German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin
Overview
 
The Pinguin was a German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 auxiliary cruiser (Hilfskreuzer) which served as a commerce raider
Commerce raiding
Commerce raiding or guerre de course is a form of naval warfare used to destroy or disrupt the logistics of an enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping, rather than engaging the combatants themselves or enforcing a blockade against them.Commerce raiding was heavily criticised by...

 in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The Pinguin was known to the Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

as Schiff 33, and designated HSK 5. The most successful commerce raider of the war, she was known to the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 as Raider F. The name Pinguin means penguin
Penguin
Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have become flippers...

in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

.
Formerly a freighter
Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

 named Kandelfels, she was built by AG Weser
AG Weser
Aktien-Gesellschaft Weser was one of the great German shipbuilding companies, located at the Weser River in Bremen. Founded in 1873 it was finally closed in 1983. Altogether, AG Weser built about 1400 ships of different types, including many war ships...

 in 1936, and was owned and operated by the Hansa Line, Bremen
Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

.
Encyclopedia
The Pinguin was a German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 auxiliary cruiser (Hilfskreuzer) which served as a commerce raider
Commerce raiding
Commerce raiding or guerre de course is a form of naval warfare used to destroy or disrupt the logistics of an enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping, rather than engaging the combatants themselves or enforcing a blockade against them.Commerce raiding was heavily criticised by...

 in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The Pinguin was known to the Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

as Schiff 33, and designated HSK 5. The most successful commerce raider of the war, she was known to the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 as Raider F. The name Pinguin means penguin
Penguin
Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have become flippers...

in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

.

Early history

Formerly a freighter
Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

 named Kandelfels, she was built by AG Weser
AG Weser
Aktien-Gesellschaft Weser was one of the great German shipbuilding companies, located at the Weser River in Bremen. Founded in 1873 it was finally closed in 1983. Altogether, AG Weser built about 1400 ships of different types, including many war ships...

 in 1936, and was owned and operated by the Hansa Line, Bremen
Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

. She was the sister-ship of the Kybfels, and a half-sister of the Goldenfels, which was converted into the raider Atlantis
German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis
The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis , known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 16 and to the Royal Navy as Raider-C, was a converted German Hilfskreuzer of the Kriegsmarine, which, during World War II, travelled more than in 602 days, and sank or captured 22 ships totaling...

.

In the winter of 1939/40, she was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine (KM) and converted to a warship by DeSchiMAG, Bremen. Her main armament, six 150 mm L/45 C/13 guns was taken from the obsolete battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 Schlesien and she was also fitted with one 75 mm cannon, one twin 37 mm anti-aircraft mounting
3.7 cm SK C/30
The 3.7 cm SK C/30 was the German Kriegsmarine's primary anti-aircraft gun during the Second World War...

, four 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, and two single 53.3 cm torpedo tubes for 16 torpedoes. She was supplied with two Heinkel He 114A-2 seaplanes
Heinkel He 114
-See also:-Bibliography:* Donald, David, ed. Warplanes of the Luftwaffe. London: Aerospace, 1994. ISBN 1-874023-56-5.* Smith J. R. and Kay, Anthony. German Aircraft of the Second World War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1972. ISBN 0-370-00024-2....

 and 300 seamines. She also carried 25 G7a
G7a torpedo
The G7a or G7a/T1 was the standard issue Kriegsmarine torpedo during the early years of World War II.- Design :The torpedo was 53.3cm in diameter, 7.163 m in length, and with a warhead of 280 kg of Hexanite, and was standard issue for all U-boats of the war.The torpedo was of a straight-running...

 torpedoes and 80 U-Boat mines for replenishing U-Boats.

Pinguin voyage

Pinguin was one of the first wave of raiders sent out by the Kriegsmarine, sailing on 15 June 1940 under the command of Fregattenkapitän (later Kapitän zur See) Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder was a Captain of the German Navy who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves...

 and disguised as an anonymous naval transport ship with an escort from the minesweeper Nautilus. The escort duties were taken over by the Sperrbrecher
Sperrbrecher
A Sperrbrecher , was a German auxiliary ship of the Second World War that was intended to serve as a type of minesweeper, by sailing ahead of other vessels through minefields, intending to detonate any mines in their path...

 IV
on 18 June and later by the Möwe-class torpedo-boat Falke and the Wolf-class Jaguar. The convoy then sailed through the Great Belt
Great Belt
The Great Belt is a strait between the main Danish islands of Zealand and Funen . Effectively dividing Denmark in two, the Belt was served by the Great Belt ferries from the late 19th century until the islands were connected by the Great Belt Fixed Link in 1997–98.-Geography:The Great Belt is the...

 into the Kattegat
Kattegat
The Kattegat , or Kattegatt is a sea area bounded by the Jutland peninsula and the Straits islands of Denmark on the west and south, and the provinces of Västergötland, Scania, Halland and Bohuslän in Sweden on the east. The Baltic Sea drains into the Kattegat through the Øresund and the Danish...

.

The three-ship convoy passed through the Skagerrak
Skagerrak
The Skagerrak is a strait running between Norway and the southwest coast of Sweden and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark, connecting the North Sea and the Kattegat sea area, which leads to the Baltic Sea.-Name:...

 on the 19 June with Luftwaffe air cover from a Dornier Do-18
Dornier Do 18
The Dornier Do 18 was a development of the Do 16 flying boat. It was developed for the Luftwaffe, but Lufthansa got 5 aircraft and used these for tests between the Azores and the North American continent in 1936 and on their mail route over the South Atlantic from 1937 to 1939.27–29 March 1938 a...

 flying boat and two fighters and entered the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

. Her escort was reinforced with the minesweepers M17 and M18, and they headed up the coast of Norway, passing Bergen on 20 June where the torpedo boats departed. Schiff 33 and the minesweepers carrying on northwards to Sörgulenfjord. In the fjord the grey German auxiliary Schiff 33 was transformed into a black-hulled Soviet cargo ship Petschura with hammer and sickle
Hammer and sickle
The hammer and sickle is a part of communist symbolism and its usage indicates an association with Communism, a Communist party, or a Communist state. It features a hammer and a sickle overlapping each other. The two tools are symbols of the industrial proletariat and the peasantry; placing them...

 markings. They emerged from the fjord on the 22 June en route to the Denmark Strait
Denmark Strait
The Denmark Strait or Greenland Strait |Sound]]) is an oceanic strait between Greenland and Iceland...

