Swedish RUDOLF, lost December 1939

Moderators: KML, Siri

Post Reply
davidships
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Swedish RUDOLF, lost December 1939

Post by davidships » Sun Oct 31, 2021 12:44 am

There is no doubt that the Swedish freighter RUDOLF ex-SHILDON (2159g/1922) was sunk in 56°15′N 1°25′W around midnight 2/3 December 1939. Initial reports of cause were split between "mine" and "mine or torpedo"; but as the days went on, particularly after the arrival in port of the rescued crew, it veered more towards "torpedo". That seems to have been confirmed by later scholarship, with attribution to U-56. Summarised at https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/123.html

Are there published books (any language) that confirm this as I do not want to rely solely on purely-online sources?

Secondly, I see that uboat.net has "The eight men in the other boat were rescued on 4 December by the Swedish steam merchant GUNLÖG and landed at Newcastle". Anyone have confirmation of that?

David
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: Swedish RUDOLF, lost December 1939

Post by Platon Alexiades » Sun Oct 31, 2021 7:19 pm

Hi David,

There is no doubt that U-56 sank the Swedish Rudolf. The KTB of the U-boat (T1022/2882, NARA) makes it perfectly clear. One G7e torpedo was fired at 2325/2 December and hit under the funnel after 87 seconds. A second G7e torpedo was fired at 0015/3 December and hit after 52 seconds, 30 metres from the stern and she sank very quickly. The target was identified as the Swedish Rudolf from her SOS. Position was Quadrat AN 5134 (56°15' N, 01°25' W, the Rudolf SOS gave exactly the same position).

Since a Norwegian steamer Rudolf was also sunk later in the same month, to avoid confusion this website has a section devoted to both victims.

Best regards,

Platon
jan-olof
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:07 pm

Re: Swedish RUDOLF, lost December 1939

Post by jan-olof » Mon Nov 01, 2021 12:08 pm

Hello David and Platon,

I can add the following:

according to the official Swedish report the crew that survived the torpedo attack were indeed saved by the Cardew and Gunlög respectively.

The explosion on the Rudolf happened at 0015/3 hours according to the same report. The crew was, for several reasons, convinced that the explosion was caused by a torpedo.

Platon, I might be mistaken, but I believe that the first torpedo, fired by U 56 at 2325/2, was directed at another vessel, i.e. the Eskdene.

Best regards,

Jan-Olof
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: Swedish RUDOLF, lost December 1939

Post by Platon Alexiades » Mon Nov 01, 2021 12:53 pm

Hello David and Jan-Olof,

The first target was indeed Eskdene, sorry. Thank you Jan-Olof for the correction.

Best regards,

Platon
davidships
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: Swedish RUDOLF, lost December 1939

Post by davidships » Wed Nov 03, 2021 12:25 pm

Thanks Platon and Jan-Olof.
Is the Swedish report published?
jan-olof
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:07 pm

Re: Swedish RUDOLF, lost December 1939

Post by jan-olof » Wed Nov 03, 2021 5:02 pm

Hello David,

as far as I know it hasn't been published on the web but I can send it to you if you want.

Best regards,

Jan-Olof
davidships
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: Swedish RUDOLF, lost December 1939

Post by davidships » Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:12 am

Thanks, Jan-olof
That would be welcome.
I've sent you a PM
Post Reply