Convoy SC 94

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Convoy SC 94
Part of Battle of the Atlantic
U-210 PA-037443.jpg
U-210 photographed from Assiniboine's deck, 6 August 1942
Date 5–10 August 1942
Location North Atlantic
Result German tactical victory
Belligerents
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Canada Canada
Poland Poland
War Ensign of Germany 1938-1945.svg Germany
Commanders and leaders
VADM D F Moir
LCDR A. Ayer RNR[1]
Admiral Karl Dönitz
Strength
35 freighters
3 destroyers
6 corvettes
19 submarines
Casualties and losses
11 freighters sunk (50,780GRT)
61 killed/drowned
2 submarines sunk
46 killed/drowned
42 captured

Convoy SC-94 was the 94th of the numbered series of World War II Slow Convoys of merchant ships from Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, to Liverpool.[2] The ships departed Sydney on 31 July 1942[3] and were met by Mid-Ocean Escort Force Group C-1 consisting of the Canadian River class destroyer Assiniboine with the Flower class corvettes Battleford, Chilliwack, Dianthus, Nasturtium, Orillia, and Primrose.[4]

Background[edit]

As western Atlantic coastal convoys brought an end to the second happy time, Admiral Karl Dönitz, the Befehlshaber der U-Boote (BdU) or commander in chief of U-Boats, shifted focus to the mid-Atlantic to avoid aircraft patrols. Although convoy routing was less predictable in the mid-ocean, Dönitz anticipated that the increased numbers of U-boats being produced would be able to effectively search the area with the advantage of intelligence gained through B-Dienst decryption of British Naval Cypher Number 3.[5] However, only 20 percent of the 180 trans-Atlantic convoys sailing from the end of July 1942 until the end of April 1943 lost ships to U-boat attack.[6]

Discovery on 5 August[edit]

U-593 reported the convoy on 5 August and torpedoed the Dutch freighter Spar.[7]

Attack of 6 August[edit]

Assiniboine's Type 286 radar spotted U-210 in a heavy fog on 6 August. The destroyer closed on the contact and briefly spotted the submarine twice before losing her in the fog. The submarine reappeared crossing the destroyer's bow at a range of 50 yards (46 m), and both ships opened fire. The range was too close for Assiniboine's 4.7-inch guns to engage, but her .50-calibre machine guns shot up the submarine's deck and conning tower. This kept the Germans from manning their 88-millimetre (3.5 in) deck gun, but the 20-millimetre (0.79 in) flak gun was already manned and firing. It punched holes through the destroyer's plating that set some petrol tanks on the deck afire and disabled 'A' gun. The destroyer was unable to ram U-210 until the rear 4.7-inch gun hit the conning tower, killing the entire bridge crew and the .50-caliber machine guns were able to silence the flak gun. This caused Lieutenant Sorber, the senior surviving officer, to order the submarine to dive, but this meant that she had to hold a straight course while doing so. Assiniboine was able to take advantage of this and rammed U-210 abaft the conning tower whilst she was diving. This caused the electric motors to fail, damaged her propellers and led to water entering the submarine, as a result of which Sorber ordered the ballast tanks to be blown and the submarine to be abandoned. The destroyer rammed her again when U-210 resurfaced, dropped a pattern of depth charges set to detonate at shallow depth and hit her one more time with a 4.7-inch shell before the submarine finally sank.[8]

Attack of 8 August[edit]

U-379 torpedoed the British freighter Anneberg and American freighter Kaimoku on the afternoon of 8 August while U-176 torpedoed the British freighters Kelso and Trehata and Greek freighter Mount Kassion.[9] Three undamaged ships were abandoned in the resulting panic.[7] One of them, the British freighter Radchurch, was later torpedoed by U-176.[7] The Thornycroft type flotilla leader Broke and the Polish destroyer Blyskawica arrived to reinforce the escort as Dianthus left the convoy to repair damage incurred while ramming and sinking U-379.[7]

Attack of 10 August[edit]

U-438 torpedoed the Greek freighter Condylis in daylight on 10 August while U-660 torpedoed the British freighters Cape Race, Empire Reindeer and Oregon.[9] The remainder of the convoy reached Liverpool on 13 August.[2]

Ships in convoy[edit]

