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Thor HSK 4

Auxiliary Cruiser




Thor HSK 4 Auxiliary cruisers

Service Data

In Service: 15 March 1940 to 30 November 1942

Production Data

Ordered:
Builder: Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg
Construction No:
Laid down: 1938
Launched: 16 March 1938
Commissioned: 15 March 1940

Technical Data

Type: Auxiliary cruiser
Class: Hilfskreuzer (Raider), converted freighter

Displacement: 9,200 tons
Length: 122 m
Beam: 16.7 m
Draft: 7.1 m
Propulsion: 1 × geared turbine, 4 × boilers producing up to 6,500 hp
Propellers: 1
Speed: 18 knots
Range: 40,000 nautical miles at 10 knots
Crew: 349 men and officers
Armament: 6 × 15 cm, 2 × 3.7 cm, 4 × 20 mm,
4 × 53.3 cm torpedo tubes
Armour
Aircraft: 1 × Arado Ar 196 seaplane
Electronics:
Operators: Kriegsmarine
Variants:

Other: Auxiliary cruisers
Articles:

History

Thor (HSK 4) was an auxiliary cruiser in the Kriegsmarine in World War II, for service as a commerce raider. Identified in the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 10 to the Royal Navy she was designated Raider E. Thor entered Yokohama on 9 October 1942 where she began refitting, priming for a third voyage. However on November 30 a succession of explosions aboard the supply ship Uckermark wiped out her superstructure, hurling a large quantity of burning fragments onto Thor, which was moored alongside. Both ships were quickly set ablaze, including the Nankin/Leuthen plus the Japanese freighter Unkai Maru. All four ships were ravaged in the fire leaving 12 of Thor's crew killed. Thor's shipwreck was beyond repair and discarded. Her captain, KzS Gumprich, later took command of the raider Michel on her secondary raiding voyage, which she never returned from.

Career

15 March 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor is commissioned.

1 July 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor captured the Dutch freighter Kertosono (9,290 t)

7 July 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor scuttled the British freighter Delambre (7,030 t)

9 July 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor scuttled the Belgian freighter Bruges (4,985 t)

14 July 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the British freighter Gracefield (4,630 t)

16 July 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the British freighter Wendover (5,490 t)

17 July 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the Belgian freighter Tela (3,775 t)

28 July 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor has to engage the British Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Alcantara, as the British ship is faster Thor hits, HMS Alcantara 3 times one between the bridge and funnel, a second hit was aft, and the third hits on the waterline, which caused flooding in the engine room, which allowed Thor to escape.

25 August 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor met with the supply ship Rekum.

26 September 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the Norwegian whale-oil tanker Kosmos (17,800 t)

9 October 1940
Thor sinks the British refrigeration ship Natia (8,715 t)

5 December 1940
The auxiliary cruiser Thor engages another British Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Carnarvon Castle Thor gains more than 20 hits on HMS Carnarvon Castle forcing her to retreat.

25 March 1941
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the British passenger ship Britannia (8,800 t)

25 March 1941
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the Swedish freighter Trolleholm (5,045 t)

4 April 1941
The auxiliary cruiser Thor enagages the British Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Voltaire and sinks her after an intense battle (13,245 t)

16 April 1941
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the Swedish ore carrier Sir Ernest Cassel (7,740 t)

23 March 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the Greek freighter Pagasitikos (3,490 t)

30 March 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the British Freighter Wellpark (4,650 t)

1 April 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the British freighter Willesden (4,565 t)

3 April 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the Norwegian freighter Aust (5,630 t)

10 April 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the British freighter Kirkpool (4,840 t)

10 May 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor captured the British freighter Nankin (7,130 t)

14 June 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the Dutch Shell tanker Olivia (6,305 t)

19 June 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor captured the Norwegian oil tanker Herborg (7,890 t)

4 July 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor captured the Norwegian oil tanker Madrono (5,895 t)

20 July 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Thor sinks the British refrigerated freighter Indus (5,185 t)

9 October 1942
The auxiliary cruiserThor arrived in Yokohama for resupply and refit.

30 November 1942
The supply ship Uckermark caught fire and a series of explosions spread the fire to Thor and 2 other ships 12 of Thor's crew were killed and all ships were beyond repair.

Commanders

Otto Kähler Otto Kähler
Takes command on 15 March 1940
Ends command on 20 July 1941


Gallery

Thor HSK 4 picture 2

Thor HSK 4 picture 3

Thor HSK 4 picture 4

HMS Carnarvon Castle

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Sources

German Warships, 1815-1945: Major Surface Vessels.
ISBN-10: 0851775330

German Warships, 1815-1945: U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels.
ISBN-10: 155750301X

German warships of the Second World War.
ISBN-10: 0668040378

For a complete list of sources
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