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M/S Brattdal
Updated March 3-2013

To Brattdal on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Crew List

In Cape Town 1937.
Source: Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.
The Australian War Memorial has another picture of this ship (external links).
Another picture is available on this external page (click in the little thumbnail to enlarge)

Manager: Moltzau & Christensen, Oslo
Tonnage: 4968 gt, 2995 net, 8700 tdwt.
Call Sign: LJAC

Delivered from Bremer Vulkan Schiffbau & Maschinenfabrik, Vegesack (713) as Brattdal to A/S Rendal (Moltzau & Christensen), Oslo in Aug.-1935. 414.3' x 55.7' x 25', 5 cyl. 2 TDV MAN DM (builders), 3400 bhp. Owned by A/S Moltzaus Tankrederi (Moltzau & Christensen), Oslo from 1938.

Captain: Kristian Hartvik (later joined Fidelio - see also this external page).

Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Voyage Record
From May-1940 to Apr.-1941:

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 May 12 Port Alberni New Westminster May 12 Independent See also archive document
May 14 New Westminster Chemainus May 14 Independent
May 17 Chemainus Port Alberni May 18 Independent
May 22 Port Alberni Newcastle, N.S.W. June 14 Independent
June 19 Newcastle, N.S.W. Sydney, N.S.W. June 20 Independent
June 27 Sydney, N.S.W. Newcastle, N.S.W. June 27 Independent
June 28 Newcastle, N.S.W. Sydney, N.S.W. June 29 Independent
July 1 Sydney, N.S.W. Melbourne July 3 Independent
July 15 Melbourne Singapore July 30 Independent
Aug. 4 Singapore Colombo Aug. 11 Independent
Aug. 23 Colombo Aden Sept. 3 Independent
Sept. 4 Aden Suez Sept. 11 BN 4 Convoy available at BN 4
(external link)
Oct. 20 Suez BS 7 For Colombo.
Dispersed off Aden, Oct. 28.
Convoy available BS 7
(external link)
Oct. 28 Dispersed from BS 7 Colombo Nov. 5 Independent
Nov. 5 Colombo Fremantle Nov. 19 Independent
Nov. 21 Fremantle Adelaide Nov. 27 Independent
Nov. 28 Adelaide Melbourne Nov. 30 Independent
Dec. 12 Melbourne Sydney, N.S.W. Dec. 14 Independent
Dec. 19 Sydney, N.S.W. Melbourne Dec. 21 Independent
Dec. 24 Melbourne Aden Jan. 17-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 17 Aden Suez Jan. 24 BN 13 Convoy available at BN 13
(external link)
Jan. 26 Port Said Alexandria Jan. 26 Independent
Febr. 7 Alexandria Haifa Febr. 9 Independent
Febr. 16 Haifa Port Said Febr. 17 Independent
Febr. 26 Port Said Suda Bay March 4 AN 16 Convoy available at AN 16
(external link)
March 7 Suda Bay Piraeus March 8 Dates approx.
A. Hague says:
Perhaps joined AN 17
(external ink)
March 9 Piraeus Alexandria March 11 GA 2 Convoy available at GA 2
(external link)
March 14 Alexandria Piraeus March 17 AG 6 Convoy available at AG 6
(external link)
March 21 Piraeus Alexandria March 25 AS 21 (1) Convoy available at AS 21
(external link)
March 26 Alexandria Piraeus March 29 AG 9 Convoy available at AG 9
(external link)
Apr. 1 Piraeus Alexandria Apr. 4 ASF 22 Convoy available at ASF 22
(external link)
Apr. 7 Alexandria AG 11 Detached Apr. 9.
Convoy available at AG 11
(external link)
Apr. 9 Detached from AG 11 Volo Apr. 10 Independent
Apr. 12 Volo Volo Apr. 13 Put back, bombed at Volo Apr. 13, sank Apr. 17.
See "Final Fate" below


Accordingto the archive document, Brattdal was at Taku Bar when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. From there, she proceeded to Vancouver a few days later. It'll also be noticed that she appears to have spent several weeks at Suez that fall.

