Sakariassen, Gudmund Harlof

Født: Lista - 27 september 1917

Bosted: Listeid, Lista - Farsund kommune.

Død: 22 februar 1941

Gudmund Harlof Sakariassen var pumpemann ombord i D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, som ble tatt av en tysk kaper 2. februar 1941 på vei fra Bahrein til Lourenco Marquez. Ble såret under trefningen og tatt om bord på kaperen hvor han døde 22. februar s.å.

Kildene forteller:

Krigsseilerregisteret skriver:


Vedkommende er registrert med Listeid, som etternavn i Londonregisteret. Det riktige etternavn synes å være SAKARIASSEN. Jfr. flere andre registre.

Våre falne skriver:

SAKARIASSEN, GUDMUND HARLOF, smører og pumpemann, Lista. Født 27. september 1917 i Lista, s. av Conrad Sakariassen, f. 1873, og Anna Andreasdatter, f. 1875, begge i Lista. Var pumpemann på d/t Ketty Brøvig som ble tatt av en tysk kaper 2. februar 1941, på vei fra Bahrein til Lourenco Marquez. Ble såret under trefningen og tatt ombord på kaperen hvor han døde 22. februar s. å.

Februar 1941:

D/T ”Ketty Brøvig” ble kapret den 2 februar 1941av den tyske hjelpekrysser "ATLANTIS" (KzS Rogge) utenfor Madagaskar i pos.S 04.50', E 50.00' på reise Bahrain til Lorenco Marques med 6370 tonn fyringsolje og 4125 tonn diesel. 1 person omkom noen dager senere av de skader han fikk under kapringen. I de neste dagene leverte man bunkers til ""ATLANTIS"", krysseren""ADMIRAL SCHEER""og forsyningsskipet ""TANNENFELS""

Mars 1941:

Ble D/T ”Ketty Brøvig” senket av tysk mannskap for å unngå å bli tatt igjen av de allierte krysserne HMS ""LEANDER"" og HMS ""CANBERRA"" den 4/3 i pos. S04.50' E 56.00' utendor Saya de Malha. (D/T ”Ketty Brøvig” ble ikke senket med en gang. Hun fortsatte å seile under tysk kommando i Det indiske hav og bunkret flere tyske skip, bl.a. lommeslagskipet ADMIRAL SCHEER. I mars 1941 kom allierte krigsskip overraskende over KETTY BRØVIG mens et tysk fartøy tok inn bunkers, og tyskerne senket begge skipene med sprengstoff.) skriver:

Departed Bahrein on Jan. 21-1941 for Lourenco Marques with estimated arrival about Febr. 8. Captured by Atlantis, disguised as the Norwegian Tamesis west of the Seychelles, position 04 30S 50 50E on Febr. 2-1941.

D/T ”Ketty Brøvig” was shelled, and some of her crew injured; she had no armament on board. Captain Møller, 1st Mate Martin Ramsland, 3rd Mate Olaf Knudsen and 4th Engineer Gudmund Listeid were taken on board the Atlantis, while 2nd Mate Jens Egelund Aarnes, Chief Engineer Abraham Abrahamsen, 2nd Engineer Alfred Larsen, 3rd Engineer Daniel Nedrebø, Steward Jon Tønnesen and 32 Chinese crew had to stay on board D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, along with a German prize crew.

With her cargo of 6370 tons fuel oil and 4125 tons diesel oil, she subsequently served as a fuel depot for the German ships in the Indian Ocean. On Febr. 12 some of the prisoners were transferred from Atlantis to the supply ship Tannenfels, which took them to France, arriving April 20. They were subsequently sent home to Norway. The others stayed on D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, which continued serving as fuel depot for other German ships in the Indian Ocean.

It appears the Norwegian chief engineer, or possibly the captain, had a narrow escape at some point in Febr.-'41, when one of the Chinese crew members, Ching You went after him with a meat cleaver, in response to being reprimanded for dumping garbage out his porthole.

The chief engineer stated at the subsequent maritime hearings that 3rd Engineer Nedrebø and 4th Engineer Listeid were both injured in the initial attack, as they were on deck at the time; the former in the shoulder, the latter in the leg (knee cap shot away) and forearm. The doctor from Atlantis, when visiting Ketty Brøvig later on to see to a sick man, had told the chief engineer (who had remained on D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”) that Listeid would probably get a stiff knee from his injuries. However, he's listed in "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig" (Maritime Hearings from WW II) as having died shortly after the attack. "Nortraships flåte" says 1 of the officers died on board the Tannenfels. Statements at the hearings indicate that Captain Møller, 1st mate Ramsland and 3rd Mate Knudsen were transferred from Atlantis to another raider (this must have been Tannenfels?) and sent to a German controlled port, then to Germany where they were briefly interned before being sent home to Norway. There's no mention of the wounded 4th engineer in connection with this information.

The memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway (link at the end of this text) commemorates a Pumpman Gudmund Harlof Sakariassen - he may of course, have died in a separate incident - however, the Norwegian text states that 1 Norwegian died en route to France aboard Tannenfels.

According to statements at the hearings, only the chief engineer and the 2nd mate were initially kept on board Ketty Brøvig, but the 2nd engineer and the steward came back to the Norwegian ship that same evening. 3rd Engineer Nedrebø came back 10 days later after having been treated for his wound aboard Atlantis.

On Febr. 14 the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer was replenished from D/T ”Ketty Brøvig” about 100 n. miles from the northernmost point of Madagaskar, and by this action the Norwegian vessel enabled Admiral Scheer to stay at sea, far away from the German bases, and attack shipping north of the Mosambique channel.

