V-1605 Mosel


Mosel was laid down in Wesermünde in 1937 as a trawler for Hans Kunkel. She was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine in September 1939 and assigned to 19.Minesweeper Flotille in Kiel. She received a military crew and armament, and was renamed M-1903. Her first assignment came in April 1940 under the invasion of Norway. She got more than enough to do, and participated in the rescuing of the cruiser Lützow, and rescue tasks after the loss of M-1101\ Foch & Hubert. In 1943 she was transferred to 16.Vorpost Flotille in Denmark as V-1605. 15 October 1944 she was ordered to escort Nachschubtanker Norwegen 15. At the same time 21 Allied Beaufighter's and 17 Mosquito’s from 144 and 404 RAF squadron from Banff Strike Wing left Scotland to attack enemy shipping. In the afternoon they spotted Mosel and the tanker and attacked. Within a few minutes the tanker who was loaded with petroleum was set ablaze. Also Mosel is heavily damaged from the 20mm grenades, but she keeps fighting. When the assault is over at 15:37 she is on fire from bow to stern.Three minutes later she disappears in the deep. The wreck was found in the summer of 2001 outside Lillesand on a depth of approx 30 to 50 meter.

Former names:
Mosel, M-1903
49,7 x 8,1x 3,8 m
Tons: Built: Home Port:
426 grt
Wesermünde ( D ) 1937 Fredrikshavn ( DK )

GPS: N 58 10 611 - E 008 20 912
( Source: OneOcean Dive Resort )

Picture: Mosel
Erling Skjold - Norwegian Shipwreck Archive
“ A Separate Little War “
"15 October. In the afternoon at 12.40 hours twenty-one, Beaufighters with seventeen Mosquitoes engaged as anti-flak aircraft, took-off crossing the Scottish coast. Twelve Beaufighters carried rockets. The force went down to fifty feet above the waves making for the Naze. Squadron Leader Maurice led them again. They found a 1,202 ton tanker laden with petrol sailing between Justøya and Lillesand, south east of Kristiansund on a voyage from Oslo to Kristiansand. With a single escort the steamship Vp. 1605 ‘Mosel’ of 426 tons in position 58.08N-0817E, with the German tanker ‘Ingeborg’ now sailing under the Norwegian flag as ‘Niger Joanne’ of 1,202 tons going around Justøya near Lillesand. Mosquitoes are directed to shoot up the flakship, as light flak comes up to greet the attackers, led by Squadron Leader Christison of the Canadian squadron. Beaufighters worked in pairs firing salvoes of rockets and cannon helped by the 144 Torbeaus. Columns of spray rose into the air; the tanker was engulfed in flames followed by a plume of black smoke, as a concentration of rounds found their mark. Only burning oil remained on the surface with floating debris. Sixteen are killed in the inferno, with several survivors bobbing in the water although only one person was pulled from the sea by a rescue craft. Fire rages aboard Vp. 1605 with the last rounds fired bursting above, it explodes and sinks with twenty-one perishing. Survivors were seen in dinghies as the aircrews departed the area and head home, black smoke being a sharp contrast to the grey sea below. Smoke is visible from over fifty miles away; the strike wing suffered no losses although a few aircraft sustained light damage. Flight Lieutenant George Lord DFC CdeG of 235 Squadron reported: ‘One minute the tanker was there, erupting in flames, then a large plume of smoke and a ring of fire on the sea"