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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.

Photographs/Maps Contributions

HMS Rajputaana (F 35) sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean, 13 Apr 1941British motor merchant vessel Beacon Grange sinking after being struck by German submarine U-552, south of Iceland, 27 Apr 1941

Timeline Contributions

Hugh Martyr has also contributed 684 entries in the WW2 Timeline. A small sample of his timeline contributions is shown below.

» 6 Jul 1942: The 1,376-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Hero en route from Beirut in Syria-Lebanon to Port Said in Egypt in ballast was struck by two torpedoes from German submarine U-375 (Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Köenenkamp) at 0526 hours. The first hit the bow of the ship and was followed 30 seconds later by the next at the stern. The vessel disintegrated and was gone to the bottom within 40 seconds 10 miles west of the coast of Palestine. Fourteen men who had been on the deck at the time of the attack survived, either being blown over the side or jumping into the sea. Four Norwegians, two British and 24 Chinese crewmen died for a total of 30. The survivors were picked up by an escort vessel after two hours in the sea clinging to wreckage and taken to Jaffa, Palestine. The master, Erling Nielsen was one of them rescued but he died on board the rescue ship, increase the total death count to 31; Nielsen had been unconscious when he was taken on board and in spite of efforts to revive him for two hours he could not be saved. The other injured were all taken to a hospital in Jaffa. The British Gunner Frank Pottinger had a bad cut on his thigh and ended up having his leg amputated, the other British Gunner John Greighton had injured his back. The remaining four Europeans left the hospital that same evening, while the 6 Chinese survivors, who suffered from burns, cuts and bruises remained. The wreck being close to the coast was blown up and removed in Mar 1944. The 3rd Officer, Finn Kjellevik was later on the steam merchant D/S Storviken when it was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese on 1 Oct 1943. He was taken prisoner and survived many ordeals until being freed in Tokyo ant the end of hostilities.
» 11 Feb 1941: British submarine HMS Triumph (Lieutenant Commander W. J. W. Woods, RN) departed from Valetta, Malta for her 11th war patrol. She was to proceed to the Gulf of Salerno to pick up a group of airborne commando troops participating in Operation Colossus, near the mouth of the River Sele. The pick up was cancelled when it was feared that the Italians might intercept the submarine.
» 28 Feb 1942: At 1117 hours German submarine U-156 (Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartenstein) began to shell the unescorted and unarmed steam 7,017-ton tanker Oregon, which was steaming 130 miles north of Mona Passage, north of the Dominican Republic. The first shell struck the starboard side in the quarters of the master and the second struck near the bridge, destroying the radio shack and killing the master and the men on watch on the bridge. The tanker went out of control turned hard to port at 6 knots, colliding slightly with the forecastle of the German submarine before stopping. Most of the eight officers and 28 crewmen abandoned ship in one lifeboat in calm seas, leaving on the starboard side while the port side was taken under fire. Four others were thrown over dove overboard and found safety on a raft. The submarine circled and shelled the ship for 75 minutes, in between only with the anti-aircraft guns as the Germans had to repair the deck gun during the engagement after the counterweights fell off and then fired the last available rounds for the deck gun and the 37mm anti-aircraft gun into the waterline at point blank range. Altogether 58 rounds of 105mm, 304 rounds of 37mm and 101 rounds of 20mm ammunition were expended during the attack. Small fires broke out on the bridge, in one of the fuel tanks and on the stern and eventually a boiler exploded but the cargo of 78,000 barrels of naval fuel never caught fire. The submarine did not wait for the burning tanker to sink and left the area without questioning the 30 survivors who made landfall on the Dominican coast.
» 3 Feb 1940: The 6,805-ton British steam merchant Armanistan carrying a mixed cargo of 8,500 tons including chemicals, iron rails, zinc and sugar to Basrah, Iraq was spotted in Convoy OG-16 when passing west of the river Tagus, Portugal by German submarine U-25 (Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze). The Armanistan was torpedoed and sunk, the crew reached the lifeboats and were taken on board the Spanish merchant ship Monte Abril and taken to the island of Tenerife of the Canary Islands.
» 25 Jul 1944: Sorties were flown by aircraft of III KG/3 again during the night, in all 18 aircraft took off to launch V-1 flying bombs on England, United Kingdom. One aircraft, Heinkel He 111 5K+GT of 9 Staffel flown by Unteroffizier Günter Rohne, hit a high communication mast near Eindhoven in the Netherlands and blew up; there were no survivors. London and the counties of Hertfordshire and Essex were again hit but only light casualties were reported. 96 Squadron RAF lost a Mosquito XIII aircraft and the crew when the aircraft failed to return to RAF Ford. It was thought that the plane was hit by friendly fire when returning from the anti-diver patrol. Read More

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Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944