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  Komet (Schiff-45, HSK-7)
Kriegsmarine
Cargo
Auxiliary Cruiser

7,500 Tons
379' x 50' x 21'
6 x 150mm guns
1 x 75mm gun
1 x 37mm gun
2 x 2mm AA gun
6 x torpedo tubes
30 EMC mines
2 x seaplane Ar196
1 x fast boat "Meteorit"

Ship History
Built by Bremen Vulkan, DeSchiMAG. Launched on January 16, 1937 as the merchant ship Ems at DeSchiMAG shipyards in Bremen for Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL). Known in the Kriegsmarine as "Schiff-45" or "Raider B" by the British.

Wartime History
Requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine during 1939 the start of the Second World War. Converted into an auxiliary cruiser at Howaldtswerke in Hamburg. Commissioned on June 2, 1940. Captain Robert Eyssen.

As a result of the German–Soviet Commercial Agreement of 1940, the two countries had agreed to send 26 ships, including four armed merchant cruisers, but only the Komet was selected to make the passage. Equipped with a specially strengthened bow and a propeller suitable for navigating through ice.

On July 3, 1940, departed for her first raiding voyage from Gotenhafen (Gydnia, Poland) disguised as the Soviet icebreaker "Semyon Dezhnev". During July-August, delayed at Teriberka Bay and assumed the name "Donau".

Traveling through the Arctic Ocean during August with assistance from icebreaker Stalin, reportedly paid 950,000 Reichsmarks. In September, crossed the Bering Strait into the Pacific Ocean.

During mid-October, off Lamutrik Island Komet and met Orion and Kulmerland and held a conference on strategy, deciding to work together, concentrating on the New Zealand to Panama passage. They decided on Japanese disguises, Komet assuming the identity of "Manyo Maru" (or Manio Maru). Orion poses as "Mayebashi Maru". Supply ship Kulmerland poses as "Tokio Maru".

In early November, Komet resupplied and refueled in Japan. On November 27, 1940 with Orion, participated in the sinking of Holmwood and RMS Rangitane.

During December, Komet and Orion sank five Allied merchant ships (Komet sank three), with a combined tonnage of about 41,000 tons, waiting off Nauru to load phosphate. On December 27, 1940 shelled the phosphate processing and loading facilities on Nauru.

On February 22, 1941 in the Antarctic Ocean, Komet searches for the Anglo-Norwegian whaling fleets in the area spots Tonan Maru No. 2 and Nisshin Maru, and hails the ship, learning Anglo-Norwegian whaling ships are further west.

During August 1941, with Orion sank two British ships and captured the Dutch freighter Kota Nopan ( 7,300 ton ) which was sent as a prize to Bordeaux. France.

Returning from the mission, Komet then sailed through the West and East Pacific, around Cape Horn and north through the Atlantic, returning to Cherbourg, France then onto Hamburg on November 30, 1941 after a voyage of 516 days and about 100,000 nautical miles.

Sinking History
Depart on her second raid during early October 7, 1942 under the command of Kapitän zur See Ulrich Brocksien. On October 14, 1942 attacked by British motor torpedo boats near the Cap de la Hague and sunk by a torpedo from MTB 236 and sank without survivors.

Shipwreck
She is in two halves and upside down, with a large part of the center section blown away by the explosion that sank her. She lies in 70.0 metres (229.7'). Discovered in 70m during July 2006 by Innes McCartney off Cap de la Hague in July 2006 and was surveyed by a team led by him during 2007.

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Click For Enlargement
70m / 229'
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