" Thor " ( German: Thor ) - German auxiliary cruiser from the Second World War . Thor, the former cargo ship Santa Cruz ( German: Santa Cruz ), was designated HSK- 4 and Schiff-10 ( German "Schiff 10" ) in the German fleet [approx. 1] , in the British fleet - “Raider“ E “” ( English “Raider E” )   .
|Class and type of vessel||Auxiliary Cruiser|
|Status||Burned down on November 30, 1942|
|Sailing range||40,000 nautical miles|
|Artillery||6 × 150 mm|
|Flak||2 × 37 mm|
4 × 20 mm
|Mine torpedo armament||4 × 533 mm torpedo tubes|
|Aviation group||1 Arado Ar 196 A-1|
He was one of the smallest auxiliary cruisers in Germany, but became one of the most productive. For two trips, he sank an auxiliary cruiser and 17 merchant ships, and also captured 4 more as prizes, with a total tonnage of about 152,000 gross tons in 642 days of trips   .
- 1 History of creation
- 2 fighting
- 2.1 First trip
- 2.2 Second trip
- 2.3 Death
- 2.4 Results
- 3 notes
- 3.1 Footnotes
- 3.2 Sources
- 4 Literature
- 5 Links
The Santa Cruz cargo ship was built at the Deutsche Werft  shipyard ( German: Deutsche Werft AG Hamburg-Finkenwärder  ) launched on March 16, 1938   , and was in possession "Oldenburg-Portuguese Shipping Company"  ( German: "Oldenburg-Portuguesische Dampfschiffahrts Gesellschaft"  ). September 4, 1939  it was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine , after which it was converted into a warship. The Thor entered service with the German fleet on March 15, 1940   as an auxiliary cruiser HSK-4.
June 6, 1940   under the command of the captain zur-see [approx. 2] Otto Kähler  ( German: Otto Kähler  ) Thor went on his first trip, hitting the North Atlantic   on the night of June 16-17 .
On July 1, 1940, the Dutch transport Kertozono was captured with a team of 56 people   . Kahler sent him to France.
July 6, 1940 "Thor" crossed the equator   .
The second victim on July 7, 1940 was the British cargo ship Delambre, which, at the sight of a raider, began to run away   . Approaching a distance of 8 km, Thor opened fire, after which the fugitive stopped. Captain Pratt, one passenger and another 43 sailors became prisoners. Then the ship was sent to the bottom by subversive charges.
The third victim on July 9, 1940 was the Belgian Brugge, which surrendered after the third warning shot   . 44 sailors, including Captain Boom, became captives. The ship was sunk by subversive charges.
July 14, 1940 near the island of Trinidadi, without resistance, the British Graysfield transport stopped with a team of 36 people   . Transport was sunk by forty 150-mm shells and one torpedo.
The coal victim Wendover became a new victim on July 16, 1940   . "Thor" at dusk managed to approach a close distance and immediately opened fire to defeat. From the next volley the Englishman caught fire, the first victims appeared. The shelling continued until a radio station ceased on the Wendover. Of the forty crew members, two were killed during the shelling, including a radio operator. Two more died from injuries already aboard the Thor. The coal miner finished off with shells.
The next day ( July 17, 1940) - good luck again. The Dutch bulk carrier Tela stopped without resistance   . Thirty-three sailors were added to the prisoners. The cargo ship was sunk by subversive charges.
The command noted the success of the Torah (in 17 days 6 ships became its victims), and by his order on July 20, 1940, 30 people were presented for the award  .
July 28, 1940   "Thor" for the first time met with the auxiliary cruiser of the enemy. British Rear Admiral Henry Harwood sent an auxiliary cruiser "Alcantara" to patrol in the area of Pernambuco - the island of Trinidadi. Harwood hoped to intercept the German raider if he moved south. Indeed, it was Alcantara that was able to detect the unknown ship and the captain J.J. P. Inham ordered the pursuit to begin. At 12:00, a long, encrypted radiogram was broadcast from the “Briton,” who was holding almost to the wake of a German ship. Radio operators of the Torah tried to hammer it with interference. Kahler realized that the fight could not be avoided. He threw off his disguise and joined the battle. “Thor”, hiding behind smoke screens, successfully fired at the Englishman, he himself received only two shells, one of which did not explode. Alcantara suffered significantly more, as it received a shell in the waterline, which led to a significant roll. Kähler ordered a smoke screen to be taken out of the battle completely. He feared that English ships were already hurrying to the point of battle    .
