SS Leverkusen

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sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 00:17

Urmel wrote:According to the KTB of STHS Tripoli Leverkusen was fully discharged on the visit to Tripoli prior to her sinking.

Sebastiano, there seem to have been two types of search lights, one smaller weighing 4 tons, the other 6 tons. No further specification.

Great info again. If this is accurate then it is not the Leverkusen. I will list some details of this wreck and the reasons why I was thinking to Leverkusen.

Searchlights were much heavier than what I would have thought! They are nice objects.

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 00:24

Urmel wrote:
sebastiano wrote: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!
Well they are preservable, but not restorable. At a price though.

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/thi ... ation.aspx
You are right, but also salvaging them would not be easy due to depth and the chaotic confusion of nets, filaments, cables, mud, etc. I also wonder if it would make sense given that you can find these vehicles and artillery in many depots, collections, and museums of any sort around the globe. I think they are in their place down there. In those places they are special and unique.

Just to clarify, we generally do not remove anything from these wrecks. We explore them for documentation purposes only. Very occasionally we took some little item, like a dish or similar, for helping with identification, but in general, for several substantial reasons, we have a "take only pictures" policy.

Thanks for the comment though!

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 00:54

LColombo wrote:Notice that the Tarigo convoy wrecks were "visited" in the early 1950s by the Italian salvage firm MICOPERI, that partially or totally scrapped the wrecks of Arta, Tarigo, Baleno, Mohawk, Iserlohn and Adana. Something of them remained, but if the wreck is intact (and with cargo still in the holds in good condition, as I see), it is extremely unlikely that it belongs to one of these ships. Aegina and Sabaudia, apparently, were not found by the salvagers.
MICOPERI also worked on the wrecks of Antonietta Lauro, also sunk in the area, and Leverkusen herself (the deepest wreck they worked on during that campaign), though I do not know the extent of the salvage work on these ships.

Very good info and point again Colombo, thanks. I have the same info on the salvages carried on by MICOPERI on those wrecks. I took the info from Lino Pellegrini book "SUB", of 1964 or so. He visited MICOPERI during these salvages, and dived on some of the wrecks. He reports that Leverkusen has been the last and deepest of the wrecks on which MICOPERI did some salvage, at a depth of some 50 meters. If I remember well, then they had to move to Suez or in any case to stop that operation. One of the elements which brought me leaning toward Leverkusen is that the wreck is at 50 m. Other reasons:

I visited the wreck 3 times only, as it is very far, some 80 nm from Lampedusa island.
The wreck is surely of a ship bigger than 3 or even 4.000 tons. It has a big superstructure, surely that of a mixed cargo and passenger ship. In the stern section, so astern from the superstructure, the wreck has 2 cargo holds, each on 3 floors or levels .
we recovered a dish with the logo WL, which was that of the Woermann Linie then Deutsche Afrikan Linie of Hamburg.
we filmed a water filter made in Germany, plus it was carrying all German equipment.
Furthermore, the list of German freighters sunk in the area is limited, and none of the other - few - possible sunken ships seems to match for one or another reason.
I'd like to go back on the wreck and take some measure, but it is in a hot area at the moment due to terrorism and war in Libya. It is some 10 miles off shore the former position of buoy# 5 of Kerkennah. The position is compatible. It is just some 5 miles away from the the official report position, and we found this error - average 5 and in some case up to 10 miles off - on most of the wrecks we found in the area, German, Italians and British.
This is it. Then I have three elements which could help identifying (or excluding) if someone can have access to blue prints of the L, or of the San Francisco class of mixed cargo-passengers ships, as I read somewhere the L was a building of this type.
the most appealing is a very peculiar stern direct steering wheel system, composed by two big bronze wheels, separated of some 5 meters one from the other, with a steering mechanism moving on a circular rail. I will try to send some pics of this.
second is the shape of the stern, and other hull details I can take from the more of one hour of videos we shoot on the wreck.
third is the propeller which has 3 blades.
Last edited by sebastiano on 18 Aug 2016 01:13, edited 1 time in total.

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 00:55

Dili wrote:No more photos of the tracked vehicle?
Not sure which photos you refer to Dili?

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 01:00

Let me pick your knowledge some more Urmel, one more question. Is it true info that SS Heraclea was carrying a substantial number of tanks when it sunk? I just heard it from an history enthusiast a few years ago.

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by Urmel » 18 Aug 2016 07:18

No German tanks, could have been Italian, but that's the first time I heard about it. One armoured car, but interestingly the whole 2nd company of Fla Btl.606 with it's self-propelled HT 2cm AA guns. It would be great to get better pictures of the two guns you have there, to see if these were maybe dismounted from SP mounts, rather than towed guns. Herklea carried 100 vehicles in total.

She was quite small though, 1,927ts and owned by Deutsche Levante Linie.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by Urmel » 18 Aug 2016 07:19

sebastiano wrote:
Dili wrote:No more photos of the tracked vehicle?
Not sure which photos you refer to Dili?
The one of Bainsizza.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 17:35

I will send some more pics of the AA and of the tank, but I fear that quality and visible details are just the same.

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 17:41

Urmel wrote:No German tanks, could have been Italian, but that's the first time I heard about it. One armoured car, but interestingly the whole 2nd company of Fla Btl.606 with it's self-propelled HT 2cm AA guns. It would be great to get better pictures of the two guns you have there, to see if these were maybe dismounted from SP mounts, rather than towed guns. Herklea carried 100 vehicles in total.

She was quite small though, 1,927ts and owned by Deutsche Levante Linie.

Thanks again and a lot. Yes, Heraklea is not a candidate for the ID of this ship: dimensions as you point out and also position are obviously different. I just hope to find it sometime in the future.

The self propelled HT 2 cm AA guns were mounted on Sdkfz7 vehicles? We have seen several of these tracks on other wrecks, like the SS Veloce and the SS Caffaro. On the veloce they had heavier guns apparently associated, not mounted but probably towed.

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 17:52

Image
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by Urmel » 18 Aug 2016 18:19

Great pictures, thanks!
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 18:24

Urmel wrote:Great pictures, thanks!
Thanks Urmel! The photographer is a girl, Laura Pasqui as you can see in most of the pics. I shoot videos.

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by Urmel » 18 Aug 2016 18:31

Sebastiano

Just to be clear, these are all pictures of the same wreck?
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by Urmel » 18 Aug 2016 19:00

By the way, could the 'tank' be a Semovente 75/18?
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

sebastiano
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Re: SS Leverkusen

Post by sebastiano » 18 Aug 2016 20:09

Urmel wrote:Sebastiano

Just to be clear, these are all pictures of the same wreck?
with the exception of the ones of the armored tank. Those are from the SS Bainsizza. The rest is the non identified wreck

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