. Schiff 33s mission was to rendezvous with and replenish submarine U-A off the Cape Verde
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

 and then to disrupt traffic in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and lay mines off Australian and Indian ports. She was then to head south to seek out the British and Norwegian whaling fleets in Antarctica.This was the reason for the ship being named Pinguin.

The convoy headed into heavy weather and high winds and the two minesweepers turned back. Sailing westwards at 15 knots a surfacing submarine was spotted and on sighting the Petschura disappeared. Assuming it was British the Petschura headed northwards to give the impression of a ‘Soviet’ ship headed for Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

. Surfacing again the submarine increased speed and gave chase signalling first "What ship?" and on being ignored "Heave to, or we open fire!" The Petschura continued at full speed and left the submarine behind. The Petschura continued northeasterly up the coast of Norway.

On the 28 June Pinguin headed south surrounded by icebergs. She inched southwards until June 29 she sailed through the Denmark Strait in to the Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 on 1 July to rendezvous with U-A on 18 July. On 10 July she was re-camouflaged as the Greek Kassos.

On 18 July U-A had serious engine troubles and because of bad weather it was not safe to transfer the torpedoes, water and stores. They decided to seek calmer waters to the south transferring 70 tons of diesel fuel to the submarine en route. On 20 July in calmer waters 700 miles south-west of the Cape Verde they started the replenishment. It was first time a submarine was ever re-supplied at sea by a raider. Unable to come alongside because of the risk of damaging her hydroplanes the first day was spent improvising methods to close the gap. The eleven torpedoes had to be ferried across on flotation bags and it was not completed until 25 July. The Pinguin then continued south towing U-A to save fuel until the shipping lanes off Freetown
Freetown
Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean located in the Western Area of the country, and had a city proper population of 772,873 at the 2004 census. The city is the economic, financial, and cultural center of...

 where the U-Boat unsuccessfully pursued a tanker. Pinguin then towed her again until 28 July.

Domingo de Larrinaga

On 31 July three hundred miles north-west of Ascension Island
Ascension Island
Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around from the coast of Africa and from the coast of South America, which is roughly midway between the horn of South America and Africa...

, a ship was sighted. It also spotted the raider and turned away sending a QQQ signal. Trying to jam the distress signals the Pinguin gave chase. She ran up her battle flag and dropped its camouflage signaling to the vessel to stop and not to use her wireless or she would be fired upon. When the commands were ignored warning shots were fired across her bows from her 75 mm gun. Four more warning shots were fired but she did not stop the distress signals continued and her crew were seen to be manning their stern-mounted gun. The Pinguin opened fire with her main armament on the freighter’s bridge with several hits. The freighter on fire slowed to a halt and her crew were seen to be abandoning ship. The British freighter Domingo de Larrinaga was on her way from Bahia Blanca
Bahía Blanca
Bahía Blanca is a city located in the south-west of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, by the Atlantic Ocean, and seat of government of Bahía Blanca Partido. It has a population of 274,509 inhabitants according to the...

 to Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 with 7,000 tons of grain and a crew of thirty-six. A heavily-armed boarding party found eight crewmen dead on the ship. The party included the Pinguins surgeon and two sick bay attendants were sent to care for the wounded. Scuttling charges were placed in the freighter’s engine room. The charges failed to explode and she had to be sunk by a torpedo. The survivors were taken on board the Pinguin.

Filefjell captured

On 20 August the Pinguin rounded the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

. On 26 August south of Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 one of the Pinguins seaplanes with RAF markings was launched. It found a tanker and the pilot dropped a message onto its deck ordering her to "Alter cours to 180° distance 140 miles on account of vicinity of enemy raider" "From that point take up cours direct to 31°N 37°E" "thence you get further informations" "Do not use wireless". This was to try to lead her straight to the Pinguin. The tanker appeared to obey this command later was found trying to escape at top speed. The plane was relaunched. When it found her again it ripped away her radio aerials and strafed her bridge with cannon and machine gun fire. The plane set down and ordered her to "Remain stopping here" "cruiser Cumberland will go with you" and to show her navigation lights. The tanker was loaded with 10,000 tons of high-octane aviation fuel and 500 tons of oil surrendered and switched on its lights. Guided by the lights the Pinguin arrived and its boarding party identified the vessel as the Norwegian ship Filefjell chartered by the British Admiralty on her way from the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 to Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

. A prize crew was placed on board the tanker. It was decided to take the Filefjell to a quiet area to transfer the 500 tons of oil to the Pinguin.

British Commander

On 27 August a ship was spotted sailing blacked-out and with no lights. The Filefjell was ordered to drop back. The Pinguin shadowed the ship for an hour then signalled for her to stop and had a warning shot fired across her bows. The ship obeyed and identifying itself as the tanker British Commander. She then radioed QQQ distress signals giving her position and reported that she was being attacked by a merchant raider. The Pinguins searchlight spotted that the enemy's 4-inch gun mounted on her stern had been manned and ordered its gunners to open fire. The tanker was hit several times and set on fire. The tanker captain stopped the ship and instructed his crew to abandon ship. A torpedo failed to sink her and forty 150 mm shells were then fired to sink her. The Pinguin then picked up the tankers 45-man crew and headed out into the Indian Ocean at full speed.

Morviken

Another freighter was then spotted. The Pinguin came along side. It signalled to her that she would sink her if she did not stop. A 75 mm warning shot was fired across her bows. The ship then halted with no resistance and no signal sent. It was identified by the boarding party as the Norwegian ship Morviken. It was heading for Calcutta from Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

. The crew of 35 was taken on board along with her motor-cutter then the ship was scuttled.

