Oil tankers

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
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Visionist
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Oil tankers

Post by Visionist » 24 Aug 2007 00:18

Does anyone know what was the world's largest oil tanker in the 1930s?

The upper limit for ship size in this period seems to be the 80000+ tons of Queen Mary and Normandie...

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Post by Jon G. » 25 Aug 2007 16:25

The Ohio, rated at 9,263 tons according to the Wiki article, is often named as the largest tanker in the world at the time of her launching in 1940. This ship earned fame from the 1942 PEDESTAL convoy to resupply Malta, where she was seriously damaged.

Later tankers were larger. The T-2 tankers, built by US shipyards by the hundreds from 1942 and on, weighed in at about 16,000 deadweight tons.

Technically, it was 'easy' enough to build larger tankers. The limiting factor was the size of oil terminals and dockside space and port depth.

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Post by Andy H » 25 Aug 2007 20:10

came into service in 1937 as did the first of a new class of 11,500 dwt tankers which eventually became the 'Dale' class (ABBEYDALE, BISHOPDALE etc.) There were 8 vessels in this class at the outbreak of WW2.


http://iancoombe.tripod.com/id8.html

The eight in being at the wars outbreak were:-
Abbeydale
Aldersdale
Arndale
Bishopsdale
Boardale
Broomdale
Cairndale
Cedardale

A further 11 'Dale' were constructed during the war.

The British had several Mercantile conversions in the 10,000ton region aswell.

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Andy H

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Post by Andy H » 25 Aug 2007 20:16

from http://www.naval-history.net/WW2British ... upport.htm


Entries are from the original and uncorrected "British Vessels Lost at Sea, 1935-45", published by HMSO 1947.

R-Indicates a Requisitioned for Royal Navy service; tonnage is either standard displacement or gross registered

Tankers/Oilers

ALBERT L ELLSWORTH (8,309t, 1937), sunk by U-boat off W Africa. Date approximate, January 8, 1943

ALCIDES (R, 7,634t, 1930), sunk by Japanese Raider, Indian Ocean. Date approximate, August 2, 1943

ALDERSDALE (8,402t, 1937), sunk, cause unknown, Barents Sea, Arctic, May 26, 1942

ANDREA BROVIG (R, 10,173t, 1940), sunk by U-boat, West Indies, June 23, 1942

BELITA (R, 6,323t, 1933), sunk by U-boat, off Socotra, Arabian Sea, December 3, 1942

BETH (R, 6,852t, 1930), sunk by U-boat off Barbados, West Indies, May 18, 1942

BIRCHOL (1,115t, 1917), wrecked off Hebrides, W of Scotland, November 29, 1939

BOARDALE (8,400t, 1937), grounded at Narvik, Norway and sunk, April 30, 1939

CAIRNDALE (8,129t, 1939), sunk by U-boat torpedo, W of Gibraltar Straits, May 30, 1941

CIRCLE SHELL (R, 8,207t, 1931), sunk by U-boat off Venezuela, February 21, 1942

DARKDALE (8,145t, 15/11/40), sunk by explosion, believed torpedoed by U-boat, St Helena, South Atlantic, October 22, 1941

DINSDALE (8,250t, 11th April 1942), sunk by U-boat torpedo, South Atlantic, May 31, 1942

FINNANGER (R, 9,551t, 1928), sunk by U-boat, North Atlantic, February 24, 1942

FRANCOL (2,623t, 1917), sunk by gunfire of Japanese surface craft, S of Java, March 3, 1942

