Location of ships Eberhard Essberger and Peter Wessel on 23-Sep-1944

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Location of ships Eberhard Essberger and Peter Wessel on 23-Sep-1944

Post by aaaviku » 19 May 2016 17:06

I am trying to clarify the location of two ships used in the evacuation of Estonia on 22-Sep-1944 and 23-Sep-1944.
The ships are the Eberhart Essberger and Peter Wessel. Both vessels are recorded as leaving Pärnu on 22-Sep-1944, along with the “Ahrens”, and then strangely, evacuating Tallinn/Paldiski on 23-Sep-1944.

Source 1:
22. septembril lahkusid Pärnu sadamast veel kaubalaevad Essberger ligi 2000 põgenikuga, Ahrens 100 ja Peter-Wessel umbes 500 põgenikuga pardal. Gotenhafeni sadamasse jõudsid need laevad alles 30. septembril.
(more cargo ships left the port of Pärnu; Essberger with around 2,000 refugees, 100 on Ahrens and Peter Wessel- with about 500 refugees on board. These vessels reached the port of Gotenhafen on 30 September.)

Source 2:
Karl Hintzer, records the arrival of the three ships on the 30-Sept-1944 in Gotenhafen.
30. septembril 1944. a. Riiast tuli „Minden" ca 60 - 70 eestlasega pardal. Gotenhafeni tuli Pärnust veel „Ahrens" 100 eestlasega. „Peter Wessel" umbes 500 eestlasega tuli ka Pärnust ja „Essberger" paarituhande eestlasega.
(From Riga came the Minden with 60-70 Estonians aboard. To Gotenhafen from Pärnu came Ahrens with 100 Estonians. Peter Wessel came with 500 Estonians also from Pärnu and Essberger with a few thousand Estonians.)
I don’t believe that the first source just repeated information from the Hintzer logs, as details in that article about other ships have more or fewer details than the Hintzer logs. (for example the first article describes the Malaga leaving Paldiski 22-Sept-1944, and both record it arriving in Gotenhafen 24-Sept-1944. Hintzer describes it as coming from Saaremaa, which it could have done on the way from Paldiski (Baltic Port)).

Source 3:
The problem arises when the following marine archive for the Peter Wessel, shows it, as well as Eberhard Essberger, as part of a convoy leaving Reval (Tallinn) and Baltic Port (Paldiski) on 23-Sept-1944.

http://www.historisches-marinearchiv.de ... _value=134
Sep. 23.: Um 10:00 Uhr verläßt der letzte Geleitzug bestehend aus PETER WESSEL, EBERHARD ESSBERGER, TANGA, ALETTE NOORT, Lazarettschiff OBERHAUSEN sowie mehreren Fähren und Vs-Booten Reval. An Bord der fünf Schiffe 10000 Menschen. Torpedoboote T 20, T 13, T 17 und T 19 der 3. T-Flottille sichern das Geleitzug. Um 10:25 Uhr wird der Konvoi von mehreren einmotorigen Flugzeugen erfolglos Angegriffen.
Sep. 23 10:00 am departure of the last convoy consisting of PETER WESSEL, EBERHARD ESSBERGER, TANGA, ALETTE NOORT, hospital ship OBERHAUSEN and several ferries and U-boats leave Reval. Aboard the five ships 10,000 people. Torpedo boats T 20, T 13, T 17 and T 19 of the T 3. flotilla secure the convoy. 10:25 the convoy of several single engine aircraft is attacked unsuccessfully.

1) So the above information in Source 3 is quite specific and seems authoritative, however Reval/Tallinn was in Russian hands by 23-Sept-1944. Other sources describing the last convoys out of Tallinn, do not mention these boats, but only the following:
21-Sep-1944 from Reval/Tallinn: transport ships "R-1", "R-22", "Hamburg", "Lappland" and hospital ship "Moero". (Ship Ingrid Traaber joined this convoy, and was bombed, along with RO-22 northwest of Baltic Port en route).
22-Sep-1944 from Reval/Tallinn: Malaga (with civilian government on board), then stopped at Paldiski/Baltic Port, and I believe Saaremaa (Ahrensburg/Kuressaare) after that, before arriving in Gotenhafen.

2) It seems unlikely that the ships would have filled up with refugees in Pärnu, then headed north to Reval/Tallinn and/or Baltic Port/Paldiski the next day, and then returned south to Gotenhafen to arrive the next day. Maybe not impossible, but seems strange.

1) Paldiski was not in Russian hands until 24-Sept-1944. If the ships did head north, they may have gone only to Paldiski and not Tallinn. Since Tallinn had fallen, it may have been important enough to divert the two ships north if they had space, and if no other ships were nearby. The convoy leaving 23-Sept-1944 had reportedly 10,000 people.

2) The ship leaving Pärnu is named as Essberger, not specifically as “Eberhard Essberger”. It is possible that it is not the Eberhard Essberger, but another ship, for example the Liselotte Essberger. That does not however, explain the Peter Wessel.

So if anyone has any additional ideas to confirm where the two ships were or weren’t, it would be very much appreciated!

thank you !

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Re: Location of ships Eberhard Essberger and Peter Wessel on 23-Sep-1944

Post by andrus » 22 May 2016 14:10


HMA has wrong date, correct one for leaving Tallinn is 22.
From war diary of 9. Sicherungsdivision NARA T1022/R3560, thanks to John Calvin:

22.09 19:45 Chef 3. M.S.Fl. meldet mit FT 1723/35:
1000 Uhr mit M 15, 17, 18, 29, 7, T 20, 13, 19 Eb. Essberger, Tanga, Peter Wessel, Oberhausen Reval aus. Marschfahrt 11 sm. M.-Boote geleiten bis Memel. Erbitte Jagdschutz ab Hellwerden. Standort 0500 Uhr (andrus: estimate for 23. September?) 5716,5 N 2026 Ost.

related to Pärnu:
23.09 14:15 Chef 14. Sich.Fl. meldet mit FT 0938/50:
Nachhut und Flüchtlinge Pernau 0700 Uhr übernommen. Werden auf Warthe übergesetzt.

another source says:
convoy situation of 24. Sept at 12:00
on 24. Sept at 01:00 Peter Wessel, Tanga, Eb Essberger with 3. Torpedoboot-Flottille (3 vessels) arrived in Liepaja.

convoy situation of 25. Sept at 12:00
Warthe leaves 23.9. at 10:30 with T 4, T 12, Vp 315 Pärnu. 140 soldiers, 478 estonian SS soldiers, 165 eastern volunteers, 235 wounded, 27 nurses, 181 civil
Tanga, Peter Wessel Eb. Essberger unloaded in Liepaja and left to the Riga at the evening of 24. Sept. (andrus: I dont understand was this intention or already happened)

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Re: Location of ships Eberhard Essberger and Peter Wessel on 23-Sep-1944

Post by aaaviku » 25 May 2016 02:25

Andrus; thank you so much for this info... it is very much appreciated and makes much more sense using this timeline than the other information I had!

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Re: Location of ships Eberhard Essberger and Peter Wessel on 23-Sep-1944

Post by Mesi » 06 Oct 2019 23:39

In september of 1944, the Peter Wessel anchored and loaded Estonian refugees in Kuressaare Saaremaa Estonia to pick up refugees. Per my Mother's family that fled on that ship

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Re: Location of ships Eberhard Essberger and Peter Wessel on 23-Sep-1944

Post by bettika » 07 Oct 2019 11:32

Evacuation Reval 22.09.1943
from source PG 39882 Seetransportchef Östliche Ostsee

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