Part of the Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak




Athel Line Ships


Eleonora Maersk



ON 130118

Built 1936 Deutsche Werke, Hamburg-Finkenwerder

Owner  A.P. Møller  

Home Port Copenhagen ( København)   

10,694 grt; 15,900 dwt

504ft 4ins x  68ft 8ins x 34ft 2ins

1,356 nhp; 12 knots; oil engines.

The largest ship of the Mærsk fleet; the largest single-screw motorship in the world.

Ministry of War Transport : operated by the Athel Line after the German occupation of Denmark in 1940.

1941 Bombed and sunk by German aircraft in Suda Bay, Crete, on May 17th.

Seven of her crew were killed.

1951 Salvaged, repaired in Germany; Renamed  ROLAND; Registered Hamburg. 

1960 scrapped


Eleonora Maersk


On 9 April 1940, Denmark was invaded by Germany. Most of the Maersk fleet was outside Danish territorial waters. Over 6,000 Danish seamen chose to remain with their vessels in the ”foreign” fleet during the war. Some vessels were taken over by Germany. At the end of the WWII, 148 Maersk seamen had lost their lives, while the fleet had lost 25 vessels, on which nearly 100 died. The majority of the vessels had sailed under British or US flag.  The ships were returned to their owner, some not as quickly as others, but most were no longer in a fit state, due to the effects of the war. A.P. Møller had the deepest respect for the efforts of the wartime sailors. In December 1943, he wrote “…it must be clear however, that the people who make the greatest contribution in wartime are the seafarers who sail the ships; because they stake their very lives. They do so in a strangely calm, unostentatious way and, as often as not, without even feeling there is anything great about it.”



Some of the Maersk Losses

AGNETE  MAERSK Great Britain 2104grt  Torpedoed and sunk by gunfire from a German submarine on March 24th, 1941, in mid-North Atlantic while on a voyage from Ardrossan to St. John, New Brunswick. All the 28 crew were lost.

ANGLO  MAERSK Great Britain 7705grt  Torpedoed U-604; 27th Oct 1942.

ANNA  MAERSK Denmark 6556grt  Collided with a wreck and sank 12th Dec 1944.  

ARNOLD  MAERSK Germany 1966grt. Wrecked on Grune-aux-Dardes, Jersey, May 22nd, 1943

CHASTINE  MAERSK Denmark 5177grt  Torpedoed by U-25; 13th Feb 1940.  

EMILIE  MAERSK  Denmark  2212grt  Went aground 14th Jan 1941, near Borkum and foundered off Borkum Island. Only a life raft was recovered.

JESSIE  MAERSK  Great Britain  1972grt  On a voyage from London to Blyth, torpedoed and sunk by a German motor torpedo boat on 7th Oct 1942, off Sheringham. The ship sank in two minutes with the loss of 16 of her crew and four gunners.

LEISE  MAERSK Great Britain 3136grt  In Convoy SC-11, Torpedoed by U-100; 23rd Nov 1940.  

MARIE  MAERSK Great Britain 8271grt In Eastern Mediterranean, Italian Air attack, torpedoed, damaged 24th March 1943; Reached Piraeus, but was bombed on 12 April 1943.

MARTIN MAERSK Great Britain  8271grt Bombed; 12th Apr 1941.

NICOLINE  MAERSK  Germany 4194grt  Intercepted by destroyer FS LE FANTASQUE in the Western Mediterranean and was run aground by her crew near Tortosa, Spain; 24th Dec 1943

OLAF  MAERSK  Denmark  1950grt  Bombed by RAF;  30th Nov 1941.  

PETER  MAERSK Great Britain 5476grt Torpedoed by U-185;  7th Dec 1942.  

SALLY  MAERSK Great Britain  3252grt  Convoy SC-42, Torpedoed by U-81 10th Sep 1941. The ship was lost, but all hands were rescued.

See pow-4.htm

SUSAN  MAERSK  Great Britain 2355grt  Torpedoed by U-553; 12th Jun 1941.  





Raymond Forward