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D/S Rudolf

To Rudolf on the "Ships starting with R" page.

A picture (when named Småland) is available on this external page (click in it to enlarge).
See also this external page.

Owner: Skibs-A/S Sandøy.
Manager: S. A. Larsen & E. Thorvildsen, Oslo.
924 gt
Signal Letters: JMCD

Delivered in Apr.-1893 from Wood, Skinner & Co., Newcastle on Tyne (43) as Skeffington to J. O. Scott & Co., Newcastle. 941 gt, 589 net, 1400 tdwt, 62.16 x 9.74 x 4.37m, 3 cyl. tripple steam engine, 500 hp (North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Newcastle). Sold in 1899 to Fisher, Renwick & Co., Newcastle, no name change. Purchased March 28-1901 by Ångfartygs AB Tirfing (Axel Broström), Gothenburg, registered Apr. 19 as Småland. At the death of Axel Bromström Sept 21-1905, Dan Broström took over. In March 1915 owner became Einar Stensrud, Skien, renamed Rudolf. Sold that same year to A/S Rudolf (Olsen & Ugelstad), Oslo. Sold in 1935 to F. Blick, Oslo. Sold in 1937 to S. A. Larsen & E. Thorvildsen, Oslo, no name change. (This info was received from Torsten Hagnéus, and is from a Swedish source).
(According to Norske Veritas, she was owned 1935 by A/S Rudolf [Olsen & Ugelstad)], Oslo, from 1936 by Skibs-A/S Skåbu [Paul Blich, Nanset, Larvik], Oslo, until 1939, when owner became Skibs-A/S Sandøy [S. A. Larsen & E. Thorvildsen], Oslo).

Captain: T. Bøtger.

Rudolf rescued 16 survivors from D/S Gimle on Dec. 7-1939 and landed them in Arendal.

 Final Fate - 1939 (Norway still neutral): 

Torpedoed and sunk by U-46 (Sohler) on Dec. 21-1939, position 58 07N 01 32E, when on a voyage from Gothenburg to the U.K. in ballast. A personal diary, written by an engineer on Borgholm and added to my Norwegian Warsailor Stories page states that 6 of the survivors were taken to Antwerp aboard Biarritz. They had sailed 150 miles in their lifeboats, but he does not know anything about the other lifeboat. According to "Skip og menn" (Birger Dannevig) 9 survivors from Rudolf were picked up by D/S Bjerka.

(A visitor to my website has told me that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" says she was mined 110 miles east/northeast of Rattray Head, Scotland).

Related external links:
Operations Information for U-46


Back to Rudolf on the "Ships starting with R" page.

 A Swedish Rudolf: 

The Minnehallen in Stavern website lists a Swedish ship by this name, sunk off the coast of England (date given as Dec. 5-1939). 1 of the casualties was a
Norwegian engineer. Klaus Olsen Krossvoll is commemorated (may have been a stoker). These dates are so close together, and the circumstances so similar to the Norwegian Rudolf, that I've been wondering if this might be one and the same ship, but Bob Baird and Jan-Olof, visitors to my site have cleared this up for me. Since there was a Norwegian on board at the time, I'll add their information here:

The Swedish Rudolf departed West Hartlepool on Dec. 2, 1939 on a voyage to Malmö with a cargo of 2760 tons of coal. Crew 23, Captain Bertil Persson. At 23.15hrs on 2 December 1939 she was torpedoed by U-56 (KL Wilhelm Zahn) in AN5134=56 15N 01 25W (the time is given as 00:15 hrs by Swedish source). The torpedo struck Rudolf in the stern, and her whole after end was blown away taking with it 9 of her crew who were off watch and asleep (8 were Swedish). Two lifeboats were launched, with 6 in the starboard boat, 8 in the port boat. The 2 boats stayed with the sinking vessel until it sank at around 01:15 hours (Swedish source). Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Mona was launched to search for survivors. Bob says they were later picked up and taken to Dundee by a trawler, while Jan-Olof's source says the 6 in the starboard boat were picked up by the trawler Cardew of West Hartlepool at around 23:00 hours on the 3rd, and the other boat was sighted by the Swedish steamer Gunlög at around 06:00 hours on the 4th, adding that the survivors were landed in Newcastle.

At the time of her loss Rudolf was thought to have been sunk by striking a mine, but the survivors confirmed that she was in fact torpedoed and gunned. The Hydrographic Department has recorded the Rudolf at 56 15 00N 01 23 30W. It was thought that she might have been the source of food washed up around the mouth of the Tay.

Less than an hour before torpedoing the Rudolf, Zahn had also torpedoed the British steamship Eskdene (Capt E.J. Niblett), which had become detached from Convoy HN 3 in a gale, but she was kept afloat by her cargo of timber. She was found on the 6th by a Norwegian steamer - says that 29 survivors were picked up by the Norwegian Hild, but does not agree that the abandoned ship was found by a Norwegian steamer; see the external link provided below.

Related external links:
The attack on Swedish Rudolf


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