Tonnage: 9,521 / 7,350 dwt
Scuttled 2/Dec/39 off South African coast to avoid capture by Royal Navy Cruisers HMS Sussex and HMS Renown
198 Survivors being 43 passengers and 155 crewmembers.
Watussi was moored at Lourenço Marques Mozambique on 22 Nov 39. She departed with strong suspicions of being observed by The Royal Navy, whose ships were very active in the área. Sailing aound the coast of South Africa she veered West to the expanses of the South Atlantic. Soon she was sighted by one Junker 86 from Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron South African Air Force. The JU 86 radioed ship’s position and course.
Later the same day Watussi Captain ordered his ship to stop at about 60 miles from the coast. Scuttling charges were set to detonate and she was soon billowed by flames. Survivors were rescued by HMS Sussex and HMS Renown. HMS Ark Royal came to scene and each one had its share in finishing off the smouldering carcass of the German runner.
Rare view of the sinking. Picture by John H. Marsh.
HMS Renown and HMS Sussex. Along with aircraft Carrier Ark Royal they made Watussi's attempt to break out the Atlantic narrows to end in the bottom of the south Atlantic. Picture Wikipedia.