BuilderDanziger Werft AG
Slip/Drydock NumberIII
Launched1 Apr 1939
Commissioned7 Sep 1941


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Michel Operational Timeline

13 Mar 1942 German armed merchant cruiser Michel departed Vlissingen, the Netherlands in the evening, escorted by 9 minesweepers and 5 torpedo boats.
14 Mar 1942 6 British motor torpedo boats and 3 motor gunboats unsuccessfully attacked German armed merchant cruiser Michel off Dover, England, United Kingdom at 0300 hours. At dawn, British destroyers HMS Blencathra, HMS Calpe, HMS Fernie, HMS Walpole, and HMS Windsor led motor torpedo boats for another attack; Michel was able to escape once again with slight damage and 1 killed, while HMS Fernie and HMS Walpole were also damaged.
20 Mar 1942 German armed merchant cruiser Michel departed La Pallice, France for the South Atlantic.
18 Apr 1942 German armed merchant cruiser Michel stopped British tanker Patella with gunfire 136 miles east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at dawn, killing 3; the remaining crew of 60 were taken off before the ship was scuttled. German submarine U-136 damaged US tanker Axtell J. Byles 5 kilometers off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States.
23 Apr 1942 Before dawn, German armed merchant cruiser Michel launched torpedo boat LS-4 Esau to attack US tanker Connecticut in the middle of the South Atlantic, which successfully sank the tanker with two torpedoes; 36 were killed, 18 survived. At 2053 hours, German submarine U-125 sank US ship Lammot Du Pont 500 miles southeast of Bermuda; 6 were killed, 48 survived.
20 May 1942 German submarine U-108 sank Norwegian tanker Norland 500 miles east of Bermuda; all 48 aboard survived. Also in the middle of the North Atlantic, U-158 sank British tanker Darina, killing 6 of 56 aboard. In the South Atlantic, German armed merchant cruiser Michel stopped Norwegian ship Kattegat at 1845 hours, captured the crew of 32, and sank the ship.
6 Jun 1942 Speedboat Esau from German armed merchant cruiser Michel damaged US liberty ship George Clymer with a torpedo in the South Atlantic at 0200 hours. Near the Equator in the Central Atlantic, German armed merchant cruiser Stier sank Panamanian tanker Stanvac Calcutta with gunfire (12 were killed, 36 survived and were captured); Stier suffered two hits when Stanvac Calcutta returned fire with her 4-inch gun.
7 Jun 1942 German submarine U-653 sank destroyer USS Gannet 240 miles north of Bermuda at 0742 hours; 14 were killed, 62 survived. US liberty ship George Clymer, damaged on the previous day by speedboat Esau launched by German armed merchant cruiser Michel, was scuttled by British armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara in the South Atlantic; Michel approached to attack HMS Alcantara during the rescue operation, but would arrive far too late. 700 miles southwest of Freetown, British West Africa, Italian submarine Da Vinci sank Danish ship Chile; 5 were killed, 39 survived.
11 Jun 1942 5 miles north of Cuba, German submarine U-157 sank US tanker Hagan 5 miles off northern Cuba at 1010 hours; 6 were killed, 38 survived. German submarines U-569 and U-94 sank British ship Pontypridd 500 miles east of Newfoundland; 2 were killed, 46 survived). U-455 sank British tanker Geo H Jones 500 miles northeast of the Azores islands; 2 were killed, 40 survived. German armed merchant cruiser Michel shelled British freighter Lylepark in the South Atlantic; 20 were killed, 21 survived and were captured, 4 survived and escaped capture. Also on this day, on the US coast, U-373 and U-701 laid mines just at the mouth of the Delaware Bay and off Virginia Beach, respectively, which would cause sinkings in the days to come.
15 Jul 1942 German submarine U-201 attacked British ship Yeoman of Allied convoy OS-33 with torpedoes and gunfire 400 miles southwest of the Canary Islands at 0146 hours; 43 were killed, 10 survived and were rescued by Spanish tanker Castillo Almenara. In the same area, German submarine U-582 sank British ship Empire Attendant, also of Allied convoy OS-33, at 0330 hours; 59 were killed. In the South Atlantic, 1225 miles west of Portuguese Angola, German armed merchant cruiser Michel sank British transport Gloucester Castle with gunfire at 1900 hours; 93 were killed, 61 survived.
16 Jul 1942 German submarine U-161 attacked Allied convoy AS-4 500 miles north of Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands at 1543 hours; the Germans observed two hits, both of which were made on US transport Fairport, which sank with all 123 aboard surviving in two lifeboats and five rafts. In the South Atlantic, German armed merchant cruiser Michel, after shadowing the targets since morning, sank US tanker William F. Humphrey with 3 torpedoes and gunfire at 2100 hours (8 were killed, 40 survived); at the same time, Michel's speedboat Essau damaged the other ship, Norwegian tanker Aramis, with 2 torpedoes.
17 Jul 1942 Whitley aircraft of No. 61 Squadron RAF and Lancaster aircraft of No. 502 Squadron RAF sank German submarine U-751 northwest of Cape Ortegal, Spain, killing all 48 aboard. 1,000 miles West of Angola, German armed merchant cruiser Michel, having pursued since the previous evening, caught up and sank Norwegian tanker Aramis at dusk; 20 were killed, 23 survived and were captured.
14 Aug 1942 South of Saint Helena island, German armed merchant cruiser Michel sank British freighter Arabistan with gunfire; 66 were killed.
10 Sep 1942 German armed merchant cruiser Michel sank US freighter American Leader 850 miles west of Capetown, South Africa before dawn; 11 were killed, 47 survived and were captured by Michel.
11 Sep 1942 German armed merchant cruiser Michel attacked British merchant ship Empire Dawn in the Indian Ocean. Empire Dawn attempted to signal that the crew would abandon ship, but Michel continued to shell the British ship. 22 of Empire Dawn's crew were killed during the sinking; 22 survived and were captured by Michel.

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