Re: EMPIRE MARCH
Posted by: Siri
Date: January 10, 2004 02:30PM
I just checked Muggenthaler's "German Raiders of WW II" which agrees with what Billy says, saying it happened in the evening. As Billy says, she had a cargo of iron, tea, peanuts and jute, en route from Durban to Trinidad.
Here's a quote:
"Ruckteschell launched LS 4 and called his men to quarters at 2005. Feuerlaubnis to starboard at 2147. The first salvo knocked out the other ship's bridge and radio. In the next 5 mins. Schwinn's boys smacked the vessel with 64 5.9-inch shells, 16 4.1's, 149 37 mm, and 191 20 mm, and about 80 percent of them were hits". She was an inferno from stem to stern but still moving. Ruckteschell then fired two of his torpedoes (one missed) and two of Esau's (the torpedo boat).
Michel's plane had been seen beforehand, but since it had flown off out of sight to the east as a precautionary measure (where there were British bases from which a plane might have come), it was thought to be a British one at first.
This book doesn't say anything about casualties, other than 3 killed, 25 survivors + the one found when searching for more the following day - all taken aboard Michel and later landed in Singapore, agreeing with Billy's statement about Changi prison (others ended up on the Burma Railway).
(By the way, "our" Captain Duffy [former prisoner on Michel] saw her come in to Tandjoengpriok on Febr. 10 - he was a prisoner of the Japanese at that time. Michel left for Singapore on the 15th, and from there to Kobe on the 20th, with arrival Kobe March 2).