OTDIH 31 July 1943

70-years ago today…

The bloody U-boat war dragged on:

U-572 (Oblt. Heinz Kummetat), a Type VIIC U-boat on its ninth war patrol, repelled an Allied air attack east of Trinidad.

U-199 (Kptlt. Hans-Werner Kraus), a Type IXD U-boat on its first war patrol, was sunk by a US Navy Martin PBM Mariner aircraft from VP-74 in the South Atlantic east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There are 12 survivors from the crew of 61 and these are picked up by USS Barnegat (AVP-10).

HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C. H. Brooks, RAN commanding) picked up 6 survivors from the British merchant ‘Cornish City’ that had been torpedoed and sunk on 29th July.

In the Pacific:

USS Pogy (Lt. Cdr. George Herrick Wales, USN commanding), a Gato-class submarine on her second war patrol, torpedoed and sank the Japanese aircraft transport Mogamigawa Maru (7469 GRT) northwest of Truk.

USS Saury (Lt. Cdr. A. H. Dropp, USN commanding), a Sargo-class submarine on her seventh war patrol, was rammed by a Japanese escort in the Philippine Sea and, sustaining damage, was forced to return to Pearl Harbor.

HMCS St. Catherines (K 325), a River-class frigate built at Yarrows Ltd in Esquimalt, British Columbia was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy, Lt. Cdr. Herbert Coates Reynard Davis, RCNR commanding.

USS Aspro (SS-309), a Balao-class submarine built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine was commissioned into the United States Navy, Lt. Cdr. Harry Clinton Stevenson, USN commanding.

USS Young (DD 580), a Fletcher-class destroyer built at Consolidated Steel in Orange, Texas was commissioned into the United States Navy, Lt. Cdr. George Bernard Madden, USN commanding.

USS Young (DD 580) off Charleston, South Carolina, 18 October 1943.

“Even a 400-metre ship in a typhoon is at the mercy of the elements.”

She’s a big ‘un all right.

The biggest ship in the world

The Maersk ‘Triple-E’ container ship is the biggest vessel in the world. But what goes into building the ultimate engine of commerce?

Big, they say, is beautiful. Whether you apply that principle to cargo ships depends how much you like winches, grease stains and enormous, smoke-belching funnels. But, beautiful or not, the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller is a landmark in engineering.

A quarter-of-a-mile long, 195ft wide — equivalent to an eight-lane motorway — and 240ft high, the vessel, which began its maiden voyage earlier this month, is the biggest ship in the world.

Its sole purpose is to plough the trade route between Asia and Europe, bringing us millions of products manufactured in China, Malaysia and Korea, before returning, rather lighter, with exports from the West.

No ship has ever been able to carry so many goods in one journey; the Mc-Kinney Møller has room for 18,000 containers, each of them 20ft long, 8ft wide and 8ft high. That’s enough space for 36,000 cars or 111 million pairs of trainers. But Maersk, the ship’s Danish owner, will not just benefit from the economies of scale that spring from operating such a large vessel; it will also save money on petrol.

The ship has been designed to sail at an average of only 16 knots – a system known as “super slow steaming” – which is expected to save the company around £750,000 in fuel on a typical journey between Shanghai and Rotterdam.

It will still emit egregious amounts of pollution – cargo ships use a form of high-sulphur fuel, banned on land, that has been linked to cancer, heart disease and coastal erosion.

But, instead of burning 214 tons a day, the Mc-Kinney Møller will burn a slightly less-damaging 150 tons, which Maersk executives insist is a step in the right direction. The slow speed also reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

Over the next two years, Maersk is overseeing the construction of another 19 similar vessels, forming a class of ship it calls “Triple-E” dedicated to the Asia-Europe route.

The captain of the third Triple-E will be David Johnstone, from Wishaw, in Lanarkshire, a Harley-Davidson fanatic who has been skippering container ships for 24 years.

On the day I spoke to him he had just returned from Belfast where he’d visited an exhibition about another big ship – the Titanic.

