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CONFIDENTIAL ISSUED BY THE INTELLIGENCE DIVISION
OFFICE OF CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
NAVY DEPARTMENT
INTELLIGENCE REPORT
 

The successful continuance of the Axis war effort is so closely linked with the German-Japanese exchange of strategics, that even" the most extreme measures may be encountered in the furtherance of this hazardous traffic. This serial is concerned with tactics which have been used, or may be used, by the enemy.

1943 SCORE

Thus far in 1943 seven blockade runners have been sunk on the high seas and one seriously damaged by two torpedoes while entering the Bay of Biscay.

In addition to the damaged runner, one to three others may possibly have completed their homeward runs from the Far East... Only two ships are known to have made successful departures from Biscay this year - and one of these may not be a runner.

TOTAL SCORE TO DATE

Prior to 1943 the Axis made forty successful runs at a cost of nine blockade runners lost. Six of these losses occurred during the last six weeks of 1942... Thus the total score to date is: forty-one runs (possibly 44) vs, sixteen losses.

(A Statistical summary of blockade running to date, plus the present disposition of the most probable blockade runners, is included.)

Distribution by Originator________________________________________
Op-10/11
Op-l6
Op-16-1
Op-16-l-F
Op-l6-FA-3
Op-16-FA-4
Op-l6-FE
Op-16-FL
Op-16-FO
Op-16-P-l
Op-l6-P-2
Op-l6-P-4
Op-l6-W
Op-16-Z
Op-20-G
Op-l6-I
Op-l6-B-5
Cominch (8)
Cominch F-28 (8)
Cinclant (12)
Com 4th Fleet (25)
ComCruDiv.1 (10)
Com Navy No. 921 (12)
Cincpac (10)
ComNorPac (10)
ComSEPac (15)
Com 7th Fleet (40)
Com 3rd Fleet (10)
ComNavEu (10)
ComCaribSeaFron (3)
ComMorSeaFron (20)
ComWestSeaFron (3)
ComPaSeaFron (3)
CAFAC
ComNavNaw
J.I.C.A.-A.F.H.Q.
N.S.H.Q. -Ottawa (2)
D.D.S.D. "Y" Ottawa
A.I.C.SoWestPac (10)
A.I.C. SoPac (5)
C.O.T.C.Lant
C.O.T.C.Pac
B.A.D. (2)
MIS (5)
B.E.W. (2)
U.S.J.I.C.
Alusna:
 London
 Capetown
 Rio de-Janeiro
 Melbourne
 Madrid
 Lisbon
 Wellington

Alusnob:
 Bahia
Recife
Dakar (10)

Aluslo:
 Durban
Kilindini
Colombo
Freetown
Punta Arenas
Gibraltar
Sydney (Austalia)
 
NOB: Bermuda (2)  Iceland (5)
     Trinidad
DIO: 1, 3, 5(2), 6, 7,
      8, 10(3), 14, 15
Naval War College
Comairlant (15)
 (For AirIntel Center)
Port Director, N. Y. (60)
 for distribution to
 escorts of UGF, UGS
 and UGL convoys.

CONFIDENTIAL


1943 SCORE

     1.   Thus far in 1943, eight enemy blockade runners have been intercepted, of which seven were sunk (six homebound and one outbound). The remaining runner reached Bordeaux after being hit by two torpedoes and losing much of its valuable rubber cargo.

NOTE: The homebound PIETRO ORSEOLO was being escorted off the Spanish coast by four DD's when intercepted at 44-37 N. 02-18 W. on April 1st by a U. S. submarine. The night was dark, moonless, and overcast. The USS SHAD made a surface attack at 19.5 knots, firing a spread of 8 torpedoes at 1700 to 3000 yards. Two of the fish hit the runner, and two or three others hit DD's. All enemy ships, however, managed to reach Bordeaux.

     2.   This damaged runner, PIETRO ORSEOLO, is the only one known to have completed a successful run this year, although the BURGENLAND, and possibly one or two other ships from the Far East may have arrived in European ports unobserved.

