Part of the Acorn Archive
Hearts of Oak
Athel Line Ships
ELEONORA MAERSK ( ELEONORA MÆRSK )
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.
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 www.gordonmumford.com/ pow-4.htm
SUSAN MAERSK Great Britain 2355grt Torpedoed by U-553; 12th Jun 1941.