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M/S Brabant
Fred. Olsen & Co., Oslo

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Brabant on the "Homefleet Ships starting with B" page.

From a book about Akers mek. Verksted, Oslo, 1931.

Tonnage: 2548 gt

 Pre War History: 

Delivered from Akers mek. Verksted, Oslo in March-1926. Fred. Olsen's first passenger/cargo motor vessel, built for service Oslo - Antwerp, which up until then had been maintained by the company's steamships Biarritz and Paris. Length overall 282' x 40' x 29.3', 2x 6 cyl. 4-stroke S.A. trunk-piston type engines of B & W design, 2300 bhp, maximum speed 15 knots (13 1/2 knots service speed). She had 3 masts and her twin screws were driven by a pair of diesels whose exhausts were led up the sides of the mainmast. Built without a funnel (in the true sense of the word), however, just aft of the mainmast there was a very small "stove-pipe" type funnel, but this was for the galley. (The midship mast and the exhausts were later removed and she was given a normal funnel). Cruiser stern, hull of three-island type, two wells protected by almost full-height bulwarks, 2 continuous decks, 2 holds, 3 hatches, 6 electric winches and 6 derricks. She had high standard accommodation for about 70 first class, 30 third class passengers. The first class cabins (1 and 2 berth) were on the bridge, main and 'tween decks, dining saloon at the forward end of the bridge deck with the smoking room above, while the third class cabins were aft, on and under the poop deck. In 1937 she was joined in the Antwerp service by Bretagne.

 WW II: 

Under German control. Reported trading in 1943 and 1944 between Germany and Norway.

Source: "Handelsschiffe im Kriegseinsatz", Herbert Baasch; photo taken by Herbert Baasch himself (b.1920-d.1997). Sent to me by a visitor to my website, who says the picture is from 1940. (Added here with permission of the new owner of Baasch's photo collection).


Retaken by British forces while at Copenhagen in 1945 and returned to Fred. Olsen. Sold in late 1954 ('55?) to Sudan Navigation Co. Ltd., Port Sudan, Sudan, renamed Suakin (Liberian flag), trading in the Red Sea between Port Sudan, Jeddah and Suez (together with Sudani, later named Sikri). Still in service in 1973 as Radwa, but later history unavailable.

Related external link:
Lillesand Sjømannsforening's website also has a picture of this ship.

Back to Brabant on the "Homefleet Ships starting with B" page.

(Misc. sources, incl. Fred. Olsen fleet list, E-mails from R. W. Jordan, and "Merchant Ships of the World in Color 1910-1929 [so entitled because it has color pics of the ships] by Laurence Dunn, who gives her tonnage as 2335 gt).

Other ships by this name:
Another Brabant was renamed Burgos prior to the delivery of the 1926 Brabant. Additionally, Fred. Olsen had a ship named Brabant built in Fredrikstad in 1907, 1492 gt., struck a mine and sank off Flamborough Head on Jan. 15-1917, mine laid a few days before by UC 43. I've been told that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" says this ship lies 2 miles southeast of Flamborough Head today. The Norwegian Graafjeld was lost on the same minefield. Another Brabant was built in Oslo in 1956, sold in 1972 to F. Hareid Shipping A/S, Ålesund.

Belgium also had a motor vessel by this name in WW II, torpedoed and sunk off Trinidad on May 14-1942.

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