On Febr. 26 Admiral Scheer was again supplied by D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, before withdrawing to the Atlantic Ocean. British Naval forces had now been alerted and initiated a search across the oceans. The Australian cruiser Canberra met up with the cruiser Leander from New Zealand near the Seychelles on March 3 and they headed east together.

The next day, March 4 they encountered D/T ”Ketty Brøvig” with the German supply ship Coburg alongside (escaped from Eritrea). The remaining Norwegians from D/T ”Ketty Brøvig” had just been transferred to this ship, in order to go to France.

The Germans attempted to scuttle the ships (04 50S 56E) after all on board had been ordered to the lifeboats.

According to "Nortraships flåte" Coburg was shelled and set on fire, while an aircraft from Canberra dropped 4 bombs close to D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”. The pilot observed that people were about to go in the lifeboats, and that D/T ”Ketty Brøvig” was about to sink, so he went down on the water, swam over to the ship for a quick survey, gathering up all the documents he could find. He then swam back to the aircraft and signalled to Canberra that D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, could possibly be saved if attempts were made immediately. Leander then came to the scene to keep an eye on Coburg, while Canberra sent people over to D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, but found she could not be salvaged afterall so the attempt was abandoned. D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, was then shelled in order to make her sink more quickly. 10 minutes after Coburg had gone down, D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”  also sank.

From a visitor to my website I've received an excerpt from a book entitled "HMAS Canberra" by Alan Payne, which gives an account of the above incident as seen from Canberra's point of view, and might further clarify the situation. This book says that Canberra and Leander had in fact parted company in the afternoon of March 4, and that it was Canberra's aircraft that spotted Coburg and D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, that day.

The report from the aircraft stated: " Two unknown types of ships bearing 117 degrees 45 miles from position".

The enemy was reported as an armed raider in company of a tanker. Canberra subsequently sighted the 2 ships, steering westwards. Captain Farncomb's report is included in this book, saying: "Sighting must have been mutual for at 16:54 the tanker altered to the southward. The tanker was ordered by V/S to steam North and the other ship first to stop, and to steer South. These signals were ignored, at 17:05 I ordered a warning salvo to be fired ahead of the Merchant ship. This warning was also ignored and I therefore decided to engage the enemy and opened fire at 17:06, 1/2 at about 21,100 yards.

At this stage I was still under the impression that the enemy was an armed raider, as reported by the aircraft, and though she did not immediately reply to my fire, I considered that this was due to the fact that we were outside of his maximum range. I also thought it possible that he would withold his fire in the hope that Canberra would close and present a favourable torpedo target. HMAS Canberra was therefore manoeuvered to keep the range over 19,000 yards."

The captain's report goes on to say that the enemy ship was seen to be burning abaft the bridge a few minutes later, and that the returning aircraft reported that the fire was initially due to scuttling action, and started at the time of Canberra's warning salvo. Captain Farncomb says: "

At 17:20 an explosion was observed on board the tanker well aft. It was subsequently established that this was scuttling action and that HMAS Canberra's aircraft had dropped warning bombs in the tanker's wake."

The report also mentions Lieutenant C. V. S. Malleson R.N., the observer on the aircraft, who was the one who swam over to Ketty Brøvig after the Walrus had landed near her.

Malleson later reported: "I regret that the sensible course of action of using the rubber dinghy did not occur to me, and for my own peace of mind I did not see the several sharks that were cruising round until I was safely back in the aircraft".

This book excerpt repeats what is found in "Nortraships flåte" with regard to his boarding D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”, and his suggestion of placing a salvage party on board, adding from the captain's statements: "Malleson had done it again very much to Leading Telegraphist E. M. Hutchinson's concern, who recorded: 'She was obviously sinking, so Malleson instructed me to cover the boats with our bow Lewis gun while he stripped to his underwear and swam over to D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”,......

The plane and the boats were brought alongside Canberra who interned the German element under guard'. The Chinese crew of 33, free again were naturally highly delighted." Captain Farncomb says the "German element" consisted of 17 officers and ratings.

According to this account Leander did not appear on the scene until 18:38 and was requested to stand by Coburg while Canberra sent the salvage party on board D/T ”Ketty Brøvig”,, but before Leander could reach the German ship it sank at 18:50 and the crew was picked up by the New Zealand cruiser. D/T ”Ketty Brøvig", meanwhile, took longer to sink so Captain Farncomb ordered her sunk by gunfire at close range.

However, it appears he was less than happy about the results, saying: "The 'shoot' of the 4th March was an excellent rehearsal for the real thing, with the added advantage that the enemy was unable to profit by our errors." Canberra had fired 215 rounds of 8-inch ammunition "an extraordinary expedition considering both enemy ships promptly took scuttling action.

As there can be little doubt that Canberra's fire control was reasonably accurate, the only explanation would appear to be that delayed action shells were used in error".

More mistakes were to follow the next day when Canberra's aircraft reported an enemy pocket battle ship (believed to be Admiral Scheer), and course was altered to head for this enemy with the intent of attacking with torpedoes at nightfall.

At the same time, all British warships (including Leander) in that area of the Indian Ocean altered course in the direction of the reported position. But in the end, the "enemy" sighted turned out to be Leander, which had parted company with Canberra that morning.

The 2 cruisers sailed together again during the night of March 6th/7th and arrived Port Louis, Mauritius on the morning of the 8th, where the Norwegian, Chinese and German survivors were handed over to the military authorities. With the Dutch M/S Tegelberg the 3 engineers were sent to Cape Town on March 28, with arrival Apr. 4. The maritime hearings were held there on Apr. 17-1941, with Chief Engineer Abrahamsen, 2nd Engineer Larsen, and 3rd Engineer Nedrebø appearing. 2nd Mate Aarnes and Steward Tønnesen travelled to Durban from Mauritius.

Kilder: Krigsseileregisteret, Våre Falne, Minnehallen i Stavern og


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