CONVOY GREECE 2 OCTOBER 1944

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geosub1978
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:47 am

CONVOY GREECE 2 OCTOBER 1944

Post by geosub1978 » Sat May 15, 2021 9:48 am

Hi!

I am looking information about a convoy that departed from Piraues on 1 October 1944 heading to Salonika, consisting of the merchants Bertha, Zar Ferdinand the torpedo boat TA-18, the UJ-2102,UJ-2144 anf another two aptrol boats.

Does anyone what the cargo could be or any other details other than both merchants were sunk by HMS Unswerning and FS Curie on 2 October 1944?

Thank you,

George
jan-olof
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Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:07 pm

Re: CONVOY GREECE 2 OCTOBER 1944

Post by jan-olof » Sat May 15, 2021 4:38 pm

Hello George,

if I remember correctly the vessels were carrying a total of ~1200 troops and some other important cargo.

Best regards,

Jan-Olof
Platon Alexiades
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Re: CONVOY GREECE 2 OCTOBER 1944

Post by Platon Alexiades » Sat May 15, 2021 6:38 pm

Hello George and Jan-Olof,

At the time of Curie's attack (2104/2) the convoy consisted of Zar Ferdinand and Berta escorted by TA-18 and the patrol vessels GD-97 and GK-92. Both transports were carrying a total of 1,177 troops. UJ-2102 and UJ-2144 had sailed from Saloniki at 1815/2 and were ordered to reinforce the convoy but apparently had not joined up when Curie sank Zar Ferdinand. TA-18 escorted Berta to Saloniki and the latter was attacked and sunk by HMS Unswerving at 0113/3. In all about 1100 survivors were rescued (270 by TA-18) so casualties were around 75-80. I have not seen any cargo list for both transports but I suspect they were carrying military stores and perhaps some vehicles as the evacuation of Greece was proceeding.

Best regards,

Platon
Last edited by Platon Alexiades on Sat May 15, 2021 10:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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t-geronimo
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Re: CONVOY GREECE 2 OCTOBER 1944

Post by t-geronimo » Sat May 15, 2021 9:43 pm

Yes, war diary Admiral Ägäis speaks of high value and priority cargo and that its loss will be felt heavily.
geosub1978
Posts: 34
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Re: CONVOY GREECE 2 OCTOBER 1944

Post by geosub1978 » Sun May 16, 2021 9:23 am

I can only say, I thank you all (just wonder when then time will come for me to track such sources by myself...)

One last thing. I know that Bertha was handed over to the Germans in November 1942 at the port of Marseille and that previously (1939) it had been requisitioned by the French Navy. I can only guess that between 1943-1944 it was tasked to transport oil from Romania to the Aegean but I can't find it anywhere except that it was bombed in Preveza in 1943.

So, is there any indication about Bertha's main tasking before its sinking?

The "precious" cargo could have been remaining oil which was in great shortage by them after the latests developments in Romania.

Many thanks once more!

George
de domenico
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Re: CONVOY GREECE 2 OCTOBER 1944

Post by de domenico » Mon May 17, 2021 10:10 am

According to (a mix of) Reinhart Schmelzkopf, Byron Tesapsides and Brouard-Mercier-Saibène BERTA (with or without an H), 1,810 grt/Oct. 1922, built in Rotterdam as TRENT, was since 1934 BACCHUS of Soflumar, Rouen, under DTM control since 18 Nov. 1939. She was ceded to the Kriegsmarine on 25 Dec. 1942 in Marseilles under the Kaufmann-Laval agreement and used at first in Tunisia (?) as a harbour tanker (Schmelzkopf) then in June 1943 as a harbour tanker in the Aegean Sea, in August 1943 renamed BRUNHILD for the Black Sea trip, on 15 Feb. 1944 again renamed BERTA. According to other sources she still bore the name BACCHUS in Jan. 1944. An attack by HMS UNRULY failed in the Aegean on 16 and 17 April 1944 (a message having informed her that BERTE was coming in from the Dardanelles on 16 April; 4 torpedoes fired at 3,000 yards, all missed), then she was sunk by HMS UNSWERVING on 3 Oct. 1944 near Cape Sepias, Kassandra Gulf (3 torpedoes fired at 6,000 yards, one hit). Last sub sinking in the Med.
geosub1978
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Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:47 am

Re: CONVOY GREECE 2 OCTOBER 1944

Post by geosub1978 » Mon May 17, 2021 8:43 pm

This is a wealth of information. Thank you.

George
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