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SHIPS SUNK BRAZIL - SHIPS

13)BRASILOIDE





Built: 1936


Tonnage: 6,075 tons


Cargo: Cotton, salt, fabric and fibres


Sunk 18 Feb 43 by U 518 on pos 12º47"S 37º33"W


O Dead


54 Survivors


Brasiloide was the first Brazilian merchant to be sent to the bottom in 1943. Ex German Montevideo, built in 1936, she was one of four German ships arrested under federal decree # 4611 from Aug. 24th 1942, date of country’s entry in the war, and incorporated to Brazilian Merchant Navy. Brasiloide was one of the biggest ships of  Brazilian Lloyd. She sailed unescorted from Maceio, bound to Salvador-Bahia, a mere 200 mile journey under master Eurico Souza.


Garcia D'avila lighthouse just as the survivors spot At 04:15, on Feb. 18th 1943, still under darkness, she was attacked and sunk some five miles off  the Garcia D’Avila lighthouse at coordinates 12º 38’S and 37º 57’ W. Earlier at 03:15, lookouts could devise, although impaired by night, one  silhouette shadowing the merchant at portside, but due to the darkness the same could not be identified as a submarine.



Garcia D'Avila lighthouse.


One hour later, doubts were dissipated when the wake of one torpedo was seen hitting the ship’s portside at hold # 3. The ship soon came to a stop, and began listing. With the risk of submersion in minutes, master Eurico gave the order to abandon ship, what was performed in perfect order. The crew of 45 men used 2 lifeboats and one dinghy. Once the men boarded their boats, they sighted  the menacing shape of their assailant, whose identity could not be seen, fired a second torpedo which hit ship’s bunk # 3 just in the opposite starboard side.


With this impact, the structure of  Brasiloide could not hold and the ship broke in two, the bow sinking first. Soon after, a third torpedo struck the stern which remained afloat and with this impact the ship remnants plummeted in the waves, hissing, cracking in her death throes.


As the winds were not blowing strongly enough to the boats to rig a sail, they decided to make their way to land by rowing. Ten exhaustive hours later these men made ashore at the hospitably Bahia at 02:30 PM. Merchant Brasiloide had not yet been provided with any gun emplacement, and despite the loss of one important merchant ship for the overburdened Brazilian Merchant Navy, all of 45 crewmen including 4 passengers managed to survive.


 

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