Ships hit by U-boats


Swedish Steam merchant

Mars under her former name Torbjörn. Photo courtesy of Sjöhistoriska Museet, Stockholm

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage1,475 tons
Completed1882 - J. Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields 
OwnerRederi-A/B Wallonia (M. Wedlin), Helsingborg 
Date of attack21 Dec 1939Nationality:      Swedish
FateSunk by U-21 (Fritz Frauenheim)
Position57° 00'N, 0° 20'E - Grid AN 4733
Complement19 (18 dead and 1 survivor).
RouteLeith - Vinga - Malmö - Stockholm 
History Completed in August 1882 as British Waterloo for W.D.C. Balls. 1913 sold to Sweden and renamed Torbjörn for J. Persson & Co. 1924 renamed Mars for Rederi-A/B Wallonia (M. Wedlin), Helsingborg. 
Notes on event

At 06.50 hours on 21 Dec 1939, U-21 spotted two steamers with lights set but saw no national markings. At 07.25 hours, the first ship, the Mars (Master Emil G. Gustafsson), was hit by one torpedo and sank within 90 seconds east-northeast of May Island. At 07.42 hours, the second ship, the Carl Henckel, was hit by one torpedo and stopped, but remained afloat and sank immediately following a coup de grâce at 10.16 hours. One survivor from the first and seven survivors from the second ship were picked up the next day by the Hop and taken to Kristiansand.


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