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Salamis ottobre 1944

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A Greek friend needs assistance in identifying a vessel in a floating dock found at Salamis after the Germans evacuated Greece. Two floating docks were sabotaged, the smaller one was only damaged and the larger capsized apparently with a former Italian destroyer TA-15 (ex Francesco Crispi) or TA-17 (ex San Martino). I think the one in the photo is a smaller vessel and perhaps refers to the small floating dock.


Anyone has a clue as to the identity of the ship in the photo?


Many thanks.





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She could be UJ  2107, the former Greek passenger steamer MILOS of the Hellenic Coast Lines, ex MOSCHANTHI TOGIA (1922 to 1932) , 598 grt/1895, built by D. W. Henderson & Co. at Glasgow as the yacht CATANIA for the Duke of Sutherland. She had been under complete conversion in the German Salamis yard since 14.12.1942 when hit there by British air attack on 15 Sept. 1944, a total loss. She had fallen into German hands on 27.4.1941 in Piraeus/Mikrolimano and was renamed 12 V 7 at first as a patrol ship, then renamed UJ 2107 as an intended subchaser on 15.4.1942.

Another possibility is UJ 2172, the ex KT 29 (KriegsTransport) MANNHEIM, sunk in Salamis yard by RAF air attack.

Tomorrow a couple of photos.

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From the Dimitris Galon database about Greek ship losses in WWII posted on Historisches-Marinearchiv.


The first photo shows UJ 2107 MILOS at Piraeus on 25.8.1942 behind the escort vessel/torpedoboat PEGASO. In the second, UJ 2107 is shown behind the well known UJ 2104, the ex Norwegian whalecatcher DARVIK ex KOS XXIII. In the third UJ 2107 is in the foreground.




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According to Groener, KT 29, foreseen conversion to UJ 108 in the Black Sea not carried out, renamed MANNHEIM of Schiffahrts-GmbH as a cover merchant vessel identity for the Turkish Straits' crossing from the Black Sea to the Aegean on 20 to 31 May 1944, was heavily damaged by a mine on 3. 6.1944 at Burtzi-Enge (wherever that is), towed to  Piraeus to be  repaired on 10.6.1944  as UJ 2172, destroyed by fire at Salamis later in 1944.


P.S. Burtzi-Enge is in the Peloponnesus (or Morea, in Venetian times). Donko writes of her destruction in an Allied air attack on 15.9.1944 on the Salamis yard, where KT 29 had started her fitting out  as UJ 6172, but puts an interrogation mark over Groener's mention of a "burning out".

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Many thanks again to Marco and Francesco for their contribution. Unfortunately I have been unable to find a document at TNA which could have described the state of Piraeus and Salamis after the German evacuation and could have shed some light on the identity of this vessel.


All the best,



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  • 1 year later...

Dear friends, I revert to this old thread as this ship apparently enjoyed a second life.


Sometime ago, I found that in March 1952 a steel cargo ship named AVRA was registered in Piraeus under No.1210. Her specifications were: 998 grt, 552 net, 67.53 x 11.12 m.

It was noted in the register that she was the "former auxiliary of the Navy, under the same name".
AVRA received the call sign SWHK and was re-measured in 1955 as 1207 grt, 690 net. 69 x 11 m.
Her new owner, P. Kandyliotis resold her in 1952 and she changed ownership several times until deleted as having sunk on 14-12-67 off the coast of Egypt in the Red Sea.


At first I thought that the register must made a mistake and she could be a former warship, but not of the Greek Navy. There is no mention of an AVRA commissioned in the Greek Navy at that period.

The Lloyd's register records this AVRA as 62.8 x 11 m and built in 1943. Actually these dimensions are a very close match to the specifications of an LSM. There were also several former landing ships (LCT, LCI, LST) that were auctioned by the state for private use at that period. So, I thought that she must have been a reduntant LSM.


A few days ago, I was going through the pages of an old book when I noticed a sentence concerning the wrecks salvaged postwar in Salamis Base. There it wrote that also salvaged was "a German ship, later named AVRA".
Now, I realised that the dimensions of the KTs were exactly identical to the postwar motorship AVRA.
Apparently the former UJ 2172 was refloated and taken over by the Navy (possibly not commissioned) as AVRA. She was sold off in 1952, re-engined and converted to a motorship and sailed for some more years.
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