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AtlantikEel
09-20-2007, 11:03 PM
From u-boat.net:

At 19.55 hours on 20 Sep, 1942, U-703 fired a spread of three torpedoes at the HMS Somali (G 33) (LtCdr C. Maud) and saw one hit after 1 minute 32 seconds. The destroyer had escorted the convoy PQ-18 to Murmansk and was now screening QP-14 on her homebound voyage. HMS Ashanti (G 51) had unsuccessfully hunted a U-boat about 20 miles behind the convoy and rejoined at full speed, but was then low on fuel oil. She thus changed places with HMS Somali (G 33) on the inner screen to await a favourable opportunity to refuel. Shortly after taking position in the outer screen, the HMS Somali (G 33) was hit by one torpedo. The explosion blew the torpedo tubes over the side and cut all of the port side main stringers so that the ship was only held together by the upper deck and starboard side as far as the keel. The port engine fell through the bottom of the ship and the engine and gear rooms filled with water. The leaking bulkheads on either side were promptly shored up and seemed to be holding but there was no light or power except from an unreliable auxiliary diesel generator which powered the bilge pumps.
The British rescue ship Zamalek stood-by within minutes after the hit, but she was sent back to the convoy. The HMS Lord Middleton (FY 219) then took off most of the crew and transferred them to other ships. Only a skeleton crew of 80 men were left aboard and all were forbidden to go below except for any critical work. HMS Ashanti (G 51) then took her crippled sister ship in tow, cruising at a slow 7 knots in a flat and calm sea, that was ideal for towing and for revealing periscope wakes. The tow wire parted company, but they managed to rig up a new line and both ships continued to crawl to Akureyri, Iceland. That evening, the dynamo of HMS Somali (G 33) seized up so hand pumps were used for the bilge. These could not cope with the inflow of water so the 17? list increased. With the donation of many electrical cables from other ships, an emergency power umbilical was rigged up from the towing ship to another destroyer and the bilge pumps started operating again, reducing the list to 12?. Power was also available for lighting and cooking as well.
In the night on 23/24 September, the weather was getting worse north of Iceland in 69?00N/15?30W (a distance of 420 miles) and her plates were groaning terribly. In the middle of a snow squall, observers on the bridge of HMS Ashanti (G 51) saw a blue flash behind them. The towline and the electric cable had snapped and a piece of the cable was hanging over the stern. Quickly, a searchlight was brought to bear on the crippled ship. By now, HMS Somali (G 33) had folded in half like a hinge with bow and stern climbing skywards. For a moment, she hung motionlessly; the deckplating then snapped and her bulkheads collapsed. Her stern capsized and sank quickly and the bow went vertically and steadily, only 35 men of the skeleton crew could be rescued.

AtlantikEel
09-20-2007, 11:03 PM
From u-boat.net:

At 19.55 hours on 20 Sep, 1942, U-703 fired a spread of three torpedoes at the HMS Somali (G 33) (LtCdr C. Maud) and saw one hit after 1 minute 32 seconds. The destroyer had escorted the convoy PQ-18 to Murmansk and was now screening QP-14 on her homebound voyage. HMS Ashanti (G 51) had unsuccessfully hunted a U-boat about 20 miles behind the convoy and rejoined at full speed, but was then low on fuel oil. She thus changed places with HMS Somali (G 33) on the inner screen to await a favourable opportunity to refuel. Shortly after taking position in the outer screen, the HMS Somali (G 33) was hit by one torpedo. The explosion blew the torpedo tubes over the side and cut all of the port side main stringers so that the ship was only held together by the upper deck and starboard side as far as the keel. The port engine fell through the bottom of the ship and the engine and gear rooms filled with water. The leaking bulkheads on either side were promptly shored up and seemed to be holding but there was no light or power except from an unreliable auxiliary diesel generator which powered the bilge pumps.
The British rescue ship Zamalek stood-by within minutes after the hit, but she was sent back to the convoy. The HMS Lord Middleton (FY 219) then took off most of the crew and transferred them to other ships. Only a skeleton crew of 80 men were left aboard and all were forbidden to go below except for any critical work. HMS Ashanti (G 51) then took her crippled sister ship in tow, cruising at a slow 7 knots in a flat and calm sea, that was ideal for towing and for revealing periscope wakes. The tow wire parted company, but they managed to rig up a new line and both ships continued to crawl to Akureyri, Iceland. That evening, the dynamo of HMS Somali (G 33) seized up so hand pumps were used for the bilge. These could not cope with the inflow of water so the 17? list increased. With the donation of many electrical cables from other ships, an emergency power umbilical was rigged up from the towing ship to another destroyer and the bilge pumps started operating again, reducing the list to 12?. Power was also available for lighting and cooking as well.
In the night on 23/24 September, the weather was getting worse north of Iceland in 69?00N/15?30W (a distance of 420 miles) and her plates were groaning terribly. In the middle of a snow squall, observers on the bridge of HMS Ashanti (G 51) saw a blue flash behind them. The towline and the electric cable had snapped and a piece of the cable was hanging over the stern. Quickly, a searchlight was brought to bear on the crippled ship. By now, HMS Somali (G 33) had folded in half like a hinge with bow and stern climbing skywards. For a moment, she hung motionlessly; the deckplating then snapped and her bulkheads collapsed. Her stern capsized and sank quickly and the bow went vertically and steadily, only 35 men of the skeleton crew could be rescued.