Diamantis crew saved by U-35

Panagos Pateras master of the Greek ship Diamantis gives an account of his encounter with U-35 on 3rd October:

When we were about 40 miles off Land’s End on Tuesday the U-boat came to the surface about 1.30 p.m. The commander hailed us and we stopped. He then told us that he was going to sink the Diamantis. He did not ask for our papers.

He ordered us to abandon ship, but when he saw that the sea was so rough that our small boats could not possibly live in it he took us aboard the submarine. Four of us were taken across at a time, this necessitating seven trips as there were 28 of us. We were not allowed to take our belongings. When we got aboard the submarine three or four torpedoes were fired at our vessel and she sank in about 20 minutes.

Many of us were wet to the skin and the submarine’s crew dried our clothes and gave us hot food and cigarettes. Most of the members of my crew were able to sleep a little although all the time we were wishing that we were out of the submarine. The captain of the submarine spoke English and I was able to talk to him for short periods when he was off duty.

When we had been on board for about 34 hours we came to the surface off the Irish coast at about 5:30 yesterday evening. A collapsible boat was lowered and again seven trips were made to the shore. The submarine remained about 50 yards off the shore, which appeared to be deserted. Immediately the submarine had taken the boat aboard she submerged and that was the last we saw of her.

The crew waved good-bye to us. We were taken charge of by local policemen and the local people looked after us very well.”


A pre-war picture of U-35, still with white painted numerals.

For a complete history of U-35 see u-35.com

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