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D/S Lappen

To Lappen on the "Ships starting with L" page.

Tonnage: 557 gt

Delivered in June-1893 from E. Craigs & Sons, Middlesbrough as Ran to D. S. Meier, Christiania. 557 gt, 333 net, 800 tdwt, 169.8' x 26.9' x 12.7', Triple exp. 68 nhp (Westgarth, English). Purchased in 1914 by Chr. Mathiesen & Sønn, Mølstrevåg and renamed Wendla, registered owner D/S A/S Wendla, Mølstrevåg/Haugesund. Sold in 1932 to A/S J. Mørk-Nikolaisens Rederi, Bergen and renamed Lillian. When she ran aground near Iceland on Sept. 6-1939 she had the name Lappen of Bergen, not sure if she was still owned by J. Mørk-Nikolaisen at that time. She was condemned, but later reentered service.

 Final Fate - 1939: 

Sank about 10 n. miles off Brandasund on Dec. 25-1939 following an explosion when on a voyage Oslo-London with wood pulp. Norway was still neutral at this time. The crew was rescued by the navy vessel Fridtjof Nansen. Cause thought to be war related or possibly sabotage, while Lloyd's Wreck Returns for 1939 lists it as insurance fraud.

Jan-Olof, Sweden has sent me a copy of a newspaper article which appeared in Christiansands Tidene on Dec. 27, stating that several crew members had told the manager of the ship that they were sure a U-boat was to blame (there's no U-boat attack on Lappen mentioned by Rohwer). Before the explosion they had seen a bright light very low on the water, and claimed that as the ship was starting to sink, after they had gotten in the lifeboats, at least 3 shots were fired towards Lappen from the U-boat. Also, the day before they had seen an aircraft which had arrived from the north and circled over them several times. They could clearly see it was a German one before it took off again.

The crew had plenty of time to get in the boats, and no one was injured; the survivors were taken to Bergen.

(The same newspaper clipping has a little snippet about the loss of the British Stanholme. This ship struck a mine in the morning of Dec. 27-1939 according to Rohwer; mine laid by U-33 on Nov. 9. The newspaper states she was sunk without warning by a U-boat with the loss of 14 men, 11 survived, 10 of whom were injured. The survivors had no time to get in the lifeboats, but managed to get on a raft and were rescued by a Norwegian vessel which had heard the explosion and had seen Stanholme sink).

Back to Lappen on the "Ships starting with L" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre gamle skip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, E-mail from Erling Skjold, Norway and Jan-Olof Hendig, Sweden, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War II", Jürgen Rohwer.


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