For info, the following Norwegian ships are also listed in the above mentioned convoys (some listings may be incomplete):
In BS 7 - Svenør and possibly Soli.
In BN 13 - Ada, Alcides, Anna Odland, Ima, Katy, Lynghaug and Temeraire.
In AN 16 - Thelma.
In AG 6 - Thermopylæ.
In AS 21 - Solheim (sunk by aircraft - see Solheim), Thelma and Thermoplyæ.
In AG 9 - Thermopylæ.
In ASF 22 - Thermopylæ.

All these ships are included on this website, see the Master Ship Index for information on them.

 Final Fate - 1941: 

In Admiralty service. Brattdal had departed Alexandria on Apr. 7-1941 with armoured cars and 227 soldiers for Piræus (convoy info in the table above). On Apr. 9, she was ordered to Volo (Crete), where she arrived the next day and proceeded to unload. On Apr. 12, she was told to depart and meet an escort outside the torpedo net that evening, but no escort was to be seen though they searched for it all night, and since they had no destination to go to it was decided to return to Volo for orders, together with the British City of Karachi (it'll be noticed, when going back to A. Hague's Voyage Record above, that this ship had been in the same convoy as Brattdal upon departure Alexandria). They arrived Volo again in the morning of the 13th (see also the archive document).

Shortly afterwards, several German aircraft attacked, and a bomb hit on her after deck between No. 4 and No. 5 holds, going through the shelter deck, the main deck and the "wall" between No. 4 and 5 holds, resulting in a hole of 3-5' in diameter, then exploded beneath No. 4 hold. She developed a heavy list to port, and the crew was ordered to launch and man the lifeboats and get ashore.

Several attempts to get back on board were made that day, but this was impossible until that evening, due to continuous air attacks. At midnight, Brattdal was beached and the crew was about to spend the night on board, but new attacks occurred so they rowed ashore.

On the 15th, they saw another bomb hit their ship, going horizontally down her funnel, but as she was still afloat they went back on board and managed to get her to Oreus Bay. Most of the crew then went ashore and when a new air attack started the next morning the remaining 7 also abandoned ship. On the 17th, attacks from another 3 aircraft finally sank her (in 14 fathoms).

The crew used the lifeboats to row south to Calcis, where they on Apr. 19 boarded a train for Athens, with arrival the next day. By car, train and walking, they reached Aegeos on Apr. 24 and were placed on board the British cruiser Orion on the night of April 26. While being transported to the cruiser in motorboats, the galley boy died(? - see crew list below) when one of the boats turned over and almost everyone on board drowned. The rest of the men from Brattdal eventually reached Alexandria on May 4(?). See also M/T Nordanger.

 An Eye Witness Account: 

In the book "Menn uten medaljer" Einar Nielsen's story is included. He had previously served on the torpedoed Orkanger, and I've included a summary of the first part of his story on my page about that ship. After a rather nerve racking time on board the British M/S Rodi he and his friends Helgesen and Brevik (also originally from Orkanger) decided they needed a "break from the war", so they left Rodi to join Brattdal. His story continues here.

Summary of Einar Nielsen's story:
The 3 friends joined Brattdal on Jan. 29-1941 in the belief she was bound for Australia, and they were very much looking forward to "breathing easy on the waves of the Pacific" for a change, and "do their jobs on quiet days and starry nights, instead of constantly having to fight for life". However, 2 days later they were on their way to Greece, with troops and war materials (compare with archive document). They were going to "sail through the flaming inferno of war yet again, and not on deck where there might be a chance of jumping overboard, but in the engine room!". On Orkanger, Einar Nielsen had been an able seaman, now he was signed on as oiler. Helgesen was 4th engineer, which was his original profession. Nielsen says they lost the convoy on their first trip out, but arrived Suda Bay safely. (He mentions a British pilot, Harry L. Barber who came on board there, who for some reason spoke fluent Norwegian). Various trips back and forth to Piræus and Alexandria with numerous air attacks are described, "bombings from dawn till dusk - how many lives does Nortraship think we have?".

