Ships hit by U-boats


Dutch Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,419 tons
Completed1930 - P. Smit Jnr., Rotterdam 
OwnerNV Maatschappij ´Vrachtvaart´, Rotterdam 
Date of attack11 Dec 1940Nationality:      Dutch
FateSunk by U-96 (Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock)
Position58° 50'N, 10° 10'W - Grid AM 2618
Complement37 (18 dead and 19 survivors).
RouteSorel (16 Nov) - Sydney (30 Nov) - London 
Cargo7778 tons of grain and 48 lorries 
History Completed in May 1930 
Notes on event

At 20.52 hours on 11 Dec 1940 the Towa (Master W. Smit) in convoy HX-92 was hit amidships on the starboard side by one G7e torpedo from U-96 and stopped. When the ship did not sink after a coup de grâce hit at 21.30 hours, the U-boat began shelling the ship at 22.02 hours. 16 rounds were fired that caused the ship to sink at 22.42 hours. The crew abandoned ship in three lifeboats, but one of them capsized when it was lowered incorrectly, the occupants fell into the sea and drowned. The men in one of the other boats were questioned by the Germans, but they somehow misunderstood the name of the vessel as Dover. The master and four men were picked up by HMS Matabele (G 26) (Cdr R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN), which probably also picked up the remaining survivors and landed them all at Scapa Flow on 16 December.

On boardWe have details of 35 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats