Daily Event for March 7, 2013

The second ship sunk by SMS UC-76 and Oberleutnant zur See Wilhelm Barten seems to have been a violent confrontation. The 219 ton fishing vessel Vulcana was 46 miles east southeast of Auskerry Island, Orkney when an approaching submarine was sighted only a mile away. According to the survivors the German opened fire without warning sending several shells towards the unarmed vessel.

While under fire the skipper ordered the lifeboat to be lowered, but as preparations to get the boat away were being made, a shell hit the vessel killing the skipper. Several more salvos were fired and more hits were scored, one man was so badly wounded he died the following day. The lifeboat capsized when launched, but it was righted and the remaining survivors got away before Vulcana went down. Barten apparently did not approach the survivors and they were all picked up by noon the following day by a patrol boat.

It is not clear to me exactly why Barten shelled this vessel to the extent described by the survivors, she was not reported to be armed, it is not mentioned that she was running and Barton did not have a record of indiscriminately killing fishermen. In fact he sank eleven other fishing vessels without a single life lost. There were only three vessels which were sunk by Barten which involved loss of life, one was HMS E-49 which was mined, the other two were larger freighters. Perhaps further research will yield new information about this action.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honour
In memory of those who lost their lives in
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Ledbeter, Samuel
Windeatt, Robert W.

To submit a photo, biographical information or correction please email the webmaster.

2005 Daily Event
2007 Daily Event
2008 Daily Event
2009 Daily Event
2011 Daily Event