Filefjell sunk

The Pinguin and the Filefjell sailed south-east away from the shipping routes to transfer the 500 tons of fuel oil and then scuttling charges were set on the Filefjell. The charges detonated but the ship did not explode. 75 mm gunfire was then used to try and sink her, but two 150 mm shells were needed to ignite the petrol in the tanks sending a massive fireball into the sky.

Trafalgar

It was decided that Pinguin should adopt the identity of the Wilhelmsen cargo-liner Trafalgar. On 31 August the transformation took place at a remote spot. The Pinguin drifted for five days until 5 September. The Pinguin then launched its seaplane to survey the area but it crashed on take off. The plane burst into flames and sank. The crew were in the water. The ship’s only radio telephone was on the plane. It operated on a wavelength undetectable to Allied shipping. The Pinguins technicians needed calm weather to assemble the second aircraft that was stowed below in a crate. The Pinguin had lost the ability to silence enemy radios by tearing away their aerials and that future enemy ships that sent signals would have to be fired on increasing the chance of crews being killed. By 10 September work was completed on the Pinguin and it had a black hull with a white band all the way around, white upperworks and a black funnel with two light blue bands.

Benavon

It was decided to make one more sortie off Madagascar before heading for Australian waters to lay mines. On 12 September early a freighter was spotted 330 miles east of the island. The Pinguin closed fast on a deliberate ‘collision course’ the freighter maintained hers in accordance with the International Collision Regulations until the two ships were just over a mile apart. At this point the freighter sounded a long warning blast of its whistle. The freighter turned away from the raider. The Pinguin ran up its battle ensign and de-camouflaged. The freighter crew manned her 4-inch gun and increased her speed to escape. The freighter was signalled to stop and a 75 mm warning shot was fired. The freighter fired back hitting the Pinguin with a shell that ricocheted off the surface of the sea and pierced her port side ending up in the crew’s quarters close to the storage compartment containing three hundred high-explosive mines. The shells fired by the Benavon had no fuse caps fitted and it did not explode. One of Pinguins crew picked up the shell with his cap and threw it through the hole it had made in the ship’s hull into the sea. The Pinguin fired back putting the freighters gun and wireless out of action. It destroyed most of her lifeboats and set her on fire. The freighter's captain gave the order to abandon ship but the bridge was hit and he was killed along with his deck officers and radio operator. A boarding party found five men on board three of them wounded. They and the twenty-four others that had already abandon ship were taken on board the Pinguin. The total number of survivors was twenty-eight. The ship was identified as the British freighter Benavon on her way to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 from Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 with a cargo of hemp, jute and rubber. It had a crew of forty-nine and was armed with one 4-inch and one 3-inch anti-aircraft gun. Three of the wounded died of their injuries after boarding the Pinguin and they were buried with full military honours.

Nordvard

The Pinguin was instructed by Seekriegsleitung
Seekriegsleitung
The Seekriegsleitung or SKL was the high command of the Kaiserliche Marine and the Kriegsmarine of Germany during the World Wars.It led planning and execution of naval combat and directed the distribution of naval forces...

 set course eastward along the busy sea route between Australia and South Africa. Four days later on 16 September a ship was sighted and stopped without any signals being sent no gunfire. The ship was identified by the boarding party as the Norwegian ship Nordvard en route from Fremantle
Fremantle
Freemantle is a suburb of Southampton in England.Fremantle or Freemantle may also refer to:- Places :* Fremantle, the port city to the capital Perth, Western Australia...

 to Port Elizabeth with a cargo of 7,500 tons of Australian grain and a crew of thirty. A prize crew was put aboard the ship along with over hundred prisoners and was sent to Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

 and arrived there on 22 November.

Storstad

The Pinguin headed north-eastwards towards the Sunda Strait
Sunda Strait
The Sunda Strait is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean...

 to the shipping lanes between India and Australia. On 27 September the sea was calm enough to allow the spare seaplane to be assembled. Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder was a Captain of the German Navy who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves...

 and his navigation officer Leutnant Wilhelm Michaelson conceived and developed a plan to lay mines in six Australian and Tasmanian sea lanes but it would require two ships. On 7 October off Christmas Island
Christmas Island
The Territory of Christmas Island is a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean. It is located northwest of the Western Australian city of Perth, south of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and ENE of the Cocos Islands....

 a vessel crossing the raider’s path was flagged down and ordered to stop with a 75 mm warning shot. The vessel stopped and surrendered. The vessel was identified as the Norwegian motor-tanker Storstad carrying a cargo of 12,000 tons of diesel oil and 500 tons of heavy fuel oil. She was on her way from British North Borneo
North Borneo
North Borneo was a British protectorate under the sovereign North Borneo Chartered Company from 1882 to 1946. After the war it became a crown colony of Great Britain from 1946 to 1963, known in this time as British North Borneo. It is located on the northeastern end of the island of Borneo. It is...

 to Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

. The Storstad was suitable for use as an auxiliary minelayer. Under a prize crew the Storstad was taken to a remote spot between Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 and the north-west tip of Australia to be converted into an auxiliary minelayer. The Storstad was stripped and her after accommodation space was transformed into a mine deck with launching rails. One hundred and ten mines were transferred from the Pinguin in the motorboat that was taken from the Morviken. 1,200 tons of the diesel oil was transferred from the Storstad to the Pinguin.

Passat and mine laying

The Storstad was commissioned into the German Navy as the auxiliary minelayer Passat. The Passat was placed under the command of Lieutenant Erich Warning and had a crew of three officers, eight petty officers and nineteen ratings plus five members of her original Norwegian crew who volunteered to work in the engine room. On 12 October the Passat headed for the Banks Strait off Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

 and for the east and west ends of the Bass Strait
Bass Strait
Bass Strait is a sea strait separating Tasmania from the south of the Australian mainland, specifically the state of Victoria.-Extent:The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Bass Strait as follows:...

 on the approaches to Melbourne. The Pinguin headed for the ports of Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Newcastle
Newcastle, New South Wales
The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas...

, Hobart
Hobart
Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony,Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. In 2009, the city had a greater area population of approximately 212,019. A resident of Hobart is known as...

 and laid mines also off the coast of Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

. Between 28 October and 7 November the two ships laid their mine and arranged to meet again 700 miles west of Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

 on 15 November. On 7 November refrigerated cargo liner Cambridge hit one of the Passats mines and sank at the eastern approach to the Bass Strait with the loss of one man. On 9 November at the western end of the strait American freighter City of Rayville hit another of its mines sinking with the loss of only one man. On 5 December mines laid by the Pinguin sank the Australian coaster Nimbin with the loss of seven men. On 7 December another Pinguin mine badly damaging the Hertford. On 26 March 1941 the fishing trawler Millimumul sank with the loss of one man. On 15 November the two ships rendezvoused at a point 700 miles west of Perth. The two ships maintained strict radio silence during the month-long operation.

Nowshera

On 16 November the Passat was de-commissioned and resumed her original name of Storstad. Her German crew was reduced to eighteen and twenty Norwegian volunteers supplementing the five already on board. The Storstad was instructed to act as a scout ship for the Pinguin. The two ships headed northwards before swinging westwards. On 17 November smoke was sighted on the horizon ahead of a large freighter. The Pinguin pinned the freighter in the beam of her searchlight. A warning shot was put across her bows. The freighter was signalled to stop and maintain radio silence or she would be fired upon. The freighter halted. A boarding party identified the ship as the British motor ship Nowshera on her way from Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

 to Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

 and the UK. Her cargo was zinc ore, wheat, wool and other assorted piece goods. The freighter had a crew of one hundred and thirteen. She was armed with a Japanese-made 4-inch gun on her stern and an even older Lewis machine gun on the bridge. Whatever goods and provisions the Pinguin needed was taken from the Nowshera and she was then scuttled.

Maimoa

The Pinguin then departed southwards. On 20 November smoke was spotted on the horizon. The Pinguin established that it was from a large westbound cargo ship. The Pinguin launched its newly-assembled seaplane in order to snatch the ship's wireless aerials or if necessary to bomb her. The seaplane failed to snatch the aerials on its first attempt. The aircrew then dropped a weighted bag onto the ship's bridge with a message commanding her captain to stop his engines and to maintain radio silence or be attacked. The commands were not obeyed, and the ship's radio operator sent signals reporting that they were being attacked from the air. The seaplane then dropped two small bombs in front of the ship. A second attempt was made to snatch the aerials which succeeded. The seaplane came under machine-gun and rifle fire hitting it several times. The seaplane fired back. The seaplane was forced to land on the water with a perforated petrol tank and one of its floats damaged. The aircrew crouched down in the cockpit, expecting the freighter’s gunners to finish them off, which they could easily have done. The Pinguin slowed down to half speed and in a risky manoeuvre ‘dropped’ a boat with a three-man crew beside the seaplane then pursued the cargo ship. The Pinguins battle flag was hoisted and at the maximum effective range of twelve miles for the 150 mm guns she opened fire. Two salvos were fired, one long and the other falling short, forcing the cargo ship to a halt. A boarding party identified the ship as the coal-burning refrigeration ship Maimoa. The ship was en route to the UK from Fremantle
Fremantle
Freemantle is a suburb of Southampton in England.Fremantle or Freemantle may also refer to:- Places :* Fremantle, the port city to the capital Perth, Western Australia...

 via Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

. Its cargo was 5,000 tons of frozen meat, 1,500 tons of butter, 1,500 tons of grain, 16 million eggs packed and 100 tons of piece goods. The ship was scuttled and her crew of eighty-seven was taken on board the Pinguin. The next morning the seaplane was hoisted back on board the Pinguin.

Port Brisbane

The Storstad reported an enemy freighter was nearby. The Pinguin closed in on the freighter. When it was pitch dark the Pinguin fixed her searchlight beam on the freighter. A warning shot was fired and she was signalled to stop and maintain radio silence. The searchlight beam revealed two manned 6-inch guns on the freighter’s after deck so the Pinguin opened fire on the freighter. All eight shots of the first salvo registering hits. The freighter's radio room was destroyed killing the radio operator and the bridge was set on fire. The funnel was smashed and the steering gear was jammed sending her around in circles. The crew then abandoned ship. The ship was identified as the refrigerated freighter Port Brisbane. The freighter was on her way from Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

 to Britain via Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

. She had a cargo of 5,000 tons of frozen meat, butter and cheese and 3,000 tons of wool, lead and piece goods. The Port Brisbane had a crew of eighty-seven but only sixty men and one woman passenger were picked up by the Pinguin. The other twenty-seven slipped away in a lifeboat in the darkness. Scuttling charges failed to sink the Port Brisbane quickly enough so a torpedo was fired to finish her off. After unsuccessfully looking for the missing lifeboat the Pinguin headed south-westwards.

Port Wellington

The Pinguin headed south and then west followed by the Storstad. By 28 November the Pinguins appearance had been altered by being painted black. Two days later the Storstad reported a ship on the horizon. The Storstad was sent to a rendezvous point. The Pinguin closed to within a mile of other ship and opened fire without warning. The first salvo destroying the control centre and the radio room killing the radio operator and mortally wounding the ships captain. The ship’s steering gear was out of action and she was on fire. The ship was identified as the British refrigerated freighter Port Wellington sister ship of the Port Brisbane. The Port Wellington was bound for England from Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

 via Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

. She was armed with two 6-inch and one 3-inch gun. The Port Wellington was carrying 4,400 tons of frozen meat, butter, eggs, and cheese and 1,750 tons of steel, 1,200 tons of wheat. She had a crew of eighty-two and seven passengers. Eighty-one of the crewmen including the wounded captain (who would later die from his injuries on board the Pinguin) and the seven passengers, all of who were women, were picked up by the Pinguin. The Port Wellington was then scuttled.

