Platon Alexiades Posted November 5, 2019 Report Share Posted November 5, 2019 (edited) Due to problems in posting on the previous thread, I had to start a new one: From Francesco De Domenico (14): Dear Platon, I see on Forum-Marinearchiv that you state that URGE was lost on the minefield MT 13 laid by the Kriegsmarine 3. S-Boote-Flotilla. According to Gerhard Huemmelchen, "Die deutschen Schnellboote im Zweiten Weltkrieg", Mittler, 1996, page 85, MT 13 was laid by the Flotilla, operating from Augusta or Porto Empedocle, on 19 April 1942, just eight days before the loss of URGE. So there was no time to sweep it clean.The Flotilla at the time was made up with S 33, S 31, S 34, S 61, S 35, S 55, S 54, S 57, S 56, S 59, or ten boats in all. Six of them were deployed on the occasion, four loaded with mines and two more acting as escorts.S 31 was lost off Malta on 10 May 1942 by striking a mine and S 34 on 17-18 May 1942 hit by Malta shore batteries and sunk by air attack. Answer: Dear Francesco, You are quite correct. The six boats you mentioned as carrying the operation were actually seven: S 61, S 58, S 54, S 56, S 33, S 34 and S 31 [S 59 was docked for repairs]. They sailed from Augusta at 2000/19 April and the minelaying occurred at 0217-0234/20 April in seven parallel lines of varying length but I do not know which boat laid the fatal mine. The length of the mooring cable used was 150 metres. As you wrote, there was no time to sweep the field. In fact, all the minesweepers in Malta had either been sunk or disabled by aircraft attack and this was the reason for the evacuation of the Tenth Flotilla to Alexandria as the searched channels could not be swept. A few boats, such as tugs, were put to use in an effort to locate mines but they could not do the work of minesweepers. All the best, Platon Edited November 5, 2019 by Platon Alexiades Francesco De Domenico and Naumachos 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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