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  Komet (Schiff-45, HSK-7, Raider B)
Auxiliary Cruiser

7,500 Tons
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"

Ship History
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".

Wartime History
During 1939, requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) at the start of the Second World War. Converted into an auxiliary cruiser at Howaldtswerke in Hamburg. Commissioned June 2, 1940. Captain Robert Eyssen.

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.

Sinking History
Depart on her second raid during early October 7, 1942 under the command of Kapitän zur See Ulrich Brocksien. On October 14, 1942 attacked by British motor torpedo boats near the Cap de la Hague and sunk by a torpedo from MTB 236 and sank without survivors.

She is in two halves and upside down, with a large part of the center section blown away by the explosion that sank her. She lies in 70.0 metres (229.7'). Discovered in 70m during July 2006 by Innes McCartney off Cap de la Hague in July 2006 and was surveyed by a team led by him during 2007.

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


Click For Enlargement
70m / 229'
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