Atlantis rendezvous

From the eleven ships sunk by the Pinguin she had four hundred and five prisoners on board. Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder was a Captain of the German Navy who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves...

 notified Seekriegsleitung
Seekriegsleitung
The Seekriegsleitung or SKL was the high command of the Kaiserliche Marine and the Kriegsmarine of Germany during the World Wars.It led planning and execution of naval combat and directed the distribution of naval forces...

 that he was sending them to Europe on board the Storstad. The Storstad still had 12,000 tons of diesel oil on board and 3,000 tons of diesel oil was transferred to the Pinguin before she left. It was arranged for the Atlantis
German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis
The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis , known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 16 and to the Royal Navy as Raider-C, was a converted German Hilfskreuzer of the Kriegsmarine, which, during World War II, travelled more than in 602 days, and sank or captured 22 ships totaling...

, Komet
German auxiliary cruiser Komet
Komet was an auxiliary cruiser of the German Kriegsmarine in the Second World War, intended for service as a commerce raider...

 and the Orion
German auxiliary cruiser Orion
Orion was an auxiliary cruiser of the German navy which operated as a merchant raider during World War II. Built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg in 1930/31 as the freighter Kurmark, she was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine at the outbreak of World War II and converted into the auxiliary cruiser Orion,...

 to be re-fueled by the Storstad. On 8 December The Pinguin and the Atlantis met in the western Indian Ocean. The next day the Storstad arrived and the re-fuelling commenced. The Pinguin then set course southwards for her rendezvous with the whaling fleets in the Antarctic Ocean south of Bouvet Island
Bouvet Island
Bouvet Island is an uninhabited Antarctic volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 2,525 km south-southwest of South Africa. It is a dependent territory of Norway and, lying north of 60°S latitude, is not subject to the Antarctic Treaty. The centre of the island is an ice-filled crater of an...

.

Norwegian whaling fleet captured

On 17 December Seekriegsleitung
Seekriegsleitung
The Seekriegsleitung or SKL was the high command of the Kaiserliche Marine and the Kriegsmarine of Germany during the World Wars.It led planning and execution of naval combat and directed the distribution of naval forces...

 signalled that the whaling fleet was to be found in the area around South Georgia and that the names of the Norwegian factory ship
Factory ship
A factory ship, also known as a fish processing vessel, is a large ocean-going vessel with extensive on-board facilities for processing and freezing caught fish...

s involved were the Harpon, Pelagos, Thorshammer, Vestfjord
Vestfjord
Vestfjord is a Norwegian fjord, which would be described as a firth or an open bight of sea between the Lofoten archipelago and mainland Norway, northwest of Bodø...

and Ole Wegger. All of the factory ships were under British charter. On Christmas Eve the Pinguin the intercepted open-frequency chatter between two of the factory ships the Ole Wegger and the Pelagos. They learned that the whalers were awaiting a supply ship which was overdue, that the Pelagos was short of fuel and that the Ole Weggers whale oil tanks were full to capacity. The Ole Wegger offered to transfer some of her surplus fuel to the Pelagos. Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder was a Captain of the German Navy who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves...

 decided that they would wait until the two ships were transferring the oil before making any move on them as they would be unmanoeuverable. Another intercepted signal established that the approaching supply ship was the Norwegian whale-oil tanker Solglimt. The Solglimt first attended to the Thorshammer which was operating 400 miles to the south-west. Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder was a Captain of the German Navy who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves...

 then decided to wait for the Solglimt to arrive. On the 13 of January 1941 the Solglimt arrived and tied up alongside the Ole Wegger. On the 14 of January as the two ships lay side by side the Pinguin approached from the west. The Pinguin slipped alongside the Solglimt and the two ships were ordered to maintain radio silence. The Pinguin launched two prize crews. The Solglimt had 4,000 tons of whale oil and 4,000 tons of fuel. She had a crew of sixty. The Ole Wegger had 7,000 tons of whale oil and 5,500 tons of fuel. She had a crew of one hundred and ninety. Both ships were captured within forty-five minutes. The Norwegian captains were told to continue with their whaling and that the Reich would pay them for their work. The Pinguin dispatched a motor boat to round up the whaler
Whaler
A whaler is a specialized ship, designed for whaling, the catching and/or processing of whales. The former included the whale catcher, a steam or diesel-driven vessel with a harpoon gun mounted at its bows. The latter included such vessels as the sail or steam-driven whaleship of the 16th to early...

s, three of which managed to escape. The remaining four, the Torlyn, Pol VIII, Pol IX
German auxiliary raider Adjutant
The Adjutant was a Nazi Germany auxiliary raider which served as a commerce raider in World War II.Built as the Norwegian whaler Pol IX, she was captured on 14 January 1941 by the German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin. She was renamed Adjutant and used as a commerce raider. Captained by Adjutant Hemmer...

 and Pol X, were captured without incident.

In order to confuse the Norwegians the Pinguin sailed in the opposite direction to where the third factory ship was. Once out of sight she turned and approached the brightly-lit vessel in dense fog. Coming in at full speed to within 200 metres the Pinguin signalled warnings and dispatched prize crews. The factory ship Pelagos was captured within minutes. Its several catchers were nearby engaged in their work. The Pelagos had 9,500 tons of whale oil and 800 tons of fuel. It had a crew of two hundred and ten. The captain of the Pelagos was instructed to recall his catchers. The catchers were the Star XIV, Star XIX, Star XX, Star XXI, Star XXII, Star XXIII and Star XXIV.

The Pinguins operation against the Norwegian whaling fleet was the single most successful performance by a German auxiliary cruiser during World War II. More than 36,000 tons of shipping, a supply-ship, two factory ships, eleven whalers, 20,000 tons of whale oil with a valued of over four million US dollars, and 10,000 tons of fuel oil were captured. This was all done without a single shot being fired and with out any casualties. The Norwegians continued to work as if nothing had happened and made no effort to resist. The Pinguin then made a five-day dash at top-speed to the north-west past Bouvet Island
Bouvet Island
Bouvet Island is an uninhabited Antarctic volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 2,525 km south-southwest of South Africa. It is a dependent territory of Norway and, lying north of 60°S latitude, is not subject to the Antarctic Treaty. The centre of the island is an ice-filled crater of an...

 and over half-way to the South Sandwich Islands. Her wireless operators sent a long coded message home knowing that every wireless station in the region would pick it up and discover his position. The Pinguin then sailed back to the captured Norwegian fleet. The Pinguin intercepted a variety of British signals confirming the success of the ploy. The fifteen-ships set off eastwards with the Pinguin in the lead and the three factory and supply ships at the rear. The Pinguin could not provide prize crews for all the ships. The Ole Wegger transferred 7,000 tons of whale oil to the Solglimts storage tanks. The Solglimt and the Pelagos then departed on 25 January with their 10,000 tons of whale oil to France, the Pelagos reaching Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

 on 11 March and the Solglimt on 16 March. Instructions from Seekriegsleitung
Seekriegsleitung
The Seekriegsleitung or SKL was the high command of the Kaiserliche Marine and the Kriegsmarine of Germany during the World Wars.It led planning and execution of naval combat and directed the distribution of naval forces...

 told the Pinguin to bring the Ole Wegger and all eleven of the catchers to a mid-Atlantic rendezvous at Point Andalusia north of the island of Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha is a remote volcanic group of islands in the south Atlantic Ocean and the main island of that group. It is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying from the nearest land, South Africa, and from South America...

. There the Pinguin was to meet the tanker Nordmark. On board the Nordmark was prize crews for the remaining whalers. The Pinguin met the Nordmark on 15 February. The Nordmark was towing the refrigerator ship Herzogin. The Herzogin was the former British ship the Duquesa. On 18 February the supply-ship Alstertor arrived. The Alstertor had a fresh supply of torpedoes, mines, a crated Arado Ar-196 seaplane and mail for the Pinguins crew. They then proceed with the whaling ships to the Kerguelen Islands
Kerguelen Islands
The Kerguelen Islands , also known as the Desolation Islands, are a group of islands in the southern Indian Ocean constituting the emerged part of the otherwise submerged Kerguelen Plateau. The islands, along with Adélie Land, the Crozet Islands and the Amsterdam and Saint Paul Islands are part of...

, where the replenishing could take place in safety. The Herzogin which supplied half the German Navy with meat and eggs had run out of everything that could be burned to keep her refrigeration plant working. Her entire bridge structure, lifeboat derricks, masts and all teak decking had been burned and she was going to have to be sunk. The Pinguin was restocked with 360,000 eggs, 47 sides of beef, 410 sheep and 17 sacks of oxtails from Herzogin before the scuttling charges were set. The Ole Wegger and ten of the catchers arrived at the rendezvous and they were manned with skeleton crews of armed Germans before departing for Europe. The newest catcher the Pol IX, was retained as an auxiliary minelayer and renamed the Adjutant. Two of the catchers Star XIX and Star XXIV were stopped by the British sloop HMS Scarborough off Cape Finisterre
Cape Finisterre
right|thumb|300px|Position of Cape Finisterre on the [[Iberian Peninsula]]Cape Finisterre is a rock-bound peninsula on the west coast of Galicia, Spain....

 on 13 March. The German crews scuttled them and were then picked up by the British. The Ole Wegger and the other eight catchers arrived at Bordeaux on 20 March.

Replenishment

The Pinguin received orders to rendezvous with the Kormoran
German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran
The German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran was a Kriegsmarine merchant raider of World War II. Originally the merchant vessel Steiermark, the ship was acquired by the Kriegsmarine following the outbreak of war for conversion into a raider...

 to the south of St Helena on 25 February in order to deliver 210 kilos of the white metal WM80. The Pinguin headed south past Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

 and Crozet Island. The Pinguin rendezvoused with the Komet
German auxiliary cruiser Komet
Komet was an auxiliary cruiser of the German Kriegsmarine in the Second World War, intended for service as a commerce raider...

 120 miles east of the Kerguelen Islands
Kerguelen Islands
The Kerguelen Islands , also known as the Desolation Islands, are a group of islands in the southern Indian Ocean constituting the emerged part of the otherwise submerged Kerguelen Plateau. The islands, along with Adélie Land, the Crozet Islands and the Amsterdam and Saint Paul Islands are part of...

 on 12 March. The Adjutant was sent ahead to take soundings at the entrances to the various bays and inlets of the Islands so that the Pinguin could steer clear rocks. The Pinguin followed the Adjutant into Gazelle Bay the sheltered natural harbour at Port Couvreux and tied up alongside the her on 13 March. The Komet departed on 14 March. The replenishment of the Pinguin began and one of the first items to be hoisted out of the Alstertors holds was the Arado Ar-196 seaplane. The Adjutant was converted into an auxiliary minelayer for her role in mining the approaches to the port of Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

. The Pinguins hull was scraped and cleaned of marine growth and barnacles by careening the ship from one side to the other to expose the hull. The new seaplane was assembled and the Pinguins appearance was changed to take on the identity of the Norwegian liner Tamerlane. The Pinguin replenished her water supply from a waterfall using a gravity-feed system. By 22 March the replenishing of supplies from the Alstertor was complete. The Pinguin and the Adjutant departed the islands on 25 March.

Empire Light

The Pinguin and the Adjutant headed north-eastwards for a rendezvous with a former Norwegian tanker and a supply-ship at Point Siberia unaware that they had both been sunk. They spent a short time cruising the area around the Saya de Malha Bank
Saya de Malha Bank
The Saya de Malha Bank is the largest submerged bank in the World, part of the vast undersea Mascarene Plateau...

 before heading northwards. The Pinguin and the Adjutant spent the next three weeks searching to the north and south of the Seychelles
Seychelles
Seychelles , officially the Republic of Seychelles , is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar....

