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  #1  
Old 29th April 2008, 19:56
Mark McShane Mark McShane is offline
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Post Attacks On Shipping December 1940

Gents,

Could someone identify what units were involved in the following attacks on shipping in the Irish Sea & St. Georges Channel on the 18th & 19th of December 1940.

18th December, Tanker Osage is attacked and sunk about 0900 hrs. Shortly after Tweed was attcked further north in the Irish sea. Later in the morning the ferry Cambria was attacked The aircraft made several attacks and was fired on by the defensive machine guns on the ferry.

19th December, Irish lighthouse tender Isolda was attacked and sunk off the Wexford coast. From survivor interviews from the Isolda they say that the ship was bombed, however Thiele in his Aerial Torpedo Aircraft Operations says that it was torpedoed (he also has the wrong date). The aircraft has being identified earlier before the attack when it flew over Rosslare Harbour as a HE 111, the local Garrison at Rosslare has opened fire on it.

Any information would be appreciated,

Mark
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Old 29th April 2008, 23:13
Doug Stankey Doug Stankey is offline
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

Checking into the loss lists in “The Allied Convoy System” by Hague, I find no reference to any of those ships which can only mean that they were not part of any convoy.

Checking with “Bomber Units of the Luftwaffe” find the following statuses of all bomber units potentially available for attacks on shipping on or about 18, 19 December 40:

I./K.G. 1 – removed from ops in early December 1940
II./K.G. 1 – in Germany converting to Ju 88
III./K.G. 1 – night attacks on UK

I./K.G. 2 – night attacks on UK.
II./K.G. 2 – night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 2 – night attacks on UK

I./K.G. 3 – night attacks on UK
II./K.G. 3 – night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 3 – night attacks on UK

I./K.G. 4 – mine laying at Malta and Suez
II./K.G. 4 – night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 4 – not existing at this time

I./K.G. 26 – night attacks on UK
II./K.G. 26 – night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 26 – night attacks on UK

I./K.G. 27 – night attacks on UK
II./K.G. 27 – night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 27 – night attacks on UK

I./K.G. 28 – not yet existing
II./K.G. 28 – no longer existing
III./K.G. 28 – no longer existing

I./K.G. 30 - virtually inactive
II./K.G. 30 - night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 30 – in training

I./K.G. 40 – some recce off Ireland – few a/c available.
II./K.G. 40 – not formed yet
III./K.G. 40 - not formed yet

I./K.G. 51 – night attacks on UK
II./K.G. 51 – night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 51 – night attacks on UK

I./K.G. 53 - night attacks on UK
II./K.G. 53 - night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 53 – night attacks on UK; Gruppe largely out of ops

I./K.G. 54 - night attacks on UK
II./K.G. 54 - night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 54 – not existing at this time

I./K.G. 55 – night attacks on UK
II./K.G. 55 - night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 55 – night attacks on UK

I./K.G. 76 – in Germany converting to Ju 88
II./K.G. 76 – night attacks on UK with part of Gruppe in Germany
III./K.G. 76 – night attacks on UK and preparing to stand down.

I./K.G. 77 - night attacks on UK
II./K.G. 77 - night attacks on UK
III./K.G. 77 - night attacks on UK

KGr. 100 - night attacks on UK
KGr. 126 - night attacks on UK, while being redesignated I./K.G. 28
KGr 606 – night attacks on UK
KGr 806 – no info!

I./LG 1 - night attacks on UK
II./LG 1 – night attacks on UK
III./LG 1 – transferring to the Mediterranean

Thus it appears that there are few realistic possibilities as the units were generally doing night attacks on cities. Attacking ships is a more difficult and specialized day mission compared to trucking bombs to cities at night.
I therefore conclude that it could only be I./K.G. 40 that did the deed, although we have no specific record of such an attack.

I hope this helps!
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Old 29th April 2008, 23:49
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

I would be wary about quoting 'Bomber Units...'-the book is good but not exhaustive as to operations. KuFlGr 506, KuFlGr 106 and 1/KGr 126 (in the process of becoming I/KG 28) carried out torpedo attacks about this time but I will check in the Einzelmeldung to see if there is such a record. I/KG 40 is a possibility but a Heinkel III is different to a FW 200!
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Old 30th April 2008, 00:23
Mark McShane Mark McShane is offline
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

Thanks Doug & Chris, the reference of the HE 111 comes from a newspaper interview at the time of the attacks, so it may not be 100% accurate.

In another book reffering to these attacks "Storm Passed By" by Allen, he mentions that some of the attacks around the Irish coast and Irish may have been carried out by Ju88 aircraft belonging to KGr806. Maybe this helps a bit in identifying the aircraft.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 30th April 2008, 01:12
Doug Stankey Doug Stankey is offline
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

The main limitation of our book was that we do not have comprehensive coverage. While it is possible that we missed some information from some source, we had used multiple sources to try to eliminate or at least minimize errors. Fundamentally, we had tapped every accessible source, but this still left us with some gaps.

I looked at our notes on I./KG 28 which in fact used He 111s for mine laying in the Irish Sea and St. George's Channel at about this period, but these missions were flown at night and they would in any case be unlikely to directly attack ships with mines! For He 111s or Ju 88s to a attack ships in this region would mean a long flight around British air space or to take a chance crossing it in daylight, and these possibilities seem unlikely. Condors of I./KG 40 does seem to be the most likely possibility.
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Old 30th April 2008, 09:00
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

Doug: I should have noticed you were the co-author! I did some research on maritime ops in my book Sea Eagles (I am surprised that Classic did not point you in their direction). In respect of KGr 126/I/KG 28, one Staffel (1/KGr126) was engaged in mining ops but then in Nov, began experimental torpedo ops from nantes-their first loss being 9 Nov to a 236 Sqn Blenheim. However, I will delve deeper as to these dates
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Old 30th April 2008, 09:20
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

....and I/KG 40 it is.

On 18 Dec 40, a Condor (not He 111) took off at 0602 hrs and at 1020 hrs (0920 hrs UK time) in PlQ 15W/6454 (east of Dublin) attacked a 3500T ship with a SC 250, hitting the ship and the crew then jumped. At 1100 hrs, a little further north, they reported attacking the Cambria (which fired back with MG fire).

The following day, a Condor took off at 0506 hrs and at 1145 hrs in PlQ 15 W/7224 (50 km south of Carnsore Point) attacked a 1200 ton ship (which they acknowledge was from the "Leighthouse Service") with 4 x SC250s hitting and sinking it. They then flew north to the Solway Firth, then back south passing 30 kms east of Dublin.

Not a torpedo attack and not a He 111!
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Old 30th April 2008, 10:21
Mark McShane Mark McShane is offline
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

That's exceleent Chris, thanks for this.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 30th April 2008, 17:29
bill norman bill norman is offline
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

Chris,
Are the Einzelmeldung to which you refer freely available? If so, from where and at what cost?

Doug,
What are the publication details of your book Bomber Units of the Luftwaffe?
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Old 30th April 2008, 18:14
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Re: Attacks On Shipping December 1940

Bill: BA (as usual). I will email you
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