Daily Event for July 26, 2005

July 26, 1940 convoy OB-188 was attacked 350 miles west of Ireland by U-34. In the afternoon of the 26th two ships were lost to the German submarine. The Accra, a 9,337 ton passenger liner owned by the Elder Dempster line was hit by torpedoes and sank in just over an hour. She was carrying 489 passengers and crew along with 1,700 tons of cargo. Amazingly only 24 people were killed. (12 crew 12 passengers) Next was the 4,300 ton cargo ship Vinemoor. The following day the U-34 sent two more vessels to the bottom. The Sambre and the Thiara. The Thiara was the largest ship of the four, a tanker displacing 10,364 tons. This was also the largest ship U-34 ever sank. Survivors form all four ships were picked up by other ships and the escorts in the convoy. Fast action on the part of these ships kept the sinking of the Accra from becoming a great tragedy.

In total the U-34 sank 24 ships totaling 99,311 tons. All under Fregattenkapitän Wilhelm Rollmann. However, on Aug. 5, 1943, U-34 was sunk in the Baltic Sea after a collision with her own tender. Four of the crew were killed. Rollmann, who had left U-34 in Sept. 1940 died in U-848 on Nov. 5, 1943 with his entire crew.
© 2005 Michael W. Pocock