Ship ClassType VII-class Submarine
BuilderDeutsche Werke Kiel
Slip/Drydock NumberIII


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1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
27 Jul 2020 12:38:44 AM

n the 8th of January 1942, HMS Somali and HMS Matabele were ordered to join the escort of Arctic Convoy PQ8 bound for Murmansk. After refuelling these two Tribal Class Destroyers sailed from Seidisfiord, Iceland, two days later. On 17th January the convoy had almost reached its destination when the freighter, SS Harmatris, was torpedoed by a U-boat – the damage causing extensive flooding in the hold. The remainder of the convoy soon arrived in harbour, with Harmatris some distance astern, under tow and escorted by the destroyers. During that dark and bitterly cold night, just off Kola Inlet there was a blinding flash – and nothing more. Somali got some sort of Asdic contact on U-454, but the depth charge gear was badly frozen up and the counter-attack was ineffective. Meanwhile three men had been picked up from the sea by the minesweeper HMS Harrier. They told their rescuers that Matabele had sunk in two minutes with many of its crew, who had abandoned the ship, being quickly frozen to death in the icy waters.

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