Nielsen agrees they departed Volo on Apr. 12-1941, which was Easter, together with City of Karachi, but when they reached the determined meeting place for the convoy, there was no escort; it had been sunk and wiped out by the enemy, so they returned to Volo. No sooner had they arrived, than wave after wave of attacking German aircraft "with no respect for Easter peace" came over them. Some made an attempt at Brattdal's neighbour, the British Port Halifax, which was at the quay (this ship is also listed in several of the convoys mentioned above, including Convoy AG 11); "they managed to get the quay, but not the ship". City of Karachi, however, was hit (also in AG 11, as already noted further up on this page), and so was Brattdal. She received a bomb aft and immdiately started to sink, but Chief Engineer Arvid Isaksen saved her by closing the watertight bulkheads. Nevertheless, they all left in the lifeboats, but went back on board that evening after having acquired a tug with the intent of beaching her, but another wave of air attacks took place, resulting in the tug departing at full speed, leaving Brattdal floating helplessly on her own. But Isaksen again saved the day by managing to start the engines, whereupon they "limped down Pagasitikos" until they came to the Almira Bay.

Taking their blankets and some food ashore with them they spent the night under some trees, but the next day a mine from an aircraft "landed down the funnel and destroyed all the exhaust pipes". An inspection showed that damages were quite severe but the chief engineer again declared he could get her going and on Tuesday, Apr. 15 they were up and running, reaching Gardiki Bay in the straits of Oreos that evening. Another night with their blankets under some trees, and another morning of waking up to the sound of aircraft, another attack, though no hits on that occasion.

The Greek wanted them gone and so did the Admiralty, but she was in such a bad shape at this point that the chief engineer refused to start her up again. However, the following afternoon, Apr. 17, the Germans solved their problem when yet another air attack finally proved too much for Brattdal and she sank in 20 fathoms of water, with the Norwegian flag waving proudly till the end. They now took to the lifeboats and had a "wonderful trip in beautiful moonshine down through Evoikos, or the Talanta Straits which it's also called, to Calcis near Euripo". From Calcis, they caught the train to Athens which under normal circumstances would have taken 3 hours but took exactly 30 due to air attacks, during which the train stopped and all aboard had to disembark and take shelter the best they could. Once in Athens, they were placed in a camp, but continued on foot a few days later, around Eleusis Bay, below Mount Karata, past St. Dimitrios, St. Giorgios, Megara, Minoa, Kineta, Theodores, Susaki and Kolamaki, to the straits of Chorinth(?), the captain carrying his type writer the whole way (according to Nielsen). The last leg of the journey to Argos was by bus, with the usual "welcoming committee" of air attacks on arrival.

They were told a ship was to come for them that evening, and in the afternoon they headed for the harbour of Nauplion. They were so delayed by the constant air attacks that by the time they reached their destination they found no ship so, tired, hungry, cold and miserable, they spent the night outside again, only to wake up to more "steel falling from the sky". Eventually, the next day they got the news that the British Navy would come to their aid, and they were sent out to the cruiser HMS Orion. (Einar Nielsen mentions nothing about the messboy drowning or a motorboat capsizing on the way out to Orion). They anchored at Suda Bay, but no date is mentioned. Einar Nilsen says "about 2500 years ago Greek culture was said to be resting on 375 Greek ships. What our culture rests on, I can't say, but it's tempting to think of the 1000 Norwegian ships".

A couple of days later, they were placed on a British troop transport, which also carried German prisoners. In the afternoon of May 1, they arrived Alexandria (3 days earlier than stated further up on this page) and that evening, they ended up at a memorial service for themselves. When the "deceased" Nielsen and Helgesen walked in they caused quite a stir. A few days later, they had signed on another ship, the S/S Star of Egypt, eastward bound they were told, but didn't believe it. Helgesen was signed on as carpenter this time, Brevik as ordinary seaman and Nielsen had really advanced, he was the 3rd mate on this ship, which indeed headed east, to the peaceful Pacific, which by the time they got there was a "screaming inferno". (According to A. Hague, Star of Egypt left Alexandria for Port Said on May 10-1941 - later proceeded to Singapore, via Aden and Colombo).

