Yet another Merchant ship sunk

The Dutch merchantman Ottoland had almost completed her journey from New Brunswick, Canada when she hit a mine in the North Sea on 5th October 1940. She was already sinking when Coastal Command aircraft arrived on the scene and her cargo of timber and pit props had floated off. Minesweepers were directed to rescue the crew, seen in a boat top right.

The Ottoland was just one of thirteen ships sunk in the week up to the 10th October, at the time it was believed she had been torpedoed. The statistics for ship losses were closely monitored and featured every week in a report to the War Cabinet:

Enemy Attack on Seaborne Trade.

During the period [the week up to 10th October], thirteen ships (32,369 tons) have been reported sunk. Of these, four British (18,141 tons), one Dutch (2,202 tons), and two neutral ships (7,465 tons), were sunk by submarine. Four small ships (1,710 tons) were mined, and two British ships (2,851 tons) were sunk by aircraft. In addition, three British ships (14,418 tons), previously reported as damaged, are now known to be sunk, and three ships (25,418 tons) were destroyed by enemy raiders in the Indian Ocean in September.

The reduction in tonnage lost during this week may be partly due to bad weather.

See TNA Cab 66/12/43

Comments on this entry are closed.

Earlier in the war:

Later in the war: