Convoy HX 112
|Convoy HX 112|
|Part of Second World War|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Admiral Karl Dönitz||
escort : Cdr Donald Macintyre
|Casualties and losses|
|2 U-boats sunk||6 ships sunk|
HX 112 was a North Atlantic convoy of the HX series which ran during the battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War. It saw the loss of U-boats commanded by two of the Kriegsmarine's most celebrated commanders and propaganda heroes: U-99 under Otto Kretschmer (POW), and U-100 under Joachim Schepke (KIA).
HX 112 was an east-bound convoy of ships which sailed from Halifax on 1 March 1941, making for Liverpool with war materials. Many of the ships in HX 112 were tankers carrying fuel oil to Britain.
It was escorted by 5th Escort Group which consisted of two destroyers, HMS Walker and HMS Vanoc and two corvettes, and was led by Commander Donald Macintyre of HMS Walker. 5th Escort Group was reinforced on this occasion by an additional two destroyers, in view of the importance of the cargo, and met the convoy as it entered the Western Approaches.
On 15 March 1941 HX 112 was sighted by U-110 commanded by Fritz-Julius Lemp, who sent in a sighting report and commenced shadowing the convoy. He was joined throughout the day by four other boats; U-99 (Kretschmer) U-100 (Schepke) U-37 (Clausen) and U-74 (Kentrat).
On the night of 15th/16th the attack started; U-110 was able to torpedo a tanker, which burst into flames, but survived to reach port; all other attacks that night were frustrated by the activities of the escorts.
Keeping up with the convoy on the surface during the day, the pack tried again as night fell on the 16th.
U-99 managed to penetrate the convoy from the north, on its port side, and sank three tankers and a freighter and damaged another tanker in under an hour. Remaining with the central column of the convoy she sank another freighter 15 minutes later before making her getaway.
Meanwhile, the escorts, searching for U-boats outside the convoy perimeter, found U-100 around 1.30am moving in on the surface. She dived, but Walker attacked with a depth charge pattern at close range. U-100 evaded further damage, and surfaced, to be sighted and rammed by Vanoc just after 3am; Schepke was killed when Vanoc smashed into his periscope structure and U-100 went down with most of her crew.
As this was happening, U-99 was making her escape; she nearly collided with a destroyer in the dark and dived. Picked up on ASDIC by Walker, she was depth-charged and severely damaged. Saving U-99 from being crushed as she sank deeper and deeper, Kretschmer brought her to the surface, where she was fired on by the encircling warships. U-99 was sunk, but Kretschmer and most of his crew were saved, to be taken prisoner.
There were no further attacks on HX.112 and the convoy arrived in Liverpool on 20 March.
Ships in the convoy
Allied merchant ships
A total of 41 merchant vessels joined the convoy, either in Halifax or later in the voyage.
