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Autor Thema: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940  (Gelesen 898 mal)

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Offline Platon Alexiades

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Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« am: 17 August 2022, 14:55:53 »
I have noted an error in the ASA entry:
https://www.historisches-marinearchiv.de/projekte/asa/ausgabe.php?where_value=553
This attack was not carried out on the transport Levante as it was mistakenly entered as off Kristiansund North whereas it was actually carried out off Kristiansand South. The exact position is not recorded in the submarine report but at 0924 hours on the same day, she was in 57°53' N, 07°44' E so it could not have been very far from that. Also the target was reported moving eastward which was consistent for a vessel leaving Kristiansand and proceeding to the Kattegat, either a German ship or perhaps a neutral ship (Swedish? Finnish?) returning home. Any suggestion?

Many thanks.

Platon

Offline Urs Heßling

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #1 am: 17 August 2022, 18:34:41 »
hi, Platon,

I found an answer ... and a new problem  :-D

According to the war diary of Admiral norwegische Südküste (see Annex), "August Leonhardt" left Kristiansand on April 11, at 15:00 and might well have been the subject of SEVERN`s attack.

As targets were nearly always "overestimated" by submarine captains, identifying "August Leonhardt" as a 6000-tons-ship seems to be quite possible

There is, however, the long-standing "fact" that SEALION (Bryant) sank "August Leonhardt" on April 11 at 16:48 in position 56°29'N, 11°43'E, thats in the Kattegat south of Anholt.

The shortest (!) track distance from Kristiansand to that position is 175 miles

Now, there`s the problem ...

It is just impossible for a merchant to cover that distance in just a few hours ...

Is it possible that the long-standing entry of "August Leonhardt"s loss on April 11 is wrong and it happened on April 12 ?

greetings, 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 Platon Alexiades

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #2 am: 17 August 2022, 22:03:45 »
Hello Urs,

I was also puzzled by the entry of Admiral norwegische Südküste but it must be an error as there is no doubt that HMS Sealion attacked and sank August Leonhardt at the time given in her patrol report. I am attaching a signal from the Weserübung files (Roll T1022/2039, NARA) which shows that August Leonhardt sank at the time given by HMS Sealion [1750 hour versus 1648 hour and German time was ahead by one hour and the positions given are fairly close] and that survivors were picked up by the trawler Inge Marie.

The target attacked by HMS Severn remains a mystery pending further research.

Best regards,

Platon

Offline Urs Heßling

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #3 am: 17 August 2022, 22:12:06 »
hi, Platon,

there is no doubt that HMS Sealion attacked and sank August Leonhardt at the time given in her patrol report. I am attaching a signal from the Weserübung files (Roll T1022/2039, NARA)
OK and thank you for the proof.

"Going backwards" in the track (as a navigator, that`s my way), can there be any doubt that SEVERN`s attack occurred on April, 11, or could it have been on April, 10 ?

greetings, 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 Platon Alexiades

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #4 am: 17 August 2022, 22:52:32 »
Hi Urs,

There does not seem any possibility of a typographical error in the HMS Severn report as she made a signal to the Rear-Admiral Submarine at 2145 hours on 11th April (at the same time she carried out the torpedo attack) and referred to an incident (touching an unidentified obstruction) earlier in the day at 0924 hours on the 11th and which is also described in the patrol report.

Best regards,

Platon

Offline Urs Heßling

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #5 am: 18 August 2022, 00:05:08 »
hi, Platon,

OK and thanks again.

Two other ships of 1. Seetransportstaffel bound for Kristiansand (Westsee, Wiegand) are out of question. The movements of Kreta seem to be somewhat mysterious (09.04. attack off Oslofjord ?)

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 Platon Alexiades

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #6 am: 18 August 2022, 03:28:47 »
Hi Urs,

Kreta witnessed the sinking of the tanker Stedingen by HMS Trident and sent an SOS (which resulted in some sources mistakenly reporting her as sunk) and fled the scene. Her subsequent whereabouts are not well known but she apparently went into hiding in one of the fjords and was later found by boats from the 9th V-Flotille which escorted her to Kristiansand where she arrived at 0612/13 April. Westsee and Wiegand arrived at Kristiansand at 1430/9 April. All three ships departed from Kristiansand at 2140/14 April for Stettin.

Best regards,

Platon
« Letzte Änderung: 18 August 2022, 14:46:51 von Platon Alexiades »

Offline JensA

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #7 am: 18 August 2022, 08:31:01 »
Zitat
According to the war diary of Admiral norwegische Südküste (see Annex), "August Leonhardt" left Kristiansand on April 11, at 15:00 and might well have been the subject of SEVERN`s attack.

I would also think that "August Leonhard" would be a good candidate. And, actually, the war diary of the Seekommandant Kristiansand states the she left 2100 NZ on the 11th April 1940. That would mean that she would still be close to Kristiansand, when "Severn" fired her torpedoes at 21.45 (22.45 German time).

Attached the page from "Severn" patrol report.

Jens

« Letzte Änderung: 18 August 2022, 09:06:59 von JensA »

Offline JensA

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #8 am: 18 August 2022, 09:34:13 »
CORRECTION to my post above!

