Ships hit by U-boats


Swedish Steam merchant

Silesia under her former name Nell. Photo courtesy of Danish Maritime Museum, Elsinore

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage1,839 tons
Completed1923 - John Crown & Sons, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland 
OwnerRederi-A/B Sylvia (Albert Billner), Gothenburg 
Date of attack25 Sep 1939Nationality:      Swedish
FateSunk by U-36 (Wilhelm Fröhlich)
Position58° 27'N, 4° 48'E - Grid AN 3181
Complement19 (0 dead and 19 survivors).
RouteGothenburg - Hull 
CargoWood and general cargo, including steel and iron pipes 
History Completed in April 1923 as British Sprightly for Hill Steam Shipping Co Ltd (Witherington & Everett), Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1934 sold to Denmark and renamed Nell for A/S Rederi Albion (Axel Carl), Copenhagen. 1936 sold to Sweden and renamed Silesia for Rederi-A/B Sylvia (Albert Billner), Gothenburg. 
Notes on event

At 05.55 hours on 25 Sep 1939 the Silesia was hit by one torpedo from U-36 and sank 45 miles west-northwest of Egerö Lighthouse, Norway. The ship had been stopped by the U-boat and Fröhlich came to the conclusion that she carried contraband after checking the papers of the ship. The crew was ordered to abandoned ship in two lifeboats, which were then taken in tow by the U-boat and released about 12 miles from the coast. The men in the boats were picked up after three hours by the Suecia and brought to the Egerö Lighthouse. One of the empty lifeboats would not be found until 21 December.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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