Torpedoed German WWII ship found / News / The Foreigner

Torpedoed German WWII ship found. A six-year search for the MS Rio de Janeiro ended in success at a depth of 135 metres off the southern Norway coast. The Kriegsmarine-requisitioned ship was sunk on 8th April 1940 by the Orzel class ORP Orzeł, a Polish submarine operating under British command. The torpedoing off Justøya in Aust-Agder County occurred just one day before Nazi Germany’s invasion of Norway under Operation Weserübung.

wwii, nazis, invasion



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Torpedoed German WWII ship found

Published on Monday, 6th July, 2015 at 20:14 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 6th July 2015 at 20:30.

A six-year search for the MS Rio de Janeiro ended in success at a depth of 135 metres off the southern Norway coast.

The MS Rio de Janeiro
The MS Rio de Janeiro
Photo: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons


The Kriegsmarine-requisitioned ship was sunk on 8th April 1940 by the Orzel class ORP Orzeł, a Polish submarine operating under British command.

The torpedoing off Justøya in Aust-Agder County occurred just one day before Nazi Germany’s invasion of Norway under Operation Weserübung.

Crew of the ORP Orzel signalled the MS Rio de Janeiro to stop, with this order being obeyed.

However, Polish Navy Captain Jan Grudziński’s subsequent order for the ship to surrender or be sunk was not.

The Rio de Janeiro was torpedoed, took in water, and started to sink. Those aboard the vessel began jumping into the sea, with a Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service plane starting to circle it at 12:00 local time.

At 12:50, the Orzel torpedoed her for a second time from a submerged position this time, hitting the ammunition depot and causing an explosion.

Near 200 of the 380 aboard died. 183 survivors aboard the Rio de Janeiro, whose crew numbered some 50 with the rest being soldiers, were helped by locals from Høvåg and Lillesand.

The Germans helped ashore told Norwegian officials that they were on their way to Bergen. The ship was carrying 73 horses.

But central authorities were alerted due to the fact that many of the survivors and dead were wearing military uniforms.

It was discovered that her cargo also consisted of six 2cm Flak 30 and four 10.5cm Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns, ammunition, fuel, 71 vehicles, 292 tons of provisions, and animal feed.

The incumbent government did not realise that an invasion of Norway was imminent.

The vessel, a German steamship and cargo ship, originally carried passengers and freight between Germany and South America.

Launched on 3rd April 1914 as the Santa Ines before subsequently being renamed, she was owned by shipping company Hamburg Süd.

The ship was 122 metres long and 17 metres wide (about 400 feet by 56 feet) with a gross tonnage of 5,261.

She was propelled by a 2,300 HP triple-expansion engine, single screw, with her speed being 10 knots (some 18.5 km/h – or 11.5 mph).

It was companies Agder-Tech AS and A-Dykk that discovered the ship located 135 metres down (almost 443 feet).

“There’s a serial number on her lantern. There’s no doubt that it’s the MS Rio de Janeiro due to her shape and what is aboard,” the diving firm’s general manager, Tom Lundahl, told NRK.

(Additional source: Wikipedia)




Published on Monday, 6th July, 2015 at 20:14 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 6th July 2015 at 20:30.

This post has the following tags: wwii, nazis, invasion.





  
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