|Ahamo (1926)||United Kingdom||8,621|
|Auris (1935)||United Kingdom||8,030|
|Beduin (1936)||Norway||8,136||Torpedoed by U-99, Wreck sunk by convoy escort|
|Bic Island (1917)||United Kingdom||4,000|
|Black Condor (1921)||United Kingdom||5,358|
|British Commodore (1923)||United Kingdom||6,865||Arrived after collision off Liverpool 20 Mar|
|British Sincerity (1939)||United Kingdom||8,538||Joined Ex BHX 112|
|Chaucer (1929)||United Kingdom||5,792|
|Cistula (1939)||Netherlands||8,097||Joined Ex BHX 112, Straggled 10 Mar 41|
|City Of Oxford (1926)||United Kingdom||2,759|
|Dalcross (1930)||United Kingdom||4,557|
|Diloma (1939)||United Kingdom||8,146||Joined Ex BHX 112|
|Elona (1936)||United Kingdom||6,192||Joined Ex BHX 112|
|Erodona (1937)||United Kingdom||6,207||Torpedoed by U-110|
|Everleigh (1930)||United Kingdom||5,222|
|Ferm (1933)||Norway||6,593||Torpedoed by U-99 16 Mar. Wreck sank 21 Mar|
|Franche-Comté (1936)||United Kingdom||9,314||Damaged by U-99 16 Mar; Storing Hulk|
|Gloucester City (1919)||United Kingdom||3,071||Straggled 10 Mar 41|
|Ixion (1912)||United Kingdom||10,263||Joined Ex BHX 112, Straggled 10 Mar|
|J B White (1919)||Canada||7,375||Sunk by U-99|
|Katendrecht (1925)||Netherlands||5,099||Joined Ex BHX 112|
|Korshamn (1920)||Sweden||6,673||Sunk by U-99 16 Mar|
|Lancaster Castle (1937)||United Kingdom||5,172|
|Margarita Chandris (1920)||Greece||5,401||Straggled 10 Mar|
|Mount Kassion (1918)||Greece||7,914|
|Ocana (1938)||Netherlands||6,256||Joined Ex BHX 112|
|Oilreliance (1929)||United Kingdom||5,666||Joined Ex BHX 112|
|Reynolds (1927)||United Kingdom||5,113|
|Robert F Hand (1933)||United Kingdom||12,197||Joined Ex BHX 112, Straggled 10 Mar|
|San Cipriano (1937)||United Kingdom||7,966||Joined Ex BHX 112|
|Silvercedar (1924)||United Kingdom||4,354||Later torpedoed and lost in Convoy SC 48 on 15 Oct 1941|
|Stad Haarlem (1929)||Netherlands||4,518|
|Tortuguero (1921)||United Kingdom||5,285|
|Traveller (1922)||United Kingdom||3,963||Joined Ex BHX 112. Straggled 10 Mar|
|Trekieve (1919)||United Kingdom||5,244|
|Venetia (1927)||United Kingdom||5,728||Sunk by U-99 16 Mar|
|Westland (1931)||Netherlands||5,888||Straggled 10 Mar, Returned New York City|
|Winamac (1926)||United Kingdom||8,621||Joined Ex BHX 112. Straggled 10 Mar|
A series of armed military ships escorted the convoy at various times during its journey.
|HMCS Bittersweet||Royal Canadian Navy||Flower-class corvette||10 Mar 1941||10 Mar 1941|
|HMS Bluebell||Royal Navy||Flower-class corvette||15 Mar 1941||18 Mar 1941|
|HMCS Fennel||Royal Canadian Navy||Flower-class corvette||10 Mar 1941||10 Mar 1941|
|HMS Norfolk||Royal Navy||County-class heavy cruiser||05 Mar 1941||14 Mar 1941|
|Ranpura||Royal Navy||Armed merchant cruiser||10 Mar 1941||14 Mar 1941|
|HMS Sardonyx||Royal Navy||Admiralty S-class destroyer||15 Mar 1941||19 Mar 1941|
|HMS Scimitar||Royal Navy||Admiralty S-class destroyer||15 Mar 1941||19 Mar 1941|
|HMS Syringa||Royal Navy||Minesweeper||15 Mar 1941||18 Mar 1941|
|HMS Vanoc||Royal Navy||V-class destroyer||15 Mar 1941||20 Mar 1941|
|HMS Viceroy||Royal Navy||W-class destroyer||15 Mar 1941||15 Mar 1941|
|HMS Volunteer||Royal Navy||Modified W-class destroyer||16 Mar 1941||20 Mar 1941|
|HMS Walker||Royal Navy||W-class destroyer||15 Mar 1941||19 Mar 1941|
HX.112 had lost six ships totalling 50,000 tons. However, the loss of two of the Kriegsmarine's successful U-boat commanders and propaganda heroes was a severe blow to the Kriegsmarine offensive. The defence of HX.112, coupled with the successful defence of Convoy OB 293 and the loss of U-boat commander Günther Prien along with his sub U-47 the previous week, marked a minor turning point in the Atlantic campaign.
- ^ a b "Convoy SC.19". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
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