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Photo Allen Green Collection Vic. Australia

Built: 1926 
Tonnage: 7,209 / 9,143 dwt
Length 439,6 ft.
Beam 55,9ft.
Draught 25,7 ft
Cargo: Rubber
Scuttled 10 JUL 41 to avoid capture by AMC HMS Canton some 300 miles North of St. Paul Rocks.   
0 Dead 
56 crewmembers and 21 passengers rescued.
KARNAK was underway from Bremen to Rio de Janeiro, when she got the warning messages and took refuge at Vigo, arriving there 29.08.1939. That was a happy coincidence, for she had a load of coal, with which she could supply a good number of German vessels for their blockade breaking voyage to Germany. KARNAK herself left Vigo in November 1940 and arrived via Bilbao at the Gironde. 
Codenamed HERMES in 1941 she went loaded to a South American port, arriving there safely. But on the return voyage on 10 Jul 41, she was stopped by the British AMC CANTON 300 miles NW Saint Paul Rocks and scuttled herself. In hopes of preventing her crew from sinking their ship, Canton riddled the hermes's port lifeboats, which were unmanned and still in davits, with machine gun fire and direct six-inch fire from her starboard guns at the port side of the enemy's bridge, radio room, stack, and antennas. The merchant cruiser then swung around to engage her starboard side, by then, two of Hermes starboard boats were in the water with most of the crew in them. Scuttling charges then went off, terminating her employment as a supply ship.

Armed Merchant Cruiser Canton. Photo



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