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Esso Hamburg seen from another perspective. Photo www.aukevisser.nl/german


Built: 1939   


Tonnage: 9,849 / 17,000 tons 


Cargo: 7400 tons of fuel oil, 1200 tons of Diesel oil for own consumption, 20 crated torpedoes, 2,000-3,000 tons of fresh water, 300 tons of special boiler water, 2,500 20.5 cm. shells. Provisions for 2,000 men in special packings.


On 4/ JUN/41 Esso Hamburg was found by cruiser HMS London, Destroyer HMS Brilliant. Crew scuttled her to avoid capture on position 07º 35’N 31º25’W   


87 POW   


In conversation with an officer from "London" Captain Braunwarth described the scuttling of his ship.  This, like all statements made by the Master, should be accepted with considerable reserve.  Charges seem to have been placed aft, amidships and forward.  In the engine room one large and one small charge were placed together along the ship's sides, the large one to blow a hole in the ship's side, and the small one to fracture the fuel pipes and cause fire.


In the pump room two large charges were placed one on each side of the sea valve boxes, which were stated to have been along the ship's side.  Finally a large charge was placed on each side of the forward hold.  All these charges were stated to be individually operated, a rating being sent to each position to press the igniting plunger.  According to one of the stokers, two additional sea cocks had been fitted in the engine room to increase the rate of flooding.  


Braunwarth stated that the scuttling charges had been set to detonate after twelve minutes, but actually did not explode until twenty-five minutes after firing, the fuses having been lit at the same time as she was observed to be lowering her boats.  When boarded, by "Brilliant's" boarding party, she was already listing 35° to port, the port side being awash amidships.   


"Brilliant" stated that the "Esso-Hamburg" carried two spare U-Boats' crews, but this statement has not been confirmed. "London" reported that although keeping watch on 500 kc/s and 12,700 kc/s no transmissions were heard.



Esso Hamburg seen refuelling a German cruiser. Picture. Auke visser's German Esso Tanker 's site



Esso Hamburg seen in her death throes while survivors are seen rowing to British ships. Picture. Auke visser's German Esso Tanker 's site



One lifeboat with survivors closing British ship. Picture. Auke visser's German Esso Tanker 's site



HMS LONDON



HMS BRILLIANT


Data provided by Jerry Mason USN Ret. www.uboatarchive.net


 

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