. The Pinguins seaplane made thirty-five flights looking for a tanker that would be a suitable auxiliary minelayer without success. On 24 April the Adjutant searching further to the north off the island of Mahé
Mahé, Seychelles
Mahé is the largest island of the Seychelles, lying in the north east of the nation. The population of Mahé is 80,000. It contains the capital city of Victoria and accommodates 90% of the country's total population...

 came across a large freighter. The vessel’s course and speed was reported to the Pinguin. On the following day the Pinguin steamed past the Adjutant at full speed and opened fire shooting the freighter’s wireless aerials away and crippling her steering gear with the first salvo bringing her to a halt. The Pinguin dispatched a boarding party which identified the vessel as the British freighter Empire Light. She was on her way from Madras to Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

. The Empire Light had a cargo of ore, hides and piece goods. She had a crew of seventy. Her steering had been so badly disabled that it could not be repaired and had to be scuttled.

Clan Buchanan

On 27 April the Pinguins seaplane spotted a ship. The Pinguin chased this ship for five hours until another freighter was spotted. The first vessel was let go and the Pinguin turned after the second one. The Pinguin opened fire on the freighter from 5,000 meters the next morning. The freighter's radio room and steering gear was destroyed. The second salvo blew her 4.7-inch gun into the engine room and she was abandoned by her 110-man crew. Signals had been transmitted from an auxiliary wireless but they were weak. The freighter was identified as the British Clan Buchanan. She was en route from the United States to Madras. The Clan Buchanan had a cargo of military equipment. Her steering gear had been destroyed so she was scuttled.

British Emperor

The Pinguin altered course towards the shipping routes between the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

. The Adjutant was given instructions to proceed to Point Violet in the event of enemy activity. The Clan Buchanans signals had been picked up by two stations. This resulted in the mobilisation of powerful naval forces on both sides of the Indian Ocean. The Pinguin was searching for a tanker to the north-west of the Indian Ocean near to the entrance of the Persian Gulf. On 7 May a small tanker was spotted. The Pinguin signaled to the tanker to heave to, but she refused to obey her radio operator transmitted distress signals describing their attacker and identifying herself as the British tanker British Emperor. The Pinguins gunners fired a salvo of deliberate near misses to encourage the British Emperor to stop. The British Emperor held her course and continued sending SOS messages. The Pinguin then fired a salvo that destroyed the tanker’s bridge and wheelhouse. The British Emperor veered off course and went round in circles trailing dense black smoke as her cargo ignited. The British Emperor came to a halt and the crew were seen jumping overboard. The Pinguin sent boats to pick them up. While the Pinguins rescue party was alongside the British Emperor more distress signals were detected coming from the tanker. When the Pinguins rescue boats hauled off the blazing tanker the raider’s guns opened fire again tearing away the bridge structure and silencing the signals. In order to sink the British Emperor as quickly as possible a torpedo was fired. The torpedo began to circle requiring the Pinguin to turn sharply to her starboard. The torpedo passed twenty meters in front of the Pinguins bows. A second torpedo missed the tanker but the third hit the British Emperor square amidships sinking her. The Pinguin departed south-eastwards.

Sinking

The British Emperors SOS signals were picked up as far away as Germany. They were also picked up on board the British cruiser HMS Cornwall
HMS Cornwall (56)
HMS Cornwall was a County class heavy cruiser of the Kent subclass built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1920s. She was built at Devonport Dockyard .-History:...

 five hundred miles to the south of the Pinguin. The Cornwall altered course to the north on the assumption that the Pinguin would probably be heading south. The Pinguin was heading south. On 8 May the Pinguin spotted the silhouette of a British warship on the horizon. The Pinguin immediately altered course away from it at maximum speed in a south-westerly direction. The Cornwalls Supermarine Walrus
Supermarine Walrus
The Supermarine Walrus was a British single-engine amphibious biplane reconnaissance aircraft designed by R. J. Mitchell and operated by the Fleet Air Arm . It also served with the Royal Air Force , Royal Australian Air Force , Royal Canadian Air Force , Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal New...

 searching the surrounding seas spotted the disguised Pinguin but was anxious not to attack an innocent ship. The Walrus returned four hours later and circled the Pinguin. The aircrew saw what appeared to be a typical Norwegian freighter. The Pinguin was flying the Norwegian ensign and had the name Tamerlane displayed on both sides of her bridge. The Cornwall was just sixty-five miles away from the Pinguin. The Pinguins crew were wearing typical merchant marine clothing. The Walrus returned again an hour and a half later requesting the ship’s identity, cargo and port of destination. The silhouette outline of the Tamerlane shown in the Talbot Booth shipping register Merchant Ships matched what the Walrus's observer had seen. The Tamerlane was not among the names on the list of merchant ships known to be in the area at that time. The Walrus aircrew had suspicions. The Cornwall at full speed headed south-west and launched one of his seaplanes on the way. The Pinguins lookouts spotted the Cornwall fast approaching. The Pinguins crew were called to action stations. The Pinguins guns remain concealed as she was still depending on her disguise as long as she could. The Pinguin send raider reports identifying herself as the Norwegian Tamerlane and claiming that she was being attacked by a German warship. The Cornwalls wireless operator reported that the signals were being sent on a British Merchant Navy transmitter. The Cornwall radioed to the circling Walrus to inform the 'Norwegians' that the ship bearing down on them was British and to order them to heave to. The Pinguin adopted the classic defensive response of presenting her stern. The Cornwall closed to within 20,000 meters of the Pinguin and signalled to her three times by lamp ordering her to "Heave to, or I fire!". A warning shot was fired from one of the Cornwalls 8-inch guns high and to the left of the Pinguin. The warning signals were repeated and another warning shot was fired. The Cornwalls second Walrus was prepared for launching armed with two 250-pound bombs. It was ordered to drop the first bomb in front of the fleeing Pinguin and if that failed to halt her the second bomb was to be dropped on her forecastle. The Cornwall closed to 12,000 meters of the Pinguin.