Name[10] Flag[10] Dead[9] Tonnage (GRT)[10] Cargo[9] Notes[10]
Aghios Spyridon (1905)  Greece 3,338 Grain Survived this convoy and convoy SC 104
Anneberg (1902)  United Kingdom 0 2,537 3,200 tons woodpulp Sunk by U-379 8 Aug
Bifrost (1923)  Sweden 4,949 Flour
Boston City (1920)  United Kingdom 2,870 General cargo Survived this convoy, convoy ON 127, convoy SC 104 & convoy SC 122
Brisk (1923)  Norway 1,594 Flour & general cargo
Cape Race (1930)  United Kingdom 0 3,807 13 passengers, 3,979 tons lumber & 1,040 tons steel Sunk by U-660 10 Aug
Castilian (1919)  United Kingdom 3,067 General cargo Veteran of convoy HX 84
Condylis (1914)  Greece 9 4,439 6,924 tons grain & trucks Sunk by U-660 & U-438 10 Aug
Daleby (1929)  United Kingdom 4,640 General cargo
Drakepool (1924)  United Kingdom 4,838 (in ballast) Survived this convoy and convoy SC 122
Empire Antelope (1919)  United Kingdom 4,945 General cargo Survived to be sunk 2 months later in convoy SC 107
Empire Moonbeam (1941)  United Kingdom 6,849 Phosphates Survived to be sunk the following month in convoy ON 127
Empire Reindeer (1919)  United Kingdom 0 6,259 5,950 tons woodpulp & general cargo Sunk by U-660 10 Aug
Empire Scout (1936)  United Kingdom 2,229 Grain Ship's master was convoy vice-commodore
Hagood (1919)  United States 6,866 Diesel
Illinoian (1918)  United States 6,473 Mail & general cargo
Inger Lise (1939)  Norway 1,582 Lumber Survived this convoy and convoy SC 104
Ingerfem (1912)  Norway 3,987 Iron ore Survived this convoy and convoy SC 104
Kaimoku (1919)  United States 4 6,367 US Army stores Sunk by U-379 8 Aug
Kelso (1924)  United Kingdom 3 3,956 2,000 tons ammunition & 2,618 tons general cargo Sunk by U-176 8 Aug
Mars (1925)  Netherlands 1,582 Flour Survived this convoy and convoy SC 104
Melmore Head (1918)  United Kingdom 5,273 General cargo Veteran of convoy SC 7; survived to be sunk 4 months later in convoy ON 154
Mount Kassion (1918)  Greece 0 5,273 9,700 tons general cargo Sunk by U-176 8 Aug
Mount Pelion (1917)  Greece 5,655 General cargo Survived to be sunk 2 months later in convoy SC 107
Norelg (1920)  Norway 6,103 General cargo
Oregon (1920)  United Kingdom 11 6,008 1 passenger & 8,107 tons general cargo Sunk by U-660 & U-438 10 Aug
Osric (1919)  Sweden 1,418 Timber
Panos (1920)  United Kingdom 4,914 Coal
Penolver (1912)  United Kingdom 3,721 Grain & general cargo
Radchurch (1910)  United Kingdom 0 3,701 Iron ore Abandoned undamaged & sunk by U-176 9 Aug
Spar (1924)  Netherlands 3 3,616 Mail & 4,900 tons general cargo Sunk by U-593 5 Aug
Trehata (1928)  United Kingdom 31 4,817 3,000 tons steel & 3,000 tons food Carried convoy commodore VADM D F Moir DSO; sunk by U-176 8 Aug
Tynemouth (1940)  United Kingdom 3,168 Lumber & steel Survived this convoy, convoy SL 125 & convoy ON 154
Veni (1901)  Norway 2,982 Steel & woodpulp Survived this convoy & convoy ON 154
Willemsplein (1910)  Netherlands 5,489 Iron ore Survived this convoy & convoy ON 127

See Also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Milner pp.142-147
  2. ^ a b Hague 2000 p.133
  3. ^ Hague 2000 p.135
  4. ^ Milner 1985 p.285
  5. ^ Tarrant p.108
  6. ^ Hague pp.132, 137-138, 161-162, 164, 181
  7. ^ a b c d Rohwer & Hummelchen 1992 p.153
  8. ^ Douglas pp.505-507
  9. ^ a b c d Hague 2000 p.137
  10. ^ a b c d "SC convoys". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 

References[edit]

  • Douglas, W. A. B.; Sarty, Roger; Michael Whitby, Robert H. Caldwell, William Johnston, William G. P. Rawling (2002). No Higher Purpose. The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, 1939–1943. 2, pt. 1. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell. ISBN 978-1-55125-061-8. 
  • Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-019-9. 
  • Milner, Marc (1985). North Atlantic Run. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-450-9. 
  • Rohwer, J. and Hummelchen, G. (1992). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-105-9. 
  • Tarrant, V.E. (1989). The U-Boat Offensive 1914-1945. Arms and Armour. ISBN 978-1-85409-520-6.