Was that necessarily the best preparation for his new job?

Johnstone insisted it was. “The Titanic has fascinated me for 40-odd years. I’ve got books on the Titanic, I’ve got a 3ft print of the Titanic on my wall. I went to the exhibition with 40 other bikers and they thought it was hilarious to get me to pose in the souvenir shop with a captain’s hat.

“But, when it came to the exhibition itself, I went round on my own. The story reminds you that no ship is impregnable. Even a 400-metre ship in a typhoon is at the mercy of the elements.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/10203784/The-biggest-ship-in-the-world.html

Kenya jails 9 Somali pirates over attempted hijack

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.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/30/us-kenya-somalia-piracy-idUSBRE96T0V120130730

OTDIH 24 July 1943

70-years ago today…

The U-boat war dragged on:

British steam merchant Fort Chilcotin (Master John Kerr) carrying 9103 tons of rock crystal and iron ore was torpedoed and sunk by U-172 (Kptlt. Carl Emmermann) on her 5th war patrol off Bahia, Brazil. There were 4 dead (from the watch below) and 53 survivors who took to boats. The survivors were picked up on 29 July (5-days in open boats, think about that) and taken to Rio de Janeiro.

Swedish tanker Pegasus (Master T. Andersson) carrying 12,855 tons of motor spirit was torpedoed and sunk by U-197 (KrvKpt. Robert Bartels) on her first war patrol southwest of Madagascar. The survivors took to boats and were rescued after a week at sea.

British steam merchant Henzada (Master William Innes McIntosh) carrying 2095 tons of chemicals was torpedoed and sunk by U-199 (Kptlt. Hans-Werner Kraus) on her first war patrol approx. 100-miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There were 2 dead and 62 survivors who took to boats. The survivors were picked up by the Panamanian motor tanker Baltic.

The unreliability of US Navy torpedoes was highlighted:

US Navy Gato-class submarine USS Tinosa (SS-283), Lt.Cdr. L.R. Daspit commanding, torpedoed and damaged the Japanese oiler Tonan Maru No.3 (19210 GRT) west of Truk. Although the Tinosa fired 15 torpedoes, only 10 hit… and only 2 exploded. The remainder were duds.

A successful day for HM Submarines:

HMS Unrivalled, a U-class submarine, Lt. Hugh Bentley Turner, RN commanding, sunk the Italian auxiliary minesweeper R 172 / Impero (68 GRT) with gunfire off Amantea, Italy.

And now entering the fray:

USS Cabot (CVL 28), an Independence-class light fleet carrier, was commissioned into the United States Navy. The Cabot would go on to receive a Presidential Unit Citation and 9 battle stars for World War 2 service.

USS Cotton (DD 669), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was commissioned into the United States Navy. The Cotton would go on to receive 9 battle stars for World War 2 service and 1 for Korean War service.

Inside the engine room of the “World’s Largest Ship”

Photos from the engine room of the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller.

The Maersk Line has ordered 20 of these Triple E class beasts which have 18,000 TEU capacity and will be too big for the new Panamax locks, but is inside the Suezmax requirements.

Episode 7: “Photos from the engine room (in Port of Ningbo, China)”

Dear all,

Hereby another update from the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller.

We arrived in Ningbo on 20 July at 0900hrs in the morning.

Since we had a major event the day before in Shanghai, a smaller event was planned for Ningbo. The vessel received guests on the bridge at 1630hrs, mainly from Ningbo port.

After the speeches and exchange of gifts a vessel tour was conducted. Dinner was arranged in a very nice nearby restaurant. We left Ningbo early sunday morning bound for Yantian. Our ETA for Yantian is 24 July at 0800hrs in the morning.

The crew and I are very much looking forward to a few days at sea, after a very hectic program in Korea and the northern ports of China.

As requested by some of the readers of the blog I have attached photos from the engine room. And – not least – 2nd officer Yaroslav made a panorama photo of the bridge at night time.

Hope you enjoy it.

http://maersklinesocial.com/captains-of-the-triplee-7/