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SHIPS HIT BRITAIN 238 * - A B C

66)CRAFTSMAN (RAIDER KORMORAN)




Photo. www.photoship.co.uk


 


Built: 1922


Tonnage: 8,022/11,335 tons


Cargo: Anti Torpedo net


Route: UK - Capetown


Sunk 09/04/41 by Raider Kormoran in pos. 00º 32’N  23º 37’W


6 Dead


43 Survivors taken as POW


Craftsman was sunk about 300 miles E. of St. Paul Rocks. There was a brief action before the vessel surrendered . Six men were killed. The survivors were taken prisoner. SS Craftsman was carrying a large torpedo net to be deployed at the entrance of Capetown harbor.


Bound for the Cape with a large anti-submarine net intended for use at the entrance to Cape Town harbour, the 8,022-ton Craftsman approached the Kormoran so fast from astern that at first Detmers feared she might be an AMC and took evasive action, but having established that she was in fact a freighter, he signalled to her to stop.


But the Craftsman tried to escape, sending radio signals as she did so. These were jammed by the Kormoran's operator as the raider opened fire, and after a ten minute gun battle the stricken freighter stopped, on fire amidships, with five of her crew killed.


As forty-six survivors were taken on board the Kormoran, scuttling charges were set off and the ship settled. But she would not sink, being kept afloat by the buoyancy of the large floats attached to the anti-submarine net in her hold.


A torpedo blew open her stern holds, releasing hundreds of the floats, which looked like mines, onto the surface!


They were subsequently reported as being mines, over a very wide sea area, for many weeks afterwards!


By Hilfskreuzer (Auxiliary Cruiser / Raider) - Kormoran (bismarck-class.dk)



Picture above shows one anti torpedo net. Net and Boom Defenses (maritime.org)


 

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