Ships hit by U-boats


British Fleet oiler

Type:Fleet oiler (Belgol)
Tonnage2,623 tons
Completed1917 - Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock 
OwnerThe Admiralty (Royal Fleet Auxiliary), London 
Date of attack26 Mar 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-652 (Georg-Werner Fraatz)
Position32° 01'N, 25° 55'E - Grid CO 9214
Complement62 (36 dead and 26 survivors).
RouteAlexandria (25 Mar) - Tobruk 
CargoFuel oil 
History Completed in November 1917 
Notes on event

At 04.37 hours on 26 March 1942 the Slavol (Master George Sydney Perry) was hit on starboard forward by one of two G7e torpedoes from U-652 while steaming on a non-evasive course at 10 knots about 25 miles north of Sidi Barrani, Egypt. The fleet oiler was en route to Tobruk to bring fuel for the 5th Destroyer Flotilla and had been escorted by HMS Jaguar (F 34) (LtCdr L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSO, DSC, RN), RHS Vasilissa Olga (H 86) and HMS Klo (Lt English, RNR), but two hours earlier the U-boat had sunk HMS Jaguar and then attacked the momentarily unescorted ship when the other escorts were busy rescuing survivors from the destroyer. Slavol stopped and settled slowly on an even keel, but exploded and sank quickly after being hit by a coup de grĂ¢ce from U-652 at 04.53 hours. 36 crew members were lost. The master, three officers and 22 crew members were picked up by RHS Vasilissa Olga and landed at Alexandria in the evening.

Revisions August 2014 by Eric Zimmerman:
Newer research shows that the westbound Slavol was sunk by U-652 and not by U-205 as earlier thought. The latter U-boat claimed a hit on an eastbound tanker when hearing a detonation more than 6 minutes after firing a torpedo, the very long running time makes it very unlikely that this was a successful attack. 
On boardWe have details of 37 people who were on board

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