     3.   Of outbound ships, only two are known to have made successful sorties from Biscay Bay - the OSORNO, which by now should be in the Indian Ocean - and the ALSTERUFER, which may have reached the Sea of Japan, or may be operating in the Atlantic as a mine-layer, supply ship, or hit-and-run raider. (NOTE: This vessel is only 2,729 g.r.t., and has a speed of 17 knots.)

1943 CARGO LOSSES

     4.   The loss of the six homebound runners meant a cargo loss to Germany of 45,850 tons, made up of the following sorely needed strategics: 25,500 tons of rubber; 15,300 tons of whale-oil, fish-oil, vegetable oil and gallnuts; 4,000 tons of tin; 450 tons of tungsten and about 600 tons of miscellaneous cargo including rice, tea, quinine and opium.

     5.   As against these losses, Germany is known to have brought in one ship load of rubber (less than 4,000 tons), and possibly from 4,000 to 10,000 tons of cargo on other ships as yet unreported.

TOTAL SCORE TO DATE

     6.   Prior to 1943, the Axis lost nine blockade runners but succeeded in making 40 successful runs (22 outbound with valuable cargoes of heavy machinery, tools, dyestuffs, optical goods, and chemicals - 18 homebound with rubber, tin, tungsten, fats, and drugs for Germany's war machine).

NOTE: Of the above 40 runs, 3 were made by outbound tankers. The only homebound tanker was intercepted and sunk. Several merchant ships, however, have brought in fluid cargo in drums and specially-constructed tanks.

CONFIDENTIAL


 


     7.   With one run (possibly four) completed since January 1, 1943, the total score now stands at 41 (possibly 44) completed runs, against which the Axis has lost the 16 blockade runners listed below:

1941 Losses

ELBE - sunk June 8, 1941 while homebound by aircraft 900 miles NW of Cape Verde Islands.

ODENWALD - captured in the South Atlantic, November 7t 1941, by the USS OMAHA, while homebound masquerading as a US mership.

1942 Losses

SPREEWALD - sunk while homebound January 31, 1942, at 46-00 N. 28-48 W. by an Italian submarine.

ANNELIESE ESSBERGER - intercepted by the USS MILWAUKEE and scuttled while outbound November 21, 1942, at 00-54 N. 22-34 W.

RAMSES intercepted by Dutch and Australian cruisers; shelled and scuttled while homebound November 21, 1942, at 23-00 S. 99-05 E.

UCKERMARK (ex-ALTMARK -Tanker) - destroyed November 30, 1942 by the great explosion and conflagration in Yokohama harbor.

NANKIN (ROSSBANK, LEUTEN) - destroyed November 30, 1942 in Yokohama by fire.

CORTELLAZO - sunk while outbound December 1, 1942 about 500 miles West of Cape Finisterre by escorts of an outbound convoy.

GERMANIA (Tanker) - scuttled and left ablaze December 15, 1942 at 45-05 N. 15-30 W. after being intercepted, while outbound, by HMS TANATSIDE.

1943 Losses

RHAKOTIS - intercepted and sunk by HMS SCYLLA while inbound at 45-01 N. 10-50 W. on January 1, 1943.

HERBORG (HOHENFRIEDBURG - Tanker) - intercepted and sunk, while homebound, February 26, 1943, at 41-45 N. 20-58 W., by HMS SUSSEX.

DOGGERBANK (ex-SPEYBANK) - sunk while homebound about 31 N. 37 W. on March 3, 1943, by an unknown submarine (probably Axis). (U-43, captained by Oblt. Hans-Joachim Schwantke)

KOTA NOPAN (KARIN) - intercepted and scuttled, while homebound, at 07-00 S. 21-00.W., on March 10, 1943, by USS EBERLE.

REGENSBURG - intercepted, while homebound, March 30, 1943, by HMS GLASGOW and sunk in Denmark Strait.

SILVA PLANA (IRENE) - intercepted and sunk while homebound, on April 10, 1943, at 43-18 N. 14-30 W., by HMS ADVENTURE.

PORTLAND - intercepted and sunk, April 13, l943, by the French cruiser GEORGES LEYGUES at 06-12 N. 21-45 W., while outbound.

