German U-Boats Focus on British Oil Tankers

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German U-Boats Focus on British Oil Tankers

Post by Globalization41 » 19 Mar 2004 04:37

Berlin, By Telephone to The New York
Tuesday, May 20, 1941: Today's High
Command communique reports that a German
submarine has sunk 33,000 tons of enemy
tankers from various convoys. Thus the
Germans declare, a round of 85,000 tons of
enemy tankers have been sunk since May 1.
... The 33,000 tons of tankers would have
carried, according to a moderate estimate, the
Germans declare, some 46,000 tons of oil. ...
Informed quarters suggest that the U-boats are
concentrating on enemy tankers
just as once
before they are said to have concentrated their
attacks upon refrigerated vessels. ... Only one
to 1.5 percent of British home oil requirements
can at present be manufactured in Britain, the
Germans say. ... Since the first of May, the
Germans declare, around 400,000 tons of
British shipping have been sunk. ... ...
London, Associated Press, The New York
Tuesday, May 20, 1941: Sinking of
the naval auxiliary vessel Camito was
announced today by the Admiralty. The
Camito, 6,833 tons, was said to have been in
the West Indian banana trade before the war.
... ... Recife, Brazil, Associated Press, The
New York Times,
Tuesday, May 20, 1941:
The Argentine vessel Josephinas arrived here
today with 22 survivors of the 5,828-ton
British freighter City of Shanghai,
off Africa on May 10. ... ... London,
Associated Press, The New York Times,

Tuesday, May 20, 1941: Increased risks in the
Eastern Mediterranean were reflected tonight in
higher shipping insurance rates announced by
the Institute of London Underwriters. ...
Effective tomorrow, rates to and from Haifa,
Palestine, are increased from 10 to 15 percent
in most cases, an exception being between
Haifa and Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, which
was raised from 7.5 percent to ten percent. ...
Other increases were: To and from India and
Turkey, from 12.5 to 15 percent; to and from
Alexandria, Port Said, Suez, Cyprus, and
Mediterranean ports east of Cyprus, from five
to 7.5 percent. ... ... Berlin, United Press,
The New York Times,
Wednesday, May 21,
[Late Tuesday, U.S. time] All 312
passengers and crew members of the Egyptian
steamer Zamzam,
including 138 Americans are
safe and sound in a "Western French port,"
after sinking of the vessel by a German
it was announced last night. ... The
Zamzam was sunk in the South Atlantic during
"the middle of April" because she was
"transporting war materials for Britain" from
the United States,
the official news agency,
D.N.B., said. ... The survivors were landed
by a German merchant ship
to which they
presumably were transferred from the warship
that sank the Zamzam, it was stated. [The
Germans had surface raiders disguised as
merchant ships.]
The sinking appeared to have
occurred shortly after the Zamzam left Recife,
on April 10 for Cape Town, South
where she was due April 21 or 23.
[According to another article the Zamzam's
cargo of 5,344 tons included 2,322 tons of oil,
1,000 tons of fertilizer; trucks, cigarettes, Red
Cross supplies, soap, and powdered milk.

Washington, Special to The New York Times,
By James B. Reston, Tuesday, May 20, 1941:
The House adopted a drastic new emergency
program for United States shipping. The lower
chamber passed and sent to the Senate a bill
empowering President Roosevelt to control the
movements, cargoes, and rates of all ships
registered or doing business in this country.
... The bill has two main objectives: first, to
force United States ships to cooperate with the
Administration's policy of building up the
defense of this country and belligerent
democracies; and second, to control import
commodity prices by limiting transportation
... A move by a Republican minority to
amend the measure to forbid the entrance of
United States ships into the Red Sea
defeated by voice vote. The amendment was
introduced by Representative James C. Oliver
of Maine, who urged the House either to keep
American vessels out of the Red Sea or to have
them convoyed. ... Charging that the bill
would give the President and the Maritime
commission the power to force United States
ships into the Red Sea armament traffic,
Oliver said that passage of the bill unamended
would "be a token that members of Congress
are ordering our seamen into a suicide
" ... In spite of the President's
declaration that the Red Sea was no longer a
combat zone,
Mr. Oliver said that these waters
were certain to be mined and that the United
States ships entering them might be attacked by
submarines or divebombers or Axis surface
... Representative Schuyler Bland,
chairman of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries
committee, opposing the Oliver amendment,
argued that a vote to prevent U.S. ships from
entering the Red Sea would amount to an
amendment of the Neutrality Act.
Neutrality Act had given]
Roosevelt the power to define combat zones.
On the strength of this argument, the
amendment was defeated. ... The debate on
the measure indicated the strength of the House
anti-war and anti-convoy faction, which drew
repeated cheers from visitors in the galleries.

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

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