HALLANGER (R, 9,551, 1928), sunk by U-boat, W Mediterranean, March 30, 1943

HAVSTEN (R, 6,161t, 1930), sunk by U-boat, West Atlantic, August 3, 1942

JOHN P PEDERSEN (R, 6,128t, 1930), sunk by U-boat, N Atlantic, May 20, 1941

LEIV EIRIKSSON (R, 9,952t, 1936), sunk by U-boat, West Indies, June 27, 1942

LITIOPA (R, 5,356, 1917), sunk by U-boat off W Africa, October 22, 1943

MALMANGER (R, 7,078t, 1920), sunk by U-boat off West Africa, August 9, 1942

MARIT (R, 5,542t, 1918), sunk by U-boat off Benghazi, Libya, October 4, 1943

MINISTER WEDEL (R, 6,833t, 1930), sunk by U-boat off W Africa, January 9, 1943

MIRLO (R, 7,455t, 1922), sunk by U-boat, off West Africa, August 11, 1942

MONTENOL (2,646t, 1917), torpedoed by U-boat, North Atlantic. Sunk by own forces, May 21, 1942

NYHOLT (R, 8,087t, 1931), sunk by U-boat, West Atlantic, January 17, 1942

OLEANDER (7,048t), damaged and beached on 26th May; sunk in Harstad Bay, Norway, June 8, 1939

OLNA (12,667t, 1921), bombed and set on fire, Crete, May 18, 1941

PERICLES (R, 8,324, 1936), lost in heavy weather on passage to Alexandria, Egypt, April 14, 1941

PLUMLEAF (5,916t, 1917), sunk by aircraft bombs, Malta, April 4, 1942

ROSEWOOD (R, 5,989t, 1931), torpedoed and presumed sunk, March 9, 1943

SANDAR (R, 7,624t, 1928), sunk by U-boat off Tobago, West Indies, May 2, 1942

SILDRA (R, 7,313t, 1927), sunk by U-boat off W. Africa, August 19, 1941

SLAVOL (2,623t, 1917), sunk by U-boat torpedo sailing for Tobruk, Libya, March 26, 1942

SLEMDAL (R, 7,374t, 1931), sunk by U-boat, North Atlantic, June 15, 1942

SVENOR (R, 7,616t, 1931), sunk by U-boat, West Atlantic, March 27, 1942

SVEVE (R, 6,313t, 1930), sunk by U-boat, North Atlantic, September 10, 1942

TANKEXPRESS (R, 10, 95t, 1937), sunk by U-boat off West Africa, July 25, 1942

THELMA (R, 8,297t, 1937), cause and place unknown, August 26, 1942

THORSHAVET (R, 11,015t, 1938), sunk by U-boat, Caribbean Sea, November 3, 1942

THORSHOVDI (R, 9,944t, 1937), war cause, August 4, 1943

VARDAAS (R, 8,176t, 1931), sunk by U-boat, off Tobago, West Indies, August 30, 1942

WAR DIWAN (5,550t, 1919), sunk by mine, River Schelde, Holland, December 16, 1944

WAR MEHTAR (5,502, 1920), torpedoed off Yarmouth, November 20, 1941

WAR SEPOY (5,574t, 1919), damaged by aircraft off Dover. Constructive total loss, July 19, 1939

WAR SIRDAR (5,518t, 1920), lost on reef, NW Batavia, March 1, 1942


Regards

Andy H

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Post by Visionist » 26 Aug 2007 20:34

Thanks all.

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Post by Mark McShane » 02 Sep 2007 18:10

If memory serves me right, the largest oilt tanker sunk during the war was the EMPIRE HERITAGE. She was a converted whale factory ship. She was carrying 16,000 of fuel and also a large deck cargo which included tanks. She was sunk in Spetember 1944 and is one of the many large ships that met there final fate around Irelands coast during the war.

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Post by Andreas » 13 Sep 2007 11:48

Some info on the Empire Heritage, including pictures from a dive on her (showing a lot of tanks)

http://uboat.net/allies/merchants/ship/3351.html

http://www.deepimage.co.uk/wrecks/empir ... rticle.htm

http://deepimage.co.uk/wrecks/empire_he ... mages.htm#

All the best

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Re: Oil tankers

Post by Andreas » 25 Mar 2008 13:41

Eni/Agip had a few 10,500 ton (14,770 dwt) tankers that may have been larger than Ohio, and had been launched in the late 30s. In 42 they launched a 16,500 ton purpose-built tanker with the same deadweight. I am guessing that the higher carriage capacity meant that she had only one tank? The earlier ones seemed to be able to take multiple fuels.

