was returned to the Vichy authorities at Bayonne  to support the traffic  between the AOF/North African colonies and the Vichy-held  metropolitan France, and taken to the Mediterranean (probably via Casablanca). Again taken over on 16 Jan. 1943 by Germany under the Laval/Kaufmann agreement of 22 November 1942/23 Jan. 1943, sunk on 7 August 1943  SW of the Dardanelles while en route from Istanbul for the Piraeus.

Sources: Marc Saibène, Jean-Yves Brouard, Guy Mercier, "La Marine Marchande Française 1939-1940", "1940/1942" and "1943/1945", Marines Editions,, Nantes, Dec. 1996, Dec. 1998, Nov. 2001.
By the same authors, "La Marine Marchande Française 1939-1945", JYB Aventures, Sept.2009.
« Letzte Änderung: 04 Oktober 2017, 17:32:36 von de domenico »

Offline kgvm

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Re: Frachtdampfer NANTAISE (ex VAUX)
« Antwort #2 am: 04 Oktober 2017, 20:47:45 »
"Die NANTAISE wurde am 16 Januar 1943 von dem britischen U-Boot HMS RORQUAL (N 74)  torpediert und versenkt."
Of course not, she was seized in January and was lost in August 1943 only.

"but in 1941 (after the agreement of 9 July 1941) she was returned to the Vichy authorities at Bayonne  to support the traffic  between the AOF/North African colonies and the Vichy-held  metropolitan France, and taken to the Mediterranean (probably via Casablanca)."
In fact "Nantaise" left Bayonne 18.02.41 and arrived at Casablanca 24.02.41, so she was returned earlier, probably because she was southward of Bordeaux at the time of the Armistice.
From Casablanca she went in convoy K 32 to Oran (departure 03.03.41, arrival 05.03.41).

Offline Dimitris Galon

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Re: Frachtdampfer NANTAISE (ex VAUX)
« Antwort #3 am: 05 Oktober 2017, 10:04:24 »
@ kgvm
Of course not, she was seized in January and was lost in August 1943 only.

Klar  :-) Vielen Dank

@ de domenico
Thanks Francesco for all your aditional information.

Offline Urs Heßling

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Re: Frachtdampfer NANTAISE (ex VAUX)
« Antwort #4 am: 14 Oktober 2017, 19:09:11 »
moin,

NANTAISE was attacked with four torpedoes at the position 30° 49,5´ N / 25° 48,6´ E (north Aegean) ...
...
18.52 hours, fired four torpedoes in position 39° 51' N / 25° 48' E from 4000 yards.
Das KTB des Bootes ist korrekt : die Position müßte 39° 49,5´ N / 25° 48,6´ E lauten.

Gruß, Urs
"History will tell lies, Sir, as usual" - General "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne zu seiner Niederlage bei Saratoga 1777 im Amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg - nicht in Wirklichkeit, aber in George Bernard Shaw`s Bühnenstück "The Devil`s Disciple"

Offline Ferenc

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Re: Frachtdampfer NANTAISE (ex VAUX)
« Antwort #5 am: 14 Oktober 2017, 21:12:18 »
Eine tolle Sache und sehr gut recherchiert. top
Solche Geschichten lassen ein Wracktaucherherz höher schlagen.
Ich beneide alle die dabei sein konnten

Grüße
Ferenc