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D/S Svinta

To Svinta on the "Ships starting with S" page.

Manager: William Hansen, Bergen
1267 gt

Built in Alblasserdam in 1916.

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 Final Fate - 1940 (Norway still neutral): 

With a cargo of pulp for Preston, Svinta is listed in Convoy HN 10B from Norway to the U.K. in Febr.-1940 - follow link for more convoy info; several Norwegian ships took part.

On March. 20-1940, she was attacked by German aircraft and damaged in the North Sea - Convoy ON 21. According to A. Hague, she had sailed from Kirkwall that same day. See also my page about Convoys attacked by aircraft, which says (among other things), "6 Heinkels attacked the 15 ships on their way eastwards from Kirkwall to join ON 21. 3 of the Heinkels were driven off by 2 Skuas, which were with this section of the convoy. At 19:15 that evening, 15-20 bombs were dropped, damaging 3 ships, which put in to Kirkwall. One of them, the Norwegian Svinta had to be towed by the tug St. Mellons".

Some (old) sources say she was torpedoed the next day by U-57 (Korth) and sunk, Copinsay bearing 40° 4.75 m, however, there's now some disagreement on this. Jürgen Rohwer says that U-57 did not report an attack on March 21. He suggests U-22 (Jenisch) may have given Svinta a coup de grâce on the 21st, 4.8 n. miles east of Copinsay, Orkneys, adding that the U-boat was lost on March 23 in position 57 30N 9 00E. But it looks like U-22 could not have been the culprit either; according to Roland Berr's response to a query on the forum (both are external links), it would have been impossible for U-22 to have been in the area where Svinta was lost.

A visitor to my site has told me that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" says Svinta was abandoned by the crew in 59N 02W following the aircraft attack, taken in tow by a tug and headed for Orkney, but a single torpedo sank her 4.75 miles NE by N of Copinsay (this source also gives U-57).

Jan-Olof, Sweden, says in this posting to my own forum that "the explosion which sank the vessel occured at 22:10 hours on March 20. She was under tow by the tug St Mellons at the time. The wreck lies in position 58 59N 02 35 30W. This according to Bob Baird's "Shipwrecks of the North of Scotland". So, perhaps she had struck a mine?

There were no casualties. One of my Norwegian sources ("Skip og Menn", Birger Dannevig) says the survivors were picked up by D/S Cygnus (also in Convoy ON 21) but I'm wondering if this is a mix-up - ref. my text for Tora Elise, unless Cygnus picked up survivors from Svinta as well as Tora Elise?

According to U-57 sank on Sept. 3-1940 at Brunsbüttel, after an accidental collision with the Norwegian steamship Rona, but was raised that same month, repaired and returned to service in Jan.-1941.

For info, U-57 has also been credited with the attack on Miranda earlier that year, but again, there's some disagreement - follow the link for more details.

Related external links:
U-57 | Claus Korth
U-22 - According to, this U-boat went missing March 27-1940 in the North Sea, exact position unknown, possibly lost by a mine. 27 dead (all hands lost).

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