All the best

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Re: Oil tankers

Post by Jon G. » 26 Mar 2008 09:39

Here is a point of reference for world tanker fleets on the eve of war

Code: Select all

            World Tanker Fleet as of June 30th 1938

            Number      GRT      %of World Total

US           418    2,759,642        25.8
UK           410    2,672,219        24.9
Norway       262    1,972,469        18.4
Netherlands  112      561,946         5.2
Italy         78      380,488         3.5
Panama        49      450,261         4.2
France        40      241,896         2.3
Japan         39      345,849         3.2
Germany       31      202,221         1.9
Canada        28      124,727         1.2
USSR          27      123,209         1.1
Sweden        17      144,899         1.4
Spain         16       76,925         0.1
Denmark       14      106,786         0.1
Belgium        9       64,923         0.1
Others       105      487,220         4.5

From Lloyd's Register via Goralski & Freeburg Oil & War: How the Deadly Struggle for Fuel in WWII meant Victory or Defeat, p 339


Goralski & Freeburg also offer data for the war years. If interest is sufficient I'll post the numbers here.

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Re: Oil tankers

Post by phylo_roadking » 26 Mar 2008 13:47

If we're talking about gross tonnage, don't forget the UK leased the Norwegian tanker fleet on the outbreak of war, and it was the continued leasing revenue from these that supported the Norwegian government-in-exile in Britain after the Fall of Norway.

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Re: Oil tankers

Post by Jon G. » 27 Mar 2008 16:53

Andreas wrote:Eni/Agip had a few 10,500 ton (14,770 dwt) tankers that may have been larger than Ohio, and had been launched in the late 30s...


The largest Italian tanker in this registry (that is, the largest Italian tanker which was sunk) was the 10,540 ton Iridio Mantovani, which was sunk off Tripoli on December 1 1941.

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Re: Oil tankers

Post by Andreas » 27 Mar 2008 17:49

That was the one that got me to look up whether Ohio was indeed the largest. Turns out that Iridio Mantovani had at least one sister of the same design, and both were in service before 1940.

All the best

Andreas

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Re: Oil tankers

Post by Jon G. » 27 Mar 2008 18:03

...some further digging brought up this basic information from the excellent Miramar ship index website:

IDNo: 5613950 Year: 1939
Name: IRIDIO MANTOVANI Launch Date: 22.12.38
Type: Tanker Date of completion: 5.39
Flag: ITA Keel:
Tons: 10540 Link: 1137
DWT: Yard No: 1204
Length overall: Ship Design:
LPP: 152.2 Country of build:
Beam: 20.9 Builder: Riuniti Adriatico
Material of build: Location of yard: Monfalcone
Number of
screws/Mchy/
Speed(kn): 1D-16
Owner as Completed: Azienda Generale Italiana Petroli, Genoa

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Re: Oil tankers

Post by Andreas » 28 Mar 2008 10:00

I like 'Disposal Data - gunfire 1.12.41'

Not sure that is correct though, according to the report by the commander of the escort she was sunk by bombs. He was sunk by gunfire.

All the best

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Re: Oil tankers

Post by Jon G. » 28 Mar 2008 10:41

Apparently (but sources are a little unclear) she received the coup de grace from Force K destroyers after they had disposed of the escorting destroyer Da Mosto while she was picking up survivors. Earlier on that day, the Iridio Mantovani had been attacked by three Blenheims (of either 18 or 107 squadron) at 1300 which immobilized her, and a second air strike at 1650 caused the crew to abandon her.

The Iridio Mantovani was carrying 5,032 tons of fuel oil, 1,727 tons of diesel and 1,870 tons of gasoline when she was sunk 70 nm north of Tripoli.

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