Nielsen ends his story by saying:
"Well, I'm alive, but *Captain Teffre went to heaven Christmas Eve 1941 when his ship exploded. Chief Engineer Isaksen met his fate off Portugal at about the same time and Kåre Moen was shot in a battle with a raider in The Indian Ocean. Olav Brevik disappeared without a trace from a Norwegian tanker on a voyage from The Persian Gulf to Australia and the whaler Ludvig was lost in the Antarctic somewhere, as is fitting. I've never been able to find Helgesen, in spite of several attempts".

The maritime hearings were held in Alexandria On May 16-1941 with the captain, the 2nd mate, the 1st engineer and Ordinary Seaman Ulvestad appearing.

*See the text on my page about Orkanger for details of Captain Teffre's demise. Kåre Moen lost his life when Høegh Silverdawn was captured and sunk by the German raider Michel. The Olav Brevik he mentions is probably identical to Mechanic Olaf L. Brevik who is commemorated (external link) at Stavern Memorial and who was on Bramora when that ship was lost (listed as Olav Dreivik in the original list). Olaf Brevik was a shipmate from Orkanger. In fact, when comparing this list to the crew list for Orkanger, several of the names are the same.

Crew List:
Electrician Randulf Nilsen had previously served on
Arena. After the loss of Brattdal, he joined Soli (sunk), then Storanger and Tai Yang.
Radio Operator Jonassen's subsequent ships are named on
this external page (he was on Minister Wedel when that ship was sunk).
Einar Nilsen
later served on Trondheim until the spring of 1946.
Again, compare this list with the crew list for Orkanger.

Kristian Hartvik
2nd Mate
Erwin Douglas
3rd Mate
Jan Tempe
Radio Operator
Arvid Jonassen
Gunnar Åhndal
Able Seaman
Søren Hågensen
Able Seaman
Kåre Moen
Able Seaman
Reginald Holland
Able Seaman
Arthur Nilsen
Ordinary Seaman
Erik Hansen
Ordinary Seaman
Per Ulvestad
Ordinary Seaman
Sigvart Skotheim
Rolf Andersen
Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Lorang Olsen
1st Engineer
Arvid Isaksen
2nd Engineer
Halfdan Basberg
3rd Engineer
Charles Ducan
Sigve Helgesen
Randulf Nilsen
Olav Johansen
Jarl Vaagen
Einar Nilsen
Rolf Johansen
Aksel S. Pedersen
Bjarne Thorsen
Mess Boy
Goh Ah Sing
Mess Boy
Lee B Chew

Galley Boy
Johannes Gerritt
van Oploo

* The captain stated at the maritime hearings that he last saw the galley boy on the quay in Aegeos on April 26, when they were about to be taken to the British cruiser Orion. He was not seen again, and may have drowned when one of the motorboats transporting them to the Orion capsized.


"No cure no pay" contract to refloat vessel signed September-1950. Refloated Apr. 17-1952 and towed to Piræus. Rapairing May-1952, renamed Oreoi 1953 for Greek owners. Towed to Bremen that summer to be rebuilt. Entered service as North Duchess in the summer of 1954, Liberian flag, 4975 gt. Sold to Germany in 1956 and renamed Ebba Blumenfeldt (Hamburg owners). Renamed Reinhausen in 1959, having been sold to owners in Bremen. Sold to Beirut in Oct.-1960, renamed Elpidoforos. Broken up in China in 1971. This external page has some more detailed information.

Back to Brattdal on the "Ships starting with B" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Menn uten medaljer" A. H. Rasmussen, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), "Lloyd's War Losses, Vol I - British, Allied and Neutral Merchant Vessels Sunk or Destroyed by War Causes", and misc. - ref. Sources / Books.


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