It can not have been "August Leonhard", that "Severn" attacked on 11th at Kristiansand, as I have found a signal that states the she left in the night of 10th April:

RM 7/2528 = PG 33459
1/Skl. IIa, Norwegenfahrt Bd. 5, August 1939-April 1940
Bl. 455
Funkspruck von III
abgegeben 1108 Uhr, den 11.4.40
An OKM A Sechs, Gruppe Ost
Dampfer „August Leonhardt“ 10.4. nachts nach Stettin ausgelaufen.
Hafenkapitän Kristiansand

Also, there is no real reason to doubt that "August Leonhard" was actually sunk on 11th April, see excerps from war diaries below and the attached pages from "Sealion"s patrol report.

KTB BSO 12.4.1940
Verspätet geht dann noch die Meldung ein, daß der Leerdampfer „August Leonhardt“ gestern in südlichen Kattegatt von einem engl. U-Boot torpediert und gesunken ist. Die Überlebenden werden von einem Fischdampfer nach Deutschland gebracht. Demnach liegt auch im südlichen Kattegatt U-Boots-Gefahr vor.

KTB Gruppe Ost 12.4.1940
18.00   Lagemeldung 12.4., 18,00 Uhr.
....
c) Dampfer „August Leonhardt“ 11.4. 17.50 Uhr Qu. 4878 von U-Boot versenkt, Besatzung gerettet.
...

Jens

Offline TW

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #9 am: 18 August 2022, 10:31:48 »
The movements of Kreta seem to be somewhat mysterious (09.04. attack off Oslofjord ?)

Die Bewegungen der KRETA sind noch nicht genügend geklärt. Auszug aus Theo's Datensammlung "Weserübung":

Zitat
1940 April 06.: Um 17:00 Uhr KRETA, AUGUST LEONHARDT, WESTSEE und WIEGAND mit Truppen und Material von Stettin nach Kristiansand ausgelaufen.
1940 April 09.: Im Skagerrak südlich Larvik soll KRETA von einem brit. U-Boot angegriffen worden sein. Dazu siehe Bemerkung!
1940 April 10.: WESTSEE, WIEGAND und AUGUST LEONHARDT in Kristiansand eingelaufen (Geplante Ankunft war der 09.04.).
1940 April 11.: AUGUST LEONHARDT auf dem Rückmarsch nach Deutschland. ...
1940 April 13.: KRETA in Kristiansand eingelaufen.
1940 April 23.: KRETA, WIEGAND und WESTSEE in Oslo eingelaufen.

Dabei ist der (von welcher Seite auch immer) gemeldete U-Boot-Angriff am 9. April nicht das Problem.
Sondern die Frage: was war zwischen dem 9.4. (bei Larvik) und dem 13. April (Einlaufen in Kristiansand) eigentlich los?
Für die anderen 3 Dampfer wird am 10.4 die Ankunft in Kristiansand gemeldet. Und die KRETA ?

Aber auch nach den Bewegungen von WIEGAND und WESTSEE müssen wir fragen.
AUGUST LEONHARD war am 11. April schon wieder auf dem Rückweg. Sie wurde in Kristiansand vielleicht als erst entladen.
Aber wann waren die anderen Dampfer abgefertigt und liefen von Kristiansand aus wieder nach Deutschland zurück ?
Schönen Gruß, Thomas
« Letzte Änderung: 18 August 2022, 10:57:00 von TW »

Offline Platon Alexiades

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #10 am: 18 August 2022, 14:46:30 »
Hello Thomas,

The answer to your question was in my previous posting:


Kreta witnessed the sinking of the tanker Stedingen by HMS Trident and sent an SOS (which resulted in some sources mistakenly reporting her as sunk) and fled the scene. Her subsequent whereabouts are not well known but she apparently went into hiding in one of the fjords and was later found by boats from the 9th V-Flotille which escorted her to Kristiansand where she arrived at 0612/13 April. Westsee and Wiegand arrived at Kristiansand at 1430/9 April. All three ships departed from Kristiansand at 2140/14 April for Stettin.

Regarding the information from Theo that you posted, some details are missing:

1. Kreta was not attacked by a submarine. She only witnessed the attack as mentioned above.
2. Kreta, Westsee and Wiegand arrived at Stettin at 0400/18 April.
3. Kreta, Westsee and Wiegand (V.Staffel/1) sailed again from Stettin at 1530/20 April with troops and stores for Group XXI and Luftwaffe and arrived at Oslo at 0040/23 April.

Best regards,

Platon

Offline JensA

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #11 am: 18 August 2022, 20:08:29 »
Concerning the whereabouts of the "Kreta" see attachments.
Unfortunately I don't have a copy of page 309.

Jens

Offline JensA

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #12 am: 18 August 2022, 20:16:45 »
Zitat
Aber auch nach den Bewegungen von WIEGAND und WESTSEE müssen wir fragen.

Weder "Westsee", noch "Wiegand" kommt in Frage für den Angriff am 11. April, als sie erst am 14. April Kristiansand verliessen.

Jens

Offline Platon Alexiades

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Re: Attack by HMS Severn on 11.04.1940
« Antwort #13 am: 19 August 2022, 05:05:32 »
Hello JensA,

Many thanks for the Kreta documents which help shed light on this discussion.

All the best,

Platon