German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin
|Career||Merchant Navy Ensign of Germany (1938-1945)|
|Fate:||Requisition by Kriegsmarine, 1939|
|Career||War Ensign of Germany (1938-1945)|
|Recommissioned:||6 February 1940|
|Reclassified:||Auxiliary cruiser, 1940|
|Fate:||Sunk in the Indian Ocean, 8 May 1941|
|Displacement:||17,600 long tons (17,900 t)|
|Length:||155 m (509 ft)|
|Beam:||18.7 m (61 ft)|
|Draft:||8.7 m (29 ft)|
|Installed power:||7,600 hp (5,700 kW)|
|Propulsion:||2 × 6-cylinder diesel engines|
|Speed:||17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph)|
|Range:||60,000 nmi (110,000 km; 69,000 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)|
|Armament:||6 × 150 mm (5.9 in) guns, 1 × 75 mm (3.0 in) gun, 2 × 37 mm anti-aircraft guns (1x2), 4 × 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons (2x2), 2 × torpedo tubes, 300 × mines|
|Aircraft carried:||2 × Heinkel He 114B floatplanes; later, 1 × Arado Ar 196A-1|
The Pinguin was a German auxiliary cruiser (Hilfskreuzer) which served as a commerce raider in World War II. The Pinguin was known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 33, and designated HSK 5. The most successful commerce raider of the war, she was known to the British Royal Navy as Raider F. The name Pinguin means penguin in German.
Formerly a freighter named Kandelfels, she was built by AG Weser in 1936, and was owned and operated by the Hansa Line, Bremen. In the winter of 1939/40, she was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine (KM) and converted to a war ship by DeSchiMAG, Bremen. Her main armament was taken from the obsolete battleship Schlesien.
In 10½ months at sea she accounted for 28 ships, totalling 136,000 tons (GRT).
Her most successful coup was the capture, on 14 January 1941, of most of the Norwegian whaling fleet in Antarctica, totalling three factory ships and 11 whalers. These were sent back as prizes to Europe, arriving in Bordeaux, occupied France in March 1941. One of the whalers was retained as an auxiliary raider, being re-named Adjutant.
On 8 May 1941, Pinguin was sunk in a battle with the British heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall. She was the first auxiliary cruiser of the Kriegsmarine to be sunk in the war. 532 lives, among them 200 prisoners, were lost when Pinguin blew apart when the mines stored on board took a hit and exploded. Cornwall rescued 60 crew members and 22 prisoners who were originally crew of the 28 merchant ships the raider had either sunk or captured.
|1940-07-31||Domingo de Larrinaga||5,358 GRT||In the vicinity of the Ascension Islands, bound for Newcastle with 7,000 tons of grain.|
|1940-08-27||Filefjell||6,901 GRT||Vicinity of Madagascar|
|1940-08-27||British Commander||5,008 GRT||Vicinity of Madagascar, in ballast.|
|1940-08-27||Morviken||7,616 GRT||Vicinity of Madagascar|
|1940-09-12||Benavon||5,872 GRT||East of Madagascar, bound for Leith carrying Hemp and Rubber.|
|1940-09-16||Nordvard||4,111 GRT||Prize; to Bordeaux|
|1940-10-07||Storstad||8,998 GRT||Prize; Auxiliary minelayer Passat|
|1940-11-21||Port Brisbane||8,739 GRT|
|1940-11-30||Port Wellington||8,303 GRT|
|1941-01-14||Ole Wegger||12,201 GRT||Prize|
|1941-01-14||4 whale-catchers Pol 7-10||app 300 GRT each||Prizes; Pol 9 rechristened as auxiliary raider Adjutant|
|1941-01-14||7 whale-catchers Star 14, 19-24||app 300 GRT each||Prizes|
|1941-04-25||Empire Light||6,828 GRT|
|1941-04-28||Clan Buchanan||7,266 GRT|
|1941-05-07||British Emperor||3,663 GRT|
Sunk by mines from Pinguin and Passat
|City of Rayville||5,883 GRT||First US merchantman to be sunk by enemy action in WW2|
- Paul Schmalenbach (1977). German Raiders 1895–1945. ISBN 0 85059 351 4.
- August Karl Muggenthaler (1977). German Raiders of World War II. ISBN 0 7091 6683 4.
- Stephen Roskill (1954). The War at Sea 1939–1945 Volume I.
- H J Brennecke (1954). Ghost Cruiser HK33.