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MaSS

stepping stones of maritime history

History

BRAGE was an ore carrier launched in October 1937 by the Nordseewerke in Emden for the Frigga shipping-company.

On 6th May 1940, during World War II, the vessel entered Kiel Bay with a cargo of iron ore from occupied Norway and struck a mine, which had been previously laid by an Allied air force. The ship became unmaneuverable and started to sink. All crew members were saved.

As the 9000 tons of iron ore were essential for Nazi Germany's war economy, the cargo and the superstructure above the waterline was salvaged and scrapped during the war.

In the postwar period, the British occupying force made concessions for further salvage operations, which involved also underwater detonations and helmet divers to collect the scrap metal.

In recent times, the wreck-diver Peter Klink researched the history of the ship and wrecksite and contacted the owner of a salvage company involved in the operation, who confirmed the identity of the wreck.

Description

The vessel was fitted with a compound steam engine (i.e. a double-expansion marine engine) and an exhaust steam turbine built by the Rheinmetall AG in Berlin Tegel. This innovation came up in the mid 19th century.

Speed12 knots ~ 14 mph (22 km/h)
Length433.1 feet (132 m)
Beam59.1 feet (18 m)
Tonnage9300 ton (4650 last)

Status

Not much of the wreck survived the salvage operation. It lies at a depth of 19 metres. Today the wreck is preserved up to a length of 40 metres, with both the bow and stern sections gone, and a preserved height of up to 4 metres. All engines, the deck, and superstructure has been salvaged. Only some frames and bulkheads are still discernible.

References

Down on 27 September

New in MaSS

Wrecks of Flevoland

Burgzand Noord

13 Provinces