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French tug COSTAUD

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:46 pm
by davidships
I have following for this Dunkerque tug:
1934 Société de Remorquage et de Sauvetage du Nord (SRSN), Dunkerque as COSTAUD (12) (FRA flag, reg Dunkerque, ON 64064, c/s TSWA)
10/5/1940 requisitioned by French Navy
27/5/1940 sunk at the Dunkerque evacuation, raised
31/5/1940 again sunk at the Dunkerque evacuation, raised
6/1940 seized by the German Kriegsmarine, Hafenbauamt Dunkerque (DEU flag)
30/8/1940 transferred to Hafenkommandant Dunkerque
1944 sank at Boulogne
Three sinkings!
Any info on the two during the Dunkerque evacuations would be welcome.
But I am mostly interested to know about her final loss in 1944. Scuttled by Germans or sunk by Allied attacks? And when?

Re: French tug COSTAUD

Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:46 am
by jan-olof
Hello David,

in an old document, which I received from Theo many years ago, the date of loss is given as September 16th, 1944. The cause given is gesprengt, selbstversenkt.

Best regards,


Re: French tug COSTAUD

Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:19 pm
by davidships
Thanks Jan-Olof
That sounds like "scuttled by the Germans with explosives"

Re: French tug COSTAUD

Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:33 pm
by crolick
Hey David,

doubt that ship was sunk on May 27th raised within 4 days and sunk again.
Nobody was concerned with sunken vessels during the Dunkirk evacuation.

On FMA they list COSTAUD as sunk on 31st: ... rchen.html

Don Kindell provides the reason (German bombing):

Hope that helps!

Re: French tug COSTAUD

Posted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:31 pm
by davidships
Thanks Andrzej

That sent me digging again - in Jacky Messiaen's Pilotes et Remorqueurs dans la Tourmente: Dunkerque Mai 1940 (2003, author, Broxeele, ISBN 2-903262-06-03)
27/5: A cette date, le COSTAUD est avarié, tandis qu'il sort un navire du F.11 à la mer; navire désemparé
31/5: remorqueur COSTAUD (Saus), incendié
This seems to be the scenario:
  • disabled in some way on 27 May, presumably by enemy attack, when sailing an unnamed merchant ship from berth F.11 (that was in the Freycinet Basin, where the open parking area now is on Rue de Université) and then repaired.
  • on the 31 May (under Capt Saus) caught fire and sank, from German aerial bombing, somewhere outside the port (not on a plan of ships lying sunk in port on 3 May).
The FMA's date of 4 June seems unlikely - I wonder what that is based on?