Raider Losses

     8.   In addition to the above blockade runners, the enemy has also lost three raiders: KORMORAN, sunk November 19, 1943 by HMS SYDNEY; SANTA CRUZ (RAIDER "E"-#10), destroyed by the Yokohama explosion, November 30, 1942; and CAIRO (RAIDER "J"-#23), believed sunk September 27, 1943 by STEPHEN HOPKINS.(Cairo had been renamed Stier - See Serial 77-43, 'Raider "J"' for more information)

 


PRESENT LOCATION OF BLOCKADE RUNNERS

     9.   At the present time the Axis still has 17 blockade runners that have made one or more successful trips between Europe and the Far East during the current war. In addition to those, 32 other Axis ships are suitable in every way for this highly hazardous trade. Of the 49 "most probable runners" 22 are tankers and 27 are merchant ships. Their present disposition follows:

IN BAY OF BISCAY

   Merships
ELSA ESSBERGER 3
KULMERLAND 1
HIMALAYA
FUSIJAMA 1
MUNSTERLAND 1
TANNENFELS 2
DRESDEN 2
KERTOSONO
NORDVARD
PIETRO ORSEOLO 3 # (ARNO)

   Tankers
NORDMEER
ANTARKTIS
NORD ATLANTIC
SPICHERN *
MAX ALBRECHT
REKUM
PALMYRE
PASSAT (STORSTADT) *
POLYKARP (LE LOING)
SCHLETTSTADT
MONSUN (SANDEFJORD)
CANADOLITE (SUDENTENLAND)
BRITISH ADVOCATE
WILHELM A. RIEDMANN
KARABISCHESMEER
ERMLAND *

 

OUTWARD-BOUND

   Merships
OSORNO 2
ALSTERUFER***

IN FAR EAST OR HOME-BOUND

   Merships
RIO GRANDE 3
TEISEN MARU (URSULA RICKMERS) 2
HAVELLAND 1
RAMB II 1
PERSEE (PIERRE LD)
WESSERLAND (ERMLAND) 2 **
BELGRANO 1
EUGENIE LIVANOS (GR)
BURGENLAND 4

   Tankers
BRAKE 1
CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN 1
MADRONO
WINNETOU
TANKER "Y"
TANKER "Z"

(Captured merships in Fair East)
AMERICAN LEADER      INDUS
ARABISTAN           STEEL AGE
EMPIRE DAWN          WICHITA

1-2-3-4-number of completed runs.
* Possible use as raider or supply ship for U-boats.
** Left Sunda Strait February 7th; should have arrived in Europe.
*** May be mine-layer, raider or supply vessel.
# Arrived at Bordeaux early in April, damaged by 2 torpedo hits.

     10.  POSSIBLE BLOCKADE RUNNERS. Any of the following vessels are also suitable in size, speed, and bunkerage for blockade running.

Captured Merships

ALMENA (Dan.)
AUSTRALIEN (Br.)
TOBELO (Du.)
HAURAKI (Br.)
RHEA (Du.)
TOENDJOEK (Du.)
MUINAM (Dan.)
ST. MARTINE (Dan.)
PRES. HARRISON (U.S.)
ST. MATHILDE (Nor.)
VOLGOLES (Russ.)

Captured Tankers
MASSIS (Fr.)
JASPIS (Nor.)

 

German Merships
now in Baltic

STELLA POLARIS
TULANE
BUKAREST
TAI PING
TARONGA
TOGO

 

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

Merships missing but
possibly in enemy hands

CARVANA (Russ.)
DON ESTEBAN (U.S.)
LAKE OSWEYA (U.S.)
NINGPO (Swed.)
NORVANA (U.S.)
VOLRATH THAM (Swed.)
VANCOUVER ISLAND (Br.)
FORT MUMFORD (Br.)

Tankers missing but
possibly in enemy hands

AUGUSTINA (Du.)
OLYMPIC (Pan.)
RANJA (Nor.)
ANGLO MASRSK (Br.)


SOURCE:
Record Group 313, Commander of Battleships & Cruisers, Pacific Fleet, Blue 361
National Archives & Records Administration, College Park

Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.

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