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Photo. www.photoship.co.uk


 


Built: 1909


Tonnage: 8,299 / 8,890 tons


Alexandria - Capetown - Recife - New York


Cargo: lubricating oil, tin plate, ambulances, trucks, steel bars, radios, typewriters, batteries, girdles, cosmetics and Coca-Cola


Sunk 17/04/41 by Raider Atlantis on pos. 27º 41 S 08º 08W


24 Dead


320 Survivors


This 8.300-ton Egyptian passenger liner, the former Bibby Liner Leicestershire, sold to Egypt a few months before the outbreak of war, en route from New York to Cape Town - with an exotic crew of 110 Egyptians, Sudanese, Turks, Greeks, Czechs and French, and over 202 very unhappy passengers, Americans, British, French, Greeks, Canadians, South Africans, Norwegians and Italians; 150 missionaries - Catholic, Lutheran, Adventist, Baptist and 12 other denominations; 24 American volunteer ambulance drivers; 76 women, of whom   5 were pregnant –


Americans, British, French and some “very  photogenic Greek nurses”; 35 children; Charles J Murphy, editor of FORTUNE magazine, and LIFE magazine photographer David E. Sherman, and a mixed cargo of lubricating oil, tin plate, ambulances, trucks, steel bars, radios, typewriters, batteries, girdles, cosmetics and Coca-Cola - was identified as a ‘Bibby’ troopship and attacked by moonlight, without warning, from a range of 9.200 yards. The first two salvos missed, but the third salvo knocked out the radio room.


The crew, having abandoned ship and taken to the lifeboats in panic, leaving their passengers to their fate, found themselves being shaken off Atlantis’ lines so that the Germans could help the women, children and the many others who were seen floundering about in the water. Having collected as much of the passengers clothing and as many of their belongings as possible, including a little girl who had become lost, and a tricycle for someone small and deserving, the boarding party spent over five hours aboard the slowly sinking liner plundering her larder and stripping her bar


Everyone was safely picked up and transferred two days later to the supply ship Dresden , whence, despite Rogge’s wish to have them transferred to a neutral ship or landed in a neutral country, they were ordered instead to France.


By www.bismarck – class.dk/hilfskreuzer



Above, Zam Zam seen by stern.


 

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