German submarines at sea on this day 7 June during the Battle of the Atlantic:
The two U-Boats still at sea on 7 June 1945, 30-days after VE Day, were U-530 (Oblt. Otto Wermuth) and U-977 (Oblt. Heinz Schaeffer). Both submarines were heading for Argentina.
From the Daily Telegraph: “Signal Codes of British Warships – Mystery at Sheerness – Cleverly-Devised Plot”
“A remarkable incident has recently occurred on board one of his Majesty’s battleships at Sheerness.”
The Torygraph reported the news on 11th March 1914 without reference to which ship was involved. However, the Daily Chronicle reported the battleship as HMS Queen, a Formidable-class battleship built at Devonport and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 7th April 1904. By March of 1914 she was serving as flagship for Vice Admiral Cecil Burney, in command of the Second Fleet and the Third Fleet. The trail is murky, because Reuters reported the battleship to be HMS Caesar, a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought built at Portsmouth and commissioned into the RN on 13th January 1898, then in reserve at Sheerness.
“A number of members of the crew have been detained, pending the result of the investigation which is being carried out.”
Evening Post: “Naval Signalman Sentenced”
A spot of detective work reveals that the culprit was a signalman aboard HMS Ocean (sorry, Reuters), namely one Herbert Hulton, who was identified by “certain finger-prints” left at the scene of the crime. A court martial sentenced Hulton to four years imprisonment.
Now why the blighter took it… anyone care to dig around for the court martial proceedings?
Five years each, less time served. Huh. I’m old enough to remember when “piracy with violence” was punishable by death under the Piracy Act (1837).
Kenya jails nine Somali pirates for attacking German ship
(Reuters) – A Kenyan court in the coastal city of Mombasa sentenced nine Somalis on Tuesday to five years in prison each for attempting to hijack the German merchant vessel MV Courier in the Gulf of Aden in March 2009.
The men were arrested by international anti-piracy forces before being handed over to Kenya to be prosecuted, as Somalia was not considered able to try them properly.
Although the number of attacks has fallen markedly since 2011 thanks to tougher security aboard ships and increased Western naval patrols, piracy emanating from the Horn of Africa nation may still cost the world economy about $18 billion a year, the World Bank said in April.
Prosecutors told the court the men attacked the ship armed with a rocket launcher, an AK-47 rifle, a pistol, a SAR80 carbine rifle, and other weapons.
“The suspects used violence to hijack the vessel, and took control of it, putting in fear the lives of those aboard,” prosecutors said in the charge sheet. Kenyan officials said 18 crew on board survived the ordeal.
The nine suspects were held in custody at one of Kenya’s maximum security prisons during the trial period. They all denied the accusations.
While handing out the sentence, the court noted that the accused had already served a long term in jail while the trial was in progress, and therefore were given shorter jail terms.
“I am satisfied with the evidence presented by the prosecution, which proves beyond reasonable doubt that an act of piracy was committed,” judge Stephen Riech said.
Riech ordered the nine to be deported to Somalia after serving their sentences.
Last month another nine Somalis were handed a similar sentence at the same court, after also being found guilty of hijacking a ship in the Gulf of Aden in 2010.
Billed in English as The Last U-Boat.