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379' x 50' x 21'
6 x 150mm guns
1 x 75mm gun
1 x 37mm gun
2 x 2mm AA gun
6 x torpedo tubes
30 EMC mines
2 x seaplane Ar196
1 x fast boat "Meteorit"
Built by Bremen Vulkan at DeSchiMAG shipyards in Bremen, Germany. Launched January 16, 1937 as merchant ship Ems for Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL). Known in the Kriegsmarine as "Schiff-45" and by the British as "Raider B".
As a result of the German–Soviet Commercial Agreement of 1940, the two countries agreed to send 26 ships, including four armed merchant cruisers via the Northern Sea Route, but only the Komet was selected to make the passage. Equipped with a specially strengthened bow and a propeller suitable for navigating through ice.
On July 3, 1940, departed for her first raiding voyage from Gotenhafen (Gydnia, Poland) disguised as the Soviet icebreaker "Semyon Dezhnev". During July-August, delayed at Teriberka Bay and assumed the name "Donau". Traveling through the Arctic Ocean during August with assistance from icebreaker Stalin, reportedly paid 950,000 Reichsmarks to aid Komet. In September 1940 crossed the Bering Strait crossing into the Pacific Ocean.
On October 20, 1940 off Lamutrik Island Komet rendezvous with Orion and supply ship Kulmerland and held a conference on strategy, deciding to work together, concentrating on the area between New Zealand to Panama. They decided on Japanese disguises, Komet assuming the identity of "Manyo Maru" (or Manio Maru). Orion poses as "Mayebashi Maru". Supply ship Kulmerland poses as "Tokio Maru".
On November 27, 1940 the pair sink Holmwood and RMS Rangitane.
During December 1940, Komet and Orion sank five Allied merchant ships (Komet sank three), with a combined tonnage of about 41,000 tons, waiting off Nauru to load phosphate. On December 27, 1940 shelled the phosphate processing and loading facilities on Nauru.
On February 22, 1941 in the Antarctic Ocean, Komet searches for the Anglo-Norwegian whaling fleets in the area spots Tonan Maru No. 2 and Nisshin Maru, and hails the ship, learning Anglo-Norwegian whaling ships are further west. During August 1941, with Orion sank two British ships and captured the Dutch freighter Kota Nopan (7,300 tons) which was sent as a prize to Bordeaux.
Returning from the mission, Komet then sailed through the West and East Pacific, around Cape Horn and north through the Atlantic, returning to Cherbourg then onto Hamburg arriving November 30, 1941 after a voyage of 516 days and about 100,000 nautical miles.
70m / 229'
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