From August 25 to 28, 1940, the Tor, having met with the Rekum tanker, completely refueled  .
On August 30, 1940, by order of the command, the captain and another 50 people were presented with the award  .
On September 26, 1940, the Arado aircraft noticed a large vessel, which the raider stopped an hour later. The Norwegian whaling base "Cosmos" was a very valuable prize, but Kahler was not able to send him to Europe   . As a result, the Cosmos was sent to the bottom by subversive charges.
On October 8, 1940, a large ship was discovered. “Thor” rushed after him in pursuit, and when the distance was reduced, he dropped his disguise and opened fire. Transport tried to leave, giving alarms that the Germans tried to jam. As a result, the Neysha refrigerator received eight or nine 150-mm shells   . The ship was finished off with a torpedo and 35 shells.
From November 9 to 16, 1940, Thor met with the supply ship Rio Grande   . All prisoners, except for wounded captains, were sent aboard the Rio Grande, and Thor was refueled.
On December 5, 1940, observers noticed at a distance of about 4 miles a very large ship emerging from the fog, identified as an auxiliary cruiser. During the hour of the battle, the high-breasted Cairnarvon Castle, which was an excellent target for well-trained German gunners, received at least eight 150-mm shells that caused several fires. At 8:03, the British auxiliary cruiser suddenly turned north and, without slowing down, began to leave. After 6 minutes, he disappeared from sight    .
December 22, 1940 Kahler received an award from the command - the Knight's Cross  .
February 1, 1941 "Thor" crossed the equator  .
On February 16, 1941, Thor met with the Alsterufer supply ship, from which he received ammunition   .
After a long break on March 25, 1941, the cargo and passenger liner Brithenia became the new victim of the Torah. Since the radio station sent encrypted messages without interruption, the shelling continued until the liner was sunk. Otto Kähler, guided by the information received from the radio operators, and hoping that help would come within a few hours, decided not to take the survivors aboard. This led to tragedy for nearly two hundred people   .
On the same day ( March 25, 1941), the raider stopped with a signal shot the Swedish coal miner Trolleholm. The ship was sunk by subversive charges, and his crew of 31 people switched to the cruiser  .
On April 4, 1941, the watchmen noticed strong smoke, through which two masts and a tall pipe soon began to be visible. Kähler considered it to be “neutral” and ordered the Greek flag to be raised on the HSK-4, but at the same time announced a combat alert just in case. This time, an auxiliary cruiser Volter became the enemy of the Torah. Just three minutes after the start of the battle, a very strong fire had already begun in the middle part of Voltaire. For the entire duration of the battle, the British ship never hit the enemy. As a result, the British threw a white flag. The Germans saved 197 of 269 people of his crew    .
The last victim of the first trip on April 16, 1941 was the Swedish ore carrier Sir Ernest Kassel. Forty-five sailors became prisoners, and the old transport was sunk by subversive charges   .
The first “Torah” campaign ended on April 30, 1941  
The result of the first campaign was 12 ships sunk and captured as prizes, as well as three battles with auxiliary enemy cruisers unique in the history of World War II.
The first attempt to set off the Torah on the second expedition began on November 19, 1941   . At this point, the ship was modernized - the old guns were replaced with new 150 mm Tbk C / 36 guns, and a radar was installed. However, on the evening of the next day, Thor crashed into the Swedish Botnia ore carrier, which quickly sank. Due to the damage received, Tor was forced to return to the base for repairs. The second departure to the second campaign took place on November 30, 1941   .
Thor died on November 30, 1942 as a result of a fire on the German tanker Ukkermark , to which he was moored, 13 crew members died   . A formal investigation into the causes of the disaster has not been conducted.
Sunken and captured ships, the first trip:
|date of||Vessel Name||Type of||Affiliation||Tonnage, brt [approx. 3]||Cargo||Fate|
|July 1, 1940||Kertosono||cargo ship||Netherlands||290 9 290||prize sent to Lorian|
|July 7, 1940||Delambre||cargo ship||United Kingdom||7 030||sunk by subversive charges|
|July 9, 1940||Bruges||cargo ship||Belgium||4 985||6 746 tons of wheat||sunk by subversive charges|
|July 14, 1940||Gracefield||cargo ship||United Kingdom||4 630||7 430 tons of wheat and bran||sunk by artillery fire and a torpedo|
|July 16, 1940||Wendover||cargo ship||United Kingdom||490 5 490||7,250 tons of coal||sunk by subversive charges|
|July 17, 1940||Tela||cargo ship||Netherlands||3 775||5 451 tons of grain||sunk by subversive charges|
|September 26, 1940||Kosmos||whale oil tanker||Norway||17 800||17,662 tons of whale oil||sunk by artillery|
|October 9, 1940||Natia||refrigerator||United Kingdom||8 715||sunk by subversive charges|
|March 25, 1941||Britannia||passenger liner||United Kingdom||8 800||sunk by artillery|
|March 25, 1941||Trolleholm||cargo ship||Sweden||5 045||coal||sunk by artillery|
|April 4, 1941||Voltaire||auxiliary cruiser||United Kingdom||13 245||sunk by artillery after battle|
|April 16, 1941||Sir Ernest Cassel||ore carrier||Sweden||7 740||sunk by subversive charges|
|date of||Vessel Name||Type of||Affiliation||Tonnage, brt [approx. 3]||Cargo||Fate|
|March 23, 1942||Pagasitikos||cargo ship||Greece||3 490||sunk by a torpedo|
|March 30, 1942||Wellpark||cargo ship||United Kingdom||4 650||sunk by a torpedo|
|April 1, 1942||Willesden||cargo ship||United Kingdom||4 565||sunk by artillery fire and a torpedo|
|April 3, 1942||Aust||cargo ship||Norway||5 630||sunk by subversive charges|
|April 10, 1942||Kirkpool||cargo ship||United Kingdom||4 840||sunk by artillery fire and a torpedo|
|May 10, 1942||Nankin||cargo ship||United Kingdom||7 130||prize sent to Japan|
|June 14, 1942||Olivia||tanker||Netherlands||6 305||sunk by artillery|
|June 19, 1942||Herborg||tanker||Norway||7 890||prize sent to Japan|
|July 4, 1942||Madrono||tanker||Norway||5 895||prize sent to Japan|
|July 20, 1942||Indus||refrigerator||United Kingdom||5 185||sunk by artillery|
For two trips, the tonnage of the sunken and captured Thor vessels amounted to approximately 152,000 gross tons.
- ↑ “Schiff-10” ( German: “Schiff 10” ) - translated from German means “Ship No. 10”.
- ↑ Captain zur See ( German: Kapitän zur See ) - corresponds to the rank of captain of the 1st rank.
- ↑ 1 2 Thor Results: First Campaign , Second Campaign , Thor - War Records . The tonnage of the vessels listed in the table in other sources may vary slightly.
- ↑ Designation of auxiliary cruisers Kriegsmarine (Germany)
- ↑ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Auxiliary cruiser Tor (English)
- ↑ Thor combat performance
- ↑ 1 2 3 4 5 Thor
- ↑ 1 2 3 Joining the auxiliary cruiser Thor in the Kriegsmarine fleet (Germany)
- ↑ 1 2 3 First success of the auxiliary cruiser Thor
- ↑ 1 2 3 4 Four victims of Thor
- ↑ 1 2 The Torah Team receives awards
- ↑ Battle of the auxiliary cruisers "Alcantara" and "Thor"
- ↑ Combat cruiser "Alcantara" and "Torah" battle diagram
- ↑ 1 2 3 4 Meeting with a whaling ship
- ↑ Too many prisoners aboard the Thor
- ↑ Battle of the auxiliary cruisers “Cairnarvon Casle” and “Thor”
- ↑ Combat scheme of auxiliary cruisers “Caernarvon Castle” and “Thor”
- ↑ New Year's Eve on the “Torah”
- ↑ 1 2 Beginning of 1941 on the Torah
- ↑ 1 2 First victims of the Torah in 1941
- ↑ Battle of the auxiliary cruisers Voltaire and Thor
- ↑ Combat cruiser “Torah” and “Voltaire” battlefield
- ↑ The last victim of the first “Torah” campaign
- ↑ Results of the first “Torah” campaign
- ↑ Beginning of the second “Torah” campaign
- ↑ Random victim of the Thor
- ↑ Death of Thor
- F. Ruge. War at Sea, 1939-1945 . - SPb. : Polygon, 2002 .-- 392 p. - (Military Historical Library). - ISBN 5-89173-027-8 .
- E. Porten. German fleet in the second world war . - Yekaterinburg: Mirror, 1997 .-- 240 p. - (Sea battles close-up).
- A.V. Platonov, Yu.V. Apalkov. German warships 1939-1945.