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Hugh Martyr

ww2dbaseEver since his school days in the United Kingdom, Hugh Martyr had been interested in history, particularly naval history. His interest in history later expanded to cover the American Civil War and the German V-weapons campaign against London. He is also an re-enactor and organizer of major re-enactment events, including the 200th anniversary of Waterloo event where over 8,000 were on the field. He joined the WW2DB team in 2018.

Latest Contributions

Person: Alexander Marinesko20 Sep 2023 
Document: Otto Schniewind Report on Operation Sea Lion11 Nov 2020 
Document: German OKW Directive on Operation Sea Lion4 Nov 2020 
Facility: Marlag und Milag Nord14 Oct 2020 
Document: Minutes of Meeting Between Adolf Hitler and Erich Raeder23 Sep 2020 
Document: German OKW Directive on War against United Kingdom9 Sep 2020 
Document: Minutes of Meeting Between Adolf Hitler, Erich Raeder, and Wilhelm Keitel19 Aug 2020 
Document: Message from Erich Raeder to Adolf Hitler5 Aug 2020 
Document: Message from Adolf Hitler to Erich Raeder10 Jun 2020 
Document: Minutes of Meeting Between Adolf Hitler, Erich Raeder, and Wilhelm Keitel5 Jun 2020 
Other: The HASAG Company13 May 2020 
Facility: HASAG Leipzig29 Apr 2020 
Ship: Kuala19 Feb 2020 
Ship: Cachalot (Grampus-class)2 Oct 2019 
Ship: Kasuga9 Aug 2019 
Event: Exercise Tiger8 May 2019 
Event: Operation Colossus8 Mar 2019 
Event: Operation Aphrodite and Operation Anvil25 Feb 2019 
Event: V-Weapons Campaign22 Feb 2019 
Other: Die Torpedokrise28 Jan 2019 
Display all contributions

Timeline Contributions

Hugh Martyr has also contributed 881 entries in the WW2 Timeline. A small sample of his timeline contributions is shown below.

» 17 Sep 1944: A German Heinkel bomber was lost when 14 of them took off from Varrelbusch, near Bremen, Germany on a sortie to launch V-1 flying bombs over eastern England, United Kingdom. Unteroffizier Hans J√∂rdens ditched into Lake Braassemermeer in southern Netherlands, the crew survived but the aircraft was written off; it had flown into friendly fire. 9 of the returning aircraft were also damaged by the flak around the Dutch coast. These messages were all picked up on Utlra intercepts. A Mosquito aircraft from 96 Squadron brought down a flying bomb after its launch over the Kent coast of southern England.

» 16 Jul 1945: USS Baya (Lieutenant Commander B. C. Jarvis, USN) detected the 945-ton Japanese coastal patrol vessel Kari in the Java Sea via her SJ radar, beraing 273 degrees at the range of 20,100 yards; she shared this report with USS Becuna. USS Becua attacked at 0210 hours, but all torpedoes with a depth setting of four feet missed the target; this information was shared with USS Baya. Beginning at 0221 hours, USS Baya fired a total of 9 torpedoes, all set at zero depth, at the range of 3,000 yards, scoring one hit. At 0426 hours, two more stern torpedoes were launched, scoring an additional hit right below the funnel. The second hit nearly disintegrated Kari at about 220 nautical miles west-southwest of Makassar of Dutch East Indies.

» 18 Apr 1942: On a passage from Buenos Aires, Argentina for New York, United States via Rio de Janiero, Brazil the 7,417-ton neutral Argentinian motor tanker Victoria with linseed oil was spotted 200 kilometers east of Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States by the German submarine U-201 under command of Adalbert Schnee. A torpedo was launched from the submarine which struck the Victoria on her port side between No.s One and Two holds. The master of the tanker immediately ordered the engines stopped and a distress call to be made, however as the ship seemed not to be settling the crew remained on board. An hour later at 0145 hours Schnee ordered another torpedo to be fired which also struck on the port side near to the bridge, he then surfaced and only then saw that the tanker was a neutral vessel. He immediately reported the mistake to the Commander of Submarines of the wolfpack, who ordered him to submerge and leave the area. The crew abandoned ship after the second hit in two lifeboats which were shortly thereafter separated by wind in the darkness. The distress signal had been picked up by the American Minesweeper USS Owl (AM 2) which was towing the oil barge YOG-38 to Bermuda. She arrived after seven hours and inspected Victoria at dawn; the tanker was lying on an even keel with two gaping holes in her port side. She seemed to be salvageable so a boarding party of eight men was transferred to the tanker and they worked the whole day to start the diesel engines, but the rough seas prevented an engineer that was needed aboard could be transferred during the afternoon. Consequently the men had to remain aboard the next night.

» 7 Apr 1943: The 14,500-ton American tanker Kanawha, waiting for an escort in Tulagi harbour in the Solomon Islands, came under Japanese bomb attack. An oil tank under the bridge was hit which caused fires that spread rapidly along the deck. The crew were ordered to abandon the vessel but volunteers returned on board and extinguished the fires amidst exploding ammunition. 19 lives were lost int his incident. The tug Rail towed the Kanawha to the west side of Tulagi where she was beached shortly before midnight.

» 11 Jul 1940: 1,120-ton converted steam luxury yacht HMS Warrior II was on her way back to Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom when she was seen by a flight of over 50 German bombers. The aircraft attacked in two waves, dropping bombs all around the zigzagging ship. Armed only with a single Lewis machine gun she fought back but was hit by a bomb dropped in the second wave. The bomb went through the decks and Warrior II started to sink. All the crew got away from the ship save for the Chief Steward who had been in the wardroom when the bomb passed through the ship. Warrior II had been built by Fredrick Vanderbilt in 1904 and was then the most luxurious yacht in the world. After almost being wrecked she was sold, she served as HMS Warrior during WW1 and then was used as a hospital ship in the Spanish Civil War, then sold off and then taken over by the British Admiralty. Fitted out with depth charges and a Lewis machine gun she was given the task of escorting British submarines between ports of Portsmouth and Plymouth.

» 25 Nov 1940: German armed merchant cruisers Orion and Komet, supported by supply ship Kulmerland, caught up with 546-ton New Zealand Holm Line coaster Holmwood off of the Chatham Islands 500 miles east of New Zealand. Captain Robert Eyssen of Komet ordered Holmwood to stop and not to use her radio. Holmwood's captain complied to safeguard the lives of the 17 crew and 12 passengers (all from the Chatham Islands) on board, four of whom were women and five were children. The ship was also carrying 1,370 sheep, 1 horse, and a cargo of wool from the island of Lyttelton, New Zealand. Eyssen briefly considered capturing the ship for use as a minelayer, but after realizing the ship's maximum speed was only 9 knots, he decided to sink her. The horse was shot, and then the passenger, crew, and some of the sheep were moved to the three German ships; a number of sheep remained on Holmwood. Komet and Orion then proceeded to fire on Holmwood for 30 minutes until its sinking. While the crews of all three ships welcomed the fresh sheep meat, not surprisingly, in no time at all, they came to detest the taste of mutton.

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