SS Leverkusen

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sebastiano
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SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 10 Aug 2016 11:13

Hello Sirs,

I had the opportunity to visit the wreck of the SS Leverkusen, sunk on May 1sr, 1941, by the torpedoes of HMSUpholder while on a return convoy from Tripoli to Italy. I'm nearly sure that the wreck I visited is that of the Leverkusen, but the ID is not totally certain yet, and this is why I'm writing this request for help.

The wreck is in 50m of water in a position that is compatible with the recorded sinking. The dimensions of the ship are compatible, and so also the order of the masts. The wreck is broken into two parts, at the level of the bridge. The bow section is capsized, meanwhile the stern which include most of the superstructure is on the keel. The propeller has 3 blades. The cargo holds contain several vehicles, German helmets and other army personal equipments. It is a very impressive wreck site.

I've two questions is someone can help:
1. the propeller of the Leverkusen had 3 blades?
2. short info I found on records are saying that the Leverkusen sunk during a return trip from Tripoli to Italy, empty. Here instead there're several vehicles, some AA guns etc. The cargo holds are not full, they look more like semi-empty, but they still contain quite some materials. It would be very interesting for me to have details about this return convoy - a cargo list would be spectacular. I can send some pics of the materials if anyone is interested or can help identifying the vehicles etc. I'd need to be pointed out at how to send pics here though.

thanks in advance for any help you can provide and all the best to all.

Mario (Sebastiano)

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jwsleser
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by jwsleser » 10 Aug 2016 12:45

The cargo holds are not full, they look more like semi-empty, but they still contain quite some materials.
A policy was instituted during the war to only partially load the ships sent to A.S. The reason for this was to reduce cargo loss if a ship was sunk. I would need to check when this policy was instituted. A partially load ship would not be uncommon.

Pista! Jeff
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sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 10 Aug 2016 12:56

thanks Jeff,

the strange thing is that it was on a return trip, from Tripoli back to Italy, I think Naples. I know often they were only partially loading due to several reasons, including the limited supply from industry and the continuos urgency of receiving supplies on the other side. But here they were coming back, so it should be something like repair, or vehicles belonging to troops on board being carried back to Europe for some reason, or war booty (not sure the term is right) vehicles sent to study/copy solutions, or else.

Evviva! Mario

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jwsleser
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by jwsleser » 11 Aug 2016 00:12

Mario

Much depends on whether your identification is correct. Like you, I would be surprised if a ship was returning to Italy with cargo still on board.

I found this photo. Leverkusen sinking . The picture is in the second set.

Are Sebastiano and Sebastian the same person?

La marina italiana nella seconda modiale vol VI states that the Leverkusen initially struck a magnetic mine and was trying to return to Tripoli when she was torpedoed by a submarine (Fu però nuovamente colpito, probabilimente da sommergibile, e affondò anch'esso. page 131).

Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

Brevity
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by Brevity » 11 Aug 2016 05:24

Interesting thread

Here is couple more Leverkusen photos. It very much looks like the sinking ship, however we mostly see its front area here
Image
Image
Image
Image

According to Davide Pastore :
Convoy 22 on 24 April 1941
- Castellon
- Arcturus
- Leverkusen
- Wachtfels
From Napoli (minus Wachtfels) 02:30 21 Apr, stop at Palermo, all ships to Tripoli 17:00 24 Apr
From Tripoli 18:00 30 Apr, Arcturus mined 12:00 1 May, Leverkusen torpedoed 21:00 1 May
Other ships stop at Trapani, to Napoli 07:00 5 May

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 11 Aug 2016 10:48

thanks Jeff and Brevity. Agree Jeff, the ID has to be verified. I do have a few elements that would suggest this ID though, and I'm attempt is in order to obtain more. I'm trying to add some pics of vehicles inside the wreck but the system keeps saying they're too large. What is the limit for attachments? No, I'm not Sebastian. Thanks Sirs!

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 11 Aug 2016 11:01

<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://s1250.photobucket.com/user/mario ... "></iframe>

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 11 Aug 2016 11:11

Image
Image
Image

GregSingh
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by GregSingh » 12 Aug 2016 07:06

Nice photos. Common equipment: Krupp-Protze, Einheits-PKW (could be Horch 901) and two Flak30 20mm AA guns.
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 12 Aug 2016 11:01

Thanks Greg, any idea regarding the vehicle in the first pic, with those squared hedges? I will try to pick your expertise with some additional pictures. You gave me very nice info!

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 12 Aug 2016 11:34

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 12 Aug 2016 11:35

Can you id the model of the AA search light in the first pic?
the last two pics are from another wreck.

GregSingh
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by GregSingh » 12 Aug 2016 13:10

Looks like 60 mm AA searchlight.
That vehicle in the first photo from previous post is, as I already wrote, Krupp-Protze.
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by Larry D. » 12 Aug 2016 14:14

A very interesting assortment of unusual photos. Just for the sake of curiosity, could any of this equipment be salvaged and restored? At a depth of 50 meters (165 feet), bringing some of it to the surface and getting it aboard a barge would not be too difficult. But 75 years of immersion in saltwater may make restoration impossible?

L.

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 12 Aug 2016 14:17

Yes, unfortunately I think so, they are not restorable due to salt water. Pity. I'd like to film them with a 360° and 3D camera though, and this can also be a nice project. Technology is coming, still costy but coming!

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