At 1714 on 8 May 1941 as the range of 8,000 metres the Pinguin dropped her disguise, ran up his battle flag, turned sharply to port to bring his full broadside to bear and opened up with five guns simultaneously, straddling the Cornwall. The Cornwall suffered a failure in the electrical circuit that controlled the training of her main gun turrets. The Cornwall broke off and retired out of range of the Pinguins all too accurate guns to carry out repairs. The Cornwall suffered a complete breakdown in the telephone link between the bridge and the guns and the line to the aircraft catapult. An officer was dispatched aft to order the waiting Walrus to bomb the Pinguin. The Walrus suffered splinter damage and was unable to take off. The Pinguin registered her first direct hit putting the Cornwalls engine-room telegraph out of action and severing crucial wiring in her steering system. The Cornwall was put out of control. Another hit on the Cornwall started a small fire. Out of range of the Pinguins guns the damage to her turret circuits on the Cornwall had been repaired. The first Walrus was spotting for the Cornwalls gunners and soon began to straddle the Pinguin. The Cornwall registered her first hit bringing down the foremast. Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder
Ernst-Felix Krüder was a Captain of the German Navy who, during World War II, commanded a merchant raider. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves...

 gave the orders to release the prisoners and to set the scuttling charges and abandon ship. At that very moment a four-gun salvo from the Cornwalls 8-inch forward turrets destroyed the Pinguin. The first shell struck the foredeck wiping out the two 150 mm guns on the forecastle head and their crews. The second shell hit the meteorological office and shattered the bridge killing Krüder and all but one other instantly. The third shell devastated the engine room. The fourth shell exploded in Hold Number 5 detonating the 130 high-explosive mines stored there ripping the after part of the Pinguin to pieces. Flame were sent thousands of feet into the air. Fragments of the Pinguin were scattered across the surface of the sea. The Pinguin was gone within five seconds.

From beginning to end the action had lasted just 27 minutes. The Pinguin had fired over 200 shells at the Cornwall. The Cornwall fired 136. The Cornwalls boats picked up sixty members of the Pinguins crew and twenty-four of her former prisoners. Of the 401 Germans on board the Pinguin only three officers, one prize officer and fifty-seven petty officers and men survived. Of the 238 prisoners on the Pinguin only nine officers and fifteen seamen survived. Two hundred and fourteen prisoners, and three hundred and forty-one of the Pinguins crew were lost.

Raiding career

Schiff 33, the Pinguin had sailed over 59,000 miles more than twice the circumference of the Earth in 357 days at sea. She sank or captured 28 ships, a total of 136,642 gross register tons. 52,000 tons was sent back to Germany under prize crews. A further four ships were sunk by mines, a total of 18,068 tons. The Pinguin’s grand total amounts to 154,710 gross register tons. The Pinguin was the first of the Kriegsmarine’s
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

 Auxiliary Cruisers to be sunk.
Ships sunk or captured by Pinguin
DateNameDisplacementFateTypeNationalityNotes
31 July 1940 Domingo de Larrinaga Sunk Freighter  United Kingdom Sunk by torpedo
27 August 1940 Filefjell Sunk Tanker  Norway Sunk by explosive charges
27 August 1940 British Commander Sunk Tanker  United Kingdom Sunk by torpedo
27 August 1940 Morviken Sunk Freighter  Norway Sunk by explosive charges
12 September 1940 Benavon Sunk Freighter  United Kingdom Sunk by gunfire, 21 dead
16 September 1940 Nordvard Captured Freighter  Norway Valuable argo of wheat, dispatched to Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

 with 200 prisoners, safely arrived, later used as a blockade runner
7 October 1940 Storstad Captured Tanker  Norway Converted to minelayer, re-named Passat, sent with 100 mines to Bass Strait
Bass Strait
Bass Strait is a sea strait separating Tasmania from the south of the Australian mainland, specifically the state of Victoria.-Extent:The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Bass Strait as follows:...

 then dispatched to Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

19 November 1940 Nowshera Sunk Freighter  United Kingdom Sunk by explosive charges, 113 prisoners
20 November 1940 Maimoa Sunk Freighter  United Kingdom Hundreds of tons of frozen meat, butter and eggs transferred to Pinguin, sunk by explosive charges
21 November 1940 Port Brisbane Sunk Freighter  United Kingdom Sunk by torpedo
30 November 1940 Port Wellington Sunk Freighter  United Kingdom Sunk by gunfire, 82 prisoners including 7 women.
14 January 1941 Ole Wegger Captured Whaling Factory Ship  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Solglimt Captured Whaling Supply-ship  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Torlyn Captured Whaler  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Pol VIII Captured Whaler  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Pol IX Captured Whaler  Norway Converted into auxiliary, re-named Adjutant
German auxiliary raider Adjutant
The Adjutant was a Nazi Germany auxiliary raider which served as a commerce raider in World War II.Built as the Norwegian whaler Pol IX, she was captured on 14 January 1941 by the German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin. She was renamed Adjutant and used as a commerce raider. Captained by Adjutant Hemmer...

14 January 1941 Pol X Captured Whaler  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Pelagos Captured Whaling Factory Ship  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Star XIV Captured Whaler  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Star XIX Captured Whaler  Norway Sunk by HMS Scarborough
14 January 1941 Star XX Captured Whaler  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Star XXI Captured Whaler  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Star XXII Captured Whaler  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Star XXIII Captured Whaler  Norway Dispatched to Bordeaux
14 January 1941 Star XXIV Captured Whaler  Norway Sunk by HMS Scarborough
25 April 1941 Empire Light Sunk Freighter  United Kingdom Sunk by explosive charges
28 April 1941 Clan Buchanan Sunk Freighter  United Kingdom Sunk by explosive charges
7 May 1941 British Emperor Sunk Tanker  United Kingdom Sunk by torpedo, prisoners taken on board

Sunk by mines from Pinguin and Passat
DateNameDisplacementTypeNationality
7 November 1940 Cambridge Passenger Freighter  United Kingdom
9 November 1940 City of Rayville First US merchantman to be sunk by enemy action in World War II. Freighter  United States
5 December 1940 Nimbin Freighter  United Kingdom
26 March 1941 Millimumul